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How to work with local carpenters in Mexico



Most people who move to Mexico do so without so many possessions. That means furnishing your home with things bought in Mexico. Buying furniture can present its own problems. Such as where to buy, find the right size furniture and things that will last in the weather. This can lead you to work with a local carpenter. A lot of people wouldn’t think of building something custom in their home counties because of the cost. In Mexico, it can be very affordable to have something made for you. If you find a good carpenter, you can have custom-made furniture made from local tropical woods that will last a long time and look beautiful. But before you work with a local carpenter, here are some tips to get the results right.

Just a little story, we have worked on many projects with local carpenters. We’ve also heard many stories of people buying things made locally, sometimes having trouble with delivery and people finishing projects or furniture having problems later due to bad paperwork. We hope that all this information will make your projects a success and provide you with a lot of information that you may not have considered before.

locally made furniture

Locally made furniture can be elegant and durable.

Questions for a local carpenter

If you decide to work with a local carpenter, here are some things to ask yourself before starting a project. These questions can help you decide whether to work with the carpenter or choose another carpenter. These questions can also help alleviate many of the problems that people have with carpentry.

How to avoid delays with carpenters in Mexico

The first problem many people have is getting their projects done on time. It’s important to remember that you’re ordering a bespoke piece and that there are many facets to the project that can take time or cause delays. To avoid frustrations later, here are some things to keep in mind and possibly ask.

  • How many projects does the carpenter have now? Sometimes carpenters take care of projects even when they have a waiting list. This gives them time to work on each other a bit and be constantly busy. It’s good to find out what they have for current projects to find out exactly when they’ll start with yours. For example, if they have three semi-basic projects, they could start with yours in a week and finish in about 11-14 days.
  • Do they have the materials or do they need to buy them? Most larger pieces of wood should be cut, dried and delivered to the carpenter’s workshop. You want to make sure the wood is cured (dried properly to prevent later expansion and contraction). If you don’t have dry wood or need to buy fresh wood, it may take two weeks or more to start your project.
  • If you really care about your project and time, you may be wondering how many days a week they work. Most work 5 1/2 or 6 days a week. Some may work less, so it’s a good idea to know this in advance.
  • Ask about transportation. Depending on how far away your carpenter is and how much furniture you are asking for, it’s important to ask yourself how to get them. Some carpenters will have a truck, usually the most professional, but more expensive. Others will have a friend with a truck or know a service. `

It is also important to note that if you are drying the wood yourself and painting or staining your project, time plays an important role.

Carpenters are not rich people

It is important to note that most carpenters are not rich people. Many work month by month with payments. That said, being poor often means more blows on the road. For example, when your transportation or work machine breaks down, they sometimes don’t have enough to fix right away, and this can affect your project schedule.

Locals often give optimistic end dates in the same way that people help you with directions, even if they don’t know exactly where you want to go. Some carpenters give up optimistic dates, but due to the stress of life, things are delayed. Of course, you don’t want someone who is constantly having trouble or excuses for being late. It’s good to keep in mind that there may be additional circumstances that can infest carpenters, and sometimes having a little understanding and empathy can be very helpful.

Planning your project for success

If you’ve decided to work with a carpenter, here are some tips for planning your project and getting what you want.

  1. Take a picture or drawing of whatever you want. Photos help a LOT! Most carpenters are very visual and can often do something from a drawing or photo.
  2. A good trick is to take photos of whatever you want from the catalogs and the dimensions are often online. Sizes help with shipping and help people know exactly what size furniture is. Carpenters can’t guess all the dimensions, if they do, it could come out different than what you want. You have to remember that most of the furniture that people want is things that local carpenters have never seen or understood in their style.
  3. Order what you want first and then check the price. We often buy for the price. Most of the time if you order what you want, the price is the same or just a little more expensive. It’s best to have the whole idea and ask for exactly what you want. If it’s too expensive, ask what’s added to the cost. Sealants and lacquers sometimes cost $ 40 per container. Yes, they may not need a full container, but they still need to buy it for your project. If it is an interior piece, you can, for example, coat it with a less expensive lacquer.
  4. Talk about different types of wood. The most widely used wood is cedar. This is not the fragrant cedar that many know for roofs and garden tiles. Local cedar is a fairly sustainable wood that is semi resistant to insects. If, of course, you are making a table or project that you want to see the grain of wood and you will not paint or stain it, there are about a dozen options to choose from locally. A good carpenter will know how to explain the properties of each wood. For example, tzalam is a popular wood that is beautiful. Sometimes mixing wood for one piece can work well. You can make the legs in a more durable wood and the top of one table in another. The wood may match the look, but one may be harder than the other.
  5. Plan the thickness and scale of the furniture. Carpenters usually opt for most economical or functional furniture. But the art of scale is often unknown.
  6. Ask about what they can buy for hinges, handles and hardware. Most local things are pretty basic. You can do this by buying good hardware only once instead of replacing it later.

Find a local carpenter to work with

Frequently requesting referrals locally is the best way. Remember that different people may have different results with the same carpenter. Hopefully with the information here, you will only have good experiences.

If you want to look around and visit some local workshops, here are some places to visit. There are few places on the north end of Playa del Carmen, on Highway 307, north of Highway 28 de Julio. At the southern end of Tulum, along Highway 307, you will also find some carpentry shops. They’re usually a little more expensive, but they can get used to working with customers who want high-end furniture.

If you want to take a road trip to see some furniture stores and see what furniture is for sale, a good place is the road from Tulum to Coba. In the three communities you go through, you can find a lot of rustic and finished furniture for sale. It can also be an opportunity to meet with a carpenter and plan some projects.

A little further on, but one of the best places to look for locally made furniture is the city of Temozon. Temozon is located north of Valladolid. It is located between Valladolid and Tizimin, Yucatan. Here you can find about 25 carpentry shops and many exhibiting furniture along the main road. Prices here are usually some of the best in the area. Just consider transportation. Most major sites will make arrangements for delivery.

Road to Mexico

Tropical wood furniture.

How do deposits and payments work?

Since most carpenters are independently owned, they are not a large company. This means that they often do not have much extra money to deal with projects. In general, the cost of furniture exceeds half in materials. This means that a deposit can be between 30% and 50% of the total cost. If a carpenter asks for much more, this could be a red flag. Because most projects take a week or less, the final payment is made upon delivery.

If you have a large project like a custom kitchen, the project may take a few weeks. This means that a deposit and perhaps another halfway payment will probably be required to pay for labor. Then pay the balance when it’s over. No project must be paid in full before completion.

Most carpenters work on a cash-based model. Some will have cards where you can deposit payments electronically. Only very large carpentry workshops will provide data (official receipts that can be used for tax purposes in Mexico).

Thanks for reading our article on working with local carpenters. We try to have many useful guides on our website. We have hundreds of more articles available for you. You can use the search box to search for things that interest you.

Locally made furniture in Mexico


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