Pricing for cleft chestnut gates

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Pricing for cleft chestnut gates

Postby Stanleythecat » Fri Nov 12, 2010 2:11 pm

Hi All

Would really appreciate some advice regarding pricing for some cleft wooden gates that I have been asked to make for the National Trust. I used to make these gates when I worked for them a few years ago and have made a few since but never for money!!!

They have now asked me to make 3 gates for them, one 8' one 4' and another at 4'6". As I have never charged for my work I have absolutely no idea what the market value for something like this would be! I have said I would do it and they have even sent me the round wood to do it without me giving them a price.

Would anyone be prepared to put their neck on the line and give me some advice on what would be acceptable. In my defence my gates are of a pretty good quality and I will take about two days on each. I don't plan on taking this up as a proffessional, it was always just something I loved doing, but I see no reason (with possible redundancy hanging over my head) to sell my skills short.

All advice would be greatly appreciated

Many thanks

Leo
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Re: Pricing for cleft chestnut gates

Postby robin wood » Fri Nov 12, 2010 7:33 pm

My advice would be don't sell your skills short or you will be harming others that are trying to make a living from the crafts. My workshop rate is £120 a day, that is around £15 an hour and about half what most people pay a 18 year old apprentice to service their car. It has been that for nearly 10 years and probably should go up. Bear in mind it is rare that you can charge for 5 full days in a week because no one wants to pay you for the day you sharpen your tools, service your van or write your invoices.

I tend to adjust my charges a little depending on how fast I am at what I am doing, if I have only made a few dozen of something and am not really up to speed I will charge less. If I have made thousands and am really good and fast then I reckon it is fair for me to get a bit more than £15 an hour.

Here are some other folk doing cleft gates not sure if there are any prices to give you an idea.

http://www.rivenoak.co.uk/1622.html

http://www.cleftgate.co.uk/

http://www.wocko.com/
http://www.robin-wood.co.uk bowls, books and courses
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Re: Pricing for cleft chestnut gates

Postby arth » Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:47 pm

I charge a similar rate to Robin. Work out a hourly rate and charged a hourly rate plus 10% for running costs. Trailers and chainsaws cost money.
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Re: Pricing for cleft chestnut gates

Postby Brian Williamson » Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:03 am

I'd broadly agree with the above. You do have the advantage of having had the material given to you, so you don't need to spend time sourcing it, but do charge a realistic rate for your time.

Personally, I'm very uncomfortable about having people say ' make me a this' without them having any idea of its price. You can end up in the awkward position of having spent a lot of time making them something that they can't afford. If you've made gates for them before (whilst in their employ) they may be expecting to get them at the same price, ie nothing, or something close to it. My advice would be to work out a price first and make sure that they're happy with it before you start. Since you've made gates before you should have a shrewd idea of how long it will take you.

Brian.
http://www.westcountrycoppice.co.uk

undergreenwood.wordpress.com

'Measure twice and cut once'
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Re: Pricing for cleft chestnut gates

Postby Stanleythecat » Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:49 pm

Thanks for the feedback guys. Time is now a precious commodity; with a rapidly changing 6 month old that I want to be around I think if someone wants to pull me away from that then they need to make a fair contribution, I didn't want to be greedy though.

My mother used to be a spinner and weaver, fascinated by natural dyes, rare breeds etc. I remember for years she collected bits and bobs, loombs and wheels. One of her passions is Nepal and she tries to raise money to support families over there; she thought that she could apply her skills with wool to good effect but after being commisioned to make a large sized rug for an acquantance she took stock of the time she invested in it and the cost of the materials and worked out that if she charged herself a wage people just wouldn't buy.

Cutting a long story short, as a consequence she subsequently sold/gave it all up and took up jewelery making instead! Which I personally think in a real shame.
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Re: Pricing for cleft chestnut gates

Postby ToneWood » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:57 am

Bit late but I note that the NT usually charge visitors/customers top $$$ - so presumably they would expect to pay the same when receiving services? (Yet I hear that they do not pay their staff well, at least the lower orders inc. lower mgt. :( And they use a lot of volunteers - who obviously earn well below the legal minimum, i.e. nothing.)
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