Linear Foot Pricing for Beaded Inset Face Frame Cabinetry

      Pricing by the foot isn't a way to do business, but it's interesting to check out the different numbers tossed around in this thread — and the photos of the kitchen in question. October 11, 2012

I was looking back through a few recent beaded inset jobs and attempted to establish a linear foot price for quick estimating purposes. I know that linear foot pricing shouldn't be used for hard quote purposes. That said, I would like to see what everyone comes up with looking back at recent jobs.

Here is some background info:
Small 2-4 man shop in metro Atlanta
3/4" plywood with 1/4" prefinished boxes
1.75" beaded face frames
5/8" dovetail drawer boxes
Blum undermount full extension soft close

I've been adding up total base cabinets + total wall cabinets + extra linear for the 18" space for talls. On the low end I'm right around $400.00 for stain on shaker recessed panel door, slab drawer front, no matching end panels. Upwards of $600 for all the bells and whistles.

Forum Responses
(Business and Management Forum)
From contributor J:
I don't use LF pricing, but that seems pretty low to me. Certainly cheaper than I would do them for. As long as you're making money, though, I guess you could use it for rough estimates in house.

From contributor O:
That comes to about $1,250 per cabinet, which seems about right to me.

From contributor J:
Hmmm, I guess if you have no wall cabinets it could average $1250 per cabinet for a 24" box. Most kitchens I do have wall cabinets though, which brings your average down to $600 a box.

Another way to look at it is my average kitchen goes between 20-30 LF of cabinetry. At $600 per, that puts you at $12k - $18k for a kitchen… about what I'd get for a Euro kitchen. For full beaded inset I would be close to double that. And I'm somewhere in the middle of the price range in my area. There are plenty of shops that would charge double what I do.

I should also note that my kitchens include installation.

From contributor M:
1,000-1,200/lin ft Including appliance panels, end panels, site co-ordination and installation. Northeast US.

From contributor B:
Thanks. To make it clear, I'm taking the total job cost including tax, install, design, and cabinets and dividing by the total linear ft of all cabinetry. That backs me into an average linear foot price for all cabinetry for that particular job.

For example, the kitchen below had a total 61.75 linear feet of all cabinetry. I charged $27,352 for the cabinetry. So that comes to $442.95 per linear ft. Thoughts?

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From contributor M:
Thoughts? Yes, you do really nice work.

In my area, that's a 40-50k job. A whole lot of the value in a job like this is the little things, like hood ventilation, kick vents, lighting, site prep and co-ordination with other trades. Also, don't discount the insurance/liability costs.

Did you need to wait for stone counters before installing the garage? Was this job close to home? Did the customer change the design 5 times during the process? Did you need the sink before you built the sink base? Did the contractor protect the floor prior to your work or did you need to do that? This looks like a best case scenario job - plenty of space for multiple trades at one time, no appliance panels, no end panels, lots of open space around the windows, oversized crown, etc.

In the end, did you turn a profit on this job? If you had to do it again, and there were complications (delays due to permitting, weather, other trades, annoying customer, damaged sink, etc.), could you still turn a profit?

Unless Atlanta offers very low commercial rents, taxes, insurance, labor and cost of living, this strikes me as a lot of liability without enough compensation. Just my 2 cents, but in New Jersey, that's like 50 bucks.

From contributor A:
I concur with contributor M. In Connecticut you could get $50k for that project as well.

Linear foot pricing does not lend itself at all to beaded inset face frame cabinetry. Simply adding a couple of drawers to a lower makes that unit go up in price fast. Add in a large crown, the feet, hopefully a nicer than usual pantry. $600 is not a lot of money to cover those extras.

From contributor X:
I'm asking the same question... Did you turn a profit? How so? Wow! for only 27k? Okay... how long you been in business?

Simply put, I couldn't do it. I thought I could for the first couple years, based on my per job reflections, but then the bookwork and banker started showing me otherwise... Since I was already doing as many hours per week as I could do, I had no choice but to go up or go out.

From contributor N:
The last beaded job quite similar to this job I bid at about $40-50 per foot less than your bid, and was underbid by another shop at $75-85 per foot less than my bid. I wanted and needed the job, but unlike doctors and lawyers, we are no longer practicing.

From contributor R:
That kitchen would sell for about $17-18k here and I'd put about 12K of that in my pocket for 6 weeks worth of work here in my one man shop in eastern Washington. If I could get $40-50k, or even $27k… Ain't it crazy how different one area is from another? That said, I can't remember the last 18k kitchen I sold. It's been a long time. Most are in the $6k-$8k range.

Just for the doubters, I've been in business 8 years with months of backlog. No, I'm not getting rich, but I'm making a decent living.

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