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About us

Our vision

We come from a vision of business partners Thomas and Laurent, to create quality pieces of fine furniture and architectural fixtures in wood and metals which are unique to Australia.

The two craftsmen originally forged their friendship during their respective studies at prestigious French University of Trades, Les Compagnons du Devoir, with finesse in both traditional and modern techniques. Their extensive training means they can construct complex and beautifully handcrafted designs.

Reuniting near Byron Bay, Australia in 2016, and together with new friend and business partner, Lisa, they took the opportunity to acquire the former Mullumbimby Joinery. The business had an established clientele for 20+ years and a solid reputation for quality craftsmanship in the heart of the Byron Shire. Laurent and Thomas had embarked on their mutual dream.

About les compagnons du devoir

Les Compagnons du Devoir (full name: Compagnons du Devoir et du Tour de France, literally ‘Companions of Duty touring France’) is a sacred and prestigious trade university for artisans dating back to the Middle Ages in France.

Students are taught all traditional and modern technical aspects of their trades studying with master craftsmen across France while being immersed in French regional communities. In more recent years, tours extend further overseas.

Graduation rates are very limited due to the regimented training schedules and the years of study required to reach the equivalent of a Masters Degree. It is estimated that fewer than 100 Compagnons live across Australia.

In 2010, Companionship was recognised under UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage safe-guard program.

PRECISE CONSTRUCTION & DESIGN

Working with world-leading metal and wood products to create quality finishes.

French tradition

Our team is trained in ancient handcrafted skills which are blended with modern cutting-edge technologies.

Our Team

Laurent Le Pochat

Master craftsman in

furniture & Cabinet Making

Thomas De Toni

Master craftsman in

Metal Fabrication & Blacksmithing

Lisa Galvin

Business Development

& Marketing

interior barn door Byron Bay
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Business Days
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Projects
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Returning Clients

Our Happy clients

Laurent Le Pochat

Laurent graduated in Reims, France, 2011 as a Mastercraftsman in Cabinet Making (“Ébéniste” in French) following his seven years of study which focused on unique handcrafted skills.

Despite the fast evolution of woodworking technologies, Laurent believes that it is important to find a good balance between using new or traditional techniques and materials when working with such a pure and fine material such as timber.

Career history and highlights

  • Foreman, Notre Dame de Paris, France
  • Antiquities restorer, Champagne region, France
  • Furniture Maker, Mortice and Tenon, Melbourne

Thomas De Toni

Thomas graduated in Reims, France, 2011 as a Mastercraftsman in Metal Fabrication and Blacksmithing (“Serrurier” in French) following his eight years of study focussing on forging skills, including locksmithing.

Thomas’ studies have taken him throughout the world and onward to Australia where he has since worked around the country, including on film sets for Hollywood blockbusters. He has now settled in Mullumbimby.

Thomas is passionate about fabricating and engineering custom-designed staircases, steel doors and windows, furniture and decorative fittings. He also enjoys mentoring apprentices.

Career history and highlights

  • Set blacksmith, Thor Ragnarök, Australia
  • War memorial restoration, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, northern France
  • Building modifications, Museum of Fine Arts, Marseille, France

Lisa Galvin

Lisa heads up our Business Development and Marketing. She has over 15 years of experience in office management and marketing.

She is dedicated to supporting customers by sharing styling advice and product innovations through our blog. Lisa is currently working on creative collaborations with Laurent and Thomas to add a new range of products to the business.

FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

Steel Joinery Design

100%.

Customised designs are the only style of steel door we make. We are a small business and focus on tailored solutions for individual needs.

We primarily partner with industry professionals like architects, interior designers and builders who would provide in the first instance complete specifications to quote from.  

WHAT IF I AM NOT AN INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL?

If you are not an industry professional and the scope of your project is too small to warrant using an architect or designer, it is entirely attainable for you to do your own homework to gather enough of this similar information. Additionally, send a reference image you found on the net: “a picture paints a thousand words”.

CRITICAL INFORMATION

Regardless of your level of experience, we require all clients to fully complete our enquiry form plus ensure all of the following information is provided in drawings:

  1. top and front/elevation views
  2. measurements
  3. position of mullions (cross bars)
  4. configuration of openings (hinges, sliding tracks, fixed panels, etc)

Due to a large amount of sales requests, we have a strict policy of not pricing projects until all information is completed.

Steel door schedule
Door schedule example

There are limited bi-fold hardware products available in the Australian marketplace in which we are confident to endorse.

We are currently researching and prototyping a small sample of hardware brands for bi-fold steel door configurations.  

Sign up to our newsletter for updates as to when they become available.

Yes, we can.

If you are budget-conscious, we recommend using steel joinery for the featured areas of your home and consider other options for the utilitarian areas.  

