Job: Build bookshelves and a new Mantel around an existing brick fireplace.
I’ve completed my installation of the custom Ikea kitchen I started in December. Here are a few more pictures that show some finishing details. I will return to the jobsite for about a 1/2 day to apply a few missing parts when they arrive from Ikea. Other than that, I’ve finished my tasks and it was another job well done. Continue reading Finishing details on a custom Ikea kitchen
Word of mouth is the way I get my next job.
After finishing a basement remodel and some cabinetry work here in Darien, CT. I was called out to Bronxville, NY to build some cabinets for a friend of the clients who noticed my last job.
On certain projects I work with a Contractor, Designer and an Architect. Most often I visit a home and meet with the residents myself, to inspect the location and discuss their desires and the possibilities.
I take that information home, draw up a picture and send it to the client with a price.
For this project I gave two layouts and a few options. The clients chose to eliminate a radiator and build a window seat alongside the bookshelves they required. I built up the boxes in my shop and made certain I had all the pieces before making the long drive toward the city for the installation.
Remember when I said that I deliver the proposed plans and then we discuss possibilities. Not atypically, it’s how is it possible to make alterations to the price and I do what I can to accomplish everyone’s goals. In this case I was able to shave off $80 dollars by changing from decent hardware to slides that cost $4 each. Even though this change was documented and discussed before the downgrade the client later said “If I knew it meant losing that 4″ of space on each drawer I would have paid the $80.”
I’ve learned that being careful pays but being cheap can sometimes cost you so much more.
To replace them with full-extension hardware would now cost $100 in hardware, 2 hours labor and about 4 hours of driving. How much would you charge? He lived with it and I went away feeling I didn’t do a perfect job. Since this is a backdated post to the time when the job was completed, now five years later, I can see how nice these cabinets really are.
Not to make this entry too long but on every job we learn something. After this project I made several changes to my policies including covering expenses for travel or not accepting work at such a distance and I no longer option cheap hardware. Today, my prices are super-reasonable and nearly double what I charged these folks back in 2003.
I was called by a friend of this client, years later, for a similar task. After explaining there would be a fee for my plan drawings after a visit their NY home they lost interest in my attention and I… breathed a sigh of relief.
“As affordable as possible” is often a requirement for some projects of significant size. I don’t remember the invoice amount but it was super-affordable for a stain-grade custom unit! Continue reading Custom poplar entertainment unit