How to Bid for Installing Cabinets


Learning to bid cabinet jobs is one of the toughest things to do when starting to run your own business. What do you include in a bid besides material and labor? How much is too much? Should you concern yourself with the "going rate"? There are as many opinions as there are cabinet shops providing the work. In the end you will have to bid what you think is right and hope it works out. Through trial and error, you will arrive at a system that works for you.

Things You'll Need

  • Installation plans
  • Calculator

Get a Baseline Price

  • Divide your total cost of materials and services, such as delivery, by the lineal foot. A lineal foot is all cabinets from floor to ceiling, including drawers, doors handles and other objects. This is your material cost per foot.

  • Calculate how long it will take to complete the project. Multiply this by a figure for the total cost of labor, including taxes, benefits and facilities costs for time in the shop, such as electricity.

  • Add the two figures together to get a total cost to you of completing the project. Add whatever percentage you want in profit. This constitutes your ideal price.

  • Check yourself estimated bid against the national average to see how you measure up by using an estimator, such as the one found on

A Simpler Method

  • Figure the hard cost of installing the cabinets. This is everything you will pay out of pocket to get the cabinets complete, except for payroll.

  • Multiply this number by two to get a rough estimate of labor costs.

  • Add the two numbers together and add 20 percent to cover things like fluctuations in cost and extra needed materials. This is the customer's price.

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