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Forum topic by Sparky977 posted 2282 days ago 3512 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Sparky977

59 posts in 2354 days


2282 days ago

Ok, so I am currently learning the hard way that my pricing on this first house full of cabinets that I built (check out my Sandbar blog entries, which I will update soon) was seriously flawed. By my estimates at the moment, I believe that I have shorted myself by $3000 to $8000. It hurts right now, let me tell you. Anyway, my question is, would any of you that build cabinets be willing to share what you charge on average per linear foot? The cabinets that I am building are 3/4 maple ply boxes, 1/2 backs, maple face frames and doors, doors a mix of shaker style and traditional raised panel, face frames attached to boxes with festool domino’s, dovetailed drawers, blumotion drawer guides, doors are overlay, panels matching door profiles on exposed ends, crown molding, half of the cabinets painted, half stained and lacquer.

Sparky

-- www.scottmeekwoodworks.com


29 replies so far

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 2508 days


#1 posted 2282 days ago

Ouch, $3-8k really hurts! There’s been a lot of discussion about pricing around here. You might try a search for older conversations. I only give rough estimates by the foot – my bids are based on a bunch of factors, and I’m still working out the formula. You’re in a different part of the country, so the market might be pretty different, but given the info you provided, I’d rough guess around $300-350 a foot.

-- http://www.peteroxley.com -- http://north40studios.etsy.com --

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2527 days


#2 posted 2282 days ago

1K + per foot

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

View Harold's profile

Harold

310 posts in 2481 days


#3 posted 2282 days ago

$150 to 175 per foot and you need to seperate out the crown molding and raised panels, set your base box or cabinet with simple A&C style door and solid drawer fronts with no pulls needed made from oak and 3 coats of sprayed on deft. Painting is an extra, door/drawer pulls, lazy susan corners tall, raised panel different wood types. You can estimate the add’s roughly by taking the material cost difference and multiple by 3. now this is just the boxes, no rough tops, no counter tops no base molding, I do however cover the kicks.

-- If knowledge is not shared, it is forgotten.

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Moron

4666 posts in 2527 days


#4 posted 2282 days ago

motion guide in canada bought one at a time is around 25 bucks a “pop”

you can fit 4 or more guides per foot so thats 100 a foot right off the bat

add the price of each drawer carcass being drawer fronts, backs, bottoms be it melamine, veneer or solids, perhaps the drawer has a carcass and and add on drawer front and all that material and hardware fits into another cabinet…..................and you havent even touched a tool yet, not sanded it or finished each and every drawer or cabinet, not hung the drawer

just the guides are 100 a foot…...............?

my my my my my…........................so much to think about and so little time.

the best lessons are so very expensive. Funny how you can make the same mistake again and again on anothers dime but when its your dime the memory can last a lifetime.

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

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Moron

4666 posts in 2527 days


#5 posted 2282 days ago

I forgot….............how are you joining the drawer parts, do you have to buy iron on tape, do you have to tape it, each part or are you going to dove tail the parts?

How long does one drawer take to make?

How long does it take to sand

to finish

to re-install the hardware

to adjust the hardware

to install the cabinet?

how much are you worth an hour?

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

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Moron

4666 posts in 2527 days


#6 posted 2282 days ago

one thousand dollars a foot…............any less and your compeating against the chinese…...kidding?

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

View Harold's profile

Harold

310 posts in 2481 days


#7 posted 2282 days ago

peter made an excellent point, the area will dictate the base price. Cabinetmaking is very competive, very, very, very. with time you will come up with standard/common cuts and pieces, you will stop thinking and you will just build. I am sure somebody locally can give you a ballpark number that cabinets go for, just call around…..but don’t be surprised if one or more of these numbers come in little more than what you can get at the big box stores for thier standard box. With building tightening up alittle many of these shops will be putting a very fine tip on thier pencil….

-- If knowledge is not shared, it is forgotten.

