How to Hire a Good Carpenter in Oklahoma City
Generally, good carpenters in Oklahoma City offer several woodwork-related home improvement services than can increase your home's aesthetic feel and keep your home in good shape. While some minor woodworks can be easily done, all carpentry-related works are considered hazardous, generally resulting in over 11,000 injuries between 2015 and 2019. This does not include the fatal injuries caused by several woodworking tools. Therefore, to avoid risks to your health and safety, it is advised that you engage the services of a qualified carpenter for your woodworking needs and related matters.
To hire the right carpenter for your job, you might want to ask friends, family, neighbors, and even other home improvement and remodeling-related professionals for recommendations. However, ensure that any carpenter you end up hiring is duly qualified for the specific project at hand. One way to do this is by asking your intended carpenter the following questions:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Carpenter in Oklahoma City?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Carpenters in Oklahoma City?
- Do You Comply with the Oklahoma City Building Code for Carpentry Work?
- Will You Get the Home Improvement Permits as Required by the Oklahoma City Code?
- What Kind of Carpentry Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Carpenters in Oklahoma City?
Are You Licensed to Practice as a Carpenter in Oklahoma City?
Carpenters are not required to have state licenses to perform carpentry-related services in Oklahoma. However, these individuals are required to be registered with the relevant city department before performing any carpentry work. Any individual that fails to comply with this requirement is guilty of a Class "b" offense and can face civil penalties of up to $1,200 in fines or a six-month prison term.
The Oklahoma City Development Services Department is responsible for residential building contractor registration. Individuals who wish to become registered residential building contractors must apply online, submit the required documents, and pay the requisite fees. Required documents include a copy of general liability and worker compensation insurance.
You should always make sure that any carpenter you intend to hire is duly registered. You can do this by utilizing the Search Licenses platform on the DSD website. You can contact The Oklahoma City Development Services Department at (405) 297-2606 or via email for information regarding contractors' registration.
It typically costs about $20.80 per hour to hire a carpenter in Oklahoma City. However, this hourly rate varies widely depending on several factors, including the cost of materials, skill level, the scope of the work, and location. Nevertheless, one way of finding the average cost for your project is to get bids from at least three carpenters so you can compare prices.
A carpenter in Oklahoma City earns an annual average wage of $43,250. The table below provides a comparison of the mean hourly wage for carpenters in the City of Oklahoma against those of carpenters in the rest of the State of Oklahoma as well as across several other major American cities:Oklahoma City Carpenters Mean Hourly Wage$20.80Oklahoma State Carpenters Mean Hourly Wage$21.79Los Angeles Carpenters Mean Hourly Wage$32.37Chicago Carpenters Mean Hourly Wage$34.74Houston Carpenters Mean Hourly Wage$21.53Phoenix Carpenters Mean Hourly Wage$23.50Philadelphia Carpenters Mean Hourly Wage$30.86
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Do You Comply with the Oklahoma City Building Code for Carpentry Work?
The Oklahoma City Building Code was designed to protect the health, safety, and overall well-being of city residents with respect to the design, and construction of buildings and structures. Particularly, this Code contains provisions that pertain to roof assemblies and rooftop structures, interior finishes, wood-related works, accessibility into buildings, means of egress, and other aspects of building and construction that are carpentry-related. Always ensure your hired contractors, including carpenters, are conversant with this Building Code, as any person who violates any of the provisions of this Code may be liable to pay a fine of about $500 per violation.
You can make inquiries regarding the provisions and requirements of the Oklahoma City Building Code by contacting the Oklahoma City Development Services Department at (405) 297-2525.
Will You Get the Home Improvement Permits as Required by the Oklahoma City Code?
Prior to the commencement of any work on a building or structure, carpenters are required to secure a permit. However, carpenters do not need a permit to replace roofing materials. Any carpenter who commences any work on a building or structure that requires a permit before obtaining the necessary permits will be subject to penalties, including paying a fine of about $500.
The Oklahoma City Development Services Department is responsible for issuing permits for carpentry works in the city. Interested applicants are required to apply for permits online and pay the necessary application and inspection fees. After issuing a permit, several inspections will be required to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Oklahoma City Building Code and a final inspection must be made 10 days after completion of the work. Permit holders may request an inspection on a current permit online or through the Oklahoma City Interactive Voice Response system at (405) 316-5656. After the necessary inspections, permit holders will be notified whether their carpentry work requires any correction or it is compliant with the Code.
Inquiries and additional information regarding building permitting and inspection can be directed to the Oklahoma City Development Center Plan Review staff at (405) 297-2525.
What Kind of Carpentry Services Do You Offer?
