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Cost guide: carpenters

We bring you a snapshot of costs for a range of common carpentry projects, from how much to hang a door and fit skirting boards to building bookshelves to fitted wardrobes. Also read our tips to finding a reliable carpenter or joiner near you.

In this article

Joinery price list

Generally speaking, joiners charge around £25 an hour, but it can depend upon a number of factors, including the job.

So that you know what to expect, we’ve surveyed traders¹ to find out how much you might need to pay for a range of carpentry jobs in your house and garden.

Our figures are only a guide to average costs, and there are several factors that can affect how much you’ll be charged, including:

  • where you live
  • the age and condition of your property (how straight your walls are, for example)
  • how long the job takes
  • the type of wood plus quality of materials and fittings that you want to be used.


Unless otherwise specified, all prices below include labour and materials but exclude VAT. We've also included tips to help you save money.

Find trusted carpenters near you. Only carpenters who have passed an assessment by our trading standards professionals, and who follow our Code of Conduct, can become Trusted Traders.

How much to build fitted wardrobes and bookshelves?

If you’re having fitted wardrobes or a custom bookcase made, consider placing them in an alcove, if you can.

If your cabinet maker can use the existing walls as the exterior of your wardrobe or bookcase, it could reduce the cost of labour and materials.

Job

Details

Typical price quoted

Price range

Time to do job

Construct a fitted wardrobe (double size)

Build one double-size fitted wardrobe with two doors, one top shelf, one clothes rail and one shoe shelf, all running the length of the wardrobe.

£690

£495-£975

2-3 days

Build book shelves in lounge

Build eight MDF shelves in alcove between chimney breast and side wall, roughly 2 metres wide. No painting required.

n/a

£225-£480

1–1.5 days

 

Wondering whether to get fitted furniture from a big-name brand, such as Sharps or John Lewis? Read our fitted wardrobe reviews, based on thousands of customers' views, before you decide.

How much to fit skirting boards and lay flooring and loft boards?

When having work done on flooring and lofts, you may be able to reduce costs by cutting the time that your carpenter needs to spend preparing for the work.

For example, you could clear the room of furniture or other items before they arrive.

Job

Details

Typical price quoted

Price range

Time to do job

Supply and fit skirting board in one room

Supply and fit softwood skirting board, approx 120mm high and 15mm thick in a room measuring 4.3m x 3m.

£250

£203-£342

0.5-1 day

Lay oak flooring

Lay solid oak flooring in a hallway (1.5m x 3m). Assumes floor is flat and prepared. Customer supplies flooring.

£215

£155-£290

1 day

Board a loft

In a standard three-bedroom semi-detached house.

£595

£390-£696

1–2 days

How much to hang a door and fit windows?

If you’re having new doors fitted, remember that the type of finish on a door can add to the cost.

A painted finish costs more than natural wood, for example, and a veneered door will set you back less than a solid-wood door, so it’s worth doing a little research into your options.

Job

Details

Typical price quoted

Price range

Time to do job

Make a wooden sash-window frame

Make timber replacement frame (double glazed) for a sash window measuring 1.2m x 1.8m. Excludes glass but includes other materials.

n/a

£462-£965

1–2 days

Hang new set of doors

Hang eight new doors, and plane to fit as required. Customer provides doors.

£400

£300-£600

1-2 days

How much to build a fence or garden shed?

Job

Details

Typical price quoted

Price range

Time to do job

Build a garden shed

Build an 8m x 6m shiplap shed (with preassembled panels). Assumes that customer is providing own shed, and concrete base is in place.

£125

n/a

1 day

Build a garden fence

Construct a garden fence with 10 panels (6m x 5m), including posts and capping.

n/a

£850 - £1,400

1–2 days

 

Find a reliable and trusted joiner near you. All traders that display our logo have passed rigorous checks by our Trading Standards experts.

Carpentry and joinery jobs

Joinery and carpentry cover a wide range of jobs, some of which require very specific skills. These includes:

  • framers - who specialise in work on the wooden framework of buildings
  • roofers - who have expert knowledge of working on rafters, beams and trusses of roof constructions
  • rough carpenters - who deal with structural works, such as stairs and decking, as well as framing and formwork
  • cabinet makers - who do intricate and detailed work on furniture, such as wardrobes
  • joister - who lay floor joists as a base for flooring
  • trim or finish carpenter - who work on mouldings and trims, for example skirting boards, door frames etc.

 

When hiring someone for any of the jobs above, consider looking for a specialist in the area your commissioning for an expert finish.

Finding a good carpenter

Start by asking friends, family and neighbours for recommendations. A good local carpenter will come highly recommended by previous customers. Look for carpentry and joinery companies with lots of reviews and check their profile photographs and company websites.

Have they undertaken work similar to yours? Do they specialise in a particular type of carpentry, such as wood flooring installation, doors and gates or summer houses? Do they hold a qualification in carpentry, such as an NVQ or City & Guilds? How long has the carpentry business been trading?

Carpenters may be registered with a number of trade organisations, such as our partner organisation, the Institute of Carpenters (IOC), or other organisations like British Woodworking Federation (BWF), the Guild of Master Craftsmen or the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Membership of these organisations, or others, doesn’t necessarily separate the wheat from the chaff, but it might indicate a certain level of professionalism. That’s not to say years of experience don’t count for anything, though – don't choose a carpenter based on their professional memberships alone.

You can read carpenters and joiner reviews from previous customers on each traders' page.

Getting carpentry and joinery quotes

The nature of your job will determine whether a trader can give you a quote on the telephone. In most cases, it’s likely the trader will want to visit your property to take measurements and discuss your options.

Get at least three quotes for any carpentry and joinery job, large or small. Ask carpenters to break down the quotes they provide, so you know what you’re being charged for. Also check they include any ‘hidden’ costs, such as waste disposal or car parking charges.

Ask your prospective carpenter whether they have insurance that covers them for any damage inadvertently caused to your property.

If you’re working backwards from a fixed budget, be sure you understand any corners the carpenter will cut in order to meet your desired price as each carpenter might give you different suggestions.

Do you understand the difference between a laminate and real wood floor, for example? How durable or attractive is a cheaper type of wood?

Hiring and paying a carpenter

Be clear about the work that will be carried out before it starts. As a minimum, you should be comfortable with the cost of each part of the job, the likely completion time and how payment will be made.

Ask to see the carpenter’s insurance documents and don’t be afraid to discuss what happens if you’re not satisfied with the standard of any work. Good traders will always produce insurance documents and talk about complaints procedures – a carpenter who is reluctant to do so should be avoided.

Most jobs are usually paid upon acceptance of the work. If the job demands lots of costly materials, then it wouldn’t be unreasonable for the carpentry company to ask for a deposit up-front or on commencement.

Never pay the full amount in advance – you may want to withhold the final payment until any niggles or disputes are resolved.

More on this

 

¹Costs were checked and updated in 2018.