How to order furniture:
To order a piece of furniture from City Joinery, please give us a call, write to us by email or postal mail, or come visit our showroom. Many clients order an existing design, choosing materials from among our samples. Basic adjustments in size can be made to most pieces. Lead time is 10-16 weeks and a 50% deposit is required. Others are unable to visit the showroom but have a clear idea of what they want from our website or brochures. We can communicate remotely, sending wood samples by mail and completing the process without having to meet. Again, lead time is 10-16 weeks and a 50% deposit is required.
Creating something unique:
Some customers wish to have furniture designed for them, tailored to their specific space or needs. We begin the process by gathering with the client all the information needed to understand the project. This can include room dimensions, floor plans, photographs from a customer’s home, or reference images torn from magazines.
Most people prefer to sit down with us in person, pencil and paper in hand, to work out the design. Others communicate with us remotely, and we exchange ideas via email. A visit to our showroom may include consultation of our extensive design library. We refer to websites together, sometimes in tandem over the phone. It’s an open-ended process.
Ultimately, we arrive at a description of the project’s scope and an estimated cost in the form of a written proposal. Once the proposal is signed and a 10% design deposit is paid, City Joinery draws the piece(s) in detail. We discuss the drawings in person or over the phone, and work out specific materials choices through exchanging samples. When the design is finalized and approved, we require an additional 50% fabrication deposit. From this point, lead time is 10-16 weeks. As always, we welcome you to come visit our studio while your piece is under construction.
On all pieces, final payment is due prior to delivery.
How we price things:
In general, labor is more of a factor than materials. It takes a lot of time to make City Joinery furniture. Moving parts, such as drawers and doors add expense. Certain processes are much more expensive than others. Very hard woods are more difficult to work with than softer ones. Tables with slides and leaves, for example, take more time to make than those without.
Certain woods are not only more expensive for us to acquire, but are much more difficult to work with because of their grain structure or sheer hardness. These species, such as Tiger Maple, Ebony, or Bloodwood, among many others, add cost to a piece’s total price.
Dining chairs are the most difficult to make. Many people falsely expect (based on years of buying from factory based production companies) that a chair should cost a small fraction of the cost of an accompanying table. A well-made chair is almost as much work as a table. Making things by hand, one at a time, you cannot avoid this reality.
In some cases we can value-engineer a design to meet budgets. Volume pricing is possible in certain circumstances, but our process of making things one at a time allows limited economies of scale.
Discounts for architects and interior designers are not available. We can offer favorable pricing on certain large projects, but our ability is limited by the labor-intensive nature of what we do.
Though City Joinery furniture might seem expensive to some at first glance, we design our pieces with long-lasting value in mind. In fact, we believe the furniture will increase in value over time. The care we put into a piece of furniture is such that it will get better with age, unlike most things on the market today.
We know we are not getting rich from making it! Far too much work goes into it for that …
City Joinery furniture can be shipped all over the world. In almost all cases shipping is a separate expense. Customers are always welcome to pick up their pieces or make their own delivery arrangements. Depending on geographic circumstances, we will perhaps use a local/regional mover experienced with fine furniture. They will carry the piece(s) into the customer’s home and unwrap them. Complicated assembly sometimes requires us to visit as well.
We contract with national blanket-wrap furniture movers of good repute when shipping to other parts of the country. All furniture is insured against loss or damage. It is also possible to ship using companies such as FedEx and UPS, or a common carrier. In these cases furniture is packed in custom made crates built in our shop to protect the furniture during transport. Â For international shipping, we use consolidation companies and commercial freight companies, depending on the client’s wishes and/or budgetary constraints.
In all cases, shipping costs are not included in the price of our furniture. Estimates are provided prior to delivery. Unless otherwise specified in advance, City Joinery is not responsible for unforeseen circumstances related to the delivery, such as narrow doorways or elevators that are too small to accommodate the furniture. Customers should be mindful that delivery costs are always an estimate and circumstances related to the delivery occasionally result in increased charges. Please contact us for an estimate of shipping expenses.
At times, some of our pieces require assembly and it is not possible or practical for us to do it. In these cases we send along all hardware and detailed instructions, and are happy to talk someone through the process.
Below is a sequence of images showing the making of one of our Hewn Dining Tables, starting with rough Black Walnut boards, and showing how these become a finished table.