You have numerous options available when it comes to furnishing your home or workplace. From custom, to semi-custom, to off the shelf delivery-ready, it can feel overwhelming to know which option will work best for you, your space, and your budget. That doesn’t even take into account the timeline or where to begin. 

While there are many aspects of custom furniture that make it truly priceless, navigating the furniture-choosing process can be new for many new customers. We’re breaking down the process from top to bottom to answer your top questions when it comes to building custom furniture. 

Custom furniture vs. off the shelf: What’s the difference?

  • Off the shelf furniture is mass produced with zero customization. While this class of furniture is often readily available and lower in cost, with that lower cost often comes lower quality, making it possible that you will actually spend more money on furniture over time. And with off the shelf furniture, your choice is often limited as to color, materials, and function, sometimes making it difficult to find furniture that will precisely fit your space as well as your needs. 
  • Custom furniture offers exactly what its name implies: Furniture customized to exactly what you want and need as far as color, materials, function and size (storage availability, need for additional seating, oddly shaped room design, and so on), budget parameters, and quality. Custom furniture is simply personalized to you and your needs. And don’t let the perceived cost of custom furniture keep you from exploring this option. Many designers will often work with you to meet your needs and wants within your budget. 

What is the process for custom furniture? 

When creating your custom furniture, we go through a detailed, 7-step process to ensure your furniture meets—and exceeds—your expectations. 

  • Step 1: Consultation. During this step, we schedule a call to discuss your wants, needs, budget, and time frame. If more than one call is needed to make sure we are on the same page, we are happy to make that happen. And while we offer complete design services, if you have designed a piece of furniture, we are happy to work with you on bringing your design to fruition.
  • Step 2: Initial project agreement + deposit. Once we are clear on everything about your custom furniture wants and needs, we will create an agreement with a complete and thorough description based on our consultation, collect a deposit, and begin the design process. 
  • Step 3: Initial design. Using all the information we’ve gathered from our consultation, we’ll create comprehensive sketches and schematic drawings of your design and review them with you detail by detail, making any adjustments as necessary, to ensure your design is in line with your expectations. 
  • Step 4: Estimate. Once you’ve approved the initial design, we will provide an accurate and detailed estimate based on the design and collect a progress payment.
  • Step 5: Shop drawings + material samples. Once we have final approval on your design, we will create shop drawings and gather material samples for you to approve, making any changes and/or pricing adjustments as needed. We believe that with a variety of material options to choose from, you can better see the potential of your furniture, ensuring your custom furniture is exactly what you’re wanting and needing.
  • Step 6: Fabrication. Using the shop drawings and approved materials, we will create your furniture within the agreed upon time frame
  • Step 7: Final payment + shipment. Once your furniture is completed and thoroughly inspected for workmanship and design, we will collect your final payment and ship your item.

What is the timeline for custom furniture? Keeping quality and your custom furniture goals front and center throughout the process, our average timeline for custom furniture completion is 10-12 weeks. This can vary depending on factors like material availability and design, but we do our best to deliver your custom furniture as promised.

What types of furniture can be custom made?

At Handbuilt, we offer many options for custom furniture and have worked with a variety of clients. Click on each item for photos + more details. 

If you have a custom furniture need, our #1 goal is to meet that need. We will put our years of custom furniture experience to work for you, creating the perfect furniture for your space and needed function while meeting your budget and time constraints.

Ready to get started with the custom furniture design process? Contact us today.