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Spiffo Carpentry.png
Spiffo trying to learn carpentry.

Carpentry is a skill allowing the player to board up the windows and doors of houses, construct their own furniture, or even build their own personalised house from scratch.

Becoming A Master Carpenter

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.

Step 1: Character Creation

Any true master carpenter doesn't just pick up a hammer and start bashing away. It must be like 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

Level 0 - 25% (Default for all skills)
Level 1 - 75%
Level 2 - 100%
Level 3+ - 125%


Name Starting Points Major Skills Description Notes
Park Ranger
Park Ranger
-4 +1 Carpentry
+2 Foraging
+2 Trapping
N/A Ideal for any player looking to survive away from town and deep in the wilderness.
Construction Worker
Construction Worker
-2 +1 Carpentry
+3 Blunt Accuracy
N/A Not the best choice for those willing to become a master carpenter but definitely dangerous wielding a hammer.
2 +3 Carpentry N/A The best option for someone wanting to master the carpentry skill, with a few extra points left over.
-4 +1 Carpentry
+2 Blunt Maintenance
+2 Blade Maintenance
N/A This one is for those wanting to make the most out of what they've got. A repairman will have better durability from his weapons and tools.
-4 +1 Carpentry
+1 Electrical
Can make traps and explosives. For anyone wanting to defend their safehouse with armed traps and explosives. The Engineer has a unique set of trap recipes that can't be learnt by anyone else.


Name Cost Description Notes
-8 +1 Carpentry
+1 Blunt Maintenance
+1 Blade Maintenance
Faster and stronger constructions.
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. You must keep your wits about you and check your surroundings regularly. It's easy to quickly become overburdened 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.

Remember! Proper Planning & Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance!

Step 3: The Building Menu

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
1 2
2 4
3 7

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.
Product Recipe Description Skill Level
Plank x3
Saw.png + SmallLog.png
Saw x1 Log x1
A normal plank used as a weapon or for construction. Carpentry Level 0

Wooden Wall x1
Nails.png + Plank.png + Hammer.png
Nails x3 Plank x3 Hammer x1
(consumed) (consumed)
A basic wooden wall. Carpentry Level 2

Wooden Window x1
Hammer.png + Nails.png + Plank.png
Hammer x1 Nails x4 Plank x4
(consumed) (consumed)
A window frame. Carpentry Level 2

Wooden Doorframe x1
Hammer.png + Nails.png + Plank.png
Hammer x1 Nails x4 Plank x4
(consumed) (consumed)
A door frame. Door can be placed here. Carpentry Level 2

Door x1
Hammer.png + Plank.png + Doorhinge.png + DoorKnob.png + Nails.png
Hammer x1 Plank x4 Door Hinge x2 Doorknob x1 Nails x4
(consumed) (consumed) (consumed) (consumed)
Can be placed inside any wooden door frame without a door. Carpentry Level 3

Stairs Piece x1
Nails.png + Plank.png + Hammer.png
Nails x8 Plank x8 Hammer x1
(consumed) (consumed)
Wooden stairs that can be placed in various locations throughout the game world. A player can fall off or through the stairs. In the current game builds, the stair injury occurrence is high. Carpentry Level 6

Wooden Crate.png
Wooden Crate x1
Hammer.png + Nails.png + Plank.png
Hammer x1 Nails x2 Plank x2
(consumed) (consumed)
A wooden crate used for storage. It is a craft-able storage item with its own inventory. Carpentry Level 3

Rain Collector Barrel x1
Hammer.png + Plank.png + Nails.png + Garbagebag.png
Hammer x1 Plank x4 Nails x4 Garbage Bag x4
(consumed) (consumed) (consumed)
A handy little barrel that collects and stores rainwater for later usage.
One of the only sources of renewable water.
Square Crate: Carpentry Level 4,
Round Barrel: Carpentry Level 7

TZ WoodenStick.png
Sturdy Stick x8
Saw.png + Plank.png
Garden Saw x1
Plank x1
Crafted from Wooden Planks using the Saw. Used to make Tent Kits and kindling. Carpentry Level 0

Drawer x1
Plank.png + Nails.png + DoorKnob.png
Plank x1 Nails x1 Doorknob x1
Drawers are made from a plank, a set of nails, and a doorknob. They are used in carpentry. Carpentry Level 1

