loading Loading, please wait...

Licensed Carpenter in Detroit, MI

How to Hire a Good Carpenter in Detroit

Hiring a good carpenter in Detroit to perform services like providing woodwork-related finishing touches to the interior and exterior of your property can raise its overall curb appeal, and ultimately increase its value by up to 14%. In addition to the financial benefits of doing this, working with a professional carpenter in the City of Detroit also improves the aesthetics of your home, making it more habitable and comfortable in the long run.

As such, it is essential to always employ professional, experienced, and competent carpenters to handle any carpentry-related projects that you have instead of attempting to carry out these tasks yourself. The services of these types of carpenters near you can usually be gotten through referrals from friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, and other home improvement professionals. Nonetheless, it is vital to determine the eligibility of your prospective carpenter for the task at hand before confirming any hiring arrangements with them. You can do this by asking these prospective carpenters the questions provided below:

  • Are You Licensed to Practice as a Carpenter in the City of Detroit?
  • How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Carpenters in the City of Detroit?
  • Do You Comply with the City of Detroit Building Code for Carpentry Work?
  • Will You Get the Home Improvement Permits as Required by the City of Detroit Code?
  • What Kind of Carpentry Services Do You Offer?
  • Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Carpenters in the City of Detroit?

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Carpenter in the City of Detroit

  1. Are You Licensed to Practice as a Carpenter in the City of Detroit?

    Carpenters in the City of Detroit are statutorily required to register with and obtain Maintenance and Alteration Contractor licenses from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). Non-compliance with this licensing provision can result in fines of up to $25,000 for offending carpenters in the city. Interested applicants that wish to obtain these Maintenance and Alteration Contractor licenses are deemed eligible after they have met certain requirements, which include:

    • They must be at least 18 years of age
    • They must hold a Michigan driver's license.
    • They must show proof of completing a 60-hour training course at a training center approved by LARA.
    • They must open a user account on the LARA licensing portal
    • They must register for and pass maintenance and alteration licensing exams
    • They must pay a stipulated licensing application fee.

    Upon satisfaction of the above conditions, applicants will be issued licenses by LARA. Once issued, Maintenance and Alteration Contractor licenses are typically valid for three years and they may be renewed no earlier than 90days before their expiry date. You can verify the licensing status of your Detroit carpenter online via the online platform provided and maintained by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). For more information on Detroit carpenter licensing procedures and other related information, you can contact this department's Bureau of Construction Codes at

    • Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
    • Bureau of Construction codes
    • 1st Floor Ottawa Building
    • 611 W. Ottawa Street
    • Lansing, MI 48933
    • Phone: (517) 241-9313
    • Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays
  2. How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Carpenters in the City of Detroit?

    Several factors affect the cost of carpentry jobs and services in the City of Detroit. Some of these factors include the type and cost of materials needed, the nature of the project, the expertise of the carpenter, and how much labor is required. Note that the total cost of your carpentry project may be issued via flat rate fees or hourly fees. Whichever means your carpenter chooses to charge for these services, it is important you get estimates from more than two carpenters to determine the true industry cost of your upcoming project.

    A carpenter in the City of Detroit earns an annual average wage of $53,210. The table below provides a comparison of the mean hourly wage for carpenters in the City of Detroit against those of carpenters in the rest of the State of Michigan as well as other major American cities:

    Detroit Carpenters Mean Hourly Wage
    $25.58
    Michigan Carpenters Mean Hourly Wage
    $23.81
    New York City Carpenters Mean Hourly Wage
    $34.16
    Chicago Carpenters Mean Hourly Wage
    $34.74
    Houston Carpenters Mean Hourly Wage
    $21.53
    Phoenix Carpenters Mean Hourly Wage
    $23.50
    Boston Carpenters Mean Hourly Wage
    $31.31

    Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

  3. Do You Comply with the City of Detroit Building Code for Carpentry Work?

    The Michigan Construction Codes regulate and govern the construction, alteration, demolition, moving, repair, maintenance of buildings and structures in Detroit. They also cover the materials used in these construction works, the quality of construction and carpentry materials, and the interior aspects of the building that covers carpentry such as entry and exit, ceilings, walls, beams, stairs, and interior finishings. These codes are enacted to secure the safety and well-being of the residents of Detroit as well as ensure that all structures and buildings are built in line with uniform standards provided by the construction codes. When searching for a carpenter in Detroit to execute your building or remodeling project, it is very important to hire a professional and experienced carpenter that is knowledgeable about the Michigan Construction Codes. This not only saves you from being in direct violation of these codes, but it also saves you cost from the monetary and legal implications of these violations.

    You can contact the Bureau of Construction Codes of the state's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs at (517) 241-9317 for more inquiries and information on the application and enforcement of the Michigan Construction Codes in Detroit.

  4. Will You Get the Home Improvement Permits as Required by the City of Detroit Code?

    According to the Michigan Construction Codes, permits are typically required for carpentry-related projects involving:

    • Changing the roofing structure of a house
    • Knocking down a wall or a section of the house to expand the house structure
    • Changing the wooden floors of the house
    • Altering, removing, replacing, or installing the structural wooden beams
    • Any other carpentry that involves the alteration and installation of the wooden structures of the house.

    However, permit exemptions are usually made for work involving minor repairs and alterations like changing faulty doorknobs, changing locks, changing kitchen and laundry cabinets and their doorknobs, installing shelves and drawers.

    Permits applications can be made by the owner of the building or the contractor in charge of the project. Eligible parties can apply for these permits by creating an account on the Detroit Electronic Licensing and Permitting System (eLAPS) and utilizing the city's permit application guide to glean information on the permit submission process. Supporting documentation such as building and proposed construction plans can also be submitted electronically via the city's electronic plan review portal.

    The permit application and plan review process typically take three business days. Note that once the permit is approved, project inspections will have to be scheduled with the Construction Inspection Division of the Detroit Buildings Safety Engineering Environmental Department (BSEED), either online or via phone call to (313) 224-3202. For more information or inquiries on the permit application process and other related information, you can contact the BSEED office at:

    • Department of Buildings, Safety, Engineering, and Environmental (BSEED)
    • Coleman A, Young Municipal Center
    • 2 Woodward Avenue
    • Detroit, MI 48226
    • Phone: (313) 224-2733
  5. What Kind of Carpentry Services Do You Offer?

    Carpentry services in Detroit involve the construction, assembly, installation, and repair of wooden structures in homes and other types of buildings. Primarily, there are two categories of carpentry, namely rough carpentry and fine or finish carpentry. Rough carpentry focuses largely on the wooden framing of the building and the skeletal structures that support buildings like walls, roofs, beams, pillars, and floors. Rough carpenters are also trained to identify defects in the wooden structures and also ensure that the structures and materials used in construction meet up to building and residential codes and proper strength standards. On the other hand, fine or finish carpentry involves the precise detailing and craftsmanship required to transform your home into a habitable space. Work that falls under this type of carpentry includes the design and installation of interior trim and millwork such as stair railings, crown molding and casing around doors and windows, shelves and cabinetry, built-in furniture, drawers, and other storage spaces. Finish carpenters are trained to ensure that various aspects of the interior finish go well with each other to create an aesthetically harmonious interior.

    In addition, some carpenters may specialize in one or more of the different carpentry services. Therefore, as a homeowner, you must be certain of the expertise of your prospective carpenter, the scope of carpentry services that they provide, and whether these services match the requirements of the prospective project. It is also important that the prospective carpenters have the tools and expertise to execute carpentry projects successfully.

    Below are some common services provided by carpenters in the City of Detroit and their average costs:

    Interior trim and molding installation
    $35.00 - $65.00
    Interior trim and molding repairs
    $35.00 - $65.00
    Exterior trim installation
    $27.50 - $52.50
    Exterior trim removal (per linear foot)
    $16.00 - $21.75
    Carpentry framing
    $20.23 - $23.63
  6. Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Carpenters in the City of Detroit?

