Pricing a Job With Multiple Pieces

If someone sends you pictures, brings their furniture to your shop, or calls you out to their location, what if they have a large job with multiple pieces. It can seem overwhelming how to give them a price. How do you calm yourself enough to give the client a price? Here are some tips.

Price All Items Indidvidually, not as a group

When you do them, you do them individually. When you lump things together you forget to add cost for things that cost you extra time.
Who took those pictures? If you took those pictures I would chide you to take a picture of each item separately, full on at an angle. If a client sent me those pictures I would insist that they send me a clear picture of each item. When you have cluttered pictures of lots of pieces it is hard to tell what is included and what is not. In group pictures extra cost things get hidden.
With that said, if these are the only pictures you have, chose one item at a time and clearly describe it and price each piece individually.

Know What You Are Pricing

When I price an item, know what the estimate includes. I itemize the estimate and have it clearly describe each piece. For example, this would be one imaginary listing: 7 foot sofa with 3 seat cushions and 3 back cushions, no skirt and no buttons, no decorative trim. (of course, you would describe it to fit whatever you are including on your estimate.) In addition to these descriptions, the bottom of the estimate would include limitations and disclaimers (see below)

Itemize Your Estimate

Even if you don't want to give your itemized estimate to the client, I recommend that you still itemize your charges on your estimate. I do this to make sure that I charge for everything. As for myself, I do give my clients a fully itemized estimate. Then both they and I know what the estimate includes and what it doesn't include.
For example, I don't price all sofas the same. I break it (my prices) down into basic (plain design) styles and then add for extra cost items (i.e. attached pillows, loose pillows, skirts, throw pillows, etc.)
Here is my labor price listing (which is low, I haven't looked at it recently, I need to revise it. but it will give you some ideas.)  Also, notice the disclaimers and extra charge items at the bottom of the page.

Using Disclaimers on Your Estimate

It is very easy for a client to think that when you give them a price that it will include everything that will be needed. However, that leaves you open to getting hit with unexpected repairs or supplies that may be needed. Whenever I give a client an estimate I put it on my estimate form which includes disclaimers and limitations. The disclaimers protect me from the unexpected and also notify the client that there could be additional charges if more work or materials are needed.
"These prices are just rough estimates. All items that are not priced are not included. Your actual cost may be more or less depending upon the work that you want done,  the price and the amount fabric and supplies used on the job. Anything not listed and charged for is not included  Unless otherwise noted and charged for, all prices are based upon reusing existing padding and cushion filling, using one plain or all over design 54" wide fabric, not needing matching, using standard supplies and materials. Additional charges apply for multiple fabrics, pattern matching, frame repairs, and any other labor or supplies needed. All prices, yardages and info subject to change or correction. If our foam or supply prices increase before an order is written, those affected foam or supplies in this estimate will be subject a price increase. *Standard COM charge is $15 yd, but may vary depending on the type of fabric or other factors. **Pick up and delivery charges vary according to distance, local charges shown (Independence, Monmouth, Dallas, western Salem).   (c) Copyright 2006 by Stephen Winters"