Pew Buying Process & Frequent Questions
1. Should the number of years be considered when selecting a pew company?
Buy from a church pew company that has a proven track record. Dumas Pews has been in pew manufacturing and church furniture business for over 90 years, and while longevity is not always a requirement to top quality and dependable service, our proven success is always the best indication your expectations will be met before and after the sale.
2. Is “All Wood Pews” the same as “Solid Wood Pews”?
Absolutely not. We have noticed literature claiming “all wood” pew construction that gives the impression you are getting solid wood pews. Technically, plywood is “wood” but it is not actually solid wood. Veneer pews can be attractive because they can offer a lower upfront cost, but veneer pews have a tendency to chip away from the substrate. When the number of years of useful life is considered, the solid wood pew offers the best value. Dumas Pews manufactures church pews using only solid wood. Because we are located in the heart of hardwood timber country, we incur lower inbound transportation costs resulting in savings we can pass to our customers.
3. What is under the fabric and foam?
The low cost and ease of fabrication entice many pew companies to use plywood or medium density fiberboard (MDF). Plywood and engineered materials like MDF are great for specific applications, but for church pew construction, they are not the ideal choice. In reality, when pew seats and pew backs are fabricated, screws must be driven through the bottom edge of the pew back into the rear edge of the pew seat, which results in screws piercing the edge of the plywood seat. This causes the plywood to de-laminate. Plywood was designed to be screwed through the face, not the edge. Dumas Pews uses only solid yellow pine under the pew seat and pew back foam for superior screw holding power, offering years of dependable service.
4. If something other than solid wood is used in the pew seat and back, such as plywood or MDF, at what intervals will there be a joint?
Most engineered materials such as plywood, come in 8 foot lengths, just like sheet goods at a home center. If an engineered material is used, how will these joints be secured? The reality is that a butt joint on material ¾” thick is very difficult to secure. Dumas pews have no joints on upholstered pews up to 24 feet in length. Compare this to a pew with a plywood seat, which has at least 2 joints, while the Dumas pew would have none.
5. Most pew companies require a down payment to enter an order into production. To whom are you writing the deposit?
An independent sales representative? This practice can be risky business. Unfortunately, we receive calls every year from churches that trustingly gave a deposit to a sales representative or rep agency only to find the sales agent mismanaged the funds, leaving the church waiting on pews that will never be delivered. Surprisingly, many of these instances occur even after the church has checked references. How can a church take precautions to avoid such a disaster? There are several things. First, the church should never write a check to a rep agency. Second, make the check payable only to the actual manufacturer who owns equipment, machinery, and other tangible assets. Churches should only give a deposit after they have verified the financial standing of the pew company through independent organizations such as Dunn and Bradstreet.
6. Is the company we are considering properly insured?
Ensure that pew company who is to build, deliver and install your pews is properly insured. If the pew company is underinsured or not insured, this places you in a very risky position. This risk is transferred to the church as soon as they write the deposit check. There are many many risk factors that can become reality over a six to eight week manufacturing process… such as fire in the manufacturing plant, damage to the product during shipping, accidents during transportation, just to name a few. Churches should request a copy of insurance documentation prior to signing a contract. Dumas Pews can furnish a copy of our insurance policies with a AAA rated national insurance company. This protects your interest as our customers. Asking the company for this information will give you one less potential thing that can go wrong.
7. As a church, are you required to pay sales taxes on pews?
In most cases, you are required to pay sales taxes. There are exceptions, such as Tennessee and Florida, where you are not required to pay sales taxes. Two common misconceptions are (a) churches don’t pay taxes or (b) if the sales agent or manufacturer is from out of state, sales taxes are not applicable. Some pew companies in an effort to be more competitive will fail to include these taxes. This is another risky business practice whereby the risk is transferred directly to the church. Many times, a representative from your respective state will follow up on construction projects at completion to verify sales taxes were properly paid. If taxes were not paid, the church is responsible for the taxes and often times some penalty as well. If you have questions, you should contact your state’s revenue department, who can clarify the proper procedure. Dumas Pews has one full time employee dedicated to monitoring and paying sales taxes. This is just another measure we take to protect you as our customers.
8. Describe the pew stain and finish technique.
There are a variety of pew finishing techniques used by pew companies. The most predictable and flexible pew staining system is a spray, dye based stain. Dumas Pews uses dye based stains, which do not have to be agitated or mixed, whereas pigment wipe on stains do, therefore offering more consistency in color matching piece to piece. Hand wiping stains can produce unpredictable results, especially when matching to a color. Upon stain and sealing, Dumas Pews applies two coats of a fast drying, high performance, conversion lacquer which is a very similar process to those used by fine furniture companies.
9. Should we check references or visit other installations prior to purchasing pews?
If at all possible, you should visit a church which purchased pews from the company you are considering. Recent installations are good, but an even better assurance of quality is to visit a project installed several years ago. A good question to ask the church you visit is how the respective pew company followed up on any items after the installation.
10. Who will install the furniture?
Many pew companies use third party, independent contractors to install pews. Dumas Pews uses only “company employees.” What is the difference? Our experience has demonstrated that the installation will go better if performed by a loyal company employee who relies on one pew company for their livelihood. Our experiences with third party installation contractors convinces us that we can maintain quality and controls that best meet our customers’ needs by using our own employees.
Church Pews, Church Furniture & Courthouse Seating
We proudly sell our products throughout the United States and the Bahamas, but primarily serve Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Arkansas, Missouri, Virginia, West Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland.
Church Pews, Church Furniture and Courtroom Seating have been manufactured by Dumas Pews for over 90 years. Dumas church pews, courthouse furniture and court benches are made from the finest quality hardwoods by skilled craftsmen with years of pew and church furniture manufacturing experience. Tens of thousands of satisfied church pew customers can attest to the quality work of Dumas Manufacturing.
See photos and read more about our church pews.
Our church furniture products include church pews, church pulpits, pulpit chairs, church chairs, choir chairs, communion tables, offering tables, speaker stands, tithe and offering boxes, complete church furniture sets, and church furnishings. Each and every piece is made right here in Alabama by master furniture craftsmen to assure the best quality available.
P.O. Box 429
Grove Hill, AL 36451
114 E Grove Hill Ave.
Grove Hill, AL 36451
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