View Taigert's profile

Taigert

593 posts in 2474 days


#8 posted 2282 days ago

Harold
If your trying to beat prices of the big box stores on cabinets forget it!!
Your talking custom vs garbage
Read Romans posts!!
Even a Big box store will charge way over 150-175
Think about it. Id you dont know what your talking about, don’t hand out the advise.

-- Taigert - Milan, IN

View Sparky977's profile

Sparky977

59 posts in 2354 days


#9 posted 2281 days ago

Thank you all so much for the advice! This is definitely a hard lesson learned. Right now, I’ve figured these cabinets are at less than $300 per linear foot. Just another $100 a foot would be amazingly helpful, as this house has 105 feet of cabinets! I know I’m not worth $1K per foot yet, I’m just not at that level yet. But at the same time, I’m not building junk cabinets that anyone could get at Home Depot. So I’m thinking $400-$500 per foot is about right. Now I just need to get the contractor to see it. He is not real bright, to put it bluntly. Much of the problems on this job are because he is trying to handle all the materials and not getting things to me when I need them. That HAS to change. Its impossible to work this way. The hard thing is, I knew all this going in, but I gave in because I didn’t want to push the issue and possibly lose the job. When you have a young family to take care of, its tough to think about losing work, you know? But I just ended up putting myself in a much more difficult position trying to dig out of this mess. Ahhh, the school of hard knocks. . .will I ever graduate?

Sparky

-- www.scottmeekwoodworks.com

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Sparky977

59 posts in 2354 days


#10 posted 2281 days ago

Oh, I just thought of something else. When you guys figure a cost per linear foot, does that include upper and lower cabinets? Or is it per foot of wall cabs and per foot of base cabs?

-- www.scottmeekwoodworks.com

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 2508 days


#11 posted 2281 days ago

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.

-- http://www.peteroxley.com -- http://north40studios.etsy.com --

View Harold's profile

Harold

310 posts in 2481 days


#12 posted 2281 days ago

price your bases and uppers seperately..

-- If knowledge is not shared, it is forgotten.

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 2948 days


#13 posted 2281 days ago

...I beat the big box store prices lots of the time. No not with the build yourself crap from china, but with many of their midrange packages they tend to be expensive.

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 2508 days


#14 posted 2281 days ago

Dennis, you are right. The BORG have dirt cheap stuff, but their prices go up steeply from there. When I know I’m bidding against a box, I remind the client that my price includes crown, toe kicks, filler strips, end panels, trim, installation, etc. Those things are not usually included in the box’s pricing, and can really add a lot to the cost.

What really amazes me is when I go into a ¾ million dollar house and see cheap junk cabinets. They’ll set heavy granite countertops on cabinets with 3/8” paper-coated particle board sides that are held together with hot glue and brads!

-- http://www.peteroxley.com -- http://north40studios.etsy.com --

View acanthuscarver's profile

acanthuscarver

261 posts in 2346 days


#15 posted 2281 days ago

Sparky,

I think to some extent Jarrod is right. I don’t do kitchens often but when I do, I price them exactly the same way I do furniture. I figure all my materials, add in a waste factor, estimate time to do the work and all the other things Roman was pointing out and then add a small percentage for things I forgot plus add something for profit. If you check out other posts concerning pricing, you’ll see that it seems to be the hardest thing for woodworkers to figure out. Hopefully, your 3 – 8k shortage is just shorting your pay and profit and not cash out of your pocket to finish the job. The lesson you learn from working for $4 an hour is still better than being better off paying someone 2k not to do a job.

As to the lesson learned by hating to loose a job because you have a young family, every time I take on a job where I think I really NEED to do the job, I regret it later. The worst ones are when I give in and work for a customer that I just know is going to be a PIA throughout the entire project. Every single time, without exception, I have found it was not worth dealing with that kind of customer because I felt I “needed” the job for whatever reason it was at the time. In short, price it out, give them a price and hope they go for it. You’ve found out what happens when you try to undercut what you “think” is your competition.

Looked over your “project” page. Your work looks very good. Don’t sell yourself short. Good luck and keep up the great work.

-- Chuck Bender, Senior Editor Popular Woodworking Magazine, period furniture maker, woodworking instructor

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