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Thread: What's it worth, ?????

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Houston, Texas

    What's it worth, ?????

    The intent of this thread is to help people, unfamiliar with the business side of woodworking, #1 gain an understanding of pricing, #2 how to do it, #3 thus by learning what it entails, justify in their own minds the cost of the final work, with room to discount if the craftsman sees fit.
    Now this is the part I like most of all. I don't have a hard and fast way of doing things. I am posting this thread for input, for me and all the other folks that need help in this area. We have a great collection of minds here, and put together we can accomplish important stuff.
    P.S. for those of you who have answers please feel free to twist this thread inside out to get to the proper place. Many of us here need your help. Can you make it simple?
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Charlotte, NC
    It's often somewhat of a shot in the dark for me. Once I have the design settled on, I figure the material cost and do my best to estimate how long it will take me to complete the job. Since I am notorious for underestimating the time, I'll usually double the original estimate and see how the numbers feel. When I can, I like to know the clients budget so I can work within those parameters.

    I'll really be interested in the replies to this thread.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Floydada, Tx
    I do ww for a hobby, but I do refinish a few peices a year for others. I figure on the cost of materail, then look at how detail the peice is and how much work is involed. On average I make about $20 per hour. This covers my electric, heat and leaves me enough to buy a new toy/tool for the shop.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    The Heart of Dixie
    Robert, tell me experience is not your friend!

    I have been thinking about the small boats and how to price them. My first thought was just on an hourly basis but I realized really quick that people are going to want a price up front.

    I am going to build two boats for my person use really soon. I am going to keep some details records of the time spent and on what tasks. That will give me a starting point to work from and estimate the number of hours it will take.

    Then when I get my first commission at least I have something to work off of. I sort of expect someone will try one of my boats and decide they want one like it. If so that perfect. If they want a different design, I guess for the first few I am going to have to fly by the seat of my pants and just make educated guesses. And keep good records of my time so I can better estimate the next project.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.

    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Rio Rancho, NM
    Shaz, hubby and I have been doing this stuff for a long time, and for a few years, our rule of thumb was cost of materials x 2.5. Then we bumped it up, because we had a lot of people telling us our prices were too low. Now, when we are doing something custom, we'll figure the cost of materials x 5, which leaves some wiggle room for us to negotiate and still make money on the job.

    Nancy (41 days)
    Nancy Laird
    FWW Registered Voter and Voting Member
    Woodworker, turner, laser engraver; RETIRED!!

    A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to his country for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' If you love your country, thank a vet.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Southern Louisiana
    i price my cabs per linear foot plus a separate price for doors. this allows me to easily change prices with different doors styles. each type of cabinet has it's own price per foot based on how large and how much work goes into it and how much material will be used. i also price extras like paneled ends separately, this keeps my per foot prices pretty much the same for all the cabinets and it's just about adding the details.

    now these prices change depending on the style of the cabinet and the wood choice. i price uppers and lowers separately because uppers can be anywhere from 36 to 56" tall, lowers are almost always the same.

    lowers with drawers are more due to the amount of material in the cab and the extra work.

    basically, there are tons of variables, you could build two kitchens the same size and the prices could be off by 5 grand. ya just never know


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Stockport, England
    There are so many things to consider when arriving at a price for a potential job.

    The obvious ones;

    How much are the materials going to cost?
    How long is it going to take me?

    And the less obvious ones;

    How busy am I at the moment?
    How much do I really want this job?
    How much do I really need this job?
    How do I like the idea of working for this person?
    How much will this person be prepared to pay?

    After a few years experience I think most of us look at a potential job and a figure immediately comes into our heads. It is amazing how, when you have spent a couple of hours back in your office carefully calculating everything, the figure you come up with is usually very similar to your initial gut feeling.

    In many cases I have now given up calculating and just quote the first figure that comes into my head. I know I'm going to be fairly close.

  8. #8
    Myself I research the internet for at least 3 items that come close to the project that I am to complete. Even go so far as to search E-Bay, sometimes they are low ball figures etc.

    After finding the 3 items than I take average.
    Not a perfect system, but it works for me.

    WoodWorking, Crappie Fishing, Colts, Life is good!

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