Steel joinery delivery & installation

Our first step in our quoting process is to use your provided measurements using our request form.

Once you have confirmed the job and paid the deposit:

  1. if we are installing the job: we have already allowed in our pricing for travel time to measure up accurately onsite.
  2. if we are not installing the job: we rely on accurate final measurements from your builder or carpenter. If your site is in the Byron Shire, we may be able to measure up onsite depending on the scale of the job and our workload.

Due to the incredibly high demand of this product, it is highly recommended you contact us as soon as you receive your finalised architectural plans.

We do not mass produce nor pre-fabricate our joinery. We manufacture everything from scratch so lead times may take 2+ months from point of accepting the quote, however this may be negotiated upon and subject to product selections, scale, our workload and your own deadline.

Best practice is confirming your job by paying a deposit during the first stage of construction which will lock in your job.

Read more: our COVID business update

If you do not require installation, we can offer an Australia-wide third-party freight company to transport goods or you can organise your own collection from our Mullumbimby workshop.

Delivery is included our installation estimates.

Our workshop is in Mullumbimby, near Byron Bay, Northern NSW.

Our staff can travel to install

  • within a two-hour drive from our workshop e.g. (Brisbane, Coffs Harbour)
  • in cities directly connected to Ballina-Byron Airport (or Gold Coast Airport subject to COVID-related border restrictions)

All delivery and installation by our staff may incur fees that relate to:

  • vehicle, travel and/or freight expenses,
  • staff/contractor time charged on an hourly rate, and/or
  • accommodation and meal expenses (subject to installation duration and distance from our workshop)

We do not recommend DIY or handyman installation.

You can arrange your own experienced and qualified builder or carpenter to install on your behalf. A minimum of two people is required for installation. 

Inclusions

  • Bolts, screws and all accessories will come with your frames
  • Ancillary supporting frames and packaging may be included where deemed appropriate
  • Glazing is optional. Clients may have access to their own local glass shop. Please specify this upon quoting

Exclusions

  • Installation tools
  • Installation instructions are not included but we can give your experienced tradesman advice, if required

Steel Joinery FINANCIALS

Steel joinery is to most tastes and often not to most budgets. There are three main reasons why our products fetch a high price, especially when drawing comparisons to other metal joinery products.

  1. We only offer the highest standard of craftsmanship. We present a solutions-based, holistic approach to design and fabrication. This is evident in the detail of our work and supported by our reputation.
  2. We only make custom steel joinery that is unique and tailored for luxury architectural and heritage remediation projects. We do not manufacture off-the-shelf products.
  3. Steel is overall an expensive commodity (don’t forget to allow for the cost of glass on top).

 

Secondary factors to consider with custom steel joinery

  • Size of frames
  • Design details
  • Finishes including paint, hardware systems, handles, glazing
  • Manufacturing hours
  • Economy of scale

We do not make standard products, therefore, we do not issue standard prices. If you like to receive a price for your bespoke project, please fully complete this enquiry form.

Why is your price different to other quotes?

We find that pricing against others is often a case of not comparing apples with apples. Please consider if other quotes detail:

  • Custom manufacturing vs mass production
  • Steel vs aluminium glazing beads
  • Australian made
  • Reputation and quality control
  • Freight
  • Glazing and hardware inclusions
  • Technical levels of frames

We offer competitive pricing for steel doors and windows and will soon be offering three different framing options within our steel joinery range to suit every clients’ needs.

If you are not sure 100% sure about the details in your quotes, please email them to us for comparison.

We stagger all our progress payments as follows:

  1. 50% of in-house materials and manufacturing costs, security deposit, time spent quoting and preparing your job. Due upon confirmation of booking. This is non-refundable.
  2. 50% of in-house materials and manufacturing costs. Due upon completion of in-house manufacturing and prior to delivery.
  3. 100% of delivery costs. If applicable, due before delivery.
  4. 100% of installation costs + variations. If applicable, due upon completion of installation.


The abovementioned payments may be subject to further payment increments, (i.e., weekly progress, variations, etc.) if we deem the job large.

Information is key. The more information we have, the more definitive we are in our pricing for our customised products.

We will provide a quote with a firm price once all information is at hand.

We will provide an estimate if we have most of the information yet still lacks minor details. Estimates may present as a price range as we are making a budgetary allowance for variations which still need to be confirmed at a later point.

If you still do not have enough information for us to do estimate, we will postpone pricing until enough information is gathered.

Customised steel doors and windows are to most tastes but not necessarily to all budgets.

We are here to have an open conversation about finding solutions for each clients’ requirements. Fitting into budget ranges is a critical part of the equation. We offer a range of product options and if we do not know how much has been allowed (or not allowed) in budgets, we will not know how to find the right solution.