What would you charge??

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Forum topic by kjwoodworking posted 03-10-2008 01:00 AM 1683 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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266 posts in 5219 days

03-10-2008 01:00 AM

Topic tags/keywords: oak entertainment center television stand question oak price quote

I have been reading some of the posts here on LJ for a while and have read what some of you say to charge per hour and so on for woodworking projects. I have also seen where some have told what they did charge to do certain projects and I about hit the floor!!

I understand that this project is not something everyone would do but hypothetically if you had to build something along these lines what would you charge?

Oak entertainment center
Oak entertainment center stained

The tv is a 32”. I can’t remember the exact dimensions. It is about 7’ tall and 2’ deep. I made it using 3/4 oak ply for sides and shelves, 1/4” oak ply back, 3/4” solid oak face frames and drawer fronts. The oak crown molding on top was made on my table saw. The drawer was made with pine and stained to mach the rest of the stand.

I made this one for a neighbor for $800 including materials and labor. I built it and stained it one day, then sprayed it with lacquer the next.

What would you charge for a similar stand?

-- Kirk H. --

7 replies so far

View Tony Z's profile

Tony Z

205 posts in 5122 days

#1 posted 03-10-2008 01:34 AM

This topic comes up on here alot and for good reason. I try to estimate my hours into it as accurate as possible and charge 50.00/ hour plus materials. Then I double my materials cost to cover my a$$. I just recently bid out a custom built in cabinet that a customer saw in a pottery barn catalog for 1600.00. I bid it out at 3500.00…UNFINISHED. It’s going into a new house and the painters are going to take care of painting it. The customer told me she got a price from her cabinet company of 4000.00. That left me thinking…Damn, I should have charged another 250.00! 800.00 seems like a fair price on your cabinet. Over the years I’ve discovered that I wasn’t charging near enough for my work, like many on this site, and decided to just say” Hey, I put a lot of effort into this, and this is what it’s going to cost, take it or leave it” I like that drawer front on your cabinet. Is that oak also, it looks like it could be hickory from here.

-- Tony, Ohio

View kjwoodworking's profile


266 posts in 5219 days

#2 posted 03-10-2008 02:24 AM

Hi Tony. The drawer front is oak from old posts. They have a lot of knots and imperfections in them which I like. The center piece in the crown is a burl looking piece I cut from an oak post too.

I feel a lot of times I’m over charging and some of that comes from what I think I would pay for it. I’m a cheap sob. Some jobs I’ve overpriced because of lack of time or not wanting to do them and been surprised by getting them anyway. Then others I’ve priced what I feel as more than fair and had people call me crazy!

I was curious what others would charge for a project like this one to give me an idea of where my pricing is at.

-- Kirk H. --

View TheSteve's profile


34 posts in 5090 days

#3 posted 03-11-2008 02:02 AM

The same people that call you crazy will be the same people that call you to fix someone else’s mistakes they gave the job to for a cheaper price. There’s always gonna be lowballers that try to beat a deal out of you. Find your price that your comfortable with and stand behind it. There’s someone right behind that person that called you crazy that thinks your project is gorgeous and the price is more than fair.

my 2 cents

-- Aint nothin to it but to do it!

View Tom Adamski's profile

Tom Adamski

306 posts in 5102 days

#4 posted 03-11-2008 02:15 AM

Charge what the market will bear… Hit ‘em high and when they freak out, peel them off the ceiling. When they get back to their senses, they’ll shoot you a price. Explain to them that the price they offer is close, and take it from there…

Trust me, you earn the money. When it is installed and they are thrilled, they never think of the money again.


-- Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsman can hide his mistakes.

View Ad Marketing Guy - Bill's profile

Ad Marketing Guy - Bill

314 posts in 5130 days

#5 posted 03-11-2008 04:38 PM

The key in any business is to charge what YOUR market will pay! If you have created the Unique Value Proposition in your work/craft, your prospective clients will understand why they are paying a certain amount for a piece – If you have not created this UVP your prospects will never understand what they should pay….It is up to you to demonstrate the value in your craft and allow clients the ability to see and accept it.


1-All your materials (all materials not just wood, hardware, glue, used supplies like brushes and rags,etc,

2- your time ( an hourly charge) , including visiting the lumber yards, supply stores, etc to select materials

3-your business overhead (even if it is just you), equipment, electricity, etc, (bits & blades do wear out)

4-and of course profit – you must turn a profit if you are in business!

If you want to be in business to make money then you must make money, not just cover your hourly labor and materials – This may help you, though it is not written for woodworking the tangibles are the same Read Now

Hopefully, this helps you in building your business! Good Luck

-- Bill - - Ad-Marketing Guy, Ramsey NJ

View Neal's profile


2 posts in 5063 days

#6 posted 03-11-2008 05:23 PM

I while back I purchased a book called “The Woodworker’s Guide to Pricing Your Work” revised edition by Dan Ramsey. It has alot of useful information specifically designed to answer these types of questions. Including information on the type of woodworking your trying to sell, for instance; cabinetry, furniture, arts and crafts, picture frames, etc. I actually think the book would come in handy for anyone trying to sell whatever it was they were in business for. After reading the previous comments, I’d have to agree with the previous posts. They seem to line up pretty well with what the book covers.

-- Neal

View kjwoodworking's profile


266 posts in 5219 days

#7 posted 03-13-2008 12:47 AM

Thanks for all the replies.

I probably could have picked a better example but the TV stand is what came to mind first.

I know the TV stand above is a very, very easy project to build and made from oak so using a wood comparable in price I’m just curios what others would charge for something similar.

I am wanting to see where my price on this compares to others. I know being different woodworkers in different areas of the country and different reputations all dictate what you can charge.

Hypothetically speaking….A ball park figure…..anyone willing to share their price.

So What Can You Charge?

-- Kirk H. --

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