Welcome to the FAQ page of Clear Lake Furniture. This section features the most frequently asked questions together with the answers to those queries. If you have any questions or clarifications on anything about our products and service such as shipping insurance, other services offered, etc., then feel free to browse the questions below. If you have concerns or queries that you don't find on the items listed below, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Is it more costly to have "custom-made" vs. store-bought?

It all depends on the piece of furniture. Our handcrafted, occasional pieces are priced comparably to the ready-made furniture you would find in an off-the-shelf store. The big difference is our quality and attention to detail. Our customers appreciate the greater value in innovation and originality that sometimes makes our pieces costlier than mass-produced furniture. Like a fine work of art, when ClearLake Furniture creates a custom-made piece of furniture, it's signed and dated by the craftsman and becomes an heirloom that can be passed on for generations to come. We think this originality, quality, and durability are well worth the cost.

How much customizing can I do?
We give you a wide array of options. You start with one of our designs, choose the wood or even combine woods. If you're styling a table, you can pick the type of edge, the style of the legs, and the material for the tabletop, like wood, granite, or glass. We can alter the size of the piece to fit a specific space. For a cabinet, add a drawer or add a door. In the end, you have a one-of-a-kind heirloom piece that reflects your unique taste, your lifestyle, and your space.

I have an idea of what I want but can't find it. Can you design and build it for me?
Absolutely! Bring in your pictures, photos, and ideas. We'll draft the design to put your vision on paper. Then, together we look at different kinds of woods and finishes. We look at the scale of the piece(s) you're considering from the perspective of where in your house or office you plan to place it.

Can you help me create a floor plan or draw up ideas for a room or an entire home?
Yes. Whether you need help with a single room or an overall plan for an entire home we can help you. We offer a full Interior Design service for your convenience. We welcome your inquiries.

What are some of the "old masters" techniques still being used at ClearLake Furniture?

Solid frames and panels: All of our door frames and panels are crafted to accommodate expansion and contraction. Wood constantly expands and contracts; unless this movement is considered when a piece is built, wood panels will split. Our door frames and panels are crafted so that the panels move independently within the door frame, adjusting for temperature and moisture changes.

(L) Dovetailing: Dovetailing is probably the most widely recognized joining technique. A dovetail joint, whether hand-or machine-cut, is the best way to create strength. This is done by joining two pieces of wood together across their width and at right angles to each other. Also, these distinctive "tails" are aesthetically-pleasing.

(R) Mortise and tenon joint: This is a joinery method used to create maximum strength in all our pieces. The strength of a mortise and tenon joint depends entirely on the interplay between the "cheek" and "shoulder" of the tenon. The tenon is the projecting part of the joint.

Where do we get our hardwoods?
Most of the hardwoods used at ClearLake Furniture come from responsibly-managed forests.

What is a "Green Room"

The concept of "green" - meaning natural and environmentally-conscious - was the natural way a century ago. In the meantime, consumerism has changed the way we build, furnish, eat, drive, and virtually live. This consumerism increasingly is a major factor in the warming of our planet. In the same way that we became aware that food additives and chemicals can be detrimental to our planet and health, the same awareness should be applied to our living spaces. ClearLake Furniture can create an entirely green environment for you from hardwood furniture using responsibly-harvested hardwoods to environmentally-friendly fabrics, carpets, paints, and finishes. At ClearLake Furniture, we believe that our actions - from the recycling of office waste, using our scrap hardwoods to heat our homes, and our thoughtful "recycling" of our 170-year-old barn into our Gallery and Workshop - will contribute to a more beneficial way of caring for our planet!

  Why Vermont made?
More so than any other place today, the tradition of folks creating a living from the earth, with their own hands and ingenuity, is still alive and well here in Vermont's Green Mountains. ClearLake Furniture is proud to be part of a centuries-old tradition that says: Made in Vermont!

Why do I have to wait 14 to 20 weeks to receive my furniture?
Since our beginning in 1992, the ClearLake Furniture collection has become increasingly sought after by clients from California to Massachusetts as well as Bermuda, London, Ireland, and Japan. Our craftsmen start from raw hardwoods. We do not pre-make any of our components for our furniture. Each piece of furniture is meticulously crafted and hand-finished to ensure your satisfaction. It's like the difference between a microwaved TV dinner and a fine gourmet meal.