The Nigerian Carpenters: How To Deal With it
“Do not pay the final instalment until you are happy” - Anonymous
If the quote above is the only thing you remember and gain from reading this article, Eureka!
We all know that Carpenters are as necessary as they are important in setting up any space at all, from shoe racks, cloth hangers, wardrobe, doors, kitchen cabinets, window nets to mention a few. They know this and are willing to help but ‘unconsciously’ or maybe ‘unintentionally’ frustrate us in the process. They are second in position after Nigerian Tailors.
However, we have some very good ones…let’s say 1 out of 15 Carpenters are true to their words (you just might have to travel out of Nigeria to get that 1)
Join me as I narrate some of my experiences with Naija Carpenters and how I was able to deal with them;
There’s one that ‘didn’t charge me at all’; ‘Madam I no charge you oh’ that was his favourite line throughout the production process of my window and door nets. We all know that this is not true, I mean nobody does business with the intention to run at a loss right? Or not make a profit at all? Not after giving an outrageous quote. “Uncle I know you didn’t charge me but can you please reduce this free work bill?” That’s it. Even if the quote is 1Naira, please price it, he inflated the price. And please do not forget to not pay all at once.
The one with too many projects and would not get an assistant (apprentice). He might end up using another person’s materials for you. So always supervise from time to time, ‘light brown and yellow isn’t the same color uncle’. Well unless you are color blind you might not notice.
What about the one that would never complete his job, you might wait till your rent is due before noticing it’s a year already and your shoe rack hasn’t been painted or that your door lock is missing. So please always ask and follow up with them on date of completion from the onset. Or you’ll hear something like “the wood for that wardrobe is from Egypt and they only supply to Nigeria once in a year”… “please, buy the wood from Nigeria, just buy any wood at all except Nollywood”
I will never forget the ‘OverSabis’ they know too much and would design “my space” for me, “are you me? Is me you? Is it your space? Bros If I need an interior designer, don’t you think I’ll hire one? Just do what I ask you to do in my bedroom, 2-door wardrobe, not 3 doors thank you”.
Then there are the ones I don’t ever pray to meet…Pay and run, “you didn’t caught me’’
Most Nigerian Carpenters are actually gifted, it’s just that ‘Amaka’ has influenced them somehow… hence the disappointments. And they don’t joke with their money so better be smart about dealing with them to avoid stories that touch.
Having learnt to work with them, you can check out our furniture pieces on our shopping collection
Check up our blog for more inspiration