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Installing Custom Woodworking in Your Home: An Interview with Brian Boland of Boland Woodworking, Inc.

By Brian Boland

Tell us a little about your company and the services you offer.

Boland Woodworking is a full-service custom cabinetry and furniture company located in the historic section of Germantown, Philadelphia, Pa. We have 9 employees in a variety of capacities. Our 10,000 square foot shop is capable of handling large jobs as well as what we call one-offs as in vanities, desks, bookcases, as well as whole house packages. Our services include design work, CAD drawings, fabrication, finishing, and installation. We work in a variety of styles from traditional to postmodern and painted to stained materials and have been in business for over 35 years. We have a constant stable of clients that return year after year.

Can you describe what custom woodworking is, for people who may not know?

Custom cabinetry and custom furniture fills a need for those that are seeking pieces that are one of a kind. Those needs may be style, types of wood, finishes, and utility. The main reason people seek out custom work is due to dimensions. A store-bought piece cannot be modified to fit onto a particular wall or space. That's where custom work comes into play.We build to any dimension, any style, and finish to what the customer may request. A lot of the work we do is built-in, either wall to wall, into one wall, or freestanding. Custom work can allow the client to control sizes, shapes, and finishes that will fit into their home or workplace.

What are the most common things in a home that people want custom wood products for?

Many of the rooms we build are bathrooms, kitchens, living areas, and home offices that may have multi use. Also, dining tables that need to fit into a particular room or blend in style and finish with existing furniture may be requested. But overall, it seems that bathrooms are the most requested.

What are some of the advantages of installing custom woodworking over ready-made products?

The advantages of installing custom work is that the pieces are built to fit into existing spaces. A custom-designed piece wins over the store-bought piece every time. In many instances, the cost of going custom can equal upper-end pieces, especially in specialty rooms such as the bathroom, as mentioned above.

Does custom woodworking require any special maintenance or care?

No. There is no particular additional care needed for custom woodworking. We use the same materials that the big houses use and the finish is very durable. There is always some "wear and tear" depending on the homeowner's living style, but we have seen work we have installed 30 years ago that look almost the same as when it was delivered.

What advice would you give to homeowners who are starting to remodel/redecorate and want to install some custom woodworking?

Some good advice is to collect as many photos as possible that speak to your likes and even dislikes. The process works best when you know what you want as much as what you don't want. Some websites have a plethora of ideas and examples that can help the homeowner navigate through the large variety of product and layouts. If you are doing a larger project, then the best advice may be to engage either an architect or interior designer to help you narrow down your choices. A good thorough interview process will help you find a professional that speaks your language.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

The best way to contact us is via email. Our email is bolandwood@yahoo.com. Telephone and fax numbers are as follows: office: 215-843-5348; fax: 215-843-2223.

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Boland Woodworking is widely known in the region for exceptional cabinetmaking,...

Phone: 215-843-5348

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