Wardrobe ballpark price per linear metre

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

ChrisWiduWood

Established Member
Joined
24 Apr 2022
Messages
138
Reaction score
140
Location
Bucks/Oxon
Hi all,
I have been making fitted furniture for little while now (my background was staircases) and I'm always getting the inevitable "what's your ballpark"

Obviously every job is unique , but i was wondering if anyone has an idea of what they would ballpark for lets say

1- MDF bare (customer takes care of painting, not my preference for obvious reasons)
2- MFC internals with painted doors/ facia
3- Fully sprayed internals and doors (possibly face framed etc)

or to simplify this further Standard (low), medium and high end finishes

This is basically to test the waters and see wether I'm waisting my time and that the customer has £200 Ikea units in mind.

A quick google search and something like check a trade pops up telling the world that a carpenter in the uk is on 225 a day and 3 linear m should cost no more than 2.8k

I can tell you now id be out of pocket very quickly if i matched those prices....

I have a small workshop to cover and i do my own WB spraying but i do outsource any 2k spraying.

Thanks in advance.

Chris
 
I'm not able to offer any prices myself , being now retired but what you charge will have to be what it costs you to do the job. Otherwise you will be out of pocket, We all have different workshop set-ups and the price for labour varies in different parts of the country If this then makes you too expensive, you won't be able compete on price, especially with the likes of Ikea. One can bring costs down by investing in extra equipment to speed up manufacture, although what you will be able to offer that the likes of Ikea cannot , is a bespoke service, which will naturally be more expensive.

In the past I used to make quite a few kitchens, but it was only after having made a series of these ,that I was able to work out my average cost per metre, taking into account all the variables. I used to have a drawing of one of the kitchens on the wall of my workshop with the price for each unit . So for a new commission it was only a matter of adding or subtracting units, and checking up-to date costs to reach a price This then became my base line, as in -"it's never going to cost any less than this."

It's helpful to have a ball park figure when talking to a customer, especially for the different qualities of wardrobe you would be offering. I used to have in mind the type and quality of units I was happy making, but was always prepared to offer a more basic job for less money. Others I know would just offer the one quality of unit for the one set price. And I'm sure that they would argue that this is a far better strategy.
 
I would suggest low around £1000 1500 medium and 2000 high. you would need caveats on drawers depending because a set of 5 bespoke oak drawer boxes can cost me £1000!
so for your imaginary 3m run id need 3000 4500 and 6000.
I would say 3000 should be better than an on site brown mdf job like mrmdf maybe edge banded. decent fittings.( the onsite ones maybe 1600)
what I would say is try and streamline your range.
I can only get a decent finish with mdf using solvent(2k or pre cat) primer. it just doesn't like wb.
 
I would say johnnyb is absolutely spot on - I've seen 3m wardrobes done for £1000, it's not a pretty sight!

I include one drawer per metre and add the cost for above that, and spray with Morrells PU paint/lacquer.

Personally, I would never get involved in a bare MDF job because it's a really bad idea and just not my clientele.

Check-a-trade and similar companies work out their prices based on carpenters working on-site rather than furniture makers that have workshops (with associated overheads) and produce a totally different product.

Another way to look at it is to allow about 1 week per linear metre - look back at your last trading year and count up the linear metres you produced - I doubt it would be any more than 50 metres . . . .
 
A good few years ago Sharps were charging £1500 per linear metre, plus vat. Probably more now. Of course that is all finished, and made of plastic coated mdf etc.
If doing stuff like this I try to work out how long it takes at 300 per day plus materials plus a decent amount for the inevitable mid project changes etc.
 
A good few years ago Sharps were charging £1500 per linear metre, plus vat. Probably more now. Of course that is all finished, and made of plastic coated mdf etc.
If doing stuff like this I try to work out how long it takes at 300 per day plus materials plus a decent amount for the inevitable mid project changes etc.
what I would also say is what I do ( ply and solid beech) is difficult to sell mostly. mfc cabinets with lay on brought in doors is what 90% of people want. 5% will be intrigued with a different approach but will finish having the above. that leaves one out of 20 wardrobe inquiries who may like my approach. that's a poor hit rate.
my last 2 were someone wanting 3m of wardrobe but saying sharpes would just make fronts to save them money?
the other one had 3m of sliding mirrors and wanted something more modern. I don't hold out hope for any of them they just aren't my customers.
 
Hi all,
I have been making fitted furniture for little while now (my background was staircases) and I'm always getting the inevitable "what's your ballpark"

Obviously every job is unique , but i was wondering if anyone has an idea of what they would ballpark for lets say

1- MDF bare (customer takes care of painting, not my preference for obvious reasons)
2- MFC internals with painted doors/ facia
3- Fully sprayed internals and doors (possibly face framed etc)

or to simplify this further Standard (low), medium and high end finishes

This is basically to test the waters and see wether I'm waisting my time and that the customer has £200 Ikea units in mind.

