How to order furniture:
To order a piece you see on our site, give us a call, write to us by email, or visit our showroom. Many clients order an existing design, choosing materials from among our samples. Basic adjustments in size can easily be made. Lead time is 8-12 weeks and a 50% deposit is required.
Creating something unique:
Some want to have furniture designed for them, tailored to their specific space or needs. We begin the process by gathering all the information needed to understand the project: room dimensions, floor plans, space photographs, or reference images.
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 a look through our design library. We refer to websites together, sometimes in tandem over the phone.
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/models 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 8-12 weeks. As always, we welcome you to come visit our studio while your piece is being made.
How we price things:
In general, labor is more of a factor than materials. It takes a lot of time to make fine furniture. Moving parts, such as drawers and doors add expense. 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 overseas factories) that a chair should cost a small fraction of the cost of an accompanying table. In fact, 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.
Our furniture can be shipped all over the world. In almost all cases shipping is a separate expense, though 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. For international shipping, we use consolidation companies and commercial freight companies, depending on the client’s wishes and/or budget constraints.
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.