After the initial inquiry the client and John work through some basic design ideas. At first this can be done via phone calls or emails to establish the customer's expectations and ascertain in what environment the piece will be used. The customer is encouraged to supply any sketches, photos or magazine articles to relay the look they are searching for. I always encourage clients to visit my workshop to look at current projects and examples of finished pieces. This is a good way to see the quality and attention to detail I incorporate into my work.
It is usually necessary to visit the customer in their home to see where the finished piece of furniture will be located. Measurements are taken to allow the customer to see the physical space the furniture will take up. This also gives me a chance to see the customers current tastes and style. At this point we will discuss the choice of materials, wood, hardware and finishes as well as types of joinery. The joinery is particularly relevant if the piece is to incorporate joinery which will be a feature of the piece such as through tenons, wedged tenons or dovetails. The client should give a lot of thought to the materials they wish to have the piece built from. A piece of custom furniture will last many generations, so do not skimp on materials. Choosing a less expensive wood will have a relatively small impact on the final price of a piece. Final delivery, pick-up or shipping of the finished piece will also be discussed at this time.
Once all the design and material details have been agreed upon the customer is asked to pay a 50% deposit before any materials are ordered. The customer is kept up to date with the progress of the work with emails and photos, they are also welcome to visit my workshop to see their piece in progress.
The outstanding balance is payable before the finished piece is shipped to the customer or upon delivery/pick-up if the customer lives locally.