Start a Timber & Joinery Supply Company

A timber & joinery company supplies timber and joinery to use for various purposes. Joinery from doors to door frames, arches, window frames as well as timber mouldings: standard, meranti, pine as well as custom made timber and joinery.

Value proposition
A timber and joinery supplier supplies materials for both new houses and renovations. This is a retail business, where you buy from manufacturers and trade suppliers and sell to the end user. This allows you to take care of all the clients’ timber and joinery needs (from the retail perspective, this is a supply only business, the installation or building is done by the buyer). You can also keep a list of reliable handyman you can refer if necessary (make sure they buy the products from you).

This type of business usually supplies the following items:
Doors: entrance doors, pivot doors, back doors & internal doors
Door frames
Door arches
Wooden windows: casement windows, awning windows, mock sash windows, sliding sash windows

Archers & Door Frames
Archers & Door Frames (Credit: Swartland Windows & Doors)

Mouldings: standard, meranti, pine and architectural mouldings
cover strip, flooring, capping, ceiling, cornice, skirting, quadrant, half round, decking,  fascia

Standard mouldings
Standard mouldings
Architectural mouldings
Architectural mouldings

Meranti: cleats, corner fillet, cornice, cover strip, single, rebate, double rebate, double sided skirting, glazing bead, half round, lip bead, picture rail, PAR (planed all round), scotia, unvarnished and varnished ceiling, varnished flooring square joints, weatherboard.

Meranti Mouldings
Meranti Mouldings

Pine: capping, ceiling, cornice, cover strip, double sided skirting, fascia, half round, flooring, lip bead, quadrant, skirting, scotia, (planed all round).

Pine Mouldings

As you see this type of business stocks a myriad of timber and joinery supplies but it also usually offers custom timber & joinery services, most jobs the above mentioned standard items will be fine but there might be custom queries. You can decide whether you want to take the job or just stick to standard types and sizes.

Target Market
Target market is very important as it determines your sales channel and marketing strategy. First and foremost, you need to target developers, yes you will make less per unit but it will be constant work. Otherwise you can sell to local builders and even DIY home owners (you can charge more per unit but it will be less quanitity).

Sales and Marketing
The first thing you need to do is get trade suppliers close to you. Then get catalogues from them which you will used to make your own. Ask your suppliers if they have digital photos, otherwise scan their catalogues (most if not all won’t mind as you are selling their stuff). Then you make your own catalogue, starting with a website, and a few full colour brochures. Make sure each item is properly labelled so you can easily give a quotation when asked. If someone is on the website and they looking at an item and pick up the phone, you should be able to give a price when people call.

Very important: This business requires knowhow of building, woodworking and woodworking joints. You need to know your product, what size it is and what it does as you will be peppered with questions. You also need to know about  fasteners, bindings, or adhesives as well as characteristics of joints – strength, flexibility, toughness, appearance which will be based on the material its made from. And of course you need to know the different kinds of joints. Read the Wikipedia page for a primer.

Here is an excellent introduction into the joinery industry, its aimed at students but has some good background info:

A Career in Timber Joinery (JTJS1Revised2015)

Uploaded by Just the Job on 2015-02-15.

Type Retail
Equipment Vehicle, measuring equipment
Setup cost Besides above stuff needed, you should purchase one of each item you offer to show as samples.
Suppliers In Cape Town we have Rutherford Joinery, Solid Doors and Swartland Windows & Doors
Sector Building


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