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So, what would you have charged?

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johnelliott

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As some of you know, I do kitchen stuff. This evening I called on some people who wanted a quote for-
Two wall units (cupboards) approx 1200mm wide (each), maybe 500mm high and 300 mm deep. Four doors in the Shaker style, but with heat-tempered 4mm glass (legal requirement) instead of the wooden centre panel. The price was to include hardware and installation. Painted finish.
How much and how long would it take?
I thought about it, and said that it wasn't going to be less than £600. They weren't exactly aghast, but it was obvious that they hah had a much lower price in mind. They thanked me and apologised for wasting my time, I said it was OK, and didn't say that I hadn't fancied the job even at that price.
So, what do you think, too much? too little?
Materials, BTW, 18mm birch ply for the cabinets, 19mm ash veneered MDF for the doors. Blum concealed hinges

John
 
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Anonymous

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HI john

I don't charge for work and so have no real idea. However, £600 sounds pretty good to me as I would have expected to pay around £500 for a couple of MFI cabinets which would then need fitting and be of lower quality

Good riddance to them.
 
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Anonymous

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hi john
what was the cost of the cutting list?
i supplement my income by making traditional stained glass , the best
price i can find are dealers on behalf of james hetley if u go to the link
cawww.hetleys.co.uk/newhome.html n find a telephone number give them a ring for your nearest dealer,have a look at sahara glass very cheap
nice to look at :wink:
 

tim

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I think double that may be closer to the mark.

I have this all the time and it amazes me - How long do they think it will take you to make and then add materials: I would expect that the materials inc paint and glass will come close to £175 so that leaves £425 for labour including design time, fitting, going to glaziers etc as well as ordering all the other materials and making the damn stuff - minimum of three days realistically 4 if you add in all the thinking time.

Ooh I've started on a rant :evil: - you do have to do exactly what you did - walk away. You don't walk into a tailor's shop and ask why the bespoke suit costs three times as much as the off the peg one (or if you do you aren't going to buy it).

Just out of interest, did you explain to them how long it would take to make etc? If you did, what was their reaction? Sometimes people just don't realise, which is okay but when they say 'but we could get one like it in Ikea for....' I offer to drive them there. Does that make me a bad person :twisted:

I had a similar conversation with a possible customer the other day who wanted a whole wall of built in cabinets who proudly showed me all the Bose stuff he'd just had put in but didn't want to pay real money for cabinets that would also add value to his property.

I have to stop now. Goodnight :wink:

T
 

Steve Maskery

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Hi John
Commiserations. It's a bummer isn't it? I think the main problem is that most people have no idea what is involved. I'm not into kitchens, and I think from what I gather you are rather efficient at them, but I certainly would not have done two for that price, one maybe.

You were right to walk away, you don't need customers like that. Let them go to MFI, put them up themselves. If they are happy they made the right choice, and if they don't get what they wanted, they will live with their error of judgement.

All the best,
Steve
 
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Anonymous

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John

At that price I wish I'd had you in when we did our kitchen a few years ago.

Regards

Roy
 

Keith Smith

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John your price sounds about right to me. I get this all the time, people have no idea how much time it takes to make anything by hand, and the smaller the job the more expensive it seems. At least your customers were up front about it.

Last year I went to quote for a very big job, fitted wardrobes and some free standing furniture all in ash. I gave them an idea of the cost before I started to design it and they seemed to be OK with it. I then spent several days designing everything, sent them a set of drawings and a quote in line with the original estimate and I never heard anything from them :evil: didn't even give me the courtesy of a reply. I was told later that the guy had decided he would rather spend the money on a new motor bike.

Keith
 

Adam

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Sounds a very cheap price. I can't believe thats an ecomonic price for your time, workshop costs, materials etc.

Adam
 

tim

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John

I forgot to ask last night -what price did they have in mind - did you find out?

T
 

ike

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John,

600 sounds about right, maybe even slightly on the low side what with the cost of toughened glasss (I recently bought 2 pieces for a small coffeee table and cost me £85 in 6mm grey antisun).

Ike
 

cambournepete

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When we moved into our new house 5 years Moore's (the kitchen manufacturer wanted £400ish (I think) for a double (1200mm) base unit without the doors (we didn't bother). This is for an off-the-shelf item that they make by the thousand.