A quick google search and something like check a trade pops up telling the world that a carpenter in the uk is on 225 a day and 3 linear m should cost no more than 2.8k

I can tell you now id be out of pocket very quickly if i matched those prices....

I have a small workshop to cover and i do my own WB spraying but i do outsource any 2k spraying.

Thanks in advance.

Chris
I did a 3.2m run of wardrobes, MFC carcase, maple veneered flat doors. 4 internal drawers

location for job was Tonbridge

fitted price was £4,700

TBH price was a tad low given I also included a “book nook” which was lined in maple veneered mdf and solid lipped. And I did a bit of electrics in it.

So my guess would be to aim for £1,600 to £2,000 per metre, fitted

by the way, I bought all the carcases cut to size and edge banded + maple veneered doors edge banded from Cutwrights which cost me £2k. I then workshop trial assembled, fitted Blum hinges, made birch ply drawer and 2k sprayed the maple veneer parts.
 
We recently moved into a new house which needed refurbishment - including wardrobes.

A 3m run was completed using Ikea system and included sliding doors, 8 drawers, 2 pull out baskets, pull out trouser rack, hanging rails.

Total cost £1200 + £300 for fitting (busy with rest of refurbishment). Does precisely what was required.

They probably won't last centuries, but almost certainly outlast me. You pays yer money and makes yer choices.
 
I think the above approach would gain the most potential customers. I would say having a workshop could almost be dispensed with if you specialised in just wardrobes. one place I know of build there own mfc carcases and order in the doors. they have a panel saw and an edgebander . sometimes even that approach is more than people want to pay then the onsite mdf comes in. but it's tricky to get a professional finish using this method. I always think mfc looks rubbish personally but I can also see its an almost flawless material in this application. and its difficult to replicate the professional look of brought in doors.
 
I'm not able to offer any prices myself , being now retired but what you charge will have to be what it costs you to do the job. Otherwise you will be out of pocket, We all have different workshop set-ups and the price for labour varies in different parts of the country If this then makes you too expensive, you won't be able compete on price, especially with the likes of Ikea. One can bring costs down by investing in extra equipment to speed up manufacture, although what you will be able to offer that the likes of Ikea cannot , is a bespoke service, which will naturally be more expensive.

In the past I used to make quite a few kitchens, but it was only after having made a series of these ,that I was able to work out my average cost per metre, taking into account all the variables. I used to have a drawing of one of the kitchens on the wall of my workshop with the price for each unit . So for a new commission it was only a matter of adding or subtracting units, and checking up-to date costs to reach a price This then became my base line, as in -"it's never going to cost any less than this."

It's helpful to have a ball park figure when talking to a customer, especially for the different qualities of wardrobe you would be offering. I used to have in mind the type and quality of units I was happy making, but was always prepared to offer a more basic job for less money. Others I know would just offer the one quality of unit for the one set price. And I'm sure that they would argue that this is a far better strategy.
Very sound advice thank you
 
I would suggest low around £1000 1500 medium and 2000 high. you would need caveats on drawers depending because a set of 5 bespoke oak drawer boxes can cost me £1000!
so for your imaginary 3m run id need 3000 4500 and 6000.
I would say 3000 should be better than an on site brown mdf job like mrmdf maybe edge banded. decent fittings.( the onsite ones maybe 1600)
what I would say is try and streamline your range.
I can only get a decent finish with mdf using solvent(2k or pre cat) primer. it just doesn't like wb.
Thats pretty much what i was thinking price wise, although since i posted this i had some advice from a friend and i might be using that as a guide but probably putting more on in the end.

ive just ordered 4 drawers from probox for £900 ;)
 
I would say johnnyb is absolutely spot on - I've seen 3m wardrobes done for £1000, it's not a pretty sight!

I include one drawer per metre and add the cost for above that, and spray with Morrells PU paint/lacquer.

Personally, I would never get involved in a bare MDF job because it's a really bad idea and just not my clientele.

Check-a-trade and similar companies work out their prices based on carpenters working on-site rather than furniture makers that have workshops (with associated overheads) and produce a totally different product.

Another way to look at it is to allow about 1 week per linear metre - look back at your last trading year and count up the linear metres you produced - I doubt it would be any more than 50 metres . . . .
Thanks ,
yeah i made a wardrobe for my brother in bare (he's a bit tight and wanted to paint it himself) i used hyrofugo as usual but he still managed to make it look awful . in fact he ruined it in my mind. avoid at all cost self painters!!
 
I did a 3.2m run of wardrobes, MFC carcase, maple veneered flat doors. 4 internal drawers

location for job was Tonbridge

fitted price was £4,700

TBH price was a tad low given I also included a “book nook” which was lined in maple veneered mdf and solid lipped. And I did a bit of electrics in it.

