Pricing custom cabinets

      Examples of woodworkers' different pricing methods for kitchen cabinets. December 6, 2000

We are a custom woodworking business making radius cased openings, staircases, custom moulding, etc. We are thinking about doing some cabinet work. Is there a standard per square foot price for a basic set of cabinets, to which you add for extras? We are capable of producing quality cabinets but I am completely lost as far as coming up with a competitive price.

Forum Responses
If everyone made cabinets the same way using the same material and the same techniques, maybe? But I don't think what youíre asking for exists. Or I haven't heard of it yet. We have a similar shop and also do spiral and circular stairs as well as straight ones. We also do custom cabinetry to fill in the low spots during the year. How do you price your stair work? You know what your production costs are. Make a display set if you have a showroom. See how much it costs you. Take it from there.

We start to price out kitchen cabinets using the lineal footage pricing. Plywood doors and drawer fronts: $75.00 per foot. Raised panel doors: $125 per foot and up depending upon wood species and interiors. Counter tops start out at $25 per foot up to $35. All pricing does not count extras like roll out shelves: $20 each. Drawers: $60 each. Appliance garage: $200. Hardware items are cost plus estimate for time to install.

This will only get you started but if you can bid a job and then compare it to another cabinetmakerís price, you can develop a "feel" for bidding. Many times you must feel out the customer and try to build into their price range. Prices very greatly in different areas so you will have to see what your area can handle.

I'm the estimating manager for a firm doing Plam and wood furniture and believe me--every job is different. The only thing to do is to go back to square one and figure your labor on each component. The price of raw material will depend on your customer budget. It's your game to play with this but the labor cannot change, cutting, edging, etc. A mahogany and a birch panel are the same except for the cost and the waste.

There are two ways shops around here do it. One is to figure out how much the material will be and charge the same for the labor. If you forget to figure for something, you lose money. The best way that I have found is to charge by the foot.

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