£600 for 2 bespoke wall cupboards including fittings and doors seems cheap to me. I'm sorry you didn't get the job John, but I think you actually under-quoted. Trouble is too many people expect MFI prices for rolls-royce work...

As an example this double width cupboard is 1000m wide, has ordinary doors and costs £168. A single width equivalent with glass doors costs slightly more. This suggests around £300+ for one unit or £600 for 2, WITHOUT installation. Sod 'em John, they'll learn... :wink:

Cheers,

Pete
 

Aragorn

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You did the right thing to walk away John!
We can't get every job we quote for, and it goes to show that many people just haven't got a clue what things cost. When/if they get other people along to quote for them, they will see that your price was very reasonable. I'd say it's on the low side.
[/i]
 

johnelliott

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Thanks chaps, I was pretty sure the price was OK but your confirmation encouraging.
I didn't fancy the job anyway, and I'm not sure what I would have done if they had accepted. I'd covered myself by saying at least £600, so I would probably have pumped it up a bit.

The basis of my operation is the making, painting and fitting of new doors and drawer fronts. This works well, usually, because I make the doors pretty quickly (someone else paints them). This means that I can provide and fit the doors at £60 each and the drawer fronts £30 each. This sounds good to the customer as they would need to pay that kind of money just to buy replacement doors, with me they are getting them measured and fitted as well. Plus they are nicer-looking doors, painted shaker style, traditional but modern, and much lighter than raised panel aok etc
As part of the sale, though, I often have to make cabinets as well, frequently to fit a space that's been left by the removal of an under-counter fridge, for instance.
If they have the doors and drawer fronts and a cabinet or two then the whole job looks reasonably priced.If they just want the cabinet then that's no good to me because I still need to earn at quite a high daily rate to pay for the workshop, van, advertising etc etc.
It was no big deal losing this particular sale, but I must remember to ask people more questions when they ring in future. If they are just looking for cabinets I'll give them a quote on the phone, of the 'at least' variety
I've had a few enquiries about complete kitchens recently, I'm doing one at the moment and have quoted on a couple of others. I'd prefer to just do the doors, but it is, of course, a question of what orders come in

Incidentally, if someone fancies selling and fitting some of my doors in their own area, then they should send me a PM, I might have an interesting part-time propostion for them

John
 

Shadowfax

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John
You don't need to deal with those kinds of customers. Specially made furniture should always attract "specially made" prices. You were probably going to charge a bit too little I reckon.
By the way, I remember in 1985 one of my neighbours dug a trench for someone in Hastings along the front drive (about 10 metres). He was asked how much and he said "a grand, mate". He got the money the same day!

SF
 
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Anonymous

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Funny thing, price. Charge too little and you're doing yourself and everyone else no favours. Charge about right and they want a custom design at an mfi price. Charge high and it's amazing what some people will pay. I was asked to quote for two desktops a long time ago - 6' long by 2' deep by 1.5" thick, white birch finish. I didn't want the work, so I quoted $1500. The customer bought them! Worked out at over $200 an hour. Wish I could get that all the time.

£600 for what your customers wanted was pretty cheap in my opinion. We've got a fairly good quality kitchen, but not the best, and we paid £1200 for 3 small wall cabinets and a counter-top glass front cabinet with 2 small drawers. Construction wasn't that good, but at least it matched everything else and I didn't have to make them...
 

Manny

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John

As others have suggested perhaps your price was on the low side.

I now try to get an idea of what the client is expecting to pay, or give them a rough price and fine tune it if they are interested.

I find estimating difficult and in the past have wasted time working out prices only to be told that it was a lot more than was expected.
 

ike

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I now try to get an idea of what the client is expecting to pay
I agree this is a good approach as it can save so much wasted time and effort. Even if the clients budget isn't realistic, all is not lost as it can open a discussion on alternative design or method that can satisfy their requirement and still secure profitable work.

Doesn't always work of course. I still laugh at a "customer" who wanted a replica pedestrian gate for his Grade 2 listed property. It had to be an exact copy (in oak, fully mortice and tenoned (angled too), stopped chamfers etc. Expected it for the price of a bogo B&Q palle..sorry, softwood gate and thought he was being ripped off!. Still, it always worth staying polite and diplomatic to the bitter end, isn't it.

Ike
 
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