Complexity of dyes in kitchen cabinets

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Hi,
We are getting kitchen cabinets made by a local custom cabinet maker. The total cost of the project is about $20k.
We have just asked him whether the two island pieces can be stained with a different dyes (he uses dyes rather than stains). He said that it would cost an extra $750.
I did not expect to incur an extra cost here, so I was very surprised by this answer. Before I ask a follow up question, I'd like to educate myself as to what might the reason for the extra cost. My naive thought was that there should not be an extra cost to closing a jar, putting it back on the shelf and opening a different jar, but clearly there is more to it than that.
What is it?
Thanks in advance,
Sam
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Sam Takoy wrote:

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On 11/1/2010 12:43 AM, Sjouke Burry wrote:

So you are saying there is no intrinsic additional cost?
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Well, the real answer is in the contractor's head & you were just talking to him- so the immediate response should have been a simple 'How come so much?'.
My guesses; 1. He sends the cabinets out to get stained & there is a minimum $500 fee from 'his guy'. 2. He hates cleaning his spray gun. 3. He realized he under-estimated the job & he's looking for someplace to make it up. 4. He just wants you to leave him alone so he can do things just as agreed to. 5. the stain is already on the cabinets and he'd have to replace them.
Jim
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Sam Takoy wrote:

    This sounds an awful lot like the "Throw a number against the wall" scenario. He might figure you are prepared to spend a lot of money on the cabinets, what is a little more?
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Complexity of dyes in kitchen cabinets:

Indeed. He probably low-balled the original bid to get the job, now he see's a chance to increase his profit margin. We do it all the time with government contracts: low-ball the bid, then make it up with change orders.
--
Work is the curse of the drinking class.

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On 11/1/2010 12:35 AM, Sam Takoy wrote:

The contractor knows you have cash to spend. Let him wait while you shop other contractors....
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He knows he's got a live one on the hook.
By the way, I took the liberty of posting this in rec.woodworking (a very busy newsgroup). I see you've tried alt.woodworking. If I recall, the rec group is much busier. But I could be wrong.
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I, also, would like to know his rational for that additional cost.
Kind of sounds like the decorator, who was redecorating my brother's house. She had made a list of things to be done. My brother decided one item was to be scratched from the list. His bill, to that point, denoted a 2 hours charge for scratching the item off the list. He fired her! He hasn't been returning her subsequent phone calls.
Sonny
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In general with contractors it seems best to finalize your requirements before asking for a quote. Then decide if the total price is worth the finished product. If you get into "how much did each piece cost" or "what will it cost if I change this" after the quote that will lead to frustration. If you change anything that is an opportunity to charge you for the change.
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jamesgangnc wrote: ...

Theoretically nice but clearly one never can fully appreciate or anticipate every possible nuance in any project of any size...
But, change orders are the heart of many operations...in the former life in the nuclear utility (vendor) business there was one particular vendor that was notorious for low-balling initial bids and always ending up w/ higher end costs w/ change-order costs than the highest initial bid. With time it became so apparent our sales engineers developed a whole presentation policy based on their past performance. Not easy to deal with as individual, of course...
--
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On 11/1/2010 8:45 AM, jamesgangnc wrote:

Always ...
> Then decide if the total

It should be written in stone _in the contract_ that folks who can't make up, or change, their minds need to pay ... not the contractor.
And, as it should be.
Decide, after the quote and agreement, that you want a different type of Lazy Susan in a corner cabinet, or arbitrarily change the size of the refrigerator or microwave, can cause two entire walls of cabinets to be redesigned, both uppers and lowers. Something as seemingly simple as changing the counter top thickness can necessitate a complete redesign.
Depending upon the underlying material a particular color being applied can sometimes mean extra steps in application, number of coats, difference in top coats, etc. Some dyes are expensive and not readily available in all locales. This can easily double the contractor's costs if a color you originally specified has been purchased, shipped and paid for.
Then take into account that many, if not most, of these jobs are based on a materials cost plus a percentage factor for overhead, labor and profit ... change your mind about something already purchased and you understand how quickly a change can become seemingly "unreasonable" on the surface.
While the OP's original problem seems a bit out of line on the surface. Best thing is to simply ask for an explanation of the charges for the change.
What is a given is that a contract without clear cut provisions for "change orders" is dangerous for both parties.
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On 11/1/10 10:14 AM, Swingman wrote:

Best answer. The bottom line is, on 20 grand, be glad it's only $750.
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First off, changes after the fact do cost money. FWIW I am having a home built by a know builder. Adding 1 more ceiling fan to the previously agreed on 8, resulted in the extra price for the fan, plus a $350 admin. fee. They absorbed the admin. fee with out me asking, as a courtesy.
But $750 does sound high unless some of this work is being "farmed out" to other contractors, and or he is getting a discount for materials all in the came color.
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On 11/1/2010 11:52 AM, Leon wrote:

Maybe for the sake of their reputation?

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An "admin fee" of $350??? If they hadn't waived it, you definitely should've asked what the hell kind of "admin" they were talking about.
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On 11/1/2010 12:15 PM, JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

FWIW, when buying my last 2 cars, from two different dealerships owned by the same firm, they wrote up the invoice with a $150 "administrative fee". Both printed new invoices without that fee upon "request". Hope that may save someone some $.
Bill
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wrote:

Sometimes with changes you have to mark it up. Sometimes you eat it and shut up for the good of the "cause" I have to say in both instances above they seem a little high. I glad swingman's guy ate it though. $750 sound way high IMHO, but I'm not the one doing it...
RP
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On 11/1/10 11:15 AM, JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

If the fee is in the contract, there is no argument. It could be a legitimate fee to cover the costs of making all the changes, administratively, that a corporation has to do when they become a corporation, just to cover their butts. Or it could be that *plus* some just to keep clients from constantly making changes they consider to be "no big deal."
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Its a _contract_, silly.. At least $250 of that is for the lawyer to review the language. <wry grin>
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