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Thread: What to charge?

  1. #1
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    What to charge?

    Name:  IMG_1419.jpg
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Size:  102.3 KB. I built this Aluminum handrail for my customer, it is removable and just sits on concrete. At the ends I made parts that capture the permeant handrail. Materials are about $600 for 200' of 1 1/2" aluminum pipe. One section is 32' and the other is 25'. I have about 20 hours in shop fabrication, plus a couple for on site measuring. So what the market price for handrail like this?
    It seemed like a good idea at the time!

  2. #2
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    Re: What to charge?

    Materials are $600, so add $1200 for labor.

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  4. #3
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    Re: What to charge?

    Only you can decide what your time is worth. It looks very good so I'd probably charge your going shop rate and add an hour or 2 or so for onsite measuring. More if you have to install it. It's a custom job and 20 hours or so seems reasonable to me. Materials are usually the lowest cost of the fabrication. Up here shop rates are well over $100/hr. For 22 hours $1200 is only $54.54 per hour. 24 hours is only $50/hr.
    Last edited by Welder Dave; 06-18-2021 at 08:31 PM.

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    Re: What to charge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    Materials are usually the lowest cost of the fabrication. Up here shop rates are well over $100/hr. For 22 hours $1200 is only $54.54 per hour. 24 hours is only $50/hr.
    Even at $100 per hour, I only consider that the rate for the worker,, (pay, plus taxes, plus SS, plus medical, plus bebefits such as vacation)

    There then has to be a charge filler metal, gases, depreciation of the machinery, the monthly rent of the building, heck, go get a car fixed today, there is even a line item for shop rags.
    Those items MUST be paid for, or you will not be in business next year,,

    Oh, yea, there is also 401K , IRA plans, etc,,

    $100 per hour can not cover all of that,,

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  8. #5
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    Re: What to charge?

    You seemingly have a welding business and you don't know what to charge?
    Check out my bench vise website:
    http://mivise.com


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  10. #6
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    Re: What to charge?

    I generally figure cost of materials x 3 if I am bidding a job , otherwise it is time and materials.
    Trapper

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    Re: What to charge?

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetMK View Post
    Even at $100 per hour, I only consider that the rate for the worker,, (pay, plus taxes, plus SS, plus medical, plus bebefits such as vacation)

    There then has to be a charge filler metal, gases, depreciation of the machinery, the monthly rent of the building, heck, go get a car fixed today, there is even a line item for shop rags.
    Those items MUST be paid for, or you will not be in business next year,,

    Oh, yea, there is also 401K , IRA plans, etc,,

    $100 per hour can not cover all of that,,
    I don't know shop rates are where the OP is located but they cover all the things you mention. You can't have a shop rate and then add a bunch of extra charges for everything imaginable. I was just pointing out that around $50/hr. is way too low.

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    Re: What to charge?

    welding1 where are you located?

  13. #9
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    Re: What to charge?

    Thanks for the replies, some great response's. I'm in North Port Florida (SW Florida). SweetMK had the most accurate comment, my main reason for the post was to see what others charge. I'll be comfortable at $125 P/H and mark up the Aluminum at least 50%. After being in business for almost 20 years I've learned that you can charge damn near what ever you want on theses small jobs! Larger shops won't even bid on these tiny jobs.
    It seemed like a good idea at the time!

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    Re: What to charge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    I don't know shop rates are where the OP is located but they cover all the things you mention. You can't have a shop rate and then add a bunch of extra charges for everything imaginable. I was just pointing out that around $50/hr. is way too low.
    I never intended for all of my add-ons to be part of a quote,,
    I intended my statement to be what must be covered to keep a shop running, honestly.

    Small shops need to pay the bills,, ALL of the bills,, if you simply quote $100 per hour, the shop will loose $$$ on most jobs.

    Heck, take $100, deduct the items I mentioned, you are left with so little money you are better working at McDonalds.
    (I just read that many McD employees are earning $17 per hour, and the shift manager is getting $20/hr)

    Ya gotta make it worth the risk to run a shop, or else, take the easy route, go to work for "the man"...

  15. #11
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    Re: What to charge?

    Quoting rails per hour may cover expenses, but leave a couple thousand in your clients pocket, I suspect. Should of shot a price before building. Can not imagine there is a shortage of Ally rail builders in Florida. Call one of them. Did you just weld or finish them. Any seams? Any finishing to the tube.

    Price seems ridiculously low.

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  17. #12
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    Re: What to charge?

    If you didn't already discuss a price with your customer and you spent time and money on this project, it seems that you're going to be behind the 8-ball when you negotiate.

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  19. #13
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    Re: What to charge?

    In regards to Tapwelder and Denis G's comment, lots of Aluminum fabricators here in Florida, problem is they want the really big jobs, like an apartment complex or 2 miles of handrail along side a culvert for a side walk. What it really comes down to is my customer trust my work and never ask for a price! I invoice them and next time I open the mail box there a check!
    It seemed like a good idea at the time!

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  21. #14
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    Re: What to charge?

    Ironically, I debated leaving a line in my previous statement, "at those rates, you will have a customer for life".

    On Friday, I bid a job identical to that minus the bends, tabs and only 107 feet.... The happily accepted

    You are ridiculously low... And not being compensated for your skill.

    Let me bid your next rail job and I will send you $150 per hour wages. At least submit a number on the front end that will make them uncomfortable.

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  23. #15
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    Re: What to charge?

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetMK View Post
    I never intended for all of my add-ons to be part of a quote,,
    I intended my statement to be what must be covered to keep a shop running, honestly.

