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Licensed Carpenter in Charlotte, NC

How to Hire a Good Carpenter in Charlotte

Carpenters possess essential skills that improve the attractiveness of your home. A report by the National Association of Realtors showed that houses with curb appeal, beautiful interior, and exterior tend to sell for about 7% higher than houses with uninviting exteriors. The premium on homes with higher curb appeal rises to 14% in real estate when there is a glut in the number of houses available for sale. Referrals serve as the best way to find a competent carpenter. When searching for a qualified carpenter, asking friends, family, or reputable contractors can significantly make the process less tedious. Ultimately you must remember that the vetting process before hiring a carpenter is your responsibility. These are some questions that you must ask when trying to vet a carpenter for hire:

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

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

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

    Carpenters seeking to offer services to residents of Charlotte must be registered with the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors(NCLBGC). This is because carpenters are generally categorized as general contractors or specialty contractors in North Carolina. The laws and regulations of the NCLBGC also demand licensing when carpenters execute works that are valued at $30,000 or more. Carpenters registered as specialty contractors can perform carpentry work involving interior constructions like flooring and finishing and installing doors, windows, or cabinets. In comparison, carpenters registered as residential contractors can perform carpentry work in residential units. Licenses issued by the NCLBGC are also broadly grouped by limitations. Limited licenses give contractors the right to handle projects with a monetary value of up to $500,000, and intermediate licenses allow contractors to perform tasks with an economic value up to $1,000,000. In contrast, unlimited licenses enable the holders to perform projects without an upper monetary limit. Carpenters can be found guilty of class 2 misdemeanors by the state and fined up to $1,000 or sentenced to up to 60 days in jail if they engage in woodwork services under the following conditions:

    • Impersonation of a licensed contractor.
    • Performing work without the proper license.
    • Working with a false or forged license,
    • Engages in services using an expired or revoked license.

    Carpenters seeking to be licensed general contractors must first submit an adequately filled application to the NCLBGC and meet the following additional requirements:

    • The applicant must submit an application as stipulated in the laws and regulations of the NCLBGC.
    • To verify a carpenter's license in North Carolina, you can use the license verification portal maintained by the NCLBGC. Alternatively, you can download the license verification tool maintained by the NCLBGC available on Android or iOS. If you have any inquiries about carpenter licensing requirements or contractor license verification, you can contact the NCLBGC by email, faxing to (919) 571-4703, or calling (919) 571-4183.
  2. How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Carpenters in the City of Charlotte?

    The rates per hour charged by carpenters in Charlotte depend on:

    • The nature of the project to be completed.
    • The type of materials to be used during the project and associated costs of these materials.
    • The amount of staffing required to complete the project.

    Carpenters can sometimes provide quotes as flat rates instead of hourly rates as they are not constrained to charge based on hourly estimates. However, it is a good idea to seek several estimates from several carpenters. This would enable you to gain insight into the average costs of the project you wish to execute. Retrieving multiple estimates from carpenters would also help you avoid getting scammed.

    A carpenter in the City of Charlotte earns an annual average wage of $41,300. The table below provides a comparison of the mean hourly wage for carpenters in the City of Charlotte against those of carpenters in the rest of the State of North Carolina as well as across several other major American cities:

    CharlotteCarpenters Mean Hourly Wage
    $19.73
    North CarolinaCarpenters Mean Hourly Wage
    $18.89
    New York City Carpenters Mean Hourly Wage
    $34.16
    Raleigh Carpenters Mean Hourly Wage
    $20.64
    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 Charlotte Building Code for Carpentry Work?

