What is a carpenter? What does a carpenter do?
There are many arguments as to the proper categorization of certain job titles within the construction industry. Many of them perform the same or similar tasks in a lot of cases. Some of these arguments are whether a person should be called a “remodeler” or a “carpenter”. Our focus will be on, what is a carpenter? There should be no argument that a carpenter is someone who works with wood. But today, you’d have to extend that definition to works with vinyl, PVC, aluminum, composites. A carpenter usually works with wood and similar composite materials.
There are five specialized categories that most carpenters fit into, excluding a general carpenter who performs all or most carpentry tasks. These days, most carpenters are specialists, which usually leads to more efficient work.
The types of carpenters are finish carpenter, trim carpenter, cabinet maker, framing carpenter, and ship’s carpenter. Some can be broken down further like cabinet installer or hardwood flooring for example. And many can combine two or more of the categories.
Finish Carpenter does finish carpentry, duh. Which includes: cabinetry, woodworking, furniture making, finished stairs, and many other finishing work. Usually the duties they perform require exact joints and minimal margins for error and excel at beautiful, intricate woodwork. This is the broadest of the sub-categories. Sometimes a person who performs finish carpentry can include some of the other sub-categories including trim carpentry and cabinet maker.
Trim Carpenter specializes in molding and trim work. Someone who installs baseboard, crown molding, door and window casing, mantels, and other ornamental work. A trim carpenter can trim out a whole house inside and out, and usually will install cabinets.
Cabinet Maker is a carpenter that specializes in making cabinets or boxes. Kitchen cabinets, vanities, wardrobes, dressers, chests, and other storage furniture are what a cabinet maker will usually build.
Rough Carpenter is a carpenter that does the rough building or builds the skeletal structure of a building. The most recognized examples are a roofer and a framer.
Ship’s Carpenter specializes in shipbuilding.
As previously stated, there is often confusion as to who is a carpenter. A remodeler usually does a combination of carpentry tasks, including some framing and some trim carpentry. But they don’t specialize in that field. And they usually perform all work in a particular room (kitchen or bathroom).