So my guess would be to aim for £1,600 to £2,000 per metre, fitted

by the way, I bought all the carcases cut to size and edge banded + maple veneered doors edge banded from Cutwrights which cost me £2k. I then workshop trial assembled, fitted Blum hinges, made birch ply drawer and 2k sprayed the maple veneer parts.
Thanks,

i have for the first time used a similar company Cutlist, again all components pre cut and shaker doors pre made, i was always against outsourcing but it seems to be the way forward for someone in my position atm. cheers.
 
this is most fascinating to me as i also have a workshop and spray room. I personally feel that anything under £1.5k per m is just not worth it and only do fully finished, drawers and stuff are on top.

Pricing is so hard tho and can take ages so i tend to ask for images of roughly what the customer wants and then give them the above cost as a min and say if they are interested I will give them a visit and full CAD drawing. On the odd occasion i do a drawing first as I feel it can win the quote but it’s a risk!

I also do little extras like a decent drawing package with branding etc. and maybe a couple of options with plenty of snap shots from different locations.

Another tip is to use cut list and shaker door maker online services to see what they come out at then a couple of days labour and fitting and handling etc on top just for some examples of previous work and then compare to what you charged and made.

If someone can make ikea fit then let them have it. Some of their stuff is quite good but always remind them that depth and height is also adjustable with your work. Even sharps don’t utilise height!
 
We recently moved into a new house which needed refurbishment - including wardrobes.

A 3m run was completed using Ikea system and included sliding doors, 8 drawers, 2 pull out baskets, pull out trouser rack, hanging rails.

Total cost £1200 + £300 for fitting (busy with rest of refurbishment). Does precisely what was required.

They probably won't last centuries, but almost certainly outlast me. You pays yer money and makes yer choices.
i made/fitted a 3m wardrobe with sliding mirror doors from off the shelf pre edged mfc from Wickes a few years back for a friend on a low budget, i was actually impressed what it looked like in the end for the price, it lacked a bit of character in my mind all square and a bit rigid in looks, but he was over the moon. a great (but limited) choice . id struggle to make money from that approach though, thanks for the comment
 
this is most fascinating to me as i also have a workshop and spray room. I personally feel that anything under £1.5k per m is just not worth it and only do fully finished, drawers and stuff are on top.

Pricing is so hard tho and can take ages so i tend to ask for images of roughly what the customer wants and then give them the above cost as a min and say if they are interested I will give them a visit and full CAD drawing. On the odd occasion i do a drawing first as I feel it can win the quote but it’s a risk!

I also do little extras like a decent drawing package with branding etc. and maybe a couple of options with plenty of snap shots from different locations.

Another tip is to use cut list and shaker door maker online services to see what they come out at then a couple of days labour and fitting and handling etc on top just for some examples of previous work and then compare to what you charged and made.

If someone can make ikea fit then let them have it. Some of their stuff is quite good but always remind them that depth and height is also adjustable with your work. Even sharps don’t utilise height!
Sounds like we're in the same boat at the moment.
The big trouble with me is that ive been working for years with developers/builders repeat work and not usually dealing direct with the client, i started pricing the same as when i was subbing, and quickly learnt i was way under, so now im just building up the confidence to charge more ( inline with what the bigger developers where charging) and not feeling bad about it.

Sometimes i feel like customers get upset when they know im marking things up, like its ok for a banker to make millions, a salesman to make bonuses, but a tradesman adding 20% to materials is robbery!

Cheers
 
Sometimes i feel like customers get upset when they know im marking things up, like its ok for a banker to make millions, a salesman to make bonuses, but a tradesman adding 20% to materials is robbery!
How do they know you're adding a 20% mark up to your materials? It's none of their business, really. All that should matter is the price for the completed job. You can break down costs for components, e.g., for a cabinet with a nest of drawers as opposed to a cabinet of the same dimensions with just a shelf and a door, but I can't see any good reason to identify and separate out your material costs and mark up on those materials. Slainte.
 
Sometimes i feel like customers get upset when they know im marking things up, like its ok for a banker to make millions, a salesman to make bonuses, but a tradesman adding 20% to materials is robbery!

Cheers
You definitely have to charge that bit extra on materials, otherwise you are only earning money on the 'labour' part of your turnover. Looking at it another way - if the materials come to several thousand pounds, then the customer is having use of that money at no cost to themselves. Unless of course they are paying for the whole job up-front. - And that has only happen to me once in my career.
 
Last edited:
Thats pretty much what i was thinking price wise, although since i posted this i had some advice from a friend and i might be using that as a guide but probably putting more on in the end.

ive just ordered 4 drawers from probox for £900 ;)

You're giving away a lot of profit there. If you go about it the right way you can easily make 4 drawers in a day at a materials cost of less than £300 (including under-mount runners), that's an extra £500 for a day's work. I believe there are two main things that equate to success in this business - finding the right clients (if you're selling four drawers for £1080 it seems you've achieved that) and efficiency by refining your processes - which includes what you outsource and what you make, amongst many other things.
 
Back
Top