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Just curious jow many people charge for a detailed kitchen estimates. I dont charge for simple things like a roof but am considering charging for kitchens. I put to many hours into estimates. I think it will weed out people wasting my time.
 

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jason72081 said:
Just curious jow many people charge for a detailed kitchen estimates. I dont charge for simple things like a roof but am considering charging for kitchens. I put to many hours into estimates. I think it will weed out people wasting my time.
I like to work backwards from a budget. That's not always possible- then I just use allowances.

I charge for any kind of design work. If you're spending that much time in a kitchen estimate you may going too far into the design aspect.

Find out expectations and/or budget and kitchens aren't all that difficult to "estimate".
 

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In the past- I would give them a ballpark estimate after a quick visit of no more than an hour there hopefully... if everyone appears to be on the same page and wants to move forward with a rough price and scope of work in mind, I would charge for any design and cabinet layout, and specific pricing for that design with a detailed scope of work and specific materials listed.

That way even if the job doesn't go through after that, your work of thinking up their kitchen is paid for.

Some charge for any kind of estimates or site visits.. I wouldn't mind that, but couldn't get there completely..
 

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I found that a kitchen or bathroom is a different animal than say framing a basement or hanging x amount of doors or painting a certain amount.. I found that stuff way faster to figure out a price than a kitchen or bath.. figuring out any design, all the materials, how long it will actually take.. took a lot more than just ok we need to build this many walls with this much lumber... especially when the home owner will want to change the design after you spent hours on it, etc..
 

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If your redesigning a kitchen or bath layout then yes I would charge. I usually come up with a ball park figure while measuring and talk to customer and explain that the layout will have to be charged for with a more in depth estimate. Also always explain how plumbing and electrical can change because if your opening up stuff god knows you always run into something hacked up or illegal. Also if I'm spending the time to make a kitchen layout and not charging what's stopping them from letting Joe DoAll down the street from using my layout idea and undercutting me using lowes stock cabinets and cheap fixtures and half assed plumbing. Bathrooms usually don't change much but if it's a gut and rearrange I'd charge for a layout plan and estimate due to the same reason.
 

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Of course my cabinet guy also makes a 3d kitchen print out of what it will pretty much look like which I found with the HO being able to see it before it goes in makes the sell a lot easier and is way more professional than just words on a paper
 

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For a simple bath (just replacing vanity, toilet, tile, fixtures, etc), no charge.

For kitchens, I give a free ballpark estimate using allowances. Weeds out the tire kickers. For a more detailed estimate I charge $1/sf, applied as a credit if I get the job.
 

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I haven't charged in the past, but I am going to have to in the future due to a PITA home owner. She is a good repeat customer but I have been working with her on a kitchen plan for over 2 years now and I have done 3 designs and cabinet layouts with detailed proposals. At this point I have at least 60 hours into pricing cabinets, doing the layouts and drawings. Its only a $30k kitchen, so at this point, its not worth the time and hassle of them changing their mind. So from now on I will have a meeting to discuss design, materials and write up a quick estimate with allowances. If they agree to that then I will charge for a full detailed estimate with plans and have a clause in there to charge again for any design changes before there is a signed contract.
 

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Step 1 - Stop calling what you a re doing an estimate be causes it isn't that at all
Step 2 - Start calling it a design consultation and preliminary budget
Step 3 - Learn what an estimate is an provide it when asked for without charging for it
Step 4 - After you give an estimate, sell them on the paid design work have them sign an a design agreement and collect payment

Step 5 - Do the design, present it and ask for approval and a deposit to get started
Step 6 - Have a Beer
 

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I met with a customer yesterday. They showed me their kitchen plan from a local kitchen and bath cabinet retailer. The plan was nothing fancy. Done on 20/20 software, basic kitchen layout, 2 color 3D pictures. They told me they paid $1,000 for the kitchen plans.
For all these years I have done it for free, to get the job.
They have entered an agreement that if they don't buy the cabinets from the company, they still have to pay $1,000.
 

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Have never charged up front for a kitchen renovations it is part of my job as a contractor. A complete house floor plan reno yes I take a deposit and charge for design & working plans. Often I get work when clients has their own interior designers which can also be a pain but is also good if they have good thought out ideas.:thumbsup:

http://shiptonconstruction.com
 

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I met with a customer yesterday. They showed me their kitchen plan from a local kitchen and bath cabinet retailer. The plan was nothing fancy. Done on 20/20 software, basic kitchen layout, 2 color 3D pictures. They told me they paid $1,000 for the kitchen plans.
For all these years I have done it for free, to get the job.
They have entered an agreement that if they don't buy the cabinets from the company, they still have to pay $1,000.
That is the way to operate for some companies good luck to them. If they are a sales oriented company they used these selling skills up front to make a bit of money. For me it would be a waste of time and money the less pressure I place on customers in the design stage the better the chance of a good outcome in landing the project. :thumbsup:

http://shiptonconstruction.com
 
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