    Broadly, the North Carolina Building Code is the piece of state law that serves as the guide for the construction, alterations, relocation, enlargement, replacement, repair, use and occupancy, location, maintenance, removal, and demolition of buildings, structures, or any structure connected to such buildings or structures. More specifically, Chapter 23 of the Building Code serves as the law governing wood materials, woodwork design, construction, and the quality of wood members and their fasteners. When you hire a carpenter, you should ensure that the carpenter understands the provisions of the state building code since the code contains specific and technical requirements regarding the minimum moisture allowed for wood used in woodworks within the State and the specifications of the equipment used in any woodwork. Also, hiring a carpenter who does not understand the intricacies of the North Carolina building code would put you at risk of violating the code and putting the health and safety of others at risk. If you have specific questions about the North Carolina Building code related to carpentry and woodwork, contact the City of Charlotte Department of General Services by email or phone at (704) 336-2291.

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

    According to Section .0212 of the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors(NCLBGC) laws and regulations, contractors must obtain permits from the relevant local code enforcement agency before commencing any type of building or construction work. Furthermore, the North Carolina Administrative Codes and Policies stipulate that no person should begin the construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, movement to another site, removal, or demolition of any building or structures on building without first obtaining a permit from the relevant government organization. Permits applicable to carpentry or construction work in Charlotte is issued by the Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement Department(CED). Homeowners or carpenters seeking to obtain permits from the CED can utilize any permit application portals maintained by the CED. These permit application portals are:

    • Homeowner Internet Permitting; for carpenters and homeowners performing carpentry or building with a monetary value of less than $30,000.
    • Trade Internet Permitting; for carpentry projects that do not require the submission of plan reviews.
    • Other Permit not Requiring Plan Review; for a commercial building or carpentry project piloted primarily by contractors.
    • Permits requiring plan review; utilize this portal for carpentry projects or building projects involving Residential Plan reviews, Small Commercial Project Plan Reviews, Commercial Plan Reviews, Mega Multi Family Plan Reviews, and Special Projects Plan Reviews.
    • Demolition & Move on/Move-Off Permits; This portal is useful for projects involving the partial or total demolitions of building or carpentry projects.
    • Special Event Permits; for unique building or carpentry projects as specified by the North Carolina Building Code.
    • Sign permits for obtaining permits relevant to signage as they apply to building or carpentry projects.

    Alternatively, you can visit the office of the CED with inquiries on how to apply for a permit for your carpentry project. The CED's office is located at:

    • Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement
    • 2145 Suttle Avenue
    • Charlotte, NC 28208

    You can direct any inquiries you might have about permit requirements, inspection requirements, and inspection application procedures for your carpentry projects to the CED either by email or phone at (980) 314-2633.

  5. What Kind of Carpentry Services Do You Offer?

    Carpenters in Charlotte provide different services related to woodwork in the City. These services include creating new carpentry projects, repairs of existing woodwork, routine checks, and maintenance of existing woodworks in your home. It is best to ensure that the carpenter you wish to hire possesses the right skillset relevant to the carpentry project you want to begin. It is also advisable to inquire about the cost estimates for carpentry projects you wish to embark on. These would enable you to create a reasonable budget suitable to cover the cost of hiring your carpenter and buying materials for the project. These are some of the prices of carpentry projects performed in Charlotte:

    Interior Trim and Molding installation
    $6 - $7
    Carpentry framing per square foot
    $19 - $23

    Third-party services like Yelp or Better Business Bureau serve as great tools for you to use to quickly find a carpenter with the right skill set to handle your carpentry project. You can contact the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors(NCLBGC) by email, fax to (919) 571-4703, or phone at (919) 571-4183 with any queries you might have about carpenters and the services they can offer in the State.

  6. Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Carpenters in the City of Charlotte?

