Good Questions: How The Hell Do You Find a Good Carpenter in NYC?

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Hello AT,

Having recently purchased my first apartment, the thing that has most troubled me is finding a good carpenter to do the construction-related tasks (demo/removal, skim coat, closets, bathroom, kitchen, moldings, lights, doors, etc.).

I have been looking for an independent carpenter rather than a GC so that I have a better chance of very high quality work with good control over the job and associated costs. The problem is that it's been difficult to find someone that meets my co-op's insurance requirements ($1M insurance, workman's comp) and doesn't find my project too small. Is there such an abundance of work in New York that no one will take up the job of a total facelift of my 1-br in Gramercy?

I've called several GCs even, many parties have come to take a look, and I've had difficulty getting even a single bid from any of them! They all seem to have higher priorities and very few even return my phone calls.
Surely my project tops $25k, but in Manhattan I suppose that's chump change.

Anyway, I was wondering if you would be able to refer a good carpenter that meets my co-op requirements and would be interested in my project.

Thanks, John

Dear John, This is the toughest one. However, it sounds like you would do fine with a GC who you like as we would agree that there are not many small carpenters who carry insurance like that.

At $25k, you should be able to get SOMEONE.

It is also what Apartment Therapy has been trying to do for the past year: put together a good list of small to medium sized carpenters and contractors. Continue to check our Services Guide and give a call to Anthony Riccio, Fletcher Bardsley ((347) 268-8143), or Juan Corona for starters and mention our name. If you find someone else, let us know! MGR

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.