Step 1. Start the Conversation
A simple inquiry doesn't obligate you to anything. Reach out to me any way you choose. The first thing you as the client would want to know: Can Henningsen Woodshop build ___ for me? Once we've established that we're interested in working together...
Step 2. Meeting (in-person or remotely)
In our initial meeting we will discuss and collaborate on design. Our conversation will include things like how you hope to use your new piece and where it might fit in your home, as well as materials, budget, and calendar. You may have a clear vision of the final product with specific details, or you want to give me creative freedom- we can work together to figure out a plan.
Step 3. Design
During our conversation (or afterwards, depending on how complex the project) I will make some pencil sketches to confirm that we are communicating clearly. This can also be done with examples, including photos of my previous pieces or other existing works (though please realize that I produce original pieces and therefore do not replicate works by other artisans). I will then need a few days to consider the design and determine a price. Price is highly dependent on materials, complexity, and shipping/delivery. At this point you have not yet committed to buying anything from me, and I have not yet committed to building anything for you. Once we have narrowed in on the design and dimensions, I’ll estimate for you a price* and a timeline.
Step 4. Agreement
Assuming we decide to work together, we will each sign the Agreement for Commissioned Work (“Agreement”). I require this to protect my time and my business, but also to make a commitment to you that I will do our agreed upon custom woodworking to the best of my abilities. The Agreement will contain a quoted price, as well as the scope of the project and the terms. At this point I ask for a percentage of the final price; this allows me to purchase necessary materials and secures your spot in my work schedule.
Step 5. Updates and progress
As I build your piece, I’ll update you on my progress**. If you want to substantially modify the design of the project after we’ve made our Agreement, we might need to make a Change Order (addendum to the original Agreement).
Step 6. Delivery
This is the part you’ve been waiting for – the day your custom piece arrives! I will ship or otherwise deliver to you per the terms of our Agreement. I require the remainder of the balance when you receive the final product.
Taking part in the design and development of your custom work can be a truly rewarding process. It allows you to start with an idea, and end with an original, high-quality furnishing that is unique to you and your home. Like any craft, however, woodworking requires specialized skills, equipment, and time. Custom woodworking requires even more time because design, material acquisition, and shop set-up are part of the process. For these reasons, custom work is usually going to cost more than commercially available pieces or pieces bought from specialists that are set up to build one product line.