Le Bois de la Louisiane: Albany Woodworks
Albany Woodworks is a family owned and operated business specializing in antique wood products, bringing new life to reclaimed antique lumber for homes, businesses, and historic restorations throughout the world. The company has worked with many great architects during their 35 years in business, including renowned southern architect A. Hays Town. The husband and wife team, Richard and Judith Woods, who are the founders and owners of Albany Woodworks, are proud to offer the finest antique woodwork; each piece is handpicked and possesses a natural beauty that surpasses that of new wood.
“It’s better quality wood, growing only more beautiful with age. It’s also better for the environment to use reclaimed wood rather than new material,” says Richard. Albany Woodworks began 35 years ago when the Woods couple decided to make a statement by building a home made completely out of recycled materials. They discovered that the wood they were getting from old buildings was not only affordable, but much better quality than new wood. “We did most of the work ourselves, and people started coming by and asking us to find it for them. No one else was doing this, so we taught ourselves, step by step. By the time we did our first home show 10 years later, we were pretty good at it. Sometimes when you do things for the right reasons, it works out,” he chuckles.
Albany Woodworks now offers a full range of reclaimed antique wood products, including plank flooring, doors, beams, plantation shutters, stair parts, moldings, and unique custom millwork and cabinets. The Woods are especially dedicated to providing the best customer service available. They provide a 26-page catalog of their products and an in-depth website to educate customers so they can make informed decisions. They often spend hours pouring over customers’ plans, perfecting the woodworking design to make dream houses come true. “Our craftsmanship is only as strong as our sales service,” says Richard. “We have one simple customer service rule—treat others as we would like to be treated.”
The Woods still speak of their experience working with nationally celebrated Louisiana architect A. Hays Town. “We gained a very good understanding of his design elements, proportion, and how to practically create his look with our woodworking expertise,” says Richard. The projects were centered around vintage materials such as antique brick, old slate, heart pine, and antique heart cypress. Their product was a perfect match for Town’s West Indies-flavor homes, and the Woods were called upon to supply select antique wood products for several of his houses. “In short, he demanded our best, and in return we were able to work with a genius.”
“People caught on to our product years ago because it is beautiful and historic. Now it’s growing more popular because it’s the environmentally correct thing to do,” he says. The Woods are excited to announce their own green improvements; they have developed a system to turn their waste into electricity through a gasification process. By this time next year, they hope to be running the business completely on their own power and generating no carbon footprint.
The Woods work with home renovation projects and new home constructions alike. “Our latest focus is providing a selection of products that are appropriate for home renovations. Using elements like our heart pine and antique heart cypress is affordable and easy to achieve. We’ve designed it to fit in the same space as carpet or tiles,” says Richard. “You can take a fairly modern house and add a few simple, classic elements to create a historic Louisiana feel. Imagine a ranch-style brick home recreated with the addition of exposed beams and solid heart pine floors. We can add history and beauty to your home effortlessly.”
Truly a one-stop shop for all custom woodworking needs, Albany Woodworks also offers quality guarantees and inexpensive, fully insured shipping to anywhere in the U.S. The company has participated in projects throughout the U.S., Europe, and the Caribbean. The Woods are currently busy at work on a house in the Bahamas, a hunting lodge in Texas, and several custom homes in Louisiana. “No matter the size of the project, the issues are always similar. We focus on how to blend ideas so that the personality of the owners, the architectural design of the space, and our antique woods and old world craftsmanship create a timeless, unique home.” ✦