GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted

Community and Q&A

Hourly rate for two-man crew for carpentry

artisanfarms | Posted in General Questions on

For health reasons, I will need to hire some carpentry work that I had originally planned on doing myself.  

What is a fair hourly rate in Central NY for a skilled two man crew?  They will be doing some framing, setting windows, installing external polyiso insulation and furring it out for siding and some roof work.  

A contractor I have worked with in the past who has done good work for me is suggesting billing by time for the work I’d like to hire out.  

I like the idea of paying for time worked because the project scope is dependent upon my ability to work.  


GBA Prime

Join the leading community of building science experts

Become a GBA Prime member and get instant access to the latest developments in green building, research, and reports from the field.


  1. walta100 | | #1

    Every labor market is different.

    My wild guess is to get a skilled that speaks English with his tool will cost 60-100$ an hour per man.

    1. Expert Member
      Dana Dorsett | | #2

      I suspect rates in central NY are pretty close to central MA (my area).

      $60 each would be on the low side on my even for skilled but undocumented unlicensed unbonded immigrants, or union carpenters working under the table as a side hustle.

      For fully above-board licensed bonded small time contractors budget $100 per man-hour, but don't be surprised if it comes in a bit higher. The home construction & renovation biz seems surprisingly busy right now, COVID pandemic notwithstanding. (People are leaving their urban dwellings and moving to the more socially distance 'burbs, mayhaps?)

  2. ssnellings | | #3

    If you have a contractor you will be working with, who you have already trusted with past projects that have yielded good results, it would be a good idea to discuss the billing rate with them directly. There is more that goes into billing work than just hourly rate - your contractor may have a time minimum, mobilization costs, incidental materials, etc.

    Once you've communicated with the contractor the scope of the work, including the time period you would like it completed in and a general idea of what your budget is, then you should be able to have a nuanced conversation about cost. Clients often has an idea of what they want to spend, whether it's a fixed cost project or Time and Materials, and communicating that cost expectation early can help avoid a lot of difficult moments halfway through.

    I try to advocate for fixed cost pricing to the largest extent practical. Time and Materials pricing often ends with an unhappy client - it's easy for a client to feel like they've lost control of the project cost and it often leads to the client trying to micromanage the project to make it more 'efficient'.

    Ok, given all that, to answer your question: $150-250 per hour for a skilled two person crew (ie - $75-125 per person hour) is a practical range, without knowing anything about your geography or anything about the crew you want to work with. I've worked with crews on both ends of that range.

    Perhaps if you're not sure about the scope you can break the project into smaller chunks and contract for each one individually as you develop an understanding of what work you can accomplish yourself.

Log in or create an account to post an answer.


Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |