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what do people charge

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  • what do people charge

    I have been asked by a real good friend to build a vanity and a linen closet and I am having a difficult time trying to find out what people charge for a custom project. I am not trying to get rich off the guy, but what is the going rate for 36wx21dx31h vanity with three drawers and 2 raised panel doors. i will also be making a linen closet to go with the vanity that is
    80hx18wx21d. it will be solid oak and have two raised panel doors. both will be finished and installed.
    If anyone could give me any suggestions for pricing, it would be very helpful. The project will prove easier to build than the charging.

  • #2
    Hmmm, this is not the answer you are looking for, but mabye others will chime in.

    For "real good friend"s , I dont charge anything other than a case or two of beer or something like that.

    For other that I just know, it depends on weather I can build at my leisure or if they need it quickly. If so, I would typically try to make a few bucks off the project. Mabye $20.00 per hour or something like that.

    If I dont know the individual at all, I usually try to decline the work unless it is something small. In that case I will give a firm price for the completed project. I always try to make at least $50.00 per hour on those (However it seldom works out to make that much for me). That will usually turn them away, but you always have a few who want "YOU" and no other building for them at any price.



    • #3
      check out the prices at Home Depot or Lowes. You should be able to find something similar. Start with list price than upcharge for upgrades.

      Now make sure your friend is fine with the price and specs prior to starting the project or this could be the end of a friendship.


      • #4
        Bring that friend with you when you go to HD or Lowes. Point out to him the difference in quality that he will be getting with your solid oak pieces, professional joinery and the man hours it'll take to build those pieces versus the slapped together veneer covered MDF junk that the big boxes sell. Once you've done that, he shouldn't question why you want to charge him 3 or 4 times what the boxes stuff goes for.
        Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.


        • #5
          Badgerdave is right, you'd do better if they new that the better quality wood costs more and will last longer. In some construction dumpsters and you will see that people have chucked ALL their broken "mdf" furniture in it.

          Don't let a "friendship" get you shortchanged either. One of my neighbors wanted to pay me 100 dollars to make a Redwood lawn chair for her husbands birthday. The cheapest i could find all the Redwood to do the job was $150 at a Colonial/Ace. And with all the other parts it would cost around $200. She didn't want it after all which is odd since they aren't hurting for money at all.
          But that seems to be the new American way, Cheap labor and low quality products.
          "Diplomacy is saying nice dodging until you can find a rock." Will Rogers
          "If a Monkey can do your job, are you in the right profession?


          • #6
            see how long it should take you to build the whole thing, cost of materials ,charge your hour rate minus 20% that's what i do for friends and works well for me


            • #7
              Thanks for the imput guys. I usually wouldn't charge a friend for a project, but I am finishing his basement as a volunteer and he insists on paying for the vanity and charge what it is worth. i just don't want to overcharge and i definitly want to cut him a break too.


              • #8
                As a minimum, both of you need to start with the cost of materials. If you have the expertise, let him know the difference the better quality materials and construction will make. If he is truly a friend, you and he can come to an agreement on labor and the wear on your tools. All the little things friends do for each other add up, and only you and he can put a value on that.
                My $0.00002 worth
                Practicing at practical wood working


                • #9
                  Why not do it for cost plus. The plus being an hourly rate that you think your worth. Say cost plus 15-20 dollars an hour. I use to pay myself $10 an hour then I figured I better get a raise. Now if it is easy work I go for $15 and if it is harder $20.

                  If your doing it for profit then you need to figure cost, plus labor (whatever your going to pay yourself) plus gross profit (usually the same amount as cost plus labor).

                  In other words if something cost you $100 in supplies, $100 in labor the total charge should be around $400 to cover all overhead, taxes and to make it worth while having your own business.
                  Rev Ed