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Thread: Kitchen Cabinet Cost per Lineal Foot?

  1. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Walsh View Post
    you just don’t want to think about some mundane task that is esentilly redundant and the same thing you did the day before and the day before and the day before that so in and son.
    Unfortunately that IS the construction world. You build a home with 55 3/0-8/0 site finished interior doors and your going to be sanding, and finishing for months. Casing? Base? Crown? You walk into a large room that has 3 piece crown, and 4 piece base, and its an exercise in not blowing your head off. Mainly because when you walk out of that room... there are 20 more right behind it.

    Its no different in the shop. A job with sub 200 cabinet doors. You will be seeing sticking in your sleep for years. The issue is making it fast, and still fun. There is no robot. Even the most arbitrary task requires skill. Heck.. one of my long time schpiels has been that it takes skill to run a damn shovel. You sit on an excavator looking down on a really amazing ground man, and wow... shovel skills are impressive.

    Its all what you make of it has been what keeps me sane.

    I cant count the times we would off load the paint truck with 200 gallons of prime and top coat. You knew you were going to go through every room 3 full times. All natural finish trim installed raw, stained in place, lacquer in place, and the next step was sand all plaster to 220, caulk all trim/plaster joints, prime, sand 220, base coat, sand 220, and fly on flawless second top coat. You were ready to quit before you started.

    Shop work is no different to me. Standing there looking at a pile of stock that is all going to get chopped into base and case and you know every inch of it is going to have to be sanded, stained, base coat of clear, de-nib, finish coat, shrink wrapped, its like wheres my .44 mag lol.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  2. #62
    Is the same crap over and over again. It's just wood, glue and nails. Different shapes, same crap.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Bolton View Post





    Again, I fall more in the Justin camp. Our customers want 3D renders, and changes are endless. I use to really enjoy drafting an entire home and its contents on the table with my ancient K&E drafting machine. Not happenin' now.


    Mark, what software do you use to design and generate cut lists?

    What a great discussion here from you pros. I made a living woodworking for most of my life. I remember the passion for the hard work and the craft. The long hours and stress being an acceptable downside. It's very exciting and satisfying. I miss it.

    I was frugal, single with no kids and LUCKY so I was able to retire young. All my extra time and money went into buying and improving rental property. The first property was in 1976. I was lucky there was no internet then. Interest rates were very high and I'm pretty sure any research I could have done online would've scared me away from income property. My best friend had a triplex and said" only buy a building with positive cash flow". I found out he was right. It's harder to do that now at least where I live.

    Owning and managing property was perfect for me back then. When I was slow in the shop I'd build a kitchen or something for one of my rentals. One kitchen I made was from offcuts from a store fixture job I'd done.
    I had the skill, and I got to keep my work and raise the rent. After a while that kitchen was paid for by increased rents and I still owned the kitchen! A pretty simple way for a hard working young guy to stay busy.
    "Whether you think you can, or you think you canít - youíre right."
    - Henry Ford

  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Joiner View Post
    Mark, what software do you use to design and generate cut lists?
    I was an early adopter of sketchup when it first came out. It became familiar to me and I used it with several plugins to make due without spending $8K on some of the other options mentioned already in the thread. We have since adopted a plugin from Cabinetsense Software, that does everything we need including full CNC integration. Oddly we recently just started implementing a new fastener and with a single email I had a call from the owner of the company implementing the fastener directly into our workflow. I can draw and design on the fly and have several libraries of standard construction configurations from butt, to qualified dado, to RTA, and so on. We dont have horizontal boring or case clamp so dowels are out. Qualified dado (blinds) and RTA are by far our most common.

    Its not to say there is not a learning curve. But once you get the libraries built (especially with CNC) its a dream. Drawing long hand is in the dust for me now.

    I envy the posts from guys who talk about having employees that are invested as if it were their own business. Have good people but unfortunately that level of engagement is not our experience. You have to be able to output lists. Fast. And at this point,... I would need the fast lists even if I were the one breaking down parts. It just makes that much sense.

    It costs money, but SUpro is cheap, the maintenance is cheap, and our plugin expense is around 100 a month. Super cheap compared to the alternative.

    I deal with a LOT of architects and designers that need concept drawings and projection estimates on a regular basis. I can provide them with a quick 3D render in a mater of minutes. A rough number.. and Im out.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  5. #65
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    I’ve been self employed for 35 years and can really relate to a lot that has been said. two things come to mind since I try to maintain my sense of humor. When I’m told how great it must be since I can set my own hours my reply is “sure is just pick whichever 80 you want to work each week. The other is how much the word entrepreneur sounds like “ I tripped in Manure”
    Steve Jenkins, McKinney, TX. 469 742-9694
    Always use the word "impossible" with extreme caution

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Jenkins View Post
    I’ve been self employed for 35 years and can really relate to a lot that has been said. two things come to mind since I try to maintain my sense of humor. When I’m told how great it must be since I can set my own hours my reply is “sure is just pick whichever 80 you want to work each week. The other is how much the word entrepreneur sounds like “ I tripped in Manure”
    Spot-on on both accounts!
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #67
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    This thread has been very enlightening and I like the it way has evolved.

    Thanks again to everyone!

    Bill
    Too much to do...Not enough time...life is too short!

