FAQ / Designers & Architects

Bob Butz | September 13th, 2021 | 1M READ TIME

General Questions

Do you offer AIA CE (continuing education) accredited training?

Not at this time. But we’re always happy to do a lunch-and-learn session to share information and/or help in your project planning. As your design-build, fabrication partner, we want you to see us as an extension of your resource bank. From budget planning to insights on new products that you can use to propel a specific project forward—ask your sales rep about the many services we offer or tailoring an education session specific to your needs.

What market segments do you supply products for?

We manufacture, deliver, and install products across a broad range of commercial market segments including, but certainly not limited to, hospitality, educational, retail, library, health care, cannabis shopping boutiques and dispensaries, experiential marketing, and custom commercial interior architectural woodwork.

Odawa Casino Custom Built Sports Bar in Petoskey, Michigan

How long has Britten WoodWorks been manufacturing?

Over 25 years ago, we got our start working in the rough-and-tumble world of residential cabinetry. From these simple beginnings, WoodWorks has expanded successfully into the commercial sector. We owe this exciting growth to our proven reputation for consistent quality and our ruthless dedication to streamlining our production process. Whether you’re an architect or designer, a contractor or the end-user, you can rely on our experience and bandwidth to get your project completed accurately and on time.

Do you have written specifications for your products?

For standard products and components, yes. But our real super power is creating custom solutions built to our customer’s unique needs and specifications. We’re experts in wood fabrication and, over the years, have mastered the tools and techniques of the trade that allow you to transform ideas into unique product offering to grow your unique brand.

Can you provide CAD blocks for your products?

Absolutely. To help you create the perfect architectural design, we can provide AutoCAD blocks for standard caseworks. For non-standard work, we are happy to partner with you to develop a block for your custom specification.

Do you have a catalog?

No. We develop most our products based on your unique architectural specs. If you have a specific request or needs, we can design a custom presentation deck for you. In fact, we love nothing more than showing off the many resources, state-of-the-art tools, machinery, and capabilities we bring any project with our architect/designer partners.

Who can we contact with general questions?

For samples, budget, or general inquiries, email Dan Hansen at dhansen@britteninc.com or call 231.346.8597.

Do you hold any certifications?

To ensure our skills and abilities to clients, we hold AWI quality certification for Premium Grade Manufacturing—one of only seven woodworking professionals in Michigan who hold this certification.

What products do you fabricate?

It would truly be quicker to give you a short rundown of what we don’t fabricate. The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) outlines thousands of categories of work in wood, plastic, natural, and composite products. Laminate and veneer-faced casework. Laminate locker systems. Solid surface fabrication. Store fixtures. Interior architectural woodwork. The list goes on and on.

What’s the largest project you’ve ever worked on?

Spectrum Health’s six-story Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The two-year, $92 million project was designed to deliver the region’s most advanced array of outpatient cancer services within a single, healing environment.

The 284,000 square-foot building incorporates soothing natural light as well as natural materials, such as stone and wood. The pavilion features a stone fireplace, a waterfall that cascades down several floors, a life garden and meditation space and many other patient-centered features. WoodWorks is proud of its work at the Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion, the first Spectrum Health building to earn LEED certification from the United States Green Building Council because of its ecologically sound design, construction, and operation.

Spectrum Health Retractable and Expandable Desk in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Retractable Conference Table at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Michigan

What advantages do you have over other builders?

WoodWorks is dedicated to helping you eliminate the hassle and extra costs that are all-to-common when dealing with multiple vendors. We do that by delivering limitless creative and manufacturing horsepower—along with 360° branding capabilities—thanks to our parent company, Britten, Inc.

From idea to installation, we’re more than a woodworking company. We’re a one-stop-shop that delivers a complete service and visual branding advantage that extends to every medium and facet of the production process: custom casework and millwork, state-of-the-art printing and signage, metalworks, design for special and experiential marketing projects, a nationwide network of professional installers, and more.

Can you locally source materials for my project?

We do all our own manufacturing from raw material to finished product from our state-of-the art facility in Northern Michigan and pride ourselves on working with several Michigan manufactures and mills. Custom wood creations from the WoodWorks team are made for people who understand the details are not only details, they make the design. If sourcing local materials is a detail that matters to you, then it’s definitely a detail that matters to us.

Can you provide references?

Absolutely. Project-specific references are available upon request. Email WoodWorks’ Dan Hansen at dhansen@britteninc.com or call 231.346.8597.

Process Questions

Who will assist me with questions during the quote process and after delivery?

To streamline your customer experience and optimize an easy flow of communication, we don’t hand you off a half dozen times. Communication starts in sales department where your WoodWorks representative will facilitate all the initial framework for you project. After drawings and budgeting are approved by you, the project moves on to engineering where a project manager is added to the team. Never farther away than a phone call, this small team is here to help you no matter what your need or request.

Can you help to develop budgets?

Yes. You can bring our team onboard at any stage of the development process, and we’ll fit your design to your deadline and budget. We’re on the cutting edge of what’s new in the world of

wood and solid-surface materials, so we’re especially good at suggesting alternatives that help save our customers money while not sacrificing any function or beauty of your unique design.

What design software do you use?

For creating professional, accurate designs, renderings, and pricing estimates, we primarily rely on the big three: SketchUp, Auto CAD®, and Cabinet Vision, the industry’s leading design software for manufacturing furniture. But to a certain degree, we can work with just about anything.

How long does it take to turn around shop drawings?

This depends a lot on the size and scope of your project. But typical shop drawings have a two- to four-week turnaround.

When does my order lead time begin?

Once engineering drawings are approved, your lead time begins. We understand that just how crucial accurate lead time are to avoid surprises and keep your costs on target. That’s why we strive to identify and hold to strict deadlines as early in your project as possible.

How often do you visit the site as work is being done?

We typically like to visit the worksite to double- and triple-check field dimensions. We also are there for you—and remain until the job is done—if our installation services are required.

What kind of follow-up support do I receive?

We provide a standard one-year warranty for as-built drawings along with a lifetime warranty on all hardware. But if something ever goes wrong with anything the WoodWorks team has built or installed, we urge you to contact us first to see if we can help.

WoodWorks aims to develop partnerships for life, which is why we don’t limit our support after the sale should something go wrong.

Services Questions

Who can I contact for samples?

Your WoodWorks’ sales representative can send samples during the initial quote process. Or you may ask and receive samples from the product manager charged with shepherding your project along the path to completion.

To get started, email WoodWorks’ Dan Hansen at dhansen@britteninc.com or call 231.346.8597.

Do you offer design drawing services and, if so, how detailed are your drawings?

Certainly. Successfully building anything without plans is never option. One of our unique value propositions is our proven track record in developing new projects from concept to creation. That might mean starting with a sketch on a cocktail napkin or maybe a digital image from Pinterest or Google showing what you’re trying to achieve. From these simple images, we then can develop a comprehensive plans and drawings to necessary to successfully execute your design and fabrication mission.

Can you manage the project?

Yes. And there’s nobody better. From design to final execution, we manage the details so you can concentrate on getting more business and growing your brand.