Quoting cabinetry? Seminar looks at why bid prices vary
Bids ranged from $4,550 to $32,315 to build this cabinet.

Can the same custom kitchen really cost three or even seven times as much from one shop as another? The answer is a resounding yes, according to information submitted for the annual FDMC Pricing Survey.

The survey asked multiple shops to bid on the same projects. In the case of this particular "plain-Jane" kitchen, one company in Pennsylvania said it was about a $4,500 job. Next door in New Jersey, a shop said around $32,000 was closer to the right price. Not to be outdone, another New Jersey company took the same bidding specs and came up with a $25,000 price. The New Hampshire shop that actually did the job had it priced at $12,500.

It's not an unusual scenario, as  results of the FDMC Pricing Survey revealed huge variances in price bids for the same work.  The results also show striking differences in breakdowns for materials, construction hours, finishing and installation.

Will Sampson discusses the results of the FDMC Pricing Survey on March 27, as part of the Cabinets Track at Cabinets & Closets Conference. Register now.

A recap of the survey will be presented as part of the Cabinets Track, during the Cabinets & Closets Conference, March 27, in Pasadena, California.

During my session, I'll also share some of the insights I have distilled from studying pricing in the custom woodworking industry for more than two decades. I'll focus on some of the key reasons pricing varies so much in this industry, even between established, experienced shops. I'll also talk about how shops leave money on the table or sacrifice profits to bad estimating.

I have visited hundreds of shops across the country, studying and reporting on successful business practices, including pricing methods. The FDMC Pricing Survey is the industry’s only tool designed to compare pricing for custom woodworking projects. Over the 15 years since we launched it, this survey has compared hundreds of bids on scores of projects to give a fluid picture of the dynamic factors affecting pricing in the woodworking industry.
Register for the Cabinets Track now to learn more about the survey, along with other topics impacting the cabinets and closets industries. The full day March 27 conference opens with a keynote presentation by Whitney Pyle of Advanced Cabinet Systems, then breaks into three tracks: Cabinets, Closets and Lean. It concludes with a plant tour of Semihandmade. The expo floor is open March 28 and 29, with featured keynotes by Keith Morgan of Bespoke, and Elise Lowerison of Houzz Inc.

To learn more about the 2018 Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo, March 27-29 in Pasadena, visit CabinetsAndClosetsExpo.com.


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About the author
William Sampson

William Sampson is a lifelong woodworker, and he has been an advocate for small-scale entrepreneurs and lean manufacturing since the 1980s. He was the editor of Fine Woodworking magazine in the early 1990s and founded WoodshopBusiness magazine, which he eventually sold and merged with CabinetMaker magazine. He helped found the Cabinet Makers Association in 1998 and was its first executive director. Today, as editorial director of Woodworking Network and FDMC magazine he has more than 20 years experience covering the professional woodworking industry. His popular "In the Shop" tool reviews and videos appear monthly in FDMC.