Carpenters and joiners make and install the wooden fixtures and fittings found in domestic and commercial construction projects. This can include floorboards, kitchen and bathroom units, door frames and much more.

Carpenters are usually divided into two areas: structural and detail. Structural includes construction that becomes the skeleton of the building, such as the framework, and the detail is the more intricate work of staircases, skirting boards, etc.


To start a carpentry business, you need the right qualifications to ensure that any new clients trust you, and to make sure that the work that you create is up to a certain standard. Look for qualifications from City & Guilds or apprenticeships. For these, you may need GCSEs in subjects like Maths, English and Design and Technology, or a BTEC in construction, for example.

If you’re more of an artist, then you may not think that you need these qualifications because the quality of your work will show through the finished product. However, having a relevant qualification will prove to customers that you have the right skills to do the job properly.

Other Skills

As a self employed carpenter, you will also need other skills to help you get by. They include:

1. Book-keeping

2. Marketing/Advertising

3. Scheduling

4. IT literacy

5. Project Management

There is lots of help available when it comes to business skills, from full blown courses to blogs dedicated to the subject.


You will need a van to operate as a carpenter. It will help transport tools and materials, so try and get the best your budget will allow. Set some budget aside for branding the vehicle too, as mobile advertising is a great way to raise your brand awareness, as well as looking more professional.

Commercial grade equipment, like this from Biesse, is necessary for that extra professional touch. Hand tools and power tools are essentials too, and again, try to invest as much as you can into these, as they can last a long time if looked after properly.


There are a number of different types of insurance that you’ll need for your carpentry business. You’ll need public liability insurance to cover yourself from any potential damage that you might cause to a client, for example if you are working at a client’s property.

If you employ others, you need employer’s liability, and it’s a good idea to have health insurance in case you’re unable to work through sickness or injury.