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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to hear from other companies that have non-union prefinishing shop services. We offer this service to builders as an off-site alternative for items like siding, trim, doors, windows, deck components, stair parts, cabinetry...My question is, how do you guys determine pricing for this service? Lineal foot pricing? Time and materials? If so, how does your shop rate compare to your regular field labor rate? Looking forward to hearing from people on this topic...thanks
 

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I would like to hear from other companies that have non-union prefinishing shop services. We offer this service to builders as an off-site alternative for items like siding, trim, doors, windows, deck components, stair parts, cabinetry...My question is, how do you guys determine pricing for this service? Lineal foot pricing? Time and materials? If so, how does your shop rate compare to your regular field labor rate? Looking forward to hearing from people on this topic...thanks
I've been talking to a window replacement company about doing pre-finish work for them. At this point I am intending to use our regular field rates. I've practiced on a couple of windows, and those rates seem adequate.

In some ways we will gain efficiency doing the work in the shop rather than in the field. For example, there will be no ladder time or weather issues. However, having adequate space and keeping a clean environment will be a potential problem.

I don't have any real experience doing this yet, so I don't know how well the numbers will work out. But my assessment is that the pros and cons will be a wash, and therefore, our normal field rates will work.

Brian Phillips
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Vermontpainter,

Who are you marketing to?

Are you doing mostly interior staining?


Thanks, Alta
The service is only available to builders with whom we are working under contract on a project. Anything from prefinishing exterior packages to interior prepriming, stair treads, cabinet and stair parts etc.
 

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I would like to hear from other companies that have non-union prefinishing shop services. We offer this service to builders as an off-site alternative for items like siding, trim, doors, windows, deck components, stair parts, cabinetry...My question is, how do you guys determine pricing for this service? Lineal foot pricing? Time and materials? If so, how does your shop rate compare to your regular field labor rate? Looking forward to hearing from people on this topic...thanks
Greetings Scott,

Depends...... for me. Most material is priced by lineal foot. Base, casing, crown, base shoe, etc. These we can run thru a drumsander for flats and flap-sander for contours.

Some are priced per piece - plinths, corner-blocks, corbels, escutcheons, etc. These require total manual work. Plinths are finished (first sanded, stained, cleaned, etc) on 4 sides, corner blocks 5! Wood specie also is a factor. (Can get into that in another thread.)

Some are per sq ft - like 4x8 sheets of paneling, conference table tops or some flat hollow core doors.

Some are hourly rate based on experience - windows (mullions! & masking), 6 panel doors, cabinets, mantels.

For lineal material we charge for the first inch, plus a per-inch rate for the flats and another per-inch rate for contours. Might sound a little complicated, but it's verrrrrry easy once you have it set-up in a spreadsheet. No problem as long as you measure and count accurately. And you need to pay attention to all edges to finish. Fer instance casing is usually narrower than base, but has another edge to finish, making it as much or more work/cost. Window stools have a bottom edge to finish.

As to how my "shop rate compare to your regular field labor rate", it is SIGNIFICANTLY lower.

WE control ALL aspects: SCHEDULE, traffic, dust control, lighting, ventilation, and so on.

Every step is easier in the shop. Work is at a comfortable level. (No crawling along the floor or up ladders to sand, clean, stain & finish) We run most material thru the machines much more powerful and faster than palm sanders used onsite - & sands with the grain.

Lighting is wherever we need it to ensure high quality. (How many jobs have you been on with NO HOT OUTLETS and CORDS UNDERFOOT ALL OVER THE FLOOR?!) No corners to interrupt consistent sanding, even staining & smooth finishing. No masking, except glass panes. No plastic or tarps covering floors and doorways.

A possible drawback is you may be expected to deliver it, requiring wrapping to protect from marring. If transportation capabilities are limited you can require the builder/contractor/owner to pick it up.

Yes, it does require space to do it in. You can do alot with racks made from EMT, 2x4s and angle iron. But keeping the mess offsite and NOT taking up SPACE on the job is a BIG advantage, and selling point, for the savvy contractor.

You mentioned you only offer this service to builders. Maybe it's the Wood-nut in me, but I will talk ANYONE into letting me finish their wood BEFORE it is installed. (I enjoy it, but I DO charge for it.)

I just cannot understand why builders/contractors/ANYONE are nuts for prefinished floors but cannot grasp the advantages of prefinished trim!!

I think I'm wandering. I'll let you return to your regularly scheduled program.

Gnarlywood

ps - I also noted you directed your question to non-union shops....which I am....but that's also for another thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Gnarly

Good stuff. Post pics of your shop set up sometime.

We have 13k lf of cedar in ours right now, delivering this week. Its in stack and bundle mode.

We have done alot of trim prefinish, the only downside is if its a trim profile where joints will be heavily sanded, it can cause some backwards motion. We are very good at feathering and blending but sometimes its just not worth the hassle. When its heavier trim profiles that won't be joint sanded its a no brainer. Better finish, faster and life is much easier on the back end in the field.

I am trying to decrease, or be more selective of, the exterior packages that we take in. Its much more fun to deal with interior components.
 

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Gnarleywood said it perfectly!!! I pretty much do all pre-finishing work and I'm very busy. I think the more problems you can take off the contractor the more he is gonna wanna use your services. I usually pick the wood up and deliver get the color matches which makes the contractor really happy.
 

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I have 2 buildings that I use. One is 30x40x16 high. I keep finished and unfinished trim in there until I need to finish it or get it ready for shipment. I usually only will finish large items like big beams that I cant fit into my other shop. My other shop is 30x40 with two seperate floors. I have a paint booth that is 16x20 on the ground floor and thats where I do all my finishing.I use the upstairs for storage of extra product and equipment for on site finishing jobs.
 
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