The furnishings you choose for your library can go a long way toward creating a warm and inviting experience for your patrons. At the same time, the process of procuring and installing new library shelving and furnishings is a significant undertaking. In fact, one of the most common questions asked by library administrators when considering these updates is, “How long will it take?” The answer depends on many different variables, of course, but depending on the scope of your project, we can provide certain time ranges for each step of the process. By understanding the typical project duration, you can plan more effectively and manage expectations.
Factors Affecting Lead Time
The time it takes to bring a new library installation project from concept to completion can vary based on the size and type of project, building and unloading conditions, the availability of materials, etc. These factors can all contribute to differences in the overall project timeline. However, for the purposes of this article, let’s use an example of a typical small-to-medium-size library project and do a breakdown of the process with estimated time frames for each step.
A Breakdown of the Process
Receiving or Creating/Developing a Floor Plan (3-4 Weeks)
During this initial phase, you’ll either present us with a pre-existing floor plan, or our project team will help you develop one. The plan helps determine space requirements and furniture layout to ensure the design fits your needs and maximizes the use of space.
Selecting and Pricing Furniture/Shelving (2-3 Weeks)
Once the floor plan is finalized, we’ll work with you to select the appropriate furniture and shelving for your library. This involves researching options, comparing prices, and ensuring that your selections fit within your aesthetics and your budget.
Choosing Colors and Finishes (1-2 Weeks)
Many of the products we offer come in a wide range of colors and finishes to match the needs of all types of library spaces. During this stage, you’ll narrow down your choices to the colors and finishes that best complement your library’s design and aesthetic.
Placing the Order (1-2 Weeks)
With all details finalized, we’ll place the order for your library furniture and shelving. This step involves confirming the order with the manufacturer and making any necessary payments.
Reviewing and Approving Shop Drawings (3-4 Weeks)
Before production begins we will receive shop drawings from the manufacturer for our design team’s and/or your approval. These drawings provide detailed visuals of your library furniture and shelving, allowing us to confirm that everything is accurate before proceeding.
Production Time for Factory (8-14 weeks, depending on the manufacturer)
Once the shop drawings are approved, the factory will begin producing your library furniture and shelving. This stage tends to be the longest in the process depending on the specific manufacturer, the complexity of your order, the availability of materials, and the manufacturer’s current backlog (if any).
Shipping Time (1 Week)
All the factories we work with are located in North America, so we don’t struggle with the same supply chain issues as products shipped from overseas. Shipping is typically the shortest step in the process once your furnishings are ready from the factory.
Delivery and Install Time (2 days to 2 weeks)
This is the final step in the process, and it involves unloading and delivering your furniture or shelving to its designated location. Depending on the size of your order and any specialized installation needs (e.g. anchoring shelves to walls, rearranging existing furnishings), this can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
Overall Project Time Frame: 20 to 28 weeks
Remember that these are only estimates based on the average project. Your installation could be much shorter or a bit longer depending on your needs, the size of your space, the size of your order, etc. At Creative Library Concepts, our consultative process helps us understand your project clearly so we can give you more specific timelines, outlining the proper expectations from concept to installation for your project.
Our team is excited to discuss plans for installing high quality new furniture and shelving for your library. To learn more about the process and talk over your options, contact us here.