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Need some input on labor cost for this project.

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Forum topic by RussellAP posted 02-27-2014 05:07 PM 1343 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RussellAP

3059 posts in 1754 days


02-27-2014 05:07 PM

I have a client at one of the lake communities that wants the picture below done in aromatic cedar. I’ve priced the wood and other materials at $700, including glue, and hardware.
I’m getting my aromatic cedar at $2.00 a BF and the frame (the parts you don’t see) out of WRC. The material cost is inflated about 20% so I’m good on that.

I need to know a good way to price out the labor on this job. Have a look and tell me what your professional opinion is about labor charges. Keep in mind I work from a garage and I have all the major tools to do this job.

What would you charge for labor.
Feel free to ask me things you may need to price it.

I’m really clueless about charging for my work. I do need to make out on it though. I’m figuring it will take about 3 weeks to complete.

Here is what’s in the home now.

The seats will be flat cedar panels glued up not the contouring you see here. He has a limited depth seeing it’s a bungalow with very small rooms.
The table is a pedestal with 40”x40” surface.
The seats need to be lower so he can access the windows which hinge like doors.
Hight on seats is 27.5, depth is 19”, Width on seats is 65” on one and 85” on the other.

Thanks for the advise.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.


30 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

8314 posts in 3115 days


#1 posted 02-27-2014 05:36 PM

That banquet has a lot of ply in it. You want to use all solid wood right?

Ok. Cedar is easy to sand and plane. You do have to be careful about
dents and “shop rash”.

I wouldn’t quote under $1500 for the labor. Such a price will send
some clients running for the hills and for others it will get a quick
“yes” (which means it’s too low). You want a little jaw rubbing.

Sizing up the client is a skill that can help you. There’s this odd
book called “the Closers” by Ben Gay III which I recommend you
read.

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

3555 posts in 1235 days


#2 posted 02-27-2014 05:39 PM

I am thinking you can make all the cuts you need at the shop is about 3-4 hours. Installation another 4 hours. Add 2 more hours to that and multiply it what you think your time is worth, hour and add it to the $700. You always can go 20% higher than that and give it back to him when the job is done. That makes everyone happy.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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Loren

8314 posts in 3115 days


#3 posted 02-27-2014 05:48 PM

The rights to the book I recommended have finally reverted to
the original author after years of dispute. It is not sold as
“THE CLOSERS aka THE ART OF CLOSING ANY DEAL” by
James W. Pickens.

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1837 days


#4 posted 02-27-2014 07:09 PM

Mr Jinx, are you saying you’re estimating 10 hours for that job??? What about stock prep, glue ups, joinery, finishing?

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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mahdee

3555 posts in 1235 days


#5 posted 02-27-2014 07:18 PM

Yes, if it is just the bench and table.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

3059 posts in 1754 days


#6 posted 02-27-2014 07:23 PM

mrjinx007, and BinghamtonEd, I don’t work that fast. I’m estimating about three weeks on the build mainly because I also run a handyman service and am often taken away for a day or two. There was no signs of rush from the client, he’s one who appreciates real furniture and knows these things take time. Plus at 55 years old, I don’t move as fast as I used to. lol

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1837 days


#7 posted 02-27-2014 07:26 PM

I can’t work that fast, either, however I just do this as a hobby. I was just surprised that the approach just covered cutting the parts and putting them together in a few hours at the delivery site.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

3555 posts in 1235 days


#8 posted 02-27-2014 07:29 PM

Understand Russell.. The design he wants will have a lot to do with it too. Tongue and groove vs., half lap or just butted together. So, estimation of how many hours + material and profit+ a little more to give back if need to. How is that?

-- earthartandfoods.com

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115206 posts in 3044 days


#9 posted 02-27-2014 08:26 PM

Estamating can be the toughest part of the job. On a job like this to simplify working up a price I tend to do it in small bites .work up the time and material for the table and then each section of the banquet .I find on furniture work it always takes longer than you think. You can think about your hourly rate in a few ways: would you rather build this than do handy man work? If so if you charge $20 for handy man work is that enough for you on this kind of work? Forget the hourly approach and view it as a learning experience and charge 25% more than a retail store(look on line).
If I’m going off the top of my head I would charge $850 for the table $650 for each section of the banquet.
Delivery & installation $150+(3 times $650) $1850+$850= $2950
So if you work backwords @$2950- $700(material)=$2250 divided 100hours=$22.5 per hour
Like others have said once you give your price your lucky if 20% of your bids are accepted . What I’ve found helps prospective customers is breaking the cost down as I have above.
Good luck Russ

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

3059 posts in 1754 days


#10 posted 02-27-2014 08:45 PM

Thanks Jim, that makes sense. I’ve never been one to charge by the hour, it encourages slow work. I like to bid the job based on how much of the month it will take me to complete and how much money I’ll need that month to survive. A large job like this can pay for March along with some side jobs. Just starting out is hard, I end up doing these jobs for little or nothing. I want this one to actually make a decent profit. The guy looks single, around 30 or so and lives in an exclusive lake community, not the kind with million dollar homes, they are just regular homes in a beautiful lake setting. Seeing this community is where I’m marketing the heaviest, I want to be known as someone who is first of all honest, easy to work with, prompt, and likely to be competitive with larger cabinet companies who look at this sort of job as a bother compared to cranking out kitchen cabinets. I can also get the wood at about half the price of a lumber company, as you may have noticed the wood and supplies for all this came up to only $700.00.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View The Box Whisperer's profile

The Box Whisperer

678 posts in 1537 days


#11 posted 02-27-2014 08:53 PM

I think Jim nailed it.

-- "despite you best efforts and your confidence that your smarter and faster than a saw blade at 10k rpm…. your not …." - Charles Neil

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mahdee

3555 posts in 1235 days


#12 posted 02-27-2014 08:59 PM

Maybe I miss understood. Does he want the existing stuff covered with cedar or totally replaced by cedar??

-- earthartandfoods.com

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

1610 posts in 3338 days


#13 posted 02-27-2014 09:16 PM

Jim got it, if I was doing this it would be 3k + materials .

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1837 days


#14 posted 02-27-2014 09:19 PM

Jinx, I get the confusion, I think now you can see my astonishment when you said this was doable in 10 hours :)

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2326 posts in 1764 days


#15 posted 02-27-2014 09:22 PM

Figure some extra money for blades. I put aromatic cedar planking in a closet and it killed saw blades quickly.

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