Oklahoma City carpenters offer a wide range of carpentry services. Therefore, you should do your due diligence to ensure that your intended carpenter has the required skill set for your specific project. Some services offered by carpenters in the city include repair work for cabinets and cardboards, creating shelves, extending existing shelves, replacing door hinges or making alterations, creating beds, bookcases, entertainment units, doors, or window frames. Carpenters often specialize in one or two service areas in order to develop and hone their skills. So, it is your responsibility to ensure you hire the right carpenter that specializes in the type of project you are planning to ensure good service delivery.
Listed below are average cost estimates for some common carpentry services available in Oklahoma City:Cabinet installation (labor only)$36.10 - $41.90 (wall or base cabinets)Cabinet refacing$83.30 - $111.10 (per linear foot for mid-grade laminate)Carpentry framing$19.80 - $23.10 per square foot (unfinished home addition framing)Refinish existing cabinets$7.20 - $9.30 (per square foot)Interior trim and molding installation$6.80 - $7.60 per linear foot (mid-grade trim or molding).
It is mandatory for all building contractors in Oklahoma City to maintain general liability insurance of at least $50,000 for each occurrence. Additionally, these contractors are to obtain workers' compensation insurance of about $100,000 for each occurrence if they have one or more employees.
Carpentry work is considered hazardous, as it involves exposure to cuts, abrasions, and other injuries from handling workpieces and using carpentry tools or equipment. In 2019, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 73 fatal work injuries in Oklahoma, with about 17 of these fatalities occurring amongst construction-related professionals. Hence, before hiring any carpenter, ensure they are duly insured to prevent you from having to expend your personal finances to deal with any work-related injuries and related issues resulting from your project. You can contact the Oklahoma City Development Services Department at (405) 297-2606 or via email for information regarding the mandatory insurance requirements for contractors in the city.
The Consumer Protection Unit (CPU) of the Office of the Oklahoma Attorney General processes thousands of consumer complaints every year, including complaints about home repair fraud. Most of these consumers complained about price gouging, poor work quality, and contractors receiving upfront payments but failing to perform the home improvement work as agreed. For instance, homeowners in Oklahoma City were scammed out of about $300,000 by contractors who collected money upfront for projects they either never started or began but did not complete. You can avoid falling victim to home repair fraud when looking to hire carpenters near you by considering the following tips:
- Get bids from multiple carpenters to ensure potential quotes are consistent and fair.
- Don't be under pressure to make a quick decision regarding any carpenter. Always take your time.
- Get a list of completed projects and references from your intended carpenter. You can contact these previous customers to determine if they were satisfied with the carpenter's work.
- Ask people you trust, including family and friends, for recommendations, and try to work with carpenters near you. You can check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to find carpenters near you and to get reviews and testimonials on the carpenter.
- Contact the Office of Oklahoma Attorney General Consumer Protection Unit at (833) 681-1895 or via email to find out if any recent or unresolved complaints have been lodged against your intended carpenter.
- Make sure your carpenter is duly registered.
- Always obtain a written contract before allowing any carpenter to work on your property. Ensure this contract specifies important details regarding the project, such as the timeframe of the work, a description of what work will be done, materials to be used, and the payment schedule, amongst other important things.
- Try not to make large payments with cash. If your intended carpenter offers only the option of cash payment, you might want to get someone else. According to the Federal Trade Commission, a contractor who only offers a cash payment option is usually not as reliable as one with other payment options. Hence, it is recommendable to always pay with a credit card or by check so you can have substantial proof of the amount you paid and the time of payment if any problems arise.
- Make sure you go for only insured carpenters so you can be protected in the event of unforeseen accidents relating to the project.
- Be cautious if your intended carpenter asks for a substantial up-front payment. Also, don't pay in full until the work is done and you're satisfied with it.
If you believe you are the victim of a carpentry scam, you can report the incident to the Consumer Protection Unit (CPU) of the Oklahoma Attorney General Office. To do this, you are required to download and complete the Consumer Complaint Form. Then, you can save the completed form as a PDF and either send it to the CPU via email or to:
- Oklahoma Attorney General's Office
- Consumer Protection Unit
- 313 North East 21st Street
- Oklahoma City, Ok 73105
Complaints received by the Office of Oklahoma Attorney General Consumer Protection Unit (CPU) are examined and the best technique of resolution is explored. However, Oklahoma law prohibits the CPU from providing legal advice to complainants. Similarly, the CPU does not guarantee monetary compensation or financial relief. If you want monetary compensation and the resolution from the CPU does not offer such, you can consider suing the fraudulent carpenter through small claims at the Oklahoma County District Court. Small claims cases are for when you are seeking a maximum sum of $10,000 as compensation. Finally, if you would be taking legal action, ensure you engage the services of an attorney for legal advice and an assessment of your situation.