Our senior carpenter and manager, Mike Hugens, builds custom mantels to clients' designs and specifications. It is usually necessary to have a face-to-face meeting with Mike, and he will need either a sketch or magazine photos, etc., to get an idea of the look you want to achieve. He will also require complete measurements from you (in the case of clients who happen to live nearby, he will sometimes go to the house to take measurements himself). You will then receive a custom quote for your mantel, including price and time frame for completion. Price is, of course, dependent on both the material and design you choose and is unique to each situation: prices have ranged from $400 for a very simple, fairly small shelf mantel (meaning on with no legs) to over $2,000 for a very large an elaborate one.
Depending on you particular design situation, Mike may first build an initial mock-up of a corner of you mantel in paint-grade material which you may then take home and test to see if the design and proportions work for you. Once the designs agreed upon, he will build your mantels and prepare it for you to install and either stain or paint. What you end up with is a one-off, entirely custom piece, usually at substantial savings over what you would pay at a mantel or fireplace store.
We do carry genuine (Honduras) mahogany in stock, if that is your preferred material. Mike has made some beautiful mantels in the past; one was pictured in one of American Bungalow Magazine's Christmas issues. There are, of course, many other species on this website; better yet, a trip to our store will give you an idea of what woods match your vision of your mantel.
One thing you should be aware of is that when we are in the midst of a busy mantel season like the holidays your mantel may be somewhat delayed. However, it is certainly never too early to come in and discuss what you want with Mike. He is here Tuesday through Saturday during our business hours; it is best to call first and check to see if he is in before you come, as he sometimes has to be a way from the shop.