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Forum topic by MrDan posted 09-15-2011 02:41 AM 780 views 1 time favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MrDan

199 posts in 1925 days


09-15-2011 02:41 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question modern

Hi folks,

So I might take on this large bathroom vanity job but the thing is I’ve never done bathroom cabinets before so I have some questions. The size is average height and depth, but the length is 100”. It’s a dual sink design with 6 drawers and four doors.

My questions are:
1. What would be a general ballpark figure for something like that in terms of shop hours? My work is usually much smaller and I’m having trouble estimating the total hours for a job that size. Now I know everyone works differently and at different speeds, but again I’m only looking for a rough estimate here.

2. I was thinking of using plywood for the carcase, with solid wood face frames and frame and panel doors. Being that it will be in the bathroom (with exposure to high humidity) would melamine be a better choice for the carcase (obviously with applied veneer on the outside)?

3. What kind of finish would be best for the wood. The customer wants it to be very dark, so I’m not sure if I will paint it yet or stain it, but the outside final layer is what I’m wondering about. Just poly? Spar varnish? Any other ideas?

Thanks a lot for any thoughts.


13 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

7467 posts in 2285 days


#1 posted 09-15-2011 02:40 PM

Paint grade should be cheaper enough compared to stain/finish grade to
get the customer’s attention if he’s “concerned about the cost”. Depending
on your region and how the doors and drawers are fitted I’d say $120-$180
per lineal foot for paint grade and $180-@240 for stain grade.

It’s likely to be about a 30 hour job in the shop, plus install, minus finishing.
You’d get faster of course once you get experience with the workflow for
this sort of project.

Melamine or plywood, both are fine for bathrooms. Paint the ply if you want
the best water resistance. Painted ply handles soaking better than melamine.
Melamine is easier to clean. Ply is lighter and easier to work with in some ways.

Painted is much quicker than stained and varnished.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1712 days


#2 posted 09-15-2011 04:24 PM

Your customer probably does not want to pay the extra but, in my opinion, the best countertop for a bathroom (or kitchen) is granite.

Of course, with granite, you would only build the carcass and a granite installer would install the top.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1706 days


#3 posted 09-15-2011 06:14 PM

I would charge between $2,000 to $2,300 for that in a stain grade with raised panel doors and drawer fronts. Knock off $500 for flat panels, and another $$800 for paint grade. That price includes delivery and installation, but not a top. Sink installation and plumbing would be by others, as well.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View MrDan's profile

MrDan

199 posts in 1925 days


#4 posted 09-15-2011 07:47 PM

Thanks a lot guys. Your input is very helpful as I discover what I’m getting into here.

My plan was to build two sections with 3 drawers and 2 doors each, and connect them during the install.

The top will be granite, they definitely want quality for this one.

One more question I have is about the top. Normally with a regular cabinet I would just rabbet the top into the sides, but obviously this will be different with the top being open. So to add stability to the carcase what do you do? My thought was just adding corner blocks in each corner for strength, but I’m wondering if that will be enough or if there is a much easier or better way.

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2531 days


#5 posted 09-15-2011 10:13 PM

straps add some strength but useless where the sinks are

quality work……….$1,200 ln/ft, no uppers…….$750/ln/ft

Cheers

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Loren's profile

Loren

7467 posts in 2285 days


#6 posted 09-15-2011 10:30 PM

Moron must have lots of rock stars in his client book, but if you don’t
have Steven Tyler and Mick Jagger calling you for cabinet work, those
kinds of LF rates will get you laughed off jobs in all but the most
ultra-affluent areas.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1706 days


#7 posted 09-15-2011 11:47 PM

I did this 87”, double sink, vanity last year in four pieces – two sink cabs and two drawer cabs. The sink cabs had 1/2” ply rabbeted into the tops and the drawer cab tops were left open. All four had a 3” piece across the back for screwing to the wall.

By the time the cabs are screwed to the wall, each other, and the toe kick platform, they’re solid as a rock.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View MrDan's profile

MrDan

199 posts in 1925 days


#8 posted 09-16-2011 05:02 AM

No rockstar clients here…too bad, ‘cause I’d love to be able to charge that amount (with a straight face).

Sawkerf, that’s pretty similar to what they’re wanting, thanks for the info about the open tops and backs, it makes more sense now…

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Grandpa

3107 posts in 1313 days


#9 posted 09-16-2011 05:02 AM

The average in my area is about $200 a running foot. some more and some less but most are right in there. I think this is about what Loren was saying so that might even be a national average.

View rhett's profile

rhett

697 posts in 2305 days


#10 posted 09-16-2011 12:36 PM

You really can’t base your rate off of anyones suggestion, especially anyone who does cabinet work for a living. Reason being, a professionals rate and the rate of someone building things they have to ask how to build, are on different ends of the spectrum.

I understand everyone has to start somewhere but taking money for a job implies you know what it is that needs to be done. Not that you need to consult with an internet forum to gain the knowledge needed to complete the job.

If a client wants a 100” cabinet, build a 100” cabinet. Building a bunch of smaller cabinets that can be fitted together is what factory cabinets are for. Then again, a client getting bids from someone they know, who has a woodshop, is a pretty strong indicator they are shopping based on price and wouldn’t know the difference.

-- http://planeandsimpleblog.wordpress.com/

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2531 days


#11 posted 09-16-2011 01:51 PM

As a general rule told to me by a wealthy businessman.

“You can charge what ever you like, as long as the client cannot walk 2 miles and buy the exact same for less : )”

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1706 days


#12 posted 09-16-2011 03:35 PM

I beg to differ, rhett. A significant part of a cabinet design includes planning how to get the cabs from the driveway to the space where they get installed. Once the customer and I have worked out the basic cabinet design, I pay careful attention to how I’ll get the cabs into the room.

The worst install I ever did was an 8’ tall cabinet on the third floor of a San Francisco victorian. There was a flight of steps from the sidewalk to the front door, then three flights to the third floor bathroom. The stairs were narrow and the landings were small. Getting everything up there was a major PITA.

Even if the OP can get a 100” vanity into the bathroom, getting it leveled and anchored would be a challenge.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View rhett's profile

rhett

697 posts in 2305 days


#13 posted 09-16-2011 04:43 PM

Ofcourse you have to be able to get them to the final destination. Knowing the install if part of the initial plan.

My point is, multiple cabinets screwed together at the faceframe, shows the joint where the cabinets went together. It looks very much like factory, regardless of how well its built. So why should a client pay more for custom ? You can buy very nice individual boxes cheaper and just find a qualified installer, the end result is the same. You can’t get any cabinets wider than 48” unless they are custom built.

If the case arises where I need to break down a cabinet into multiple sections, I design it in such a way that the joint is at the rail, not stile on stile. The wall ends are built wide and scribed to fit.
Yes it takes longer but hopefully you are charging correctly for the extra effort.

As far as leveling, a solid 98” long cabinet is easier to level across that 96” than 4 24” cabinets. I build the largest pieces I can fit through the door. The end result cannot be mistaken for expensive factory boxes.

-- http://planeandsimpleblog.wordpress.com/

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