I’m a carpenter. I’m self-employed. I specialise in timber-framed
homes, pole homes especially, built in the
hills on sloping blocks. Everything is timber right from the
poles right through to the roof. Good day, Razza.
How are you going, Chris? You got here before me for once.
Yeah, got up when the alarm went off. That’s a change.
It is, hey. Typical day’s work – we get
on site and depending on what stage the job is at, we get
out our tools, our saws, our extension leads, our air
lines for the nail guns, and start cutting timber
and putting it together. Today we’re working on the roof. I’m just cutting off the ends of the
rafters so we can put the roof battens on. The gutter will sit at
the end of the rafters. Once we’ve finished the roof,
we will start putting in the window frames, door frames, ready
to put the wall cladding on. Now I’m going to find this window
that goes in this opening. They’re all marked on the plan.
They’re all pre-made aluminium. The glass is already in them. We’ll put this one in.
We’ll chisel at the bottom. I’m fitting them in with
these little brackets. And then later on the cladding will fit
in behind here to lock the house up. I got into this line of work after
finishing Year 10 high school. I did a one-year pre-apprenticeship
at TAFE in carpentry and joinery. Then after that one year of
TAFE I did an apprenticeship, a four-year-long
apprenticeship and in that apprenticeship, I did things
from building bridges in formwork, carpentry
right through to putting doors and skirting
on, pitching roofs. I finished my apprenticeship and became
a qualified tradesman and then I became self-employed and now I subcontract to
different builders specialising in pole homes. What I’m fitting here is
a leak control flange. That goes into the structural
part of the floor. The plumber can put his pipes
underneath the house and connect to it and the tiler will tile over the top
of it and put the floor glue in. As you know in your bathrooms
you have a waste outlet. I think doing an apprenticeship
is the way to get into it. It’s invaluable, the on-site training
and also three years at TAFE. Probably the only thing they don’t teach
you is how to get on with other trades. You need to get on well with the
plumbers, electricians, all the other trades so you can all work in
together and make the job run smooth. So when do you want to get into the
bathrooms, Stuart, and put your pipe work in? Oow!, I don’t think I can get to that before Tuesday. Yeah, OK. We’ll work that in.
Cool. The good thing about carpentry
is you see the job as a whole. You’re there at the very
beginning and you can be there at the very end. You
don’t just come and go. Some of the things I like about this job
are I’m working outside in the fresh air. I can work my own hours and I love working
with my hands and it’s a great sense of satisfaction to stand back at the end of
the day and see what you’ve constructed.