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Carpentry - Renovation and Restoration

Build on your existing carpentry skills with a focus on conserving and restoring heritage properties.

A hand plane tool used for restoration carpentry sits on a wooden table with wood shavings piled near by.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
1 Year

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This program prepares you for a career in carpentry and/or woodworking, with a focus on renovation and restoration in contemporary- and conservation-related construction.

This program is perfect for those wanting to advance their knowledge and skills in the heritage and contemporary renovation and restorations fields. You learn about:

  • Working safely and effectively in a construction environment
  • Communicating clearly with customers and co-workers
  • Interpreting plans and construction drawings
  • Architectural styles and related skill sets
  • Preparing estimates
  • Building codes
  • Selecting materials, tools and equipment
  • Constructing, repairing, reproducing and maintaining exterior and interior features and finishes

Work experience

  • Field experience is a mandatory credit course, providing the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside the classroom.
    • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work experience courses are your responsibility.
  • For more information, visit work experience opportunities.

Choose NSCC

  • You benefit from our expert faculty who bring years of experience to the classroom and strong industry connections.
  • You learn the latest practices and technologies that employers require. The program is designed with the input of industry leaders to ensure you get current and relevant skills.
  • You experience practical, hands-on learning.
  • This program places a high importance on providing you with skills and knowledge to work safely in industry.
  • To prepare for employment, you participate in safety awareness courses.

Other info

  • The trade is physically demanding and requires working in both an indoor and outdoor environment.
  • Many employers require that their employees be registered apprentices or holders of a certificate of qualification. 
  • Many employers in this industry require a current, official criminal record check as part of the hiring process. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to secure employment.

Admission requirements

  • One-year Carpentry Certificate or equivalent, or
  • Completion of Level 1 Carpenter Apprenticeship, or
  • Completion of Construction Technician trade through the Canadian Armed Forces

Program requirements

  • Portfolio development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.


Tuition amounts are for the 2023-24 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for College services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Qualified carpenters are in demand in Nova Scotia. Graduates of this program will find employment in various sectors across the construction industry, including but not limited to:
    • Renovations
    • Restorations
    • Inspections of historic buildings
    • Traditional house framing
    • Supervision
    • Structures maintenance
    • Design and Architecture

Future study options

  • Graduates may register as an apprentice with the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency (NSAA) once employed. Apprenticeship is an optional but beneficial journey that combines on-the-job learning with technical training.
  • Red Seal Endorsement - individuals who complete an apprenticeship program are eligible to challenge the inter-provincial exam. A Red Seal allows a certified tradespersons to practise the trade in any province or territory in Canada, where the trade is designated.

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you may be able to apply to earn credit. Not all programs are eligible. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

CARR 1001 - Architectural Styles
With the renewed interest in the perseveration of historically significant buildings it has become incumbent upon the restoration carpenter to possess a working familiarity with the broad characteristics of architectural styles. This course will focus on the study of architectural styles as they appear in our local landscape and they relate to the skills of the working carpenter.

CARR 1002 - Roof Framing
Roof slope, profile, and proportion to wall surface are major contributors to the overall form of a building. In this course the learner will gain the theoretical and practical principles of roof geometry. Conservation and restoration approaches and energy efficient principles will form an integral part of the course.

CARR 1003 - Building Assessment
In order to plan a renovation or restoration, the current state of the building must be considered. In the case of heritage buildings this can involve a number of different organizations and regulations as well as current building codes. This course is an introductory overview of building assessment. It introduces learners to the various elements of a building that different “authorities having jurisdiction” evaluate when inspecting a building.

CARR 1004 - Interior/ Exterior Finishes and Trim
Wall, ceiling and floor coverings when combined with trims and anchoring elements such as cabinetry and mantles compose the interior character of a building. Exterior trim includes the architectural features that contribute to a building’s overall character. This course presents the skills required to install trim components. Learners will also learn to repair and reproduce trim as required to provide authentic and aesthetic harmony to the building.

CARR 1005 - Construction Drawings and Documentation
This course is intended to build upon basic blueprint reading skills introducing modern methods of representing plans and creating estimates for building projects.

CARR 1006 - Roof coverings
The roof covering is the most visual part of the whole roofing system and makes up the majority of weatherproofing and protection. Roof coverings also complement the type, age and style of a building. This course introduces the skills needed to plan and carry out installation of and repair roof coverings.

CARR 1007 - Planning and Managing Renovations
There are many factors that affect the success and quality of a renovation. These include design, cost, timing, tracking and the ability to deal with unforeseen issues. This course looks at the stages involved in planning and carrying out renovations that are feasible and meet project objectives while complying with code regulations and best practice in the industry and satisfying customer requirements and needs.

CARR 1008 - Stair Construction and Finish
Stairs are an essential part of many construction projects, from decks to interiors. They have functional elements determined by code and aesthetic elements that should be in keeping with the overall character and design of the building. This course will provide the learner with theory and skills required to build, install, and repair the various components of stairs.

CARR 1009 - Window and Door Fabrication and Maintenance
Windows and doors are important elements of any building. When properly constructed and installed they keep the weather out and contribute control, interior light, and building code requirements. They make an important contribution to the style and design of the building. This course provides the knowledge and skills required to plan, construct, install, repair and renovate windows and doors according to standards and guidelines.

CARR 1010 - Traditional Timber Framing
Timber framing has a long history as a traditional building practice and is enjoying a revival in popularity. Large timbers frame the structure instead of more slender dimensional lumber, and appropriate joinery methods must be used. Learners will have the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge to construct a timber frame and look at timber framing in the context of modern energy efficient principles.

CARR 1011 - Kitchen and Bath Design and Renovation
Kitchens and bathrooms are some of the most common home renovations. Applicable building codes, accessibility standards and efficient layout are important factors in renovation addressed in this course. Learners will have the opportunity to apply skills in construction drawing and planning layouts, cabinetry and hardware for renovations.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

SAFE 1021 - Safety Basics – Hazard Identification
The learners are introduced to the types of hazards encountered in workplaces and the approach that should be followed when recommending and implementing appropriate controls. Two key elements of Hazard Identification are addressed: Hazard Assessment and Inspection. The Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act is discussed. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1023 - Safety Basics – Lock-out Tag Out
Lock-out Tag Out introduces students to the hazards related to energized systems and procedures to ensure worker safety. Related legislation and risk management is discussed and the student is exposed to the various types of lock-out devices. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1024 - Safety Basics – Respiratory Protection
This course introduces students to the potential of atmospheric hazards in the workplace and the available personal protection and control methods to maintain a safe work environment. Discussion topics include identification and testing for atmospheric hazards and workplace respiratory programs. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

Prescribed elective course requirement. Students must complete CARR 1100 or CARR 1200.

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