    Small shops need to pay the bills,, ALL of the bills,, if you simply quote $100 per hour, the shop will loose $$$ on most jobs.

    Heck, take $100, deduct the items I mentioned, you are left with so little money you are better working at McDonalds.
    (I just read that many McD employees are earning $17 per hour, and the shift manager is getting $20/hr)

    Ya gotta make it worth the risk to run a shop, or else, take the easy route, go to work for "the man"...
    I was just saying the shop rate should include all the things you mentioned. I know some of the heavy equipment repair shops are charging $160/hr and more but I don't know what the normal rates in Florida are. The OP needs to make a profit but not sure if adding 50% to material costs is the norm. Should be some mark up but 50% seems a little high to me. 25-30% might be more inline.

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  25. #16
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    Re: What to charge?

    From Welder Daves and Tapwelder sounds like I need to raise my rates, I like the idea of "A customer for life", and I'm a For Profit business.
    It seemed like a good idea at the time!

  26. #17
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    Re: What to charge?

    When did you buy your metal? Seems like a great price. Is ally not inflated?

  27. #18
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    Re: What to charge?

    You said you have roughly 20hrs in the job? That wouldíve taken me twice as long to do that same job lol. I build a ton of steel handrails of all different styles and specs. I get at least $150/ft and thatís just to build and install. I donít paint or powdercoat so thatís not included in my price, Iíd bid that job at 8k at the least, I mean itís aluminum and aluminum can be/is a pain to work with usually. Iíd be curious to know what you end up charging.

  28. #19
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    Re: What to charge?

    I'm probably be around 4500 before tax. It was really an easy job. This customer has a 2 marina's and always gives me work and never questions the bill. I'd love to get 150/ft, but I dont think I would be comfortable asking for that much. And to answer Tapwelder about the cost, I bought the Aluminum only 1 month ago, I'll have to look at the invoice but I think it was about $60 per 20'.
    It seemed like a good idea at the time!

  29. #20
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    Re: What to charge?

    I agree with Welder Dave
    If word gets out on on over charging you can loss business.

    FYI: All my work was quoted I never charged by hour.
    Everyone new prices be for I started and signed on agree price.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by welding1 View Post
    Name:  IMG_1419.jpg
Views: 422
Size:  102.3 KB. I built this Aluminum handrail for my customer, it is removable and just sits on concrete. At the ends I made parts that capture the permeant handrail. Materials are about $600 for 200' of 1 1/2" aluminum pipe. One section is 32' and the other is 25'. I have about 20 hours in shop fabrication, plus a couple for on site measuring. So what the market price for handrail like this?

  30. #21
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    Re: What to charge?

    Some jobs have to be by the hour though because you don't always know what to expect. Just moving that railing around to do the welding is a lot of work.

  31. #22
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    Re: What to charge?

    Over charging occurs giving a price after the job is done. Otherwise, you are just just giving a your price for them to accept or deny. You cannot determine the ceiling price until you are denied multiple times. If you get everything then you are wearing yourself out and chasing minimal dollars.

    Consistency is most important than a "fair" wage. "Fair" wage and " industry standard" are traps.

  32. #23
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    Re: What to charge?

    Quote Originally Posted by welding1 View Post
    Name:  IMG_1419.jpg
Views: 422
Size:  102.3 KB. I built this Aluminum handrail for my customer, it is removable and just sits on concrete. At the ends I made parts that capture the permeant handrail. Materials are about $600 for 200' of 1 1/2" aluminum pipe. One section is 32' and the other is 25'. I have about 20 hours in shop fabrication, plus a couple for on site measuring. So what the market price for handrail like this?

    Here that pipe would cost me a minimum of $50 a twenty-foot length even if I bought 50 pieces so all material would cost me $1,300. With the new price increases, I would think even more. So if there was no installation involved I would think $4,200 would be in the ballpark. If you have to get a truck or trailer to deliver it that is something else.

    We get $75 a foot for 1 1/4" pipe rails made of aluminum and $125 a foot for aluminum rails powder-coated, for rails fifteen feet and under installed. After about 20 feet we would charge less per foot down to about 45 dollars a foot for uncoated aluminum rails, but we would be either pouring cement or coring them in as well. Never underestimate the install. Often the install brings new engineering flaws or finds weaknesses in the structures already there. Even an accidentally cut underground sprinkler pipe or underground irrigation or power wire cut can add a day with a couple of guys standing around doing nothing. All the welds would be ground down at that price so you can knock off a few bucks for no grinding too.


    Sincerely,

    William McCormick
    Last edited by William McCormick; 06-21-2021 at 03:46 AM.
    If I wasn't so.....crazy, I wouldn't try to act normal, and you would be afraid.

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  34. #24
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    Re: What to charge?

    Good stuff, thanks guys! So went over my price on materials and it was $60 per 20'. I miss spoke when I said 600 for material, really its 1200. I think $75.00 / foot is good.
    It seemed like a good idea at the time!

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  36. #25
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    Re: What to charge?

    Quote Originally Posted by welding1 View Post
    Good stuff, thanks guys! So went over my price on materials and it was $60 per 20'. I miss spoke when I said 600 for material, really its 1200. I think $75.00 / foot is good.
    I saw the diamond plate so I added that in too. When you do the next set and you have to buy a sheet to match the scraps you had this time that is when I cry, haha.

    Also, the uprights add a few lengths, but the $75 a foot will cover you.

    Sincerely,

    William McCormick
    Last edited by William McCormick; 06-21-2021 at 09:46 AM.
    If I wasn't so.....crazy, I wouldn't try to act normal, and you would be afraid.

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