Furnishing your new home or renovating your existing home is an exciting (and stressful) project for a homeowner. Perhaps the most time-consuming of them all is getting furniture made. Before you call the carpenter from down the street to get the job done, take a look at these 10 secrets that your carpenter doesn’t want you to know. This article is your key to saving a lot of time, money and getting furniture that looks the way you want it to.
When dealing with carpenters, the costs will keep fluctuating, and it is will be hard to gauge whether you’re getting a good deal or a bad one. For carpenters, giving a flat rate to a customer to, remodel a kitchen for example, can be problematic as every kitchen is different in terms of area, demolition required, hauling, cost of materials and detailing needed. At max, a carpenter will be able to provide you with an estimate, which is a guess about what the job may cost. This can change drastically when unexpected complications arise or when you tweak your requirements as work progresses.
When you enlist the help of a carpenter, you may either get quality work on schedule or a project that’s marked by delays and mistakes. There are many factors that contribute to this – experience being one of them. An experienced carpenter may charge you 1 lakh rupees and get the job done in 2 months, whereas an inexperienced carpenter may charge you Rs. 60,000 and get the job done in 4 months. A carpenter can never guarantee how long a project may take, and sometimes, this can be to safeguard their own interests. Case in point – a carpenter gives you a timeline, but, because you’re an indecisive client who eats up more time than he had factored in, a project that was to take the carpenter a month, now takes him 2 months.
Getting a carpenter to install your modular kitchen cabinets? Think again! While small-time carpenters can get the job done, they lack the skills to do it the right way, often resulting in shelves that sag and screws that come undone sooner than later. Fitting modular kitchen hardware must be done by a trained professional as a carpenter’s lack of knowledge will have your furniture coming apart – and it won’t be the quality of the material that’s to be blamed.
A warranty gives a sense of security to a new buyer. But when it comes to carpentry, like with all handmade products, defects, slight imperfections and other faults are bound to occur, which is why a carpenter cannot offer a warranty on his products. As long as the product looks and functions the way it is supposed to at the time of delivery, the carpenter considers it ‘done.’
Furniture made by the local carpenter is time-consuming and no matter how skilled the carpenter is, he cannot equal the finish of a ready-made or modular piece of furniture. A carpenter cannot commit to after-sale refunds, repairs and warranties. For him, the goal is to fetch a per-day rate for the work done; and offering free or discounted after-sales service robs the carpenter of a day’s work and earning.
When it comes to choosing the kind of wood with which to build carpenter-made furniture, customers are often met with two choices – solid wood, such as teak and oak; or plywood – which consist of several layers of thin wooden sheets glued together using heat and pressure. Because plywood is more versatile and cost-effective, this is what a carpenter will store at his workshop and convince you to choose. However, a carpenter will never tell you the cons of using plywood – the fact that it is easily damaged with prolonged exposure to water, it can bend or sag, that it needs additional enhancements and that the quality is questionable. Secondly, the adhesives used to make plywood may be ecologically damaging, too.
On the other hand, HDHMR (High Density High Moisture Resistance), used by Modular Furniture Companies is made of fibre chips and forest wood waste with a single layer glue architecture. It is an upgrade in terms of its robustness. Where plywood soaks in moisture, HDHMR dispels it. The material offers a glossy shine, and because of the material’s multi-dimensional bond, it comes with higher screw-strength, close to 10 times more than the average plywood. Compared to solid wood, HDHMR is available at half the cost. However, since local carpenters don’t deal with the material, they wouldn’t tell you about it.
Laminates and veneers are used on top of the plywood to give you the final finish. There are different kinds available, based on the pressure that needs to be applied, thickness, usage, surface finish and more. Carpenters who have experience using a few types of laminates will recommend those from among all the options available. Machine-techniques such as edge branding or membrane finishes won’t be possible, as is done for modular furniture.
Do you have a young family? Do you live in a tropical or humid temperature area by the seaside? A carpenter will offer little or no advice on the kinds of materials you should pick or the kind of furniture you should have to suit the needs of your family, lifestyle and home location. He will have no knowledge on the latest design or furniture trends, either. When dealing with a carpenter, be prepared to have to tell him exactly what you want done.
Unlike civil furniture, you can dismantle modular furniture, carry it with you and reassemble it when you shift homes. Storage is never a problem with modular furniture as you can keep customizing your furniture as needs change. Best of all, there is no mess in your home and the stress of having carpenters working on site with modular furniture – as everything is made in a factory and is simply assembled on site in a few hours. Additionally, you can see just what you will be getting (in 3D!), so there are no surprise changes in design. These little facts and much more, are things your carpenter won’t tell you about opting for a modular piece of furniture or a modular kitchen/bedroom.
Engineered wood that is used for modular furniture will look as good as new in the long run, thanks to its durability, as opposed to solid wood and plywood, which can be hard to maintain. While carpenter-made furniture will lose its shine and in some cases, begin to rot or weaken in a few years, a modular kitchen will look as sleek and stylish as ever.
When choosing to make new furniture from scratch, keep the above points in mind. Or drop in to Bliss Space for a glimpse of the modular furniture solutions we provide.