How to Write an Estimate for Furniture Repair

These days, people are looking for value in everything they do. The philosophy of "reduce, reuse, recycle" has led many people to try to repair old household items instead of buying new. And, vintage design is more popular than ever. These factors mean that furniture repair can be profitable--and it's work you can feel good about, because you're helping people save money and reduce environmental waste. But if you're going to take on repair work, you have to price your estimates carefully so that you make a profit.

  • Paper and pencil
  • Calculator
Assess the furniture piece. Figure out what needs to be done to bring it into good condition, and what the owners want done. Add up the number of hours it would take to do the work, and the cost of any materials you would need to provide.

Determine what hourly wage you'd like to pay yourself. Then add about 10 percent onto that dollar amount to account for your overhead costs, such as the cost of a business phone line, business cards, travel costs and the use of your workspace and tools. This figure is your hourly rate.

Multiply the number of hours by the hourly rate, and add the total material cost. This figure is your estimated price.

On letterhead, write a paragraph listing precisely the work you propose to do. List the current condition of the piece, and the condition it will be in when you are done. Be sure to make any exclusions: If the owner is supplying fabric or paint, make note of that in your estimate. Also write a sentence or two detailing the time frame in which you propose to do the work.

Provide your estimated price. It's wise to list a single figure for a package price. Otherwise, an owner might think that the individual components of your price are negotiable.

Include a blank line on which your customer can sign to approve your estimate. Once the bid is approved and you have written acceptance of your proposal, work can begin.

Tips and Warnings

  • Be cautious in writing your estimate. If you don't allow for enough time to do the work, you won't make any profit.

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