ag.kerr door frame

For those not familiar with the industry, the lingo used within the construction world can often be misunderstood. However, when it comes to undergoing carpentry work in your home it’s only right to want to understand what your carpenters are referring to. Two of the most commonly misunderstood terms in the construction world are ‘first fix’ and ‘second fix’ carpentry. So, what do these phrases mean and what do they refer to?

In the construction world, these terms are used when carpentry is being used to construct a home or commercial building. As the terms may indicate, the phrase ‘first fix’ will refer to the beginnings of the build, such as the structural work that takes place during the construction. ‘Second fix’ refers to the carpentry and construction that takes place closer to the end of a project.

What is first fix carpentry?

First fix carpentry will take place at the very first stages of a build to form the structural work of a building. Whether this be for a residential or commercial property, you can expect it to include aspects such as:

  • Studwork
  • Window and door frames
  • Staircases
  • Roof structures

The aim of the first fix in carpentry is to create the skeleton of a building and, once this is in place, additional aspects of the project can then go ahead with installation. This includes factors such as the electrical systems and pipe work. Behind the scenes of a build project there will be countless hands playing their part and only once all their work has been completed can the plastering begin.

What is second fix carpentry?

Once the plastering, and often paint work, has been completed, the second fix carpentry processes can begin. These can also be referred to as the finishing touches, and it refers to the fitting of:

  • Doors, accompanied with handles
  • Banisters and stair rails
  • Skirting boards and architraves
  • Fitted cabinets and wardrobes

At this stage, carpenters will match their previous work with the same level of precision, installing aspects of the property that fit without the need for adjustment and allowing the property to continue with its finishing touches. This can include features such as the fitting of light switches, tiling, and wallpapering.

The importance of quality first and second fixing in carpentry

At both stages, first and second fix carpentry require a level of expert precision that only the most experienced of carpenters can achieve. When it comes to property construction, there is always a timeline to be followed, and this often relies heavily on the accuracy of these phases. Whilst first fix carpentry may not remain visible, it is essential that is it done to a high standard as it can be incredibly difficult and disruptive to a project to backtrack once the plaster has been laid. 

At A. G. Kerr Carpentry and Construction, our construction team always take a carefully considered and meticulous approach to create exceptional results. To find out more about the tailored work we could produce for your property, get in touch by calling 01342 822 750  or emailing today.

Contact A.G. Kerr Carpentry

Have a question or need more information about our bespoke extensions?
Give us a call on 01342 822 750 or email us at
We offer a free, no-obligation quote and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about our work and experience.