    While there are no general liability insurance mandates for carpenters in Charlotte, the North Carolina Industrial Commission(NCIC) enforces the Worker's Compensation Act which mandates that employers with three or more workers must have authentic worker compensation insurance for all workers. Employers who fail to heed the provisions of the worker's compensation act can face steep financial fines imposed by the NCIC, be charged with a misdemeanor, get charged with a felony, or be sent to prison as determined by the NCIC. Nail guns often used by carpenters cause up to 37,000 emergency room visits annually nationwide. Looking at these statistics provided by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), we can see that hiring an adequately insured carpenter for your woodwork project is crucial. Ultimately, it is a good idea to hire only carpenters with authentic general liability insurance and who comply with the worker's compensation act. Doing so shields you from the potential financial liabilities that would arise if a carpenter is injured performing your carpentry project. The NCIC maintains an Insurance Coverage Search System, which you can use to verify the authenticity of the insurance maintained by the carpenter you wish to hire. Finally, before you sign a contract with a carpenter regarding your project, you must remember to verify the authenticity of the contractor license of the carpenter. You can utilize the license verification portal maintained by the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors(NCLBGC). Contractor license verification can also be done using the license verification mobile applications available on android and iOS. Suppose you have any inquiries about carpenters' insurance requirements in the City of Charlotte, you can reach out to the NCIC with the questions by email, fax to (919) 715-0282, or the NCIC toll-free line (800) 688-8349.

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

A report from the North Carolina Attorney General(AG)l, Josh Stein, provides insight into the fact that there were 14,462 consumer complaints received in 2019 by the North Carolina Department of Justice, and 1,215 of those complaints were related to home improvement scams. The 2019 annual report published by the AG's office also shows that approximately $580,000 was refunded to consumers who laid complaints to the consumer protection division. Looking at the sheer scale of scams involving home improvement contractors, it is easy to see that you should conduct due diligence research on a carpenter you wish to hire to determine if they have been charged for any fraudulent practice. You should also know that carpenters seeking to scam up often give off some signs that you can take note of, some of the most apparent signs of a fraudulent carpenter include:

  • Any carpenter or contractor that is often loitering and moving from door-to-door seeking contracts. High-quality carpenters and contractors are often too busy to be moving from door to door.
  • Contractors or carpenters who try to entice you into doling out money without signing an appropriately signed contract.
  • If the carpenter uses pressure tactics, offering you deals only available if you commit immediately.
  • Whenever a carpenter or contractor offers you a deal that is too cheap or good to be true, it is best to avoid such a carpenter.
  • Carpenters that enquire about your credit card details or social security numbers should be avoided.

Taking note of some of the above signs of a potentially fraudulent carpenter or contractor, you can take the following precautionary steps as prescribed by the AG's office:

  • Walk away from high-pressure sales pitches.
  • Read contracts very carefully and seek an opinion of a lawyer where you do not understand the terminologies or implications of the details contained in the contract. Never sign a blank contract. If possible, sign contracts in the presence of a witness.
  • Always ensure that you keep all contracts, invoices, proof of payments used during and after the contract negotiation with the carpenter.
  • Never give out your social security number or personal details that do not directly relate to the contract at hand.
  • Avoid contractors who pressure you to make upfront payments.
  • Utilize third-party services like the Better Business Bureau website to find the services of a competent carpenter. Alternatively, you can contact the North Carolina AG office by phone at (877) 566-7226 for recommendations on a qualified carpenter.
  • Get estimates from several carpenters, and avoid carpenters that provide estimates that are either too cheap or too expensive compared to the estimates you had previously received from other carpenters.
  • Sign up for scam alerts sent out by the AG's office by filling and submitting a Newsletter and Alerts Subscription Form.

You can make complaints about a fraudulent carpenter by filing a General Consumer Complaint form provided by the AG's office available in both English and Spanish. Alternatively, you can place a call to the AG's office at (919) 716-6000. Where you are not satisfied with the results of the complaint you made to the AG and where the monetary value in dispute is valued at $10,000 or less, you can file a small claims case with the Mecklenburg County Courthouse. You can contact the Clerk of the Mecklenburg County Courthouse by phone at (704)686-0400 with questions regarding how to properly file a small claims case. Before filing your small claims case, you should contact a lawyer for legal advice.