What is the average hourly rate for a Carpenter?

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Posted by: from Beaumont
2/6/2015 at 8:15:00 PM

I am just starting out as a sub contractor. Was wondering what average hourly rate most carpenters charge for a time and materials structured business. I was thinking $45/ hr which includes my time and tools.

Any suggestions are also welcome as I am learning the ropes.

Also do you add on to the price of materials? If so what percentage?

My last question is, is it acceptable to ask for half of the material costs up front? Or do you just require a deposit?


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Manuel from A.A.U. Construction in Toronto
Date/Time2/7/2015 at 5:29:45 PM

Hey patrick,

45 bucks is a good rate. But you can't know what to charge for material until you see what it is that you are doing at each individual project you mite be quoting on.

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Patrick from War Bunnys Carpentry in Beaumont
Date/Time2/7/2015 at 5:37:10 PM

Thanks Manuel. I did realize that you have to estimate for materials but once you have estimated do you add a percentage to the overall cost of materials?

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Date/Time2/7/2015 at 7:15:32 PM


Only you know how much of a markup to put on your jobs. You need to figure out your monthly expenses and put a number to it. You can charge a hundred dollars an hour, and still go broke if you don't know your cost of doing business.

Are you a sub working for GC's or a business owner working for HO's? Both work differently. Some GC's don't pay their subs until the work is done. Ask questions. And if you're working for HO's, you need to work out a pay schedule with them that is appropriate to the job. For small jobs, I wait until the job is finished before I ask for any money. Larger ones I come up with a plan with the HO that suits us both. Once you develop a clientele based on trust, it becomes easier for the HO to hand over the money. Do everything honestly. Whether for GC's or HO's. And especially, own up to mistakes. You're starting out and I'm sure you haven't been exposed to every aspect of every job. Do your homework.

I hope this helps and I wish you much success.

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Date/Time2/10/2015 at 8:55:03 PM


I started a "handyman business about six years ago. I started with $45/hr as a base to work from. Meaning, if someone asked my rate, I'd give them this figure. Having said that, there are other things to consider, Travel costs, material pick - up, extra help etc.

What I attempt is to have the client purchase the material and have it delivered. That way, are you are responsible for is the labour. If you get into the providing the materials, a 10% to 15% up-charge is valid.

I try to estimate a job based on the number of hours it should take and add some extra time for miscellanious events.

Also, remember that an estimate is not a quote!!! If you are providing something in writing, be sure to ad a comment stating the prices are subject tp change. What I do is as stated above but also comment that I would keep the client advised prior to any additional expenses are incurred.

Hope this helps. Good luck with your new venture.


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Date/Time3/8/2015 at 1:59:26 PM

Here in alberta guys are getting $40-60 as subs but average is $30-35.

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