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October 24, 2013 1:53 PM   Subscribe

What kind of professional do I need to hire to build me affordable bookshelves?

I'm looking for someone to build several free-standing (various sizes) bookshelves from repurposed wood (from a local salvage shop). I would like for them to either be built in my (third floor) apartment, or put into said apartment without my physical assistance.

I have no idea what kind of professional is the kind that I should be contacting for this. I'd like to spend, of course, as little money as possible on this, but I don't have a solid budget in mind because I have absolutely no concept of what this sort of thing should cost.

I'm asking this question for people to point me in the right Googling direction, but if anyone has specific recommendations in the New Haven, CT area, that would certainly also be welcome.
posted by cheerwine to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
A cabinetmaker or finish carpenter likely could help you.
posted by JackBurden at 2:03 PM on October 24, 2013

The type of carpenter you need for this job is a joiner.
posted by Catch at 2:29 PM on October 24, 2013

Carpenter or finish carpenter depending if you want something that looks nice or just something that is structural. Craigslist skilled trade employment can be good for finding folks like this. A few things you should think about

- Is the wood at your place or is transporting the wood part of the job?
- Do the shelves need to be removable or will they be built-ins?
- Do you have a design in mind or are you okay with anything?
- Painted or finished or will you do the painting/finishing yourself?
- You say various sizes but do you mean a bunch of random sizes or do you mean "They're all three feet wide and of varying heights?

When I've looked into getting custom shelving built I always found that the quotes I got were simultaneously reasonable and a lot more than I felt like I wanted to pay for a bookshelf.
posted by jessamyn at 2:30 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Too bad you don't live in NC. My retired dad does woodworking and he does all kinds of things like that when he is in a mood. What you want are woodworkers.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:29 PM on October 24, 2013

Does the salvage shop where you got the wood know somebody who can do this for you? You don't necessarily have to hire whoever they suggest, but it's a good place to start.
posted by mgar at 5:51 PM on October 24, 2013

Spend some time lurking on craigslist. We always find people for one-off projects like this, and 99% of the time they are solid and do a good job. If they aren't going to do a good job you will know it in the first 30 minutes or less and you can ask them to leave.

Either you will find someone advertising for side-work of this nature, or you can put up your own ad. My hubby is a pro at these ads; he makes them short and sweet, and then weeds through the responses. A good response that he would consider would be one where the person describes their experience, says that they have their own tools, and includes their phone number. A bad response is one that says "I'm interested in your ad" with no other qualifying information. Once he chooses one or two good responses he usually negotiates a fixed rate for the job before they come over.
posted by vignettist at 9:40 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

A carpenter or finish carpenter is what you are looking for. Or if you want something really simple you can hire a handyman. Or a woodworker if you want really fancy shelves.

Depending on how nice you need the shelves to be, you can DIY some in just an hour:

These are super-easy to put together. I have 10' of them in my studio.
posted by LittleMy at 5:45 AM on October 25, 2013 [3 favorites]

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