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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I've been installing wood floors for the last 7 yrs., before that did a lot of casework and finish carpentry.

While doing installation of casework for hospitals, colleges, etc. my company paid on the rate scale per/hr. on the East coast.
Here's what I'm looking at now:

I have benn offered a job with a custom cabinet company ( in Las Vegas), they do some of their own millwork. He's paying "by the box", so different prices on different boxes. I worked "piece work" doing floors, but it was a known rate per sf per type of flooring.

Has anyone here worked by this pay method or does anyone know if this is a normal practice to pay "by the box", I'm not familiar with it.
Also, what type of prices would you consider to be fair, good, great and/or bad that would be on a box. ( I know it depends what is inside, maby you could give example of type of cabinet along with $ for that item)

Greatly appreciate any input so I know what his offer will mean to me
and negotiate pay correctly.

Thank You - Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have questions for you.

Custom Cabinets? Who pays for them if you damage them?

Would a $500 a box be unreasonable?
As far as who pays for damage, not sure how that will work yet, but will be discussed.
As to your $500 Q., I'm asking my Q.'s to be able to have an intelligent answer to Q.'s like yours & do you mean to install or to pay out for damage?.....so, you tell me.
 

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As far as who pays for damage, not sure how that will work yet, but will be discussed.
As to your $500 Q., I'm asking my Q.'s to be able to have an intelligent answer to Q.'s like yours & do you mean to install or to pay out for damage?.....so, you tell me.
My installation cost on cabinets are relative to the cost of the cabinets. I don't charge the same to install a $200 cabinet as I do a $2000 cabinet. Especially if I am liable for damages to said cabinet
 

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I have found that if you're installing uppers, lowers, laminate tops, hardware, toekick and backsplash you can install between 14 and 20 boxes in a ten hour day depending on the layout. This is balls to the wall, short lunch, and for a quality install, no gaps, cracks, fills tight to the wall, no gaps in mouldings or backsplashes etc.

I've also spent a solid week installing 20 boxes in remodels where you have to do a built up escucion, crown against the ceiling, trim around the bottom of the uppers, appliance garage, notching cabinets around plumbing from the floor above and trimming around the pipes etc.

Most "average" sized kitchens in run of the mill 2000 SF homes are around 14-20 boxes including vanity cabinets.

The "proper" way to count boxes is to count 1 per cabinet, 2 for a tall cabinet, and 1 for each countertop you install. Some builders only count cabinets. I personaly like to account for fillers and stupid things like HVAC openings that have to be cut into the toekick by adding a seperate charge per.

Don't forget to add for crown molding, escucions, etc.

I would upcharge an extra box for each lazy susan past the first one. Also a charge for cutting out an appliance opening in a cabinet face.

I would write a contract that states you are not responsible for any damage to anything you are installing.

Open every door before you drill for hardware.:thumbsup:

Hopefully that's enough information to come up with a box price and extras list based on what you need to make per hour.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks Orson for your time responding and for the info you provided.:thumbup: I'm sure my husband will find it informative coming from, what seems to be, another quality conscious and experienced carpenter like your self. (this is his wife right now, he's the quality carpenter, I'm the quality patrol, making sure he gets what he's worth, the job's worth and not get taken advantage of. Vegas has a way of making you want to be as informed as possible. Employers, in our experience, want the quality, but want to pay & will try to pay you like you're one of the many "cheap laborers" we have here in Las Vegas unless, you call them out with intelligent informed reasons for better pay in negotiations. They do want quality & will pay for it, it's just a little tougher getting them there than the east coast we find. We don't fault them for this, business is business after all, just not so cut throat on east side)

With all that said, you may have a better understanding why these Q.'s were asked to begin with & why detailed responses are appreciated, so thanks again.

This is balls to the wall, short lunch, and for a quality install, no gaps, cracks, fills tight to the wall, no gaps in mouldings or backsplashes etc.
This is him, but w/ no lunch. Quality & detail conscious.



