The Custom Woodworking Process

So, we have either met face to face, or you have come across my work somewhere or you have stumbled upon my website. Regardless of how you’ve gotten to this point: Thank You! If you are in this deep, you have very good taste and you make good decisions.

I want to explain the process of commissioning custom wood furnishings from Henningsen Woodshop.

I will be the first to admit that I might not be the right choice for the project you have in mind. Our initial conversations should answer this, in case it’s not already clear by perusing my gallery. Even though I build a variety of pieces, I am specialized in my materials and methods. If you are looking for rustic furniture or décor built with hand-collected mountain wood or reclaimed lumber: I am your builder. A skilled woodworker can build just about anything you dream up. But each artisan has a different skill set. Thus, I might refer you to some other builder I know of if they are a better fit for your project.

If it seems we might be able to work together, we should meet in-person or talk by phone or google hangouts to begin roughly sketching out the design… including materials, budget, and calendar. You may have a clear vision of the final product, or just a general look and feeling- we can work together to devise a rough plan. During that conversation (or afterwards, depending on how complex the project) I will make some pencil sketches to confirm that we are communicating clearly. This could also be done with examples- photos of my previous pieces or other existing works. 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.

You might think of more details, or be newly inspired while you’re daydreaming about the amazing thing I might build for you. You are free to continue peppering me with specifications or questions. I might have follow-up questions for you as well. At the point we’ve narrowed in on the idea well enough, I’ll estimate for you a price and a timeline.

[Sidenote: 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. The advantages of custom work: you are supporting an artisan, and in my case, the artisan has you in mind through the entire process. I am building this specifically for you; I am not pumping out widgets on an assembly line for the masses.]

If we decide to work together I will write up and 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 some agreed upon custom woodworking to the best of my abilities. The Agreement will contain a quoted price. Upon officially deciding to work together, via the signed Agreement, I will ask for a percentage of the final price; this allows me to purchase necessary materials and is a further commitment from you that you value the time and expertise I am committing to the project.

In the course of building your project, 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. In addition to updating you directly through whatever form of communication you prefer, I’ll post updates on social media. Hopefully you like me and my services well enough to aid in marketing my work by reposting and/or liking what I share with the world!

Before work ever began, we would have discussed our terms for delivery or shipping. I ask for the remainder of the balance when you receive the final product.

Even once the project is complete, I rely on your continued support through customer photos, social media posts, favorable on-line reviews, and positive word-of-mouth. Thank you for supporting small business!