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Thread: What would you charge- bench plus shelf

  1. #1
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    What would you charge- bench plus shelf

    Was asked to make a simple bench with a lid that has storage under it like a piano bench ,, simple just two sides and the top and compartment dimensions are 19" deep by 21" high and 64" long also need 2 dividers in the storage area. also a shelf that will attach above on the wall that is 12" deep and 64" wide no hangers just the shelf and these are all unfinished, they will stain and finish. the bench will be for changing into boots and shoes and the storage is for mittens and gloves and such. no fancy wood at all just simple and plain. how much would you charge to make it, and charlie plesums, i am interested in hearing how you would either opt out of it or deal with this type of customer thanks for the input.. i have already done my homework so dont think i am cheating on a test it was a eye opener for me..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  2. #2
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    i would say that depending on the type of materials, i would go 3-4x the cost of materials.
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

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  3. #3
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    ok we will say the bench needs 54 square ft of wood, plywood or solid lumber but plywood will fray as sides on the floor and anywhere else. unless edged.

    and the shelf needs 12 square ft of wood again plywood or solid lumber..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  4. #4
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    Made from soft maple @ $4.85 Per bf. I would guess about $950.00 to $1125.00 I'm probably way off since I'm not use to figuring things like this. But it's what I would say. I wouldn't use Plywood personally.
    I'm supposed to respect my elders, but its getting harder and harder for me to find one now.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2006
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    Austin, Texas
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    I often use 5 times the cost of materials, but for paint grade (where I can sub leftover wood) give as much as 20-30% off, and for stain grade (no finishing, but consistent wood), give 15-20% off.

    A more realistic number than 5 times material, if you are trying to make a living, is as much as 8 times material. A more politic way of saying "I am going to charge you 5 times as much as it costs me" is to say "Materials are about 20% of the total cost." That includes a clear finish - I add at least $150 if they want it stained.

    Another way I do estimates is to charge $12-16 per square foot for furniture grade plywood with veneer edgebanding - oak is at the low end of the range, and walnut is at the high end. With solid wood edge on plywood, it rises to $15-20 per square foot. Solid wood goes up to $20-30 per square foot, not so much for the cost of the materials, as for the labor required with the glue up, etc., and the construction techniques allowing for wood movement.

    Few of my customers want to go through the analysis, but I do have info on my web page at www.plesums.com/wood/cost.html - I think it gives them an understanding that it is more complex than you would think.

    I find that my costs are comparable to name brand furniture stores, and I don't sneak in plastic parts and hidden particleboard like many of the big name stores do.

    Does that help?
    Last edited by Charlie Plesums; 03-07-2014 at 08:42 PM.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Plesums View Post
    Few of my customers want to go through the analysis, but I do have info on my web page at www.plesums.com/wood/cost.html - I think it gives them an understanding that it is more complex than you would think.
    "There is a minimum $200 design fee, which covers the first part of doing a project, and is applied to the total cost of the project when you proceed."

    Smart smart smart. Clearly not your first rodeo there

  7. #7
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    I've never made a project on commission. I know my Father used to put a mark up on the material & then the cost for the shop overhead which included his labor. Prints of the plans were figured into the cost. Also the cost of the materials was paid up front.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  8. #8
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    I remember being at an amish furniture store a couple of years back. there were a lot of blanket chests, benches, similar in size to what you are making. the pine versions ran from 400-800 dollars. that was retail.(the 5 foot versions ran all around 595, give or take a few bucks)
    Human Test Dummy

  9. #9
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    thanks for the input, i was not in line with what you folks are saying.. my mind is thinking need to keep price low to get job but i have had enough jobs where i got not enough for the job i delivered.. thanks charlie for your input.. you answered several questions but how do you deal with a possible client that has exhibited not having the right budget for your work?
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    how do you deal with a possible client that has exhibited not having the right budget for your work?
    Easy. Say, "No, thanks." Hard if you feel you need the work. Easy when you decide you are worth more. Stand your ground, my friend. Remember "Cheap, quick, and good. Pick two." Quality guys don't do cheap and quick. Good and quick costs more. Good and cheap costs even more.
    ++++++

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