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The Carpentry and Joinery Trade

The carpenter or joiner is one of the most important trades on site. They usually work on a labour only basis so all the materials and fixings will have to be supplied by you, the self builder.

The work of a carpenter or joiner is usually broken down into three main sections; First Fix, Roof and Second Fix and priced accordingly. There is no natural or rigid division between these various elements of the trade and the stages do not follow on from each other, overlapping to a considerable degree.

  • Cutting and laying the first floor joists and trimmers
  • Scarfing the wallplate
  • Fixing door linings and window boards
  • Fixing garage door frames
  • First floor decking
  • Making and erecting studwork partitioning
  • Assembly and erection of staircase
  • Making up on loft traps and tank stands
  • Boxing out for soil and vent pipes

The Roof

This has largely been covered in Build Stage 8 but as you can see from the above list some of the items in First Fix have to be done before the roof is on and others have to wait until it is finished or even tiled. are to be carpeted or exposed before ordering
so that they are made of the correct wood finish.

Second Fix includes the following

  • Hanging of internal / external doors and patio doors
  • Fitting the garage door
  • Fixing skirtings, architraves and decorative mouldings
  • Finishing off the staircase, balustrading and aprons

In addition there are various other tasks that the carpenters are often called upon to carry out as extras to the above:

  • Tacking up of plasterboard to ceilings
  • Fixing of insulation to the roof void and between joists or studwork
  • Fitting of kitchen units and fitted bedroom or bathroom furniture

Next: Installing your Domestic Plumbing

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The Carpentry and Joinery Trade

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Carpentry and Joinery Trade

Key Points
Make sure that you have nails, screws and the various fittings on site.

Stack timber up on blocks and cover it lightly.


Make sure that you have the appropriate glues on site – these are necessary for things like staircases.


Decide whether or not your stair treads are to be carpeted or exposed before ordering so that they are made of the correct
wood finish.


Ensure that the suppliers of kitchen, bedroom and bathroom units or fitted furniture deliver
them just before they are required. You do not want them hanging around on site to get stolen or damaged.

Think about kitchen design early on in the project to ensure that doors and windows are in the right place.
Ascertain whether the kitchen suppliers, as well as those supplying fitted bathroom and
bedroom furniture are fitting the units within their price or whether you will have to obtain an additional quotation from the carpenter.
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