We talk a lot on our website and in this blog about being custom furniture makers, but we recently realized that not everyone has the same idea about what that means. More specifically, what we realized is that some furniture companies out there are touting themselves as “custom” furniture builders, when they’re really just producing made-to-order pieces.
What’s the difference? A lot, actually. But first, let’s start by talking about the way in which custom and made-to-order products are the same. Just like a custom piece, when something is made-to-order, it is made just for you. There isn’t a product sitting in a warehouse somewhere, waiting for an order to come in so it can be shipped out. Rather, it is only when an order is placed that the furniture piece is constructed.
You’ll find a lot of made-to-order furniture on sites like Etsy. A woodworker will come up with a design for a piece of furniture, build one, take pictures, and then create a product page on Etsy. When someone clicks “Buy”, they build one just like the photo and ship it out. We actually offer a few made-to-order products on our Products page, but the majority of what we build at Three Pines is custom furniture for San Diego homes.
The fact that both custom and made-to-order furniture pieces are made with one specific customer in mind is pretty much where the similarities end.
With made-to-order furniture, a customer typically cannot make any modifications to the existing design—at least not major modifications. What you see in the photos is what you are ordering and what you will get. There may be dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of pieces out there that look just like the one you have purchased.
Custom furniture, on the other hand, is made completely to your specifications. It may be based on an inspiration photo that you show your furniture builder, but it is made with the exact measurements you need, the type of wood and stain you want, and any details you want to add. With a completely custom piece of furniture, there is nothing else like it out there. It is a one-of-a-kind piece.
Don’t be surprised if a custom furniture piece is more expensive than a made-to-order piece. When you go custom, your woodworker will have to spend extra time in the design stage. They may also have to spend some time sourcing the exact materials you want included in your piece. But in the end, you’ll get the exact piece you want, with no compromises needed!
Some people are hesitant to order a custom piece of furniture because they’re not sure it will turn out exactly how they are envisioning it. If this is you, make sure you go with a custom furniture builder in San Diego, like Three Pines Wood Co., that can provide you with a realistic rendering of the piece before they start building it.
If you’d like to get a quote on a piece of custom furniture for your San Diego home, contact us at Three Pines. We’d love to hear your ideas and provide you with a free estimate.