What would someone else charge for your work?
Lockdowel kitchen for Pricing Survey

This custom kitchen, made using Lockdowel technology, garnered surprisingly close bidding in the 2022 Pricing Survey.

Most shops have nagging doubts every time they price a custom project. Is the price high enough to ensure adequate profit? Is it low enough to win the customer’s approval?

For too many shops, it’s a continual guessing game. And even if they win the job and complete the work, they often still don’t know where they stand. Did they leave money on the table? Did they adequately cover their estimated costs?

Now is your chance to obtain valuable intelligence to answer those nagging questions. Submit a project to the annual FDMC Pricing Survey, which is sponsored again this year by Lockdowel. You’ll find out how other shops across the country would price a job that you actually did.

How it works
For more than two decades the Pricing Survey has been the woodworking industry’s only tool for comparing pricing for custom woodwork.

The survey takes real jobs done by real shops and collects the original bidding specifications. Then we share that information with any shop that wants to “bid” the project. Shops submit bids, including itemized data about materials, design fees, labor, and hours in the job.

Results are published in the November issue of FDMC and online at Woodworking Network. All bidders and shops that submitted projects remain anonymous, so no one need be embarrassed about too high or too low bids. Click here to see last year’s results.

How to submit
While there is a tendency to submit spectacular “trophy” projects, the best projects for the survey tend to be mainstream projects that appeal to a large number of shops. Mainstream kitchens are always the most popular, but we’re also looking for challenging built-in, commercial, and furniture projects, too.

The first step to submit a project is to email me at [email protected] or phone 203-512-5661. Describe the project and send some pictures. For the bidding package, we will need full bidding specifications, dimensioned drawings, and finished photos. Include any special challenges that affect price, such as a difficult location, extra travel time, special materials or customer requirements.

After we receive bids, I will phone you with results to get your reaction and talk one-to-one about what the results say about your pricing.

Don’t miss this chance. Only five or six projects will be accepted. All projects must be submitted by June 15 to make it into this year’s survey.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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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.