Wooden table anim.gif
Table with Drawer x1
Hammer.png + Plank.png + Nails.png + Drawer.png
Hammer x1 Plank x5 Nails x4 Drawer x1
(consumed) (consumed) (consumed)
A small Wooden table with room for storage. Carpentry Level 5

Wooden table anim.gif
Small Table x1
Hammer.png + Nails.png + Plank.png
Hammer x1 Nails x4 Plank x5
(consumed) (consumed)
A small table. Carpentry Level 3

Table left anim.gif
Large Table x1
Hammer.png + Nails.png + Plank.png
Hammer x1 Nails x4 Plank x6
(consumed) (consumed)
A large table. Carpentry Level 4

Bar element anim.gif
Bar Element x1
Hammer.png + Nails.png + Plank.png
Hammer x1 Nails x4 Plank x4
(consumed) (consumed)
A bar element. Carpentry Level 7

Bar corner anim.gif
Bar Corner x1
Hammer.png + Nails.png + Plank.png
Hammer x1 Nails x4 Plank x4
(consumed) (consumed)
A bar corner. Carpentry Level 7

Wooden chairA.png
Wooden Chair x1
Hammer.png + Nails.png + Plank.png
Hammer x1 Nails x4 Plank x5
(consumed) (consumed)
A wooden chair. Carpentry Level 2

Lamp on Pillar
Rope.png + Flashlight.png + Plank.png + Nails.png
Rope x1 Flashlight x1 Plank x2 Nails x4
(consumed) (consumed) (consumed) (consumed)
Lights up squares in the area it's pointed at. Can be turned on and off. The flashlight still requires batteries. Carpentry Level 5

Sandbag wallB.png
Sandbag Wall

Sand Bag x3
Sand bag walls are bulletproof and protect you from any guns. Carpentry Level 0

Wooden fence anim.gif
Wooden fence x1
Plank.png + Nails.png
Plank x2 Nails x3
(consumed) (consumed)
Wooden fences are used to wall areas off while still being able to see over them. Carpentry Level 2

Crafted Bed.png
Bed x1
Hammer.png + Plank.png + Nails.png + Mattress.png
Hammer x1 Plank x6 Nails x4 mattress x1
(consumed) (consumed) (consumed)
A cozy bed to sleep on. Carpentry Level 4

Log Wall x1
Smallrag.png + SmallLog.png
Ripped Sheets
Rope x*
Log x4
(consumed) (consumed)
*Ripped Sheetsx4 Twine (units) Ropex2 Carpentry Level 0

Shelves x1
Hammer.png + Nails.png + Plank.png
Hammer x1 Nails x2 Plank x1
(consumed) (consumed)
Carpentry Level 2

Double Shelves.png
Double Shelves x1
Hammer.png + Nails.png + Plank.png
Hammer x1 Nails x4 Plank x2
(consumed) (consumed)
Carpentry Level 2

Small Bookcase.png
Small Bookcase x1
Hammer.png + Nails.png + Plank.png
Hammer x1 Nails x3 Plank x3
(consumed) (consumed)
Carpentry Level 3

Bookcase x1
Hammer.png + Nails.png + Plank.png
Hammer x1 Nails x4 Plank x5
(consumed) (consumed)
Carpentry Level 5

Wooden Sign.png
Wooden Sign x1
Hammer.png + Nails.png + Plank.png
Hammer x1 Nails x3 Plank x3
(consumed) (consumed)
Carpentry Level 1

Smallhammer.png + Smallnails.png + Smallplank.png
Hammer x1 Nails x4 Plank x5
(consumed) (consumed)
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 CompostBag.png 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, and disassembling objects like doors and tables 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 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.

Tips to level up Carpentry

Deconstructing beds and closets is a good idea to level up Carpentry without needing to build a lot of stuff you won't need or chopping lots of trees, doing this will give a good amount of XP if you have read the books, also the higher the Carpentry skill the more planks and nails you'll get from deconstructing these items. You can go to a motel/hotel such as Riverside or West Point ones and deconstruct all the beds and closet inside.

Crafting spears is a good way to level up Carpentry at low levels as long as you have read the skill books but at higher levels where the XP needed to level up is much more, it becomes less efficient.

See also