Reply by Peter Oxley

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Posted on Cabinet Pricing

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Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4073 days

#1 posted 05-31-2008 05:37 PM

Sparky, I want to say again: LF pricing is just rough estimate … but to arrive at that estimate, I take LF of base cabs plus LF of wall cabs. Full height cabinets (pantry, etc) are LFx3, so a 30” wide pantry is 7½ feet.

Roman makes some great points about all the details you have to consider, and I think he’s just scraping the surface. There are hundereds or thousands of details in every job.

Also, think about your standards and allow the customer to request (and pay extra for) upgrades. For instance, with drawers … the standard slides around here are those white, vinyl roller, ¾ extension kind. I decided from the start that I wasn’t putting that junk on my cabinets. I found a good, ball bearing, full extension side-mount slide that I can get for about $8 a pair. That affects my pricing a bit, but doesn’t put me out of the ballpark. If someone wants Blumotion or some other really great glide, I am very happy to provide them, but the customer pays for the upgrade. If you want top of the line hardware to be your standard, then you have to charge for it in your standard price, and sell your customers on the added value/price.

I’m also feeding a young family (although the little one in your picture is younger than any of mine!). One of the hardest lessons I have had to learn is that I feed them by turning down work just as much as I feed them by taking work. If you take work that doesn’t pay (or worse, costs you money), it’s harder to feed the family than if you don’t take work and have to do some odd jobs to make ends meet. I spent my first year baning my head against a wall trying to get jobs with contractors and meet their pricing – I figured they’d be repeat business and I wouldn’t have to do so much selling. But I realized that the contractor wanted the cabinets to look great until the house was sold, and they didn’t care about quality after the closing date. I was competing with Lowes. I’ve totally shifted my focus to the homeowner. I do more remodels than new builds that way, but then I’m working with someone who cares about the long-term quality and not just the price.

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