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About Me and Wood House Carpentry

Carpenter timber framer Douglas Benoit and his tool bags

Douglas Benoit

Journeyman Carpenter

State of Michigan Licensed Builder

About Me

I have been a professional carpenter since 1999. But as a kid I was always building stuff in the backyard and helping my father with his projects. Growing up, I remember seeing houses being framed, seeing the carpenters on the roof laying plywood and thinking to myself, I want to do that! Looking back, I feel fortunate to have a passion and a mindset to pursue my passion from a young age.


What Drives Me?

One thing drives me - intensifying stress. Let me explain. As the progress of a project moves forward, more and more elements get crossed off the to-do list. Many times, these elements can be fitted with possible minor adjustments. Yet, as a whole, the stress builds until all the components come together. That moment when the stress is at its peak until everything fits as it should the intensifying stress turns to euphoria. What drives me is the intensifying stress through the building process of a project and then the gratification when things come together. The moment you find out if you are a hero or a zero. As Jack Soban describes in his book Hand Hewn, “The builder must be confident that the pieces will fit when the raising day comes and must hold off on this confirmation until the end, which can be daunting. When it does come, however, after several weeks or months, there is incredi­ble gratification and a high that lasts for days.


Why Timber Framing?

You might wonder why I choose to take the fork in the road and veer from standard carpentry toward timber framing. While certainly there's craftsmanship in carpentry, timber framing is craftsmanship on steroids. Timber framing is as much an art as it is a trade. For example, when I receive material, it's not as simple as cutting and placing. I need to study and get to know the timber. Through this process, I learn and visualize for what and for where the piece is best used. Once I know how different pieces of timber should be used, pure workmanship comes into play - using hand tools. The entire process is something I thoroughly enjoy and at which I excel. Timber framing is a natural progression in my pursuit of artisan advancement.

Education

After graduating from high school in 1995, I attended Oakland Community College and obtained a small business management degree. I started my apprenticeship at JATC in 1999. JATC is a Detroit Carpentry Apprenticeship Program recognized as one of the finest carpentry training facilities in the nation. After four years, I graduated with more than a diploma. I graduated with a voice whispering in my ear compelling me to strive for better. The voice is that of one of my instructors who always urged me on with a simple “don't settle.” It is that voice coupled with passion, dedication to quality, and a work ethic that drives me toward client and personal satisfaction. As much an artisan as a carpenter, I enjoy combining different woods with stone, metals, stains and glass to produce a unique and high-quality aesthetic.

Hobbies

My father held many different job titles - crane operator, real estate agent, and wedding photographer, to name a few. Thanks to my father's love and occupation as a photographer, I always had a professional film camera in my hands as a child. Fast forward to today, photography is a favored pastime and a paying job here and there, too! Click here to see my photography portfolio.

What's your project?

One of the best things about being a carpenter is the variety each day holds - meeting new challenges, helping people realize their vision, and bringing improvements to people's lives. Every project is important to me from installing moulding to customizing an interior or exterior space. Wood House Carpentry looks forward to hearing from you and discussing how we can help you move your project from thought to reality.