Ever since that first plank was nailed to the window, carpentry has been an essential survival trait of any good zombie holocaust. In Project Zomboid, the same is true in that it's a fairly crucial skill-set to have, and one that can make the difference between a safe house, and a safehouse.
Step 1: Character Creation
Any true master carpenter doesn't just pick up a hammer and start bashing away. It must be in the nature of the character, or they might find themselves building a lot before getting any real skill.
During character creation, choosing an occupation and traits will provide the player with some skill levels, but it will also give an experience boost to that skill depending on the starting level. This bonus cannot be gained after the character is created, making this an important step in mastering any skill. Starting Skill Level and Experience Boost
Reduced time to finish constructions and +100hp to all constructions.
Step 2: Collecting Materials
The hammer is the main tool for building and barricading in Project Zomboid. Hammers can be found in many places including garages in homes. Other tools include the axe, saw and screwdriver.
Nails and wood planks are other common ingredients in many carpentry recipes. Nails are commonly found in the same places as hammers and other tools. Wood planks can be found, sawed from logs, created by chopping down doors, or by dissembling furniture.
You need a combination of the Hammer/Saw or Hammer/Screwdriver to disassemble different wooden furniture. You can receive nails and planks up to the cost it takes to create the object. The amount of nails and planks is dependent on carpentry level, with lower levels getting a higher chance to get unusable wood instead of a plank.
Logs can be found or created by chopping down trees. Trees can be chopped down by any weapon but the axe is most efficient. By Right-Clicking on the saw or the logs, an option should appear saying "Saw Logs". This will break down the logs into the necessary wooden planks.
It's worth bearing in mind that be it dismantling furniture to scavenge wood and nails, or if it's out in the forest felling trees, it's all very noisy business indeed. It's important you keep your wits about you and check your surroundings regularly. It's easy to quickly become over burdened with logs and planks and the last thing you want is to be panicking as the hordes descend on you, but you're moving as slow as a snail nailed to the floor.
Right click the ground to bring up the context menu. When you have a hammer in your inventory, you will be able to browse the list of possible constructions underneath the 'Carpentry' tab. The names will appear in red when you lack the necessary materials or required carpentry skill. Clicking on what you wish to build, a preview of the construction will appear. Position it where you want it to appear (rotate using R) and then click. Your character will automatically begin building.
With the release of build 35, multiple stage building was introduced. The process for building walls and windows now starts with constructing a wall frame, and then upgrading it to a window or wall by right clicking on the wall frame, and selecting the appropriate upgrade. There are three levels of walls/windows, each requiring a higher carpentry level.
Level of Wall/Window
Carpentry Level Required
Walls/windows of level 1 or 2 can be upgraded to the next higher level at a cost of 1 plank and 4 nails. A level one wall could be upgraded to level 2, and then again to level 3.
Right click the ground to bring up the context menu. When you have a hammer in your inventory, you will be able to browse the list of possible constructions. Be aware that while building your character will be making noise and any nearby zombies will begin wandering in your direction.
Convert rotten vegetables into compost. Rotten vegetables will disappear and compost will be accessible by right clicking on the compost bin. If the compost bin has 10% or more compost you can use an empty sack to make a compost bag.
Carpentry Level 5
Be aware that some items require the player reaching a certain carpentry level before building.
Step 4: Level Up
Experience is gained in carpentry by building, sawing logs, or disassembling furniture. For characters with zero carpentry skill, sawing logs, building sturdy sticks , walls and drawers are the only options to gain experience.
Reading carpentry skill books will increase the rate at which you gain carpentry skill by adding a multiplier to your skill increase after every construction you complete. These are usually found in bookshelves in most houses.
As you gain levels in carpentry, more constructions will become available and your character will build sturdier structures overall. The visual appearance of a construction will change depending on the skill level of the creator at the time of construction. Higher level carpenters generally make more professional-looking structures than beginning carpenters.
Step 5: Decorate
You can decorate your wooden walls, door frames and window frames using plaster and paint. First you need to mix plaster in a Bucket using Bag of Plaster Powder and Water. When you have the Plaster Bucket in your main inventory, right click on the structure to plaster it. You can paint the plastered surface using a Paint Brush and Paint.