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What to Know Before Your Next Furnishing Project

What to Know Before Your Next Furnishing Project

Whether you are hiring an interior design firm or doing it yourself, purchasing furnishings for your home can become quite the arduous task. The plethora of home decor websites is overwhelming enough, even before you start sifting through page after online page of options for your next desk, sofa or dining table; making your selections is half the battle. 

Once a piece of furniture is selected, you then have to account and prepare for a series of scenarios that could occur from the time that the piece is purchased to the time it is delivered to your home. We aren’t here to deter you from partaking in this enjoyable (for some) experience. Although our design services would definitely come in hand right about now, let us discuss the things you need to know before you kick off the project.

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Once you have selected the piece (or pieces) for your home, you will surely be prompted to schedule shipping or receiving for your item(s). Depending on item(s) and where it was purchased, they will arrive one of two ways:

– Most smaller items such as lighting, small furniture pieces, rugs and counter stools will be shipped via a popular carrier such as Fedex, UPS or the United States Postal Service. This shipping method is usually pretty efficient and stress-free with your item(s) arriving at your home within a few days, if not sooner. Depending on where you purchased these items, shipping is available for either no cost or a nominal fee.

– If you purchased furnishings larger in size, such as a sofa, a dresser, a headboard or a credenza, they are more than likely arriving via a freight delivery service. Your piece will be shipped out from the distribution center to a local warehouse in your city. You will then receive a call from a third-party delivery company that will ask you to schedule a delivery appointment. Word to the wise: If they offer a white glove delivery option, do yourself a favor and pay the additional fee to opt-in. Your purchase will make it into your home either way. However, with the white glove option, the items will be unwrapped or unboxed, placed where necessary and the packaging (cardboard, stuffing and plastic wrap) will be taken away.

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With the recent price increase affecting all categories especially home furnishings, the REALTOR ® Magazine quotes CNBC reporting on how it impacted these categories year over year:

Living room/kitchen/dining room furniture: up 19.9%

Furniture/bedding: up 17%

Window coverings: up 16.2%

Bedroom furniture: up 13.7%

Appliances: up 8.5%

Floor coverings: up 7.2%

Clocks, lamps, and decorative items: 6.3% higher

When purchasing certain items, specifically those mentioned above, pricing is something to consider. The price increase is visible to you in the hard cost price of the item, but keep in mind that prices are increasing in all facets of the business. That means that delivery and freight prices, customization options and installation fees may also increase. As you begin to purchase furnishings for your home, make sure you include all necessary line items in your budget to ensure your bases are covered.

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Delays are, unfortunately, common when it comes to home furnishings. However since the start of the pandemic, the delivery problem has just been augmented. The delay starts with the manufacturer as they purchase materials to make an item. Whether it is wood for the tabletop or copper wiring for the light fixture, there are material shortages that affect the production timeline. Once the item is ready for delivery to the retailer, it then has to be placed on a ship (if the item is coming from overseas) or on a truck (18-wheeler) for delivery to the store level. With the current labor shortage, delays are increased with less frequent deliveries being made to the retailer and additional delays for imported goods trying to get through customs. 

Once the item makes it to the retailer, it can now be scheduled to be delivered to your home. But again, the lack of labor may cause delays with the third-party delivery companies, ultimately, causing your items to be delayed for weeks, if not months, from the time of purchase.

Here are a few ways to avoid some of the delays:

– Purchase items that are already in stock. If an item is in stock, the chances are higher that the item is already in a warehouse stateside which will help it arrive at your home sooner. 

– Shop for goods made in the United States. This also guarantees that the goods are already stateside making them more accessible to most major cities helping them arrive a lot quicker.

– Order items made by local tradesmen in your immediate area. A local woodsmith can make a dining table, coffee table or dining hutch that can not only be customized but also be more readily available to be delivered.

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Your items made it to your home. Congratulations! Unfortunately, they have arrived damaged. What do you do now? Sadly, this happens more often than you think. With furniture traveling thousands of miles before arriving at its destination, dings, dents, scratches or worse often happen to larger pieces of furniture. They are cumbersome to move and are often too large to be protected by a box. If you receive a damaged piece, the first thing you need to do is request that the delivery drivers not leave. Most delivery services ask you to inspect any items before signing off on the delivery and it is highly recommended that you do so.

There is a good chance that the furniture item was received to the retailer in mint condition, but was damaged en route to your home. Take some photos of the affected area(s) and ask the delivery company to also notate the damage. If caught early, you will more than likely be able to receive a replacement piece. The good news is that your new piece of furniture will hopefully arrive in better condition. The bad news is that you’ll have to probably wait for the new piece to arrive.

I hope we haven’t scared you into thinking that the furnishing selection and ordering process is laborious and daunting. It truly can be a pleasurable experience, but we certainly want to prepare you for some of the scenarios that may arise. We have plenty of experience in this department so we would always recommend hiring an interior designer to assist you with this process. Not only do we have access to top furnishing options, but we also have the expertise to help recommend certain vendors, ease communication and find top notch delivery companies that’ll ensure your furnishings will arrive to your home in one piece. 

Ready to get this process started? Do not hesitate to contact us. We’d love to help!

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