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House & home

How much does it cost?

We contacted Which? Local-recommended traders to find out how much standard jobs should cost and how quickly they should be completed. Armed with this information, you’ll feel confident about hiring traders and be better equipped to spot when things aren't right.

Issue 2 - Carpenters and joiners: how much should you pay?

We surveyed recommended carpenters and joiners to find out how much you should spend on 11 common jobs and how long they should take to complete.

Carpenter's tools

We asked Which? Local-recommended carpenters and joiners to complete a survey about the price and completion time for 11 standard carpentry and joinery jobs.

Armed with this information, you'll know what questions to ask, roughly what price you can expect to pay and how long jobs should take when hiring a carpenter and joiner.

Carpentry and joinery prices and completion times

All of our prices include labour and materials but exclude VAT.

JobDetailsTypical price quotedPrice rangeTypical time to complete job
Survey conducted in July 2012.
Build a garden shedBuild an 8m x 6m shiplap shed (with preassembled panels). Assuming that customer is providing own shed and concrete base is in place.n/a£96-£1001 day
Build a garden fenceTo construct a garden fence with 10 6m x 5m panels including posts and capping. Price includes labour plus all materials.£850£665-£1,1131–2 days
Make a wooden sash window frameMake timber replacement frame (double glazed) for a sash window measuring 1.2m x 1.8m. Includes labour and materials, excludes glass.n/a£370-£7701–2 days
Construct a built-in wardrobe (double size) Build one double sized built-in wardrobe with: two doors; one top shelf; one clothes rail; one shoe shelf running the length of the wardrobe.£550£395-£7752-3 days
Build book shelves in loungeBuild eight MDF shelves in alcove between chimney breast and side wall. Width approx 2m. No painting required. n/a£180-£3821–1.5 days
Hang new doors – two-bed terraced houseHang eight new doors and plane to fit as required. Customer to provide doors.£310£240-£4801–2 days
Hang new doors – three-bed semi-detached houseHang 10 new doors and plane to fit as required. Customer to provide doors.£400£300-£6002–3 days
Hang new doors – four-bed detached houseHang 12 new doors and plane to fit as required. Customer to provide doors.£465£360-£7202-4 days
Lay oak flooringLay solid oak flooring in a hallway 1.5m x 3m. Assume floor is flat and prepared. Customer to supply flooring.£170£123-£2311 day
Board loft in a standard three-bed semi-£476£313-£5571–2 days
Supply and fit skirting board in one roomSupply and fit skirting board. Softwood. Approx 120mm high and 15mm thick in a room 14'10”.£200£163-£2730.5-1 day

Trader tips: carpentry and joinery

In addition to the pricing and completion time information, the recommended carpenters and joiners who participated in our survey also shared some helpful advice.

Job: build a garden shed
The job completion time could be reduced if two men were on the job or if the customer was willing to assist.

Job: Hang new doors

  • If your house is old, this job might take longer as frames may have subsided or moved.
  • Don’t forget about hinges, locks and door handles ('door furniture'). You might be able to re-use old door furniture but, if not, remember to add this to the price. Fitting door furniture may increase the time taken.


Job: Board loft

  • It will make life easier for the trader (and cheaper for you) if the loft is empty before they start. If traders have to clear the loft first this will take longer. And time is money!
  • Chat to your trader about insulation. While they're up there, it makes sense to put insulation under the boards (if needed). Combining jobs is cheaper in the long run.
  • If you don’t have a loft ladder already, think about getting one installed at the same time. A few traders told us that their price included installing a loft ladder. Others will charge extra.

 

Research methodology

In July 2012, we sent a survey to all Which? Local traders in the Carpenters and joiners category with a rating of three stars or more and an email address.

22 carpentry and joinery professionals responded to the survey. Using their experience and expertise, they answered questions about the cost of popular carpentry and joinery jobs, and how long they should take to complete.

Read more about the methodology

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