Are you asking the right questions for your project?
Whether you are remodeling a kitchen and bath or starting from scratch with a new construction, it can be a daunting task. Our resident Wood Guru Richard Woods, CEO of Albany Woodworks, can definitely relate. “When our daughters were born, my wife Judith and I faced the challenges of being new parents and running a lumber business. We knew we needed a place to house our growing business and family. So we purchased some land in Albany, Louisiana a 40-acre parcel of an old family strawberry and vegetable farm” says Richard.
This place the Woods family would call home had great potential but it needed a lot of work. “The fields had over-grown and there was one small structure on the property. It had no electricity, plumbing or running water.” In the process of building his family’s home, Richard found the beauty of reclaimed lumber sourced from local turn-of-the-century barns that were being demolished. He and several friends salvaged 150-year old beams and siding from the rustic old barns and a reclaimed lumber business was born.
How to overcome the learning curve
Building with reclaimed lumber is a passion for Richard, but what if you are like many homeowners and have zero construction experience? Richard says that there is a simple way to overcome the learning curve and get the information you need. “Ask lots of questions. Take notes when you are talking to building professionals, and follow up with emails whenever you can so you have it in writing.” If you hire a professional, part of what you are paying for is their experience. And they will be able to answer your questions and help guide you through the process. This is something Richard believes in 100%.
“At Albany Woodworks, we look forward to helping new customers understand the ordering process. We offer advice and will take the time to go over your blueprints and make recommendations when needed,” says Richard. “As a craftsman, I know that there is an art to how all of the components of your project come together. If everyone does their part, the construction can be a breeze for homeowners, but it takes planning and an understanding of the process to pull off a problem-free construction.”
Through the years we have learned what is most important to you, the customer. You want to know, in clear “no-nonsense” language, what is available and how it compares to other products. You want to know that you will get what you pay for. You want service from a friendly person who will stay with you from first inquiry to completion of the project.
Keeping track and staying focused
You may have heard the age-old saying “too many cooks spoil the broth” and a construction project is no different. If you have an architect, interior designer, contractor, and carpenter working on your project, that is a lot of people to keep on task. It is important to set yourself in the primary position and then create a chain-of-command that makes you feel comfortable.
Set this standard early on and you can shave months off of the length of your project. “Flooring is usually installed at the end of the project. So we are coming on board after most of the construction has happened. Something that doesn’t occur to most customers is that starting early on the planning phase is key. We encourage you to come to us 6-12 months before construction happens.” It is surprising the number of major design elements that should work together, but grind to a halt due to a lack of communication. “We work with the top architects and flooring installers in the business. If you bring your blueprints to us, we can give you the peace of mind that every component will come together beautifully.” says Richard.
Don't be afraid to shop around
Whether it be plank flooring, doors, shutters, stair parts, moldings or unique custom mill work, we can answer all your needs with natural beauty of quality woodwork. In today’s marketplace, this type of transparency and guaranteed quality of service is rare.
“The hardest thing to hear is when another lumber company has provided wood that is wet or not as promised and the customer is facing the reality of having to cut their losses and start over from scratch.” says Richard. “We respect our customer’s time and make the extra effort so they can count on excellent results right from the start.” Richard encourages homeowners to trust their gut when it comes to choosing the right company to work with. If you have trouble getting a company on the phone or are hitting a dead end when trying to get your questions answered this is a sign that it’s time to walk away and find an alternative.
Don’t be afraid to shop around and get multiple quotes. This will help you gain understanding of the scope of the project and build a rapport with the company you ultimately choose. You will feel great knowing that the choice you make is an informed one. At Albany Woodworks, we know your project is important to you. Since 1976, we have been bringing new life to reclaimed antique lumber for homes, businesses and historic restorations. Give us a call today (225)567-1155.