Reclaimed wood how do you price

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martin.pearson

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OK so as the title, I have just made a couple of bedside tables for a customer using a piece of reclaimed or re purposed timber, not sure what the official terminology is to be honest. It was a simple job so not much in the way of labour but I had no idea how to price the job as the wood was reclaimed & free to me.
The customer knew the story behind the piece of wood & from that perspective it was very easy but I didn't agree a price upfront (yes I know I should have) so when it came to the customer collecting & paying for them I really had no idea what to charge other than the labour cost for the job.
 

martin.pearson

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If it were me I would charge the same as new wood,after all there is work involved with reclaimed stuff such as cleaning it up / de nailing etc .

I did think that maybe I should be charging it out as new wood but then wasn't sure if it would be better to charge for the labour involved in the cleaning up. In this case I ended up doing neither lol
 

Fitzroy

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Once it’s reclaimed and in the store it’s worth the same as any wood. If you sold it bare you’d charge it by the cuft.

Just read the story on what your made. You should have charged extra for the memories!
 

Keith 66

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Wood is wood wherever it comes from. Reclaimed or recycled wood may often be of better quality & its certainly well seasoned. I dont give it away.
Years ago i was lucky enough to buy a lorry load of teak duckboards that had been ripped out of a telephone exchange, each one 5ft long & made of three boards 8" wide & 1 3/8" thick they still had huge brass hinges at one end & a large bronze lifting eye at the other. £ 150 for the lot, I have sold odd smaller bits over the years but still have most of it.
People at the yacht club would say "Have you got a bit of teak, i only want a little bit", but the size would always be much bigger than a little bit! Then they would expect you to just give it to them or for a few quid.
Long ago i got to the stage where i would say "No im not selling any as i have a boat to build thats going to eat most of it, I really dont want to be having to buy new from a timber yard when i run out!".
 

YoungSalt

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Wood is wood wherever it comes from. Reclaimed or recycled wood may often be of better quality & its certainly well seasoned. I dont give it away.
Years ago i was lucky enough to buy a lorry load of teak duckboards that had been ripped out of a telephone exchange, each one 5ft long & made of three boards 8" wide & 1 3/8" thick they still had huge brass hinges at one end & a large bronze lifting eye at the other. £ 150 for the lot, I have sold odd smaller bits over the years but still have most of it.
People at the yacht club would say "Have you got a bit of teak, i only want a little bit", but the size would always be much bigger than a little bit! Then they would expect you to just give it to them or for a few quid.
Long ago i got to the stage where i would say "No im not selling any as i have a boat to build thats going to eat most of it, I really dont want to be having to buy new from a timber yard when i run out!".

I repair and restore classic wooden boats for a living, so am always looking for reclaimed teak and mahogany for my work. I am interested should you ever wish to sell any of your teak! 🤞
 

Keith 66

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That was my trade back in the day! At the moment i am rebuilding a vintage Saunders motor launch & it will shortly be at fitting out stage, I reckon i have just enough teak & mahogany to do the job, at todays prices i would hate to have to buy more if i run out!
Lab benches often come up on here but unless they are 1930's when they used teak, they are usually Iroko from the 1960's & 70's.
 

martin.pearson

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Thanks for the replies, always good to hear what others do, it's funny because I had never really thought about using reclaimed wood for a customer project, I have used it for family gifts & as has been said once it has been cleaned up it is the same as any other wood. I also get the comment about it sometimes being of better quality. A few years ago the unit I rented had a Window Company next door & I took wood out of their skip from time to time, one of their fitters once said to me that the quality of some of the wood they were ripping out was better quality than the stuff they were replacing it with. I have mahogany that you can tell simply by the weight is nothing like the stuff they are selling today lol
Never really thought about selling any, I collected it to use for things I was making for myself & the family, funny really because I didn't realise just how much I had collected until I had to move workshops, plan now is to get it all cleaned up & just add it to the wood I have bought.
 

blackteaonesugar

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When a client suggests reclaimed wood to me I usually sigh a little, even though I've used it for many things.

By its nature, reclaimed wood will take an awful lot longer to source, sort and process than 'off the shelf' timber.

It's so often full of nails, old paint or ground in grit, especially the likes of floorboards.
Processing that so as you have to find and remove any metal, trying to find embedded grit before if goes near your machines takes time.

Unfortunately I find that most people think reclaimed is the cheaper option.
It's very definitely not if you're doing it for a living. Maybe if it's a hobby job.

I love using reclaimed wood and other found items but the idea that it's the cheap option is far from the case I'm afraid.

Instead of calling it reclaimed wood, call it Vintage wood. You'll be able to charge a fortune for it then! 😉
 

Adam W.

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Indeed. I make a great deal out of saying that the piece of wood is...insert the correct latin nomenculature..and soooo many hundreds of years old from a particular famous house or building style, Georgian or Queen Anne is always a winner.

That's and extra 30% + VAT Sir.
 

hlvd

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The wood was free to you, it doesn’t mean you have to pass on that saving. Maybe not charge its retail value but what you’d have sold it on for.
 

Bingy man

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I’ve always cringed when pricing up hardwood for a project and since covid 19 prices are increasing all the time . I travel to local charity and junk shops and buy up any old furniture etc as nobody wants so called brown furniture but once you get passed the layers of varnish and stain it looks decent. Admittedly you have to put up with holes and other defects but that’s all part of the challenge of how to put a little character into your work . As for cost what you save using reclaimed timber you loose in labour cleaning it up and all the preparation is then the same .🤫🤫🤫
 
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