A question we’re frequently asked here at JLA is: what’s the difference between joinery and carpentry? They’re both wood-based construction trades, that share a lot of similarities so it’s understandable that the two can often get confused. 

There are many areas where joinery and carpentry overlap, with lots of transferable skills between the two professions, however, there are a few differences to help distinguish them apart. 

The Difference Between Joinery and Carpentry 

There’s a well-known myth that the only difference between a joiner and a carpenter is that one uses nails and the other doesn’t. Well spoiler alert, that’s not true. 

Joinery = The process in which two or more sections of wood are connected. The work performed in joinery is usually associated with creating a range of timber products. This can include windows, doors and staircases to specialist furniture such as chairs, cabinets and wardrobes. Usually, but not extensively, joinery work is often based in a workshop due to the use of heavy machinery.

Joiners specialise in: 
  • Bookshelves and tables 
  • Window frames 
  • Interior and exterior doors
  • Bespoke furniture 
  • Staircases 

Amongst other things. 

Carpentry = Carpentry work tends to focus on larger elements, such as constructing and fitting roof trusses, stud work and fitting floors & staircases. It also tends to be performed on-site. 

Carpenters specialise in: 
  • Fitting roof timbers
  • Fitting partition walls 
  • Fitting floors 
  • Fixing window frames 
  • Installing skirting boards 
  • Installing cupboards and shelving 

Amongst other things. 

Put simply, a joiner is a professional who produces the timber projects that a carpenter then fixes on site. So as you can see they both work hand in hand together. The joinery part of the process will entail the making of the framework for projects, joining the wood in a workshop. The carpentry aspect is when the elements are built and installed on-site. 

You could think of both joinery and carpentry as separate specialities within the same industry. With joinery focusing more on the creation of wood components and carpentry involving fitting these components/using them in a way to create something else. 

How to Choose Between a Joiner and a Carpenter

As with any trade work, when opting to go for a joiner or carpenter, we’d always advise picking craftspeople according to their expertise relative to the exacting needs of your project. 

In many cases, it’s appropriate to hire both. For example, if you’re looking for a staircase, you may get in contact with a joiner to make it and then a carpenter to install it. Or if you’re looking for a bespoke wooden door, a joiner can design and create your door of dreams, whilst a carpenter can skillfully fix the door to ensure it fits perfectly. 

It’s not uncommon for joiners and carpenters to work together on larger more complex projects, such as whole-house projects. We recently worked with local development company, Grey Tree Developments on a whole house Joinery and Carpentry project, which you can read more on here

What do we do?

Here at JLA Joinery, we’re made up of a large team of fully qualified tradesmen, all experts in their field. We provide a whole range of home improvements, from beautiful bay windows and elegant french doors to bespoke staircases and everything in between, all individually crafted and installed by our skilled team of reliable and friendly tradesmen. We work alongside designers and architects, employing their skills wherever necessary, to help bring your vision to life. 

Do you have a bespoke project in mind? Get in touch with us today and let’s discuss!

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