    The risk of potential injuries faced by carpenters in the execution of projects is often underrated by homeowners. It is estimated that accidents and injuries caused by nail guns alone account for over 37,000 visits to the emergency room annually. This statistic serves to underscore the importance of hiring insured carpenters to work on your projects. By working with only duly insured carpenters, you protect yourself from financial liabilities that come up due to injuries and accidents that occur whilst your home remodeling project is ongoing. It also saves you from having to bear the cost of repairing or replacing your property if it is damaged by your carpenter during this project.

    As such, although the City of Detroit does not compel carpenters to carry general liability insurance, it is advisable to ensure that any carpenter you hire has a valid liability insurance plan that is adequate to cover the scope of your project. You can make sure of this by requesting proof of the carpenter's insurance coverage and contacting the insurance provider that allegedly issued this proof to authenticate it. Also, note that licensed carpenters in the city are mandatorily required to carry worker's disability compensation insurance if they have one or more employees. You can contact the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to get more information on state-mandated insurance requirements for carpenters in Detroit via phone number (517) 284-8947 or via email.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Carpenter in the City of Detroit

A 2020 survey conducted by the Consumer Federation of America places complaints about home improvement scams second on the list of top ten complaints in the United States. In January 2021, two unlicensed contractors were charged with felony and misdemeanor charges for defrauding Detroit residents of over $22,000. These funds were fraudulently obtained under circumstances that involved contracting without a license and receiving payments for home remodeling projects without delivering on these projects. When undertaking a home improvement project in Detroit, you should always remain vigilant during your search for carpenters near you to avoid falling victim to unscrupulous contractors and home remodeling scams. The following are ways to identify unscrupulous contractors in your search for carpenters near you:

  • The contractor tells you to apply and obtain permits yourself, especially in projects that require the contractors themselves to apply for these permits
  • The contractor shows up unannounced and tries to solicit for jobs or tries to sell carpentry materials claiming to have leftover carpentry materials from a just-concluded carpentry project in the neighborhood
  • The contractor asks for an upfront payment of 50% or more of the entire project sum and insists on being paid in cash
  • The contractor gives verbal project estimates and is skeptical about signing or committing to signing a written contract
  • The contractor changes the project cost multiple times before the completion of the project.
  • The contractor tries to rush you into hiring on the spot without due diligence and is skeptical about revealing the name and licensing status.

The following precautions should be considered to avoid being scammed by dubious contractors in your search for a competent carpenter near you:

  • Always verify the license of a prospective carpenter you want to hire.
  • Conduct proper due diligence on prospective carpenters before hiring. You can check third-party sites like Better Business Bureau to read reviews about prospective carpenters you want to hire.
  • Get estimates from more than two carpenters to get a good idea of what your prospective project will cost. This will also save you from being overcharged by a prospective carpenter.
  • Insist on well-written and legible estimates and contracts. Never sign any document you cannot read or do not understand.
  • Always pay for your project in installments. Payment of each installment should never be more than $1,000 or 10% of your entire project sum whichever is less.
  • Never pay cash on any installments. Always pay with cheques, credit cards, and other means that are easily traced and verifiable.

If you suspect that you have fallen victim to a home remodeling scam, you can contact the LARA Compliance Division to make a complaint, either by email or by calling (517) 241-9316. You can also make complaints on these types of matters to the Consumer Protection Division of the Michigan Attorney General's office by filing an online complaint and sending documentation supporting your complaint to

  • Consumer Protection Division
  • P.O.Box 30213
  • Lansing, MI 48909-7713

Finally, you can also report home improvement scams and other contractor-related fraudulent activities to the Detroit Police Department at

  • Detroit Police Department
  • Detroit Public Safety Headquarters
  • 1301 3rd Street
  • Detroit, MI 48226
  • Phone: (313) 267-4600