What's the Difference Between a Carpenter and a Joiner?

There’s often a common misunderstanding between what a carpenter does and what a joiner does. The lines can become blurred, and unless you know more about both trades, you may think they are the same or that they are responsible for skills and job that they aren’t. Fear not! Over the course of this feature, we will cover the particulars of these two subtly different trades and discover exactly what’s involved in the carpentry and joinery trade.

Carpentry and wooden boss of a hall near the departure station of the gondola lift of Samoëns.

The basics

You’d be correct in thinking that both carpentry and joinery are part of the construction sector. In its simplest and most traditional sense, carpenters construct the building elements on-site, while joiners ‘join’ wood in a workshop.

What are common jobs for carpenters?

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Fitting staircases

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Fixing window frames

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Fitting floors

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Installing cupboards and shelving

What are common jobs for joiners?

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Building stairs

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Making window/door frames

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Creating fitted furniture

A more detailed look at what carpenters do

Tool Carpentry Construction Tape Measure Yellow

Carpentry is a varied and very interesting job to have. Essentially, carpenters first begin by carrying out the layout checklist; marking, measuring, and arranging materials to fit in accordance with local building codes. Next, they cut and shape using hand and power tools.

Finally, carpenters make final checks in terms of accuracy of their work and make any required adjustments.

Carpenters can offer broad ranging skills or specialise in one or more. A good example of this is carpenters who remodel homes and other structures. They require a broad range of carpentry skills. As part of a single job, they might frame walls, build stairs, put in doors and windows, or install cabinets, for example.

Carpenters who work for large construction contractors or specialty contractors may perform only a few regular tasks, such as constructing wooden forms for pouring concrete, or erecting scaffolding.

Carpenters who ply their trade outside the construction industry perform a variety of installation and maintenance work. They may replace panes of glass, ceiling tiles, and doors, as well as repair desks, cabinets, and other furniture.

A more detailed look at what joiners do

Domino jointer system German tool manufacturer Festool

A joiner will typically ply their trade on both commercial and residential projects, and due to the nature of the job, joinery is closely associated with carpentry – along with other parts of the construction industry.

Joiner’s will usually be based in a workshop, and this is because the creation of their projects, i.e. various joints, which needs specialist machinery. However, joiners are not restricted to the workshop, they sometimes undertake installations in the homes of customers and on building sites.

Joiners will produce and interpret drawings, set out and measure, cut, form joints, assemble, install and finish to a high standard. A joiner can produce items including interior and exterior doors, stairs, windows, tables and bookshelves, depending on the area they have focused on.

Working precisely and accurately are the universal attributes of the outstanding joiner is a must – something our team here at D&C pride ourselves on.

There’s a significant amount of planning and organising that’s involved, particularly as there’s such a high degree of accuracy, concentration and attention to detail needed to reach a high-quality finish.

Our Devon & Somerset carpenters pride themselves on the level of care and attention they pay to all the jobs that we undertake and therefore produce an unbeatably high standard of workmanship each and every time.

Our family-run business has established a reputation for providing a friendly and professional service at a very competitive price and our carpentry service can be combined perfectly to run alongside our other services providing all of your construction needs in one place. For more information, get in touch with us today!

Image credit: Ratel under Creative Commons.

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