The Custom Furniture Business: Creating Beautiful and Timeless Designs
Small businesses are the soul of America

More people are interested in buying locally made products than ever before. You can capitalize on many consumers’ return to local shopping by emphasizing that all components of your furniture are made in the United States, or in your town or area. The same applies to handmade goods. Individuals who are tired of mass-produced goods are often the same people who are interested in buying locally. Given this climate, it is a good time to start a handmade furniture business.

As hurricane season starts, potential for coastal property damage tops $1.6 trillion

Floodwaters surround a home on September 6, 2017 in Houston, over a week after Hurricane Harvey hit Southern Texas.

Storm damage and flooding becoming bigger threats to coastal real estate

New reports this week put the potential for costly damage from the 2018 hurricane season into stark perspective, and underscore the continued risk of building or rebuilding homes in areas threatened by storm damage.

According to new analysis by CoreLogic, more than 6.9 million homes in the United States are at risk of hurricane storm surge damage, which represent $1.6 trillion in potential reconstruction costs. That potential price tag increased 6.6 percent year-over-year due to higher regional construction costs, equipment, and labor costs.

At the same time, per new data on coastal flooding, rising sea levels and changing weather patterns will make flooding even more common. According to the 2017 State of High Tide Flooding and a 2018 Outlook by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, last year saw a record-breaking level of high tide flooding. Due to sea level rise, the national average frequency of high-tide flooding is double what it was 30 years ago, exacerbating the potential for damage from hurricanes and tropical storms.

The increasing value of property at risk from storm damage puts


Floodwaters surround a home on September 6, 2017 in Houston, over a week after Hurricane Harvey hit Southern Texas.

Storm damage and flooding becoming bigger threats to coastal real estate

New reports this week put the potential for costly damage from the 2018 hurricane season into stark perspective, and underscore the continued risk of building or rebuilding homes in areas threatened by storm damage.

According to new analysis by CoreLogic, more than 6.9 million homes in the United States are at risk of hurricane storm surge damage, which represent $1.6 trillion in potential reconstruction costs. That potential price tag increased 6.6 percent year-over-year due to higher regional construction costs, equipment, and labor costs.

At the same time, per new data on coastal flooding, rising sea levels and changing weather patterns will make flooding even more common. According to the 2017 State of High Tide Flooding and a 2018 Outlook by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, last year saw a record-breaking level of high tide flooding. Due to sea level rise, the national average frequency of high-tide flooding is double what it was 30 years ago, exacerbating the potential for damage from hurricanes and tropical storms.

The increasing value of property at risk from storm damage puts increasing strain on flood insurance and the National Flood Insurance Program, which will expire in the middle of this year’s hurricane season if there’s no congressional action.

In 2016, the chief economist for Freddie Mac, a government enterprise that supports the mortgage market, wrote that increased coastal flooding and storm surges will eventually get so bad that homeowners, unable to sell waterlogged property, will ditch their homes and mortgages, triggering a housing crisis. Already, some coastal real estate professionals see beachfront real estate becoming harder to sell, due in part to perceived risk.

Risk varies by region. The Atlantic coast contains 3.9 million at-risk homes with a reconstructed home value (RCV) of roughly $1 trillion, a $30 billion increase from last year. On the Gulf Coast, the 3 million at-risk homes have an estimated RCV of $609 billion, a $16 billion increase from 2017.

The placement and power of a storm play a great role in determining its eventual impact. Even a low-intensity storm hitting Miami—with 788,000 at-risk homes and an RCV of more than $156 billion, the city with the most potential for costly reconstruction—would do more damage than a high-intensity storm making landfall along a sparsely inhabited coastline.

Last year, the United States suffered the most billion-dollar natural disasters in its history, as a warming climate creates record-breaking numbers of extreme weather events. The two largest storms, Harvey and Irma, are estimated to have cost between $40 billion-$59 billion and $29 billion-$46 billion respectively, according to Realtor.com.

These estimates represent worst-case scenarios from particularly devastating Category 5 hurricanes (the NOAA predicts average hurricane activity this season). The tables below differentiate risk based on location and storm intensity.

Floodwaters surround a home on September 6, 2017 in Houston, over a week after Hurricane Harvey hit Southern Texas.

Storm damage and flooding becoming bigger threats to coastal real estate

New reports this week put the potential for costly damage from the 2018 hurricane season into stark perspective, and underscore the continued risk of building or rebuilding homes in areas threatened by storm damage.

According to new analysis by CoreLogic, more than 6.9 million homes in the United States are at risk of hurricane storm surge damage, which represent $1.6 trillion in potential reconstruction costs. That potential price tag increased 6.6 percent year-over-year due to higher regional construction costs, equipment, and labor costs.

At the same time, per new data on coastal flooding, rising sea levels and changing weather patterns will make flooding even more common. According to the 2017 State of High Tide Flooding and a 2018 Outlook by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, last year saw a record-breaking level of high tide flooding. Due to sea level rise, the national average frequency of high-tide flooding is double what it was 30 years ago, exacerbating the potential for damage from hurricanes and tropical storms.

The increasing value of property at risk from storm damage puts increasing strain on flood insurance and the National Flood Insurance Program, which will expire in the middle of this year’s hurricane season if there’s no congressional action.

In 2016, the chief economist for Freddie Mac, a government enterprise that supports the mortgage market, wrote that increased coastal flooding and storm surges will eventually get so bad that homeowners, unable to sell waterlogged property, will ditch their homes and mortgages, triggering a housing crisis. Already, some coastal real estate professionals see beachfront real estate becoming harder to sell, due in part to perceived risk.

Risk varies by region. The Atlantic coast contains 3.9 million at-risk homes with a reconstructed home value (RCV) of roughly $1 trillion, a $30 billion increase from last year. On the Gulf Coast, the 3 million at-risk homes have an estimated RCV of $609 billion, a $16 billion increase from 2017.

The placement and power of a storm play a great role in determining its eventual impact. Even a low-intensity storm hitting Miami—with 788,000 at-risk homes and an RCV of more than $156 billion, the city with the most potential for costly reconstruction—would do more damage than a high-intensity storm making landfall along a sparsely inhabited coastline.

Last year, the United States suffered the most billion-dollar natural disasters in its history, as a warming climate creates record-breaking numbers of extreme weather events. The two largest storms, Harvey and Irma, are estimated to have cost between $40 billion-$59 billion and $29 billion-$46 billion respectively, according to Realtor.com.

These estimates represent worst-case scenarios from particularly devastating Category 5 hurricanes (the NOAA predicts average hurricane activity this season). The tables below differentiate risk based on location and storm intensity.


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Give your business a name. Name your business something that indicates what you sell. This will come in handy later on, when you are marketing your business and want people to associate your business name with handmade furniture.
File a DBA, which stands for “doing business as,” at your local county clerk’s office. You may want to do a search to ensure that no other business in your town is operating under the same name. If you live in a large metropolitan area, a search is a necessity.
Create a line of furniture. You’ll need to have models of each piece of furniture that you intend to sell, so that customers can easily visualize what you have to offer. Add to your furniture line each year so that your stock stays fresh and on-trend.