What does a UK carpentry contractor do?

UK carpentry contractor


1st fix carpentry (roof structure, joists, stud walls)

In carpentry the different types of work a carpentry contractor undertakes are spread into terms. The first fix is the term used to describe the structural work on a property which usually includes making door frames, joists for the floor and wall studding. This is typically undertaken on new properties before other work can take place to make it structurally safe, so that other contractors can come in and have a base to work with.


2nd fix carpentry (kitchen fitting, internal doors, skirting boards, architraves)

Once the main construction has taken place by both the 1st fix carpentry and other work such as plastering, then 2nd fix carpentry takes place. This may be undertaken by the same person who did the main structural work, or a different carpenter who will fit floor boards, skirting boards and doors. As well as this there will be other types of carpentry undertaken such as fitting the kitchen, as this cannot be done until after the plastering as there would be nothing to fix the work surfaces and appliances to. At this stage architrave will also be fixed which is the main beam that is fitted over fixed structures, such as doors and windows.


Final Fix carpentry (ironmongery, snagging, bath panel, kitchen plinth)

The third fix is where final items are added at the request of the building owner, these can be added as soon as everything else is completed and in some cases after the tenant(s) have occupied the building. They include bespoke items such as fitted wardrobes and cubicle doors, turning a house into a home or making a commercial or office building unique and usable to the owner’s specifications. This is also undertaken if changes are required at a later date, such as the owner needing better access for people with disabilities or extra partitions to split a room/give extra privacy.

Building work takes a lot of stages until it is complete during which carpentry contractors often have to stop work in-between each ‘fix’ so that other contractors can continue with their work until they can move onto the next phase. This includes electrical cables being laid and pipes being installed before the carpenter can move onto the next fix without getting in the way or doing work that needs to be re-done at a later date. On smaller projects the carpenter usually leaves, however on bigger projects they may move on to do work in other properties (on a group of houses) or to do other carpentry work on site.

Although some carpentry contractors will specialise in first, second or third fix work others will be happy to undertake all three, whether separately or on the same job. Knowing where each carpentry fix job comes in will help you to manage your project efficiently so that no one is standing around while other jobs are completed. They can instead be reassigned to another property or leave until they are needed later into the project.


Accredited Carpentry and Joinery

Oliver Wild Ltd, Unit A4 Alison Business Centre, Sheffield, S2 1AS, Company Number: 7803633, VAT Number: 177-1194-93