Considering a Hotel Kitchenette Cabinet Job
From contributor J:
Unless you have the scale of operation where you can knock this stuff out, I don't see how you could compete with the bigger outfits. Just like when I bid a kitchen, I can't compete with box store prices. Factories in the Midwest where the costs are very low are knocking boxes out by the truckload. They buy sheetgoods and solid stock by the truckloads, hinges and slides by the thousands. You just can't compete with mass produced stuff and expect to make a profit unless you're on the same scale. I don't try to compete against that type of product. I stick with selling quality over quantity and it works for me anyway.
From contributor C:
Be aware that there are plenty of folks out there that search out small shops, new shops and just plain naive shops to see if anyone bites. You sign a contract, build one or two units, find out what your costs are, then you can't get out easily. This happens everyday, and woodworkers are especially prone to it, due to low entry threshold (got a saw?) and low to no business experience (wanna make some money?).
Drive it from the other side: Know your costs, all your costs, add in a fair wage and fair profit, and that is what the work will cost. And yes, you are right, you will not be able to compete, nor do you want to. Find a niche and work it profitably - you are unable to beat the mass marketers.
From contributor V:
We had to do something with the residential slowing down like it did, so we bid on and got a couple of hotels (suites). We are pretty well setup with machinery - what we needed was storage of the units from completion till installation. We considered getting containers, but were concerned with humidity. Ended up renting a unit at a nearby strip mall that was empty. We ran a skeleton crew at night, and did most of the machining and dress-out then.
We couldn't have done it without our beam saw and ptp. Having all hardware screw holes predrilled (and dead on) made the dress-out that much easier. Pre-finished edge tape on 3/4" melamine boxes.
Just look carefully at the installation price (if included) - that almost got us. And think carefully about how you are going to batch (and store). This affected our delivery, and melamine drop.
From contributor J:
Base cabs laminate 140-200 per foot (laminate, wood)
Wall cabs 110-160 per foot
Laminate tops 50.00 lin foot
Solid surface (Chinese) 65 per lin ft
Cultured marble or granite outsource at cost +10% for management
Check specs and post them for actual cost.
Offer to review bid based on a written bid from national company (not verbal). We know hotel owners - they respect integrity, not cowardice. Remember, 10 units at a time. Fall in with the right bunch of guys and you will stay busy! Spell it out and control your job; many times they prefer locals for their own interest in their hotel. Help with maintenance and charge; trashed hotel rooms are hard to rent.
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