I would write a contract that states you are not responsible for any damage to anything you are installing.
Would you consider this a fairly common request by an employee of a private company? Company has some commercial contracts (like hospital and some retail), but for the most part they do high end residential, $500,000 + homes.
I think this should be a "must have" for many reasons, not because I predict actual damage by chuck due to his workmanship, but for all the in betweens. Am I on the right track?


Hopefully that's enough information to come up with a box price and extras list based on what you need to make per hour.
I know this might be a lot to ask, but would you mind taking a look at the drawings for the job he's doing, starting mid-week and price what you believe to be the typical/average on those cabinets? I will scan it, label each unit w/a letter & give wood type, I think then there would be enough info for you (or others) to give price info help. He then can compare what the price is on the box at this job to info given here for a decent overall picture for approx. pay & approach his boss (the owner) & negotiate pay correctly if there is an unreasonable difference.
We'd really like what the box should pay (we realize this can never really be pinpointed, but I'm sure you get what I'm looking for). We don't want to base it on what we need, we are looking to know what it should pay approximately;)

Again, Thanks for info given, appreciated and ty for any future info you or others may provide.
I will scan pic of drawing when Chuck gets home. If it is improper to reply to the drawing in public forum, please feel free to email chuck at [email protected] - I understand why this may be the case.....

~Tammey

Please keep in mind, Chuck is no Spring Chicken, he's been in the carpentry field for over 25 years - and good at it too, but the business side for this particular sub-type for a private company and with this pay method "by the box" has not been yet experienced. :no:
 

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I would write a contract that states you are not responsible for any damage to anything you are installing.
Would you consider this a fairly common request by an employee of a private company? Company has some commercial contracts (like hospital and some retail), but for the most part they do high end residential, $500,000 + homes.
I think this should be a "must have" for many reasons, not because I predict actual damage by chuck due to his workmanship, but for all the in betweens. Am I on the right track?
The way I look at this is simple: You are only responsible for damage to materials during installation if you are providing the materials.

If you are not supplying the materials you have no opportunity to collect markup revenue and no way to cover risk of material damage. This would really only be a sticking point if you were regularly damaging materials anyway.

If that were the case any good GC would fire you because of all the scheduling problems you're causing, so basically it's a moot point.

I installed over 300 kitchens for a GC. After working with them for years they back-charged me for a door I mis-drilled for hardware. I no longer install kitchens for them.

As a piecework employee the distinction should be even more clear: an employee should NEVER be held responsible for damage to materials. Fired? eventually if recurring, but never held financially liable.
 

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Depends on the box price, but if it truly is super custom I prefer per hour. Super custom companies in arizona prefer that as well. They do not want their installers slapping it up and then getting call backs for the 1/32" gap the installer tried to hide.
If the "custom" is nothing more than fancy modular cabinets than per box is typical and he should be able to knock it out pretty quick. Find out the tolerances and if the box is to be scribed to wall(s) or if there are scribe moldings.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If you are not supplying the materials you have no opportunity to collect markup revenue and no way to cover risk of material damage.
Yes, this makes absolute sense.
Very simply put and I think this quote of yours along with the addition at the end "and therefore you should not be responsible for out of pocket expenses of damage" should be in a "sticky thread" somewhere on this forum where it belongs or one should be made with a title something like "Basic To-Knows Working in the Trades as an Employee"
This too:
As a piecework employee the distinction should be even more clear: an employee should NEVER be held responsible for damage to materials. Fired? eventually if recurring, but never held financially liable.

I installed over 300 kitchens for a GC. After working with them for years they back-charged me for a door I mis-drilled for hardware. I no longer install kitchens for them.
Don't blame you there, I'd do the same!

I have been putting an e-mail together for you that I will send to you today. Thanks for getting back to me and for taking your time with all this. :thumbup:
 

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Depends on the box price, but if it truly is super custom I prefer per hour. Super custom companies in arizona prefer that as well. They do not want their installers slapping it up and then getting call backs for the 1/32" gap the installer tried to hide.
If the "custom" is nothing more than fancy modular cabinets than per box is typical and he should be able to knock it out pretty quick. Find out the tolerances and if the box is to be scribed to wall(s) or if there are scribe moldings.
TY for your input
Yeah, he just had to scribe a couple yesterday to the wall & also for floor level
 
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