Billing Schedules

      A cabinetmaker considers whether to adjust his usual "50% down, 50% on completion" by breaking out installation as a separate charge. February 8, 2008

Question
I've been bidding jobs until now as follows: 50% due at start of project and 50% due at completion. Lately I've been toying with the idea of estimating my installation time. I got burned on my last job because of other subs not doing their jobs right or on time. I've been thinking of charging a set price for the cabinets and then estimating, rather than quoting, the time it will take for installation. I would then charge 50% at the start, 50% at time of delivery and installation due upon completion. Does this make sense to split out the installation costs? Does anyone else do it this way?

Forum Responses
(Business and Management Forum)
From contributor V:
I have considered doing something similar, except the balance is due upon completion. If you go out with the cabinets, then they will want to pay both the cabinet balance and the install with the same check. I realize you are focusing more on getting better pay for the install and not paying for other subs' mistakes.



From contributor T:
We normally suggest that you split out the installation as a separate item due upon completion. The cabinets we would suggest that you consider 50 down and the remainder upon delivery. This gives you a little leverage to collect (you can always take them back to the shop) before the cabinets get fixed into the structure.


From contributor V:
I do completion because if you do on delivery, that means you have to get two checks in one day. Wait until they get there with the check. If they are late, you are losing money. If you start before they get there, you're still in the same boat as just plain 50-50 and you lose the leverage.


From contributor D:
I've switched to 50/50 on the cabinetry, with a separate installation fee (which is not taxable in Illinois). This helped pull the cash flow up a little sooner. On some bigger commercial jobs, I've done 1/3, 1/3 and the final third upon delivery. This spreads out the cash flow, but also allows me to get 2/3 of the payment before I deliver, instead of 1/2. When I was an interior designer and purchased furniture through the design centers, they usually demanded full payment up front when the order was placed, so I don't feel so bad asking for my terms.


From contributor P:
On cabinetry, I factor it all in and require a 40% deposit before scheduling, 30% after the approval of colors, and 30% at the time of installation. I used to do the 40% at install and 30% upfront, but changed that a few months ago. I used to not install, subbing it out instead. But now I install about half of it. On stuff that we have no responsibility to install, I do 50% to schedule and 50% when they pick it up or we deliver.


From contributor B:
I find 50/50 leaves too much at the end. I do three draws. 25% for materials, 65% delivery, and 10% the following week after I'm done incase I need to do any door or drawer adjusting.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?


Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Business

  • KnowledgeBase: Business: Estimating/Accounting/Profitability


    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.



    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2018 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB











  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers


      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article