LumberJocks

How much can I charge for my hourly labor

  • Advertise with us

« back to Sweating for Bucks Through Woodworking forum

Forum topic by Patrickgeddes14 posted 03-28-2020 02:00 PM 1383 views 0 times favorited 50 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Patrickgeddes14's profile

Patrickgeddes14

206 posts in 552 days


03-28-2020 02:00 PM

I’ve decided I need to raise my prices because it’s just not worth the time for the prices I’ve been charging. In my price calculation I basically try for $2-$5 an hour for labor. I enjoy making the furniture but my company offers overtime which is $20+ per hour and it’s far less pressure than making stuff in the shop, I’m a Carpenter so our work takes less precision and creativity which is nice sometimes, just show up and go. What does you think is a reasonable rate per hour for me to charge for my furniture efforts. Thanks


50 replies so far

View Snipes's profile

Snipes

459 posts in 2981 days


#1 posted 03-28-2020 02:06 PM

At least $40.. anything less handcuffs the rest.

-- if it is to be it is up to me

View JackDuren's profile

JackDuren

1153 posts in 1696 days


#2 posted 03-28-2020 02:13 PM

I changed overtime prices when I work hourly. But it depends on what it is. your time might be 3 hrs to do a project mine might be 2hrs.

I would never hire a hobby woodworker on a project hourly.

View Heyoka's profile

Heyoka

47 posts in 589 days


#3 posted 03-28-2020 02:53 PM

My flat fee is $25.00/ hour.

-- Heyoka

View tvrgeek's profile

tvrgeek

946 posts in 2386 days


#4 posted 03-28-2020 03:02 PM

Wow, you guys must not be figuring your overhead. Just supplementing a hobby. I don’t know how any professional shop, all things considered like insurance and taxes, can be in business if not generating 90+ an hour.

View JackDuren's profile

JackDuren

1153 posts in 1696 days


#5 posted 03-28-2020 03:07 PM

What overhead , it’s side work…pick and choose…

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

1277 posts in 1325 days


#6 posted 03-28-2020 03:23 PM

I try to get $20/hr + matls but I’m not dependent on the $$$

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View Patrickgeddes14's profile

Patrickgeddes14

206 posts in 552 days


#7 posted 03-28-2020 03:50 PM

Yea that’s my situation. I’m in debt so making the most money for my time is important rn. Which is making me think I can do the tables but only for 40plus per hr. The work at my. Company is on the table most the time so I might as well make it so the time spent on furniture is more profitable..

View JackDuren's profile

JackDuren

1153 posts in 1696 days


#8 posted 03-28-2020 03:55 PM



Yea that s my situation. I m in debt so making the most money for my time is important rn. Which is making me think I can do the tables but only for 40plus per hr. The work at my. Company is on the table most the time so I might as well make it so the time spent on furniture is more profitable..

- Patrickgeddes14

This is an old topic that’s been discussed on multiple forum for the last 20 years. Charging by the hour is a funny thing between woodworkers because of skill levels.

You need to decide if your skill level warrants such a price. Can you not charge a total vs the hour?

We have no ideal what your making

View Tony_S's profile

Tony_S

1323 posts in 3819 days


#9 posted 03-28-2020 04:12 PM

I’ll give you another perspective. Possibly from your employers point of view.
I just laid off 50% of my staff in the shop. The guys that are still working are the guys that work hard, have good attitudes and work overtime when I need them too, without hesitation.
The ones that got laid off recently and in the past were the ones who where a pain in the ass to get to work overtime. They always pissed and moaned, or had ‘appointments’ that they couldn’t break….had to feed their grandmas cat…
Not saying your employer rolls this way, but many do.

If I have overtime available, I expect the guys in the shop to work it, not go home and build tables.
Maybe they could make more money making tables…I don’t care.

