How to Start a Woodworking Business

Starting a woodworking business can be an attractive option due to the low cost of startup. Woodworking jobs are divided into two areas: rough (or structural) and finish (or detail). Rough work is the framing or roofing or other construction that becomes the skeleton of the building. Once the furniture is finished, the internal and external parts of the furniture cover the rough work. Finishing carpentry, however, includes detailed work like finishing walls or cabinets. Detail and precision are important in this type of construction. You should also have the proper training and qualifications in carpentry, as well as some experience.

An overview of the Woodworking business

Lack of training would lead to poor quality final production and this would significantly affect the competitiveness of your products in the market. Therefore, if you lack the knowledge and training, it would be a very good idea to take a carpentry course before you start a business. A technical college would be the ideal place for training and education.

Apprenticeships typically last three to four years, so look for a company that can offer you a variety of experiences. Larger companies are often better able to do this than smaller ones. Once the apprenticeship is over, you will receive a certificate stating that you are now a laborer carpenter.

If you want to branch out even more, consider gaining additional experience to land electrician jobs. Remember that the more skills you have, the more job opportunities you will get. You can also take the route of hiring a merchant. You focus on the business aspect rather than the technical aspect. This can be to your advantage if you are knowledgeable in the industry and good at finding and closing contracts.

Skill set

  • Properly handle the necessary machinery and equipment
  • Experience and knowledge of all kinds of tools
  • Construction experience as a plus
  • Calculate estimates
  • Remodeling
  • Building customs, shelves and cabinets
  • Proficiency in finishing work, drilling and fitting of window and door hardware, window fitting, stair arrangement, etc.
  • Ability to read plans
  • Ability to manage paperwork, such as employee timesheets
  • Ability to perform physically demanding tasks such as crawling long distances and climbing extended stairs
  • List of common business skills

Consideration of the employee and work

  • Carpenters
  • General labor staff
  • Common Staff Positions Needed to Run Some Businesses

Approximate daily hours needed

Depending on your location, this job typically has longer hours ranging from early morning to early evening and often weekends.

Depending on the niche you are filling or what aspect of the carpentry work you are doing, you may be required to be on the premises with other work crews very early in the morning.

Necessary equipment, supplies and services

Variety of hand tools:

  • Hammers
  • Squares
  • Chalk line
  • Chalk line clamp
  • Chisels
  • Carpenter pencils
  • Framing Square
  • Utility Knives
  • Framing hammer
  • Screwdrivers
  • Measuring tape
  • Level, Grease Pencil
  • Tool Belt
  • Staple guns
  • Nail gun
  • Portable air compressor
  • Table saw
  • band saw
  • Angle cut saw
  • Cordless Drill with Assorted Tips
  • Manual circular saw
  • Nails, screws and other fasteners
  • Work truck with ladder rack and tool box
  • Mallet strike
  • Trucks, vans
  • Composting bins
  • Essential office equipment

Monthly expenses and operating costs to consider

In addition to our list of common business expenses, your carpentry service will require a budget for the ongoing cost of building materials such as nails, staples, drill bits, lumber, etc.


You will need to check with local authorities about zoning laws and any required permits to operate at your home or elsewhere. It is preferable to be on bail and insured. Check with your homeowners insurance company to see if your current policy covers a home-based business.

Perhaps the toughest hurdle is bidding on home remodeling jobs. You can strike a balance between price fairness and profitability, says one expert, when you’re getting about 25% of your accepted offers. License requirements vary for home remodelers, so do your due diligence. Some states have a cost cap before a contractor’s license is required. You may decide to take additional courses to obtain the status of Journeyman carpenter and being able to charge more for their work.

Approximate minimum start-up cost

Average start-up cost can range from a couple hundred dollars if you already have a large piece of equipment to thousands of dollars if you want new, high-quality equipment. You can start small and expand your crew and equipment as you grow.

Advantages and disadvantages


  • If you have the skill or the manpower it’s easy to get started
  • You have the advantage of being your own boss
  • You can do creative work with wood
  • Fully expandable


  • Work tends to slow down during the winter months
  • Many times its adverse weather conditions of work
  • Physically demanding – a lot of wooden work equipment is required for heavy lifting and running ability
  • The equipment you work with could be potentially dangerous

Customer type

People looking to build their custom home, people looking to buy new homes. Many people today prefer to keep their existing homes and renovate them rather than upgrade to a newer or larger home. This is where your woodworking skills help with outdoor woodwork framing, finishing, and adding innovative storage areas where none existed. Homeowners who replace their “custom” closets and cabinets are major customers in the woodworking industry.


Woodworking jobs follow the trends in the construction industry. In boom times, the need for carpenters is great. In times of scarcity, the need is less, but carpenters can focus on repair work, not just construction projects. This means that even when the housing market slows, there is still work available in the repair and restoration of buildings.


Organizational skills and a professional demeanor can keep your home remodeling business buzzing from remodeling to a minimum of $ 50 per hour. The overall construction trade is expected to increase by 12% through 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Leave a Comment