Today I finally got some prices on the materials I’ll use for the Thomas Walnut Dresser, and submitted my first estimate for customer approval!
- Quickbooks is widely used, but not that easy to use. UI needs polish!
- Washington State has a Reseller Permit that I can use to get great prices on materials without being charged sales tax. When I buy wood, turn it into furniture, and sell the finished product I charge sales tax – charging sales tax on the materials and the finished goods would be double-dipping.
- I registered today with the Department of Revenue – meaning the Washington Tax Collectors. I’ll need to pay a minimal B&O tax, transfer any sales tax that I collect to them, and get my small business tax credits!
- My prices might be high, but I’ll get better at estimating over time.
- Printing to a PDF file is useful, and you can do it for free with a product called from Bullzip.
Project Information – The Inspiration
I thought I’d include some information here about the project and the bid, while keeping the customer information confidential.
The first project is a dresser for a former co-worker who is about to be married. He would like it complete and delivered by March 15th. I call it the Thomas Walnut Dresser. It is inspired by a design from West Elm. The West Elm piece is imported and made of wood except for the metal base, has wood drawer slides, and requires assembly. I couldn’t find information on the type of wood they use, where it is harvested, and where this piece is made.
Project Information – The Sketchup Based on Customer Design
The couple-to-be has specific requests for overall dimension and drawer dimension. His fiancé sent some sketches and dimensions, and here’s what I came up with. I’ll build the base out of solid walnut, and I need to see if they want the face of the dustframes showing, my sketch below doesn’t show that. I’ll need to ensure that this doesn’t sag, so there may be a prop in the center of the base.
I then broke this down into cut lists and parts lists so that I could figure out how much material I needed. Then I called around to my favorite suppliers. That’s when I got the tip from Crosscut Hardwoods about the Washington Reseller Permit.
Project Information – The Task List
Here’s how I break down the build tasks and time estimates for each.
|Break sheets down||1 hour|
|Prepare solid stock for dustframes and base||1 hour|
rabbit for top, and bottom, dadoes for dust frames, groove for back
|Build & install two dust frames||1 hour|
|Build & install 8 drawers||2 hours|
|Build & install base||1 hour|
|Trim out carcass and drawers||2 hours|
|Sand & finish, multiple coats over a few days||4 hours|
Project Information – The Estimate
My materials and parts lists, along with their prices and my estimate of hours was entered into Quickbooks, and I created an estimate. I used to show the estimate right here but after a lot of insightful comments, I removed it.
But wait! You can see that I reduced my estimate here by subtracting out 5 full hours of labor. Am I crazy or just bad at math? Well, here’s the reasoning.
- This is my first estimate. I’ll use this experience to refine future estimates.
- I just couldn’t see adding another $250 to this project. I need to remain competitive.
- I like this guy, he’s taking a chance on me being my first customer and this is for his fiancé.
- The price at West Elm for the similar piece is cheaper already (damn you cheap rainforest wood and foreign labor).
- He helped me move once, and all he got out of it was pizza.
Let me know what you think, please comment on this post.