Reply by wooddude

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Posted on Pricing for built-in cabinets

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67 posts in 4391 days

#1 posted 10-16-2013 12:13 PM

Well….... I’ll go ahead and air it.
This was the first built in I have ever done. First set of dovetailed (even though they were with a jig and router)drawers, and definitely the first custom drawer fronts and 5 piece doors. I did draw it up on the computer and showed him the drawings (front, side, and top-down vews, all so that he could visualize it in place). I made a couple of adjustments based on his feed back (number of drawers, width of doors and drawers), and showed him the new drawings. He liked them, and was excited about it. I worked on it here and there, and he was patient about it. I felt bad it was taking so long, but he never complained. He came over a few times, and was impressed. He bought most of the material up front, but I spent a couple of hundred of my own during the build. He helped me relocate the pieces from my garage to hs house. I spent a few hours over a couple of days installing, and cutting/installing the final trim. After that, and after considering the responses I got above, in addition to some previous dscussions on other forums, I came up with a price.
I did not know the full material cost, but I estimated. I took that off of the final total, and came up with… $3600.

He felt that was “excessive” and “unfair” amount. I told him that since I did not give him a price up-front, I would not hold him to that amount. It is not fair to do that. I didn’t want any tension, and neither did he. He agreed to go shop around. He came back with a check. He more than once told me that he is very proud of it. Basically, I made $1700 considering what i spent during the build. I feel that’s low, but what’s worse is, I still think he thinks, I was trying to get one over on him with the bill I presented.

Take away, it’s all on me. I should have starting thinking about the price sooner. I was just happy to build. I did learn many lessons. If I am concerned about how much I will make, then I need to be concerned about that up front. Obviously, I have a much better idea now how to price something like this. The way I look at this now is that this build was a learniing experience for me, not a money making venture. I put a few more tools in my toolbox of woodworking, and for that I am very pleased. All joy!

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