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Calhoon View Post
    Attachment 373376 Attachment 373377

    We did outsource installation and there were problems with that. Mostly schedules. I use Cabnetware software and would say that worked out well. It saved a lot of mistakes and allowed me more time in the shop. I still use that software to cut-list house doors. Like Peter and Andrew I enjoy the work and thankful to have been able to make a living at it.
    Now, working mostly by myself with a little part time help I usually do the minimum drawing for the customer, lay out projects on rods and make hand written cutlists that only I understand and would be a disaster to hand to employees.
    This is pretty much where I am at these days, work alone for the most part. Life is simpler. I don't like other people installing my stuff either, seems they always screw something up.

    Just out of curiosity as I never figure by the foot I looked at what the job I am just finishing cost, just a hair over $900/ft. Kind of surprised me actually.

    Very interesting discussion gentleman, will finish later, back to the shop. Unfortunately I am also the janitor, and its time....

  9. #69
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    Steve and Martin, it takes along time for the pups to realize that whether you are self employed or not, it's all just same. The grass typically isn't green on the other side and still has to be mowed. Trying to keep motivated is the hardest job. LOL

  10. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Joiner View Post
    Owning and managing property was perfect for me back then.
    You sound like a much smarter man than I. I unfortunately invested all my efforts into the business. I wish I had invested in the business of property/rental. Coulda, shoulda, woulda,..
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  11. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by John Kee View Post
    Steve and Martin, it takes along time for the pups to realize that whether you are self employed or not, it's all just same. The grass typically isn't green on the other side and still has to be mowed. Trying to keep motivated is the hardest job. LOL
    I keep telling the kid working for me now, you get paid to do it once and in a timely fashion, so when you screw up wasting material and time, I don't pay for it. YOU do. When you try and prove you're incompetent, I'm not going to be handing out the raises and bonus'. I'm going to be riding your rear.

    I don't want to talk to anybody during the day unless I have to. Do your job, I'll do mine.

    How do you guys justify installing? The pay is horrible and at this point I'd still have an empty shop costing roughly $230 a day but not producing anything. Then there's the time. If I had enough install work to justify two guys installing full time, that's a different story, but I'm a ways away from that.

    Subbing it out is a pain too, but I've got a couple of good guys and so long as it isn't short notice, scheduling isn't much of a problem.
    Last edited by Martin Wasner; 12-11-2017 at 6:54 PM.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Bolton View Post
    You sound like a much smarter man than I. I unfortunately invested all my efforts into the business. I wish I had invested in the business of property/rental. Coulda, shoulda, woulda,..
    Wish I could claim smart, but mostly lucky. I just wanted to pay less income tax. I got great tax breaks back then.
    "Whether you think you can, or you think you canít - youíre right."
    - Henry Ford

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Wasner View Post

    How do you guys justify installing?
    Most of the stuff I do these days is off the wall, and around here at least finding installers that can follow instructions as to how and what order things are supposed to be assembled is a problem. I end up with a lot of hours in these projects, and it is not worth the stress of counting on someone else.

    One thing I am extremely jealous of is that you have capable finishers around that can take that off the table. I would love that, especially as I no longer have a booth. But no dice. Hate finish.

    It has been interesting watching you and your business grow over the years. You have done well my friend!

    Larry

  14. #74
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    For me, it is part of the job. I simply cannot, and will not trust somebody that only has experience putting in lumberyard cabinets.
    When the job is done, and somebody asks, they aren't going to name your installer, what they see, and how it fits, is squarely on your name.
    I price with install only- one stop shopping, nothing is left out. If that isn't what they want, they can call anybody around me.
    I also supervise and direct the electrician and plumber on what they are allowed to do to my cabinets.
    There is no such thing as an outlet cut into the middle of a panel...... anymore!
    That happened once, about 25 years ago,and I realized that some people really are not very bright.
    I get paid at least my hourly rate to install, but with custom cabinets it rarely takes more than 2 days to complete, as I have usually the entire bank of cabinetry built as one, so an L shaped kitchen is only 5-6 pieces total.

    If people want a custom kitchen, at least some part of it needs to be custom.

    Someone told me long ago, that if I wanted to survive, I had to "divorce myself from the emotion of pricing" The numbers are the numbers.

    If people ask me how my prices compare, I tell them simply, I do not know of a COMPARABLY built kitchen FOR LESS MONEY.

    There are a LOT of cabinetmakers within an hour to an hour and a half of me. Some of them do pretty nice work. But none of them to my knowledge do it for what I charge. They could, but they are better businessmen than I am.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter gagliardi View Post
    For me, it is part of the job. I simply cannot, and will not trust somebody that only has experience putting in lumberyard cabinets.
    When the job is done, and somebody asks, they aren't going to name your installer, what they see, and how it fits, is squarely on your name.
    I price with install only- one stop shopping, nothing is left out. If that isn't what they want, they can call anybody around me.
    I also supervise and direct the electrician and plumber on what they are allowed to do to my cabinets.
    There is no such thing as an outlet cut into the middle of a panel...... anymore!
    That happened once, about 25 years ago,and I realized that some people really are not very bright.
    I get paid at least my hourly rate to install, but with custom cabinets it rarely takes more than 2 days to complete, as I have usually the entire bank of cabinetry built as one, so an L shaped kitchen is only 5-6 pieces total.

    If people want a custom kitchen, at least some part of it needs to be custom.

    Someone told me long ago, that if I wanted to survive, I had to "divorce myself from the emotion of pricing" The numbers are the numbers.

    If people ask me how my prices compare, I tell them simply, I do not know of a COMPARABLY built kitchen FOR LESS MONEY.

    There are a LOT of cabinetmakers within an hour to an hour and a half of me. Some of them do pretty nice work. But none of them to my knowledge do it for what I charge. They could, but they are better businessmen than I am.

    Pretty much sums up my feelings on the subject

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