Choosing the right joiner for your next project can be a time consuming but necessary process that will put you in good stead for years to come, but finding the right company for the job can sometimes feel like looking for a needle in a haystack.
To help you cut through the noise and avoid you being dazzled by promises of the lowest market rates, in return for shoddy craftsmanship, we’ve put together a list of the essential things to consider when doing your research to help you find the most experienced, efficient and effective joiner who will meet the demands of the job and help your project flourish.
Do they have relevant experience?
Joiners and carpenters are often grouped in the same category, and although there are lots of similarities, there are also vast differences in the roles, so it’s important not to confuse the two.
Smaller joiners will often employ one or the other, whereas larger joiners will often have both to promote a wider skill set. When doing your research don’t be afraid to ask about the skill set in-house to assess if this will be a good fit for your project.
Can they work to your scale?
When considering a new joiner it’s important that you do your research and look into both their previous/current projects to access who their clients are and the scale of their work. This will help determine their capacity for scale but will also help you compare and contrast your project. If there are similarities in projects then it’s likely that their workshop will be set up in a way that will be able to cater to your needs, allowing them to serve you quickly and efficiently, saving you both time and money.
Specialty joiner versus an all-rounder
Another thing to bear in mind when sub-contracting for any project is to have a clear idea of your specific requirements. If you only require a few simple things like having doors and windows made up, we would suggest that you look at a speciality joiner who do just that, as their workshop will be solely step up with mass production in mind and will be able to offer a quick turn around on goods.
If on the other hand, your project requires lots of different bespoke pieces you might want to consider an all-rounder, although comparatively, this will be slightly slower in terms of production time, it will mean being able to design and build all required articles under one roof and allows the one company to see the project through from start to finish.
See what their customers said about them
Client testimonials are the perfect way to get a true sense of the reliability of a company. Did the joinery deliver and did they do it on time, did they stick to the budget or did they exceed this? As a client, it’s natural to have a whole host of questions regarding the reliability and quality of the work. So when meeting with the company make sure you ask lots of questions about previous projects and find out if there were any issues and how these issues were resolved by the company.
Get to know your materials and ask for samples
No two pieces of timber are alike and can vary in colour, grain and weight, so get to know the materials you are working with and find out what your options are. Some companies might try to steer you toward low-quality timbers in an attempt to cut cost on the project, but if you’re looking for longevity on a project these are the ones to avoid. Choosing the cheapest materials is great in the short term but could end up proving to be costly in the long run.
If you are looking to use your own materials, be sure to mention this early on. Although you might have your heart set on a specific timber, it’s important that you understand it’s qualities and if it will be suitable for your requirements. Natural materials such as wood will react to its surroundings and can expand, shrink, change colour and even rot if exposed to the elements and not treated correctly. So choosing the right materials can play a big part in future proofing your project
Get a detailed quote
Before choosing your joiner make sure you shop around and get a detailed quote with a breakdown of all costs involved including, labour, materials and any additional cost such as waste disposal, skip/scaffolding hire, transport and delivery fees, etc. so that you are clear on fees.
Visit their workshop and check out the machinery
Although this isn’t always an option, due to time and location, visiting a joinery workshop can be a great way to get a sense of how they operate. It will also give you the opportunity to meet the team that will be working on your project and a chance for you to ask lots of questions.
Ask if they offer aftercare
Sometimes things don’t always go to plan and there will be snagging to resolve. These issues aren’t always initially apparent and so it’s always good to ask if there is an aftercare policy or a user manual that clients can refer to for care instructions.
We hope that you found this article helpful but if you have any questions and want to speak to a qualified specialist just get in touch. Better yet if you would like a tour of our Shoreditch workshop, book your tour today.