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wood framer standing on roof


Wood framing is a very popular form of house construction that works well for both small residential homes, large multi-family buildings, and commercial projects. Visit any of these worksites and you will usually see teams of specialized folks hard at work.

In this article, we're going to focus on two types of wood framing specializations that are easily confused but are vastly different once you dive a little deeper. The first is the wood framer and the second is the carpenter. Before we go into each specialization and how they're different, the most common question we're often asked is "are they both needed on the job site? Can't one person do both?". The quick and easy answer to that is no. As a frame of reference, imagine if your General Physician or GP was suddenly asked to handle an entirely different specialization, like surgery for example, and you'll see why two professions that seem similar are not.

Let's now look at each profession.


What is a Wood Framer?

A wood framer is a construction professional who is responsible for the structural integrity of a building. In layman's terms, they are in charge of creating the "skeleton" or framework that will support the rest of the building. This includes tasks such as putting up walls, roofing, and installing windows and doors.

Wood framers typically work with blueprints or other engineering drawings to ensure that the project stays on track and meets all required safety standards. A wood framer must be able to read and understand these technical documents, as well as have a keen eye for detail so that nothing is missed.


What is a Carpenter?

A carpenter is a construction professional who works with wood to create various structures and objects, both inside and outside of a building. This can include tasks such as installing cabinets, and countertops, framing walls and laying flooring.

Carpenters typically work with wood that has already been cut to size by a sawyer. They must be able to measure accurately and use various hand and power tools to cut, shape, and assemble the wood into the desired product.


How Are They Different?

The main difference between a wood framer and a carpenter is the type of projects they work on. Wood framers' are responsible for the structural integrity of a building, which means they usually work on larger projects such as multi-family homes or commercial buildings. Carpenters, on the other hand, create various structures and objects that are used inside and outside of a building. This can include anything from cabinets to flooring, and they usually work on smaller projects such as single-family homes.


When Are They Involved?

Both a wood framer and a carpenter are required at different times during a house construction project. A wood framer is usually the first professional on the job site. They are responsible for putting up the framing, which is the wooden structure that forms the skeleton of the house. The carpenter is usually brought in after the framing is completed. They install various structures and objects made out of wood, such as cabinets, countertops, doors, and flooring. It must be said though that the wood framer and carpenter often work together to ensure that the project is completed on time and meets all safety standards.



While both wood framers and carpenters work with wood, they have different skill sets and focus on different aspects of the construction process. It is important to have both specializations on a job site so that the project can be completed safely and on time.