And you thought framing was expensive

Marc Lizer

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Jun 28, 1999
North Hollywood, CA
And you thought framing was expensive.

I'll admit it. Like your customers tell you, framing is expensive.

It's custom work done with specialized equipment by people with some degree of training.

Why, it's the same as the auto mechainc.

No two problems are exactly alike do to parts and models. for all intensive purposes, it It's custom work done with specialized equipment by people with some degree of training (depending upon mechanic).

Of course there are big boxes and national chains and franchises. But they still have no problem saying that the hourly rate it xx.xx per hour.

BUt that's not the point of my post, rather that was just a digression.

I am getting some work done at the house. Needless to say, I am paying the Geologist who evaluates my dirt 270.00 hr. Heck, the Geologist who came out and supervised the digging of the holes got 150.00 hr.
This does not even include the cost for the truck to dig the holes, and the guys it came with.
I'ts even 40.00 hr for the secretary to type out the results for the city.

And I thought that framing was expensive. Or even mechanics or lawyers.

Don't even mention architects.
Well if that don't just bite the biscuit!

My degree is in geology. I could probably evaluate dirt. It can't be all that much different from analyzing core samples in the Gulf of Mexico.

I'll bet the geologist's potential customers hardly ever say things like, "I'm gonna check with a couple of other dirt geologists and see if I can get it done a little cheaper."
Hey my degree is in geology too! The only core sample I've done lately was for the apple I ate for lunch!
Hey Flintstone - my husbands degrees are in geology and soil mechanics and his nickname is "barney" - maybe you two hung out in the same gravelbed!! :D Sorry, couldn't resist.

Mark - my husband would have done it for less, but I don't think CA gives reciprocity on his New York PE like they do on the CPF.

I take it, that you are buildig a house??? Good luck - its alot of hard work, stressful and fun all at once.

Now that I'm on the other side
Okay, Jerry, you talked me into it.

Effective immediately, my new shop rate is $240/hour.

After all, what's a lousy 4-year degree in geology (though Marc's geologist probably has a least a master's) compared with 27 years experience in picture framing?

I'll let you know how it goes. (We're in the middle of a winter storm watch, so it might be a few days before anyone notices - unless I decide to make it retroactive.)
So much for my degree in accounting and economics. I think I will keep my rate where it is.
On the other hand, the attorneys who ran the Chapter 11 for Kmart got $750/ hr. That sounds like a nice round number. :rolleyes:
After reading this thread I too have reevaluated my hourly rate. But instead of a general hourly price I have decided to use a sliding scale. My price will be dependent on how my sales are doing and how close to the end of the month I am.

As an example, today is the 27th. I have 4 more days to take in $1,200 just to beat last year. All the customers will be told my rate fluctuates just like the stock market. As of closing on the 31'st if I only have one sale that customer will absorb my fluctuating hourly rate of $1,100. If I have four customers between now and then they will each split my fluctuating rate of say, $200.00.

I feel this new price will serve two purposes. First and most important it will help me cover my "nut" at the end of the month. Secondly, it will be an added incentive program for the people who do come in here. It will behoove them to drum up some more business for me in order to lower their bill. That in turn gives me an additional added bonus of more business. So, I will be actually paying myself to promote the shop. It's genius.

I will attempt this on the next unsuspecting soul who crosses my threshold......yeah I will.

[ 01-27-2004, 05:54 PM: Message edited by: Emibub ]
Again, like framing, it is a long term investment.

And like framing where you have the $10,000 piece of art, and a $1,000.00 frame (or insert your own variables).

In my case, the total Geology Services cost is less than 1/2% of the total project cost.

OK, wait.

I take that back. It's not like framing.

When was the last time you had a frame job cost 1/2% of the total art cost? And selling them thumbtacks or Funtak doesn't count.
And when it's all done, Marc, how many people are going to step back and say, "Wow, Marc, that soil survey REALLY enhances the overall structure and pulls it all together! You simply MUST give me the name of your geologist!"
This weekend my electrician and his helper/girlfriend wired in a new line for my saw, put in a line and cutoff for my kiln (gonna make slump glass frames), installed two 8' flourescent lights, and put in an exterior spotlight. Girlfriend was angling for some framing. She just moved in with the electrician and thinks the walls need some art.

Electrician's rate is $85/hr. Billed for 10 hours. I don't think it should have taken more than four or five.

I don't like messing with electricity. My electrician can't cut mats or join frames. Girlfriend comes in for some framing my shop rate will be adjusted up.
Just don't tell her how long it takes to frame.

If our business is in good shape, we should have no problem getting $100 plus an hour for our time.
I'm getting there, Less. Even before Mr. LeCompte reminded me that I should be living on a boat and doing more framing instead of keeping the day job I've been looking at where I am underpricing. Business has been growing, customers are happy, referrals are growing. The one thing that stuck out is only about 2 percent of the jobs we quote are rejected as too expensive. Probably about half of those are salvaged by switching to a less expensive moulding. Good portion of the rest are "challlenges" I really don't want.

As our customer base/workload grows I would expect my closing percentage to drop a bit. Most weeks we have the capacity to do more work so I don't want my prices to be unreasonably high, but I will be testing increases.

I'll buy the boat before I hit an average of $100/hour on the labor component!