-- “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” – Plato

View JackDuren's profile

JackDuren

1153 posts in 1696 days


#10 posted 03-28-2020 04:17 PM



I ll give you another perspective. Possibly from your employers point of view.
I just laid off 50% of my staff in the shop. The guys that are still working are the guys that work hard, have good attitudes and work overtime when I need them too, without hesitation.
The ones that got laid off recently and in the past were the ones who where a pain in the ass to get to work overtime. They always pissed and moaned, or had appointments that they couldn t break….had to feed their grandmas cat…
Not saying your employer rolls this way, but many do.

If I have overtime available, I expect the guys in the shop to work it. Not go home and build tables.
Maybe they could make more money making tables…I don t care.

- Tony_S

I always took the overtime In the shop. I worked a lot 11pm’s trying to do side work. When the side work exceeded the regular job I made the choice to open my own shop…..

Side work really should be left for weekends. I’ve seen a lot of guys burning the candle on both ends trying make the big dollar while the company they work suffers with your lack or energy and yawning….

View AMZ's profile

AMZ

81 posts in 126 days


#11 posted 03-28-2020 04:21 PM

I own a manufacturing plant, and have been costing for three decades. There are several general rules of thumb, but for woodworking, I would suggest writing down the wage, add in costs of employees (generally about 135% of wage), for overhead burden, multiply that number by two. Now multiply that number by percentage profit desired and add resultant numbers together. Estimate number of hours to do he job, then multiply by your labor and burden amounts.

Now figure your raw materials, adding that cost to the estimated labor and burden and this will give you your customer estimate.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

118047 posts in 4314 days


#12 posted 03-28-2020 04:21 PM

There are countless threads here on Ljs about this subject you might check some of those out. So many people base what the charge on an hourly rate for their labor without considering the cost of material, the time and gas it takes to go get material, the cost of rent & utilities in your shop, the cost of tools to purchase you are wearing out a little at a time. the time it takes to design projects.
You need to develop a shop rate based on many of those on the above list for your own calculation of what to charge, many people stop there and charge by the hour but I also consider what the market will bear. As an example, if someone wants a custom design desk and you use all the above factors and come up with $380 but others are selling similar products online for $850-$1200 you need to adjust your cost perhaps 20% below the lowest price if you are just getting started . The reverse is true too, that many woodworkers considering themself a professional woodworker actually charge less than material, so you can’t compare your prices to them and their products if you really want to make money in woodworking (a profit). You have to be prepared for customers to not accept your bid because there are all of these hobbyists that ruin the market place for pros giving their products away to be nice and just want something to do. or customers that want you to beat prices of low-quality furniture from Ikea or Walmart, prices that more times than not that you material what your material would cost you. The public is unaware of the difference in materials, joinery or finish so you have to educate them why your work is worth more. Many times people working out of there garage get lots of customers because of they give things away or sell products at a loss, once you do that those are the only kind of jobs you will get.

https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/relax

-- https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

1277 posts in 1325 days


#13 posted 03-28-2020 04:57 PM

Now “how much an hour” and “how much for the job” are two different questions. The “hour” figures vary regionally, over time, with inflation, etc. So what the “best” answer is today, may well be wrong tomorrow.

For decent size jobs the old man used to bid 2X materials. This was real close to time + materials answers without having to do all the cipherin’. Since it’s a ratio and not an absolute, it absorbs lots of the variables that impact the hourly rate. Material costs tend to track the regional cost of living and this formula automatically compensates for that.

So ultimately you tune the 2X ratio to 2.5X or whatever works best. This also encourages you to work faster since you’re being paid by the job and not the hour!

Customers appreciate knowing the fixed cost instead of an endless T+M job.

Bidding using the materials ratio sharpens your estimation skills quickly.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View JackDuren's profile

JackDuren

1153 posts in 1696 days


#14 posted 03-28-2020 05:15 PM

What’s 2x, 3x or 40 times…

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

1277 posts in 1325 days


#15 posted 03-28-2020 05:26 PM

The materials (sigh)

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

showing 1 through 15 of 50 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com