Estimating carpentry work
How to work out what your time is worth & price up Carpentry Jobs for a profit
Estimating carpentry work in the beginning is not easy. Normally when I used to get it wrong it was by underpricing too, which is the worst thing!
In order to be able to accurately calculate carpentry job prices you need to first decide on a daily and/or hourly rate that you want (and think you are worth) to earn. The most important thing to do is to add to this amount all the costs your business incurs.
Calculate your costs
Work out your daily rate
There are 52 weeks in a year and though you might not take them all in the first couple of years (because you'll be so busy), you should allow for at least 20 days off as holiday. So, that means 48 5 day working weeks in a year, and 48x5=240 working days per financial year.
Now divide your costs calculated before by the number of working days there are. Say for example the figure is £5000. 5000/240 = £20.83.
That means bear in mind when estimating carpentry jobs every day you need to earn around £21 just to cover the costs of running your business. After that, the rest is your wage before tax.
You can divide that figure by 8 to arrive at the hourly rate you should charge for small works/extras.
One of the ways you earn extra money is by buying materials at a discount because you have a trade account but not passing all that discount (or any) on to the customer. Most of my suppliers only sell to the trade so the customer should never be able to find out how much the materials cost.
Calculating material quantities and pricing work
Once you know how much you want to earn on a daily and weekly basis you can add that to the other costs associated with a job like materials and sundries. I use the Construction Master Pro Advanced Construction Math Calculator. The calculator is a must for anyone who needs to accurately price up material quantities and jobs especially if you don't like maths! It massively speeds up the time taken and accuracy of pricing work which to be honest isn't the most fun job. You can use it also to calculate rafter lengths, stair components (run, rise, length, pitch etc.), sheet material s, studs, diminishing stud lengths and loads more. It basically pays for itself in about a week!
Estimating carpentry work related pagesAdvertising a carpentry business
Making a carpentry portfolio
Leave estimating carpentry work and return to carpentry tips and tricks home page