Flat Pack Assembly

Flat pack assembly is a fairly common job for me. Easy money really, not difficult at all.
I've been approached by a few national flat pack assembly companies offering me work - at around 22 an hour - and not really local, which I have declined.
Decided to check out what they charge the customer.
One company charges 45 for the first hour & 30 an hour afterwards, two others charges 30 for the first hour, then 45 an hour afterwards +VAT!
That works out at between 250 & 400 for an eight hour day compared to my 160!
Why would anyone pay that sort of money to have flat pack assembled? Hardly rocket science is it?
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Dave
The Medway Handyman
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Including travelling time?
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Hi Dave
On Wed, 25 Jul 2007 20:31:18 +0100, "The Medway Handyman"

You'd be surprised....
There's a great 'distance' between those that diy - and those who don't have a clue.
When I started on the local craft markets earlier this year, there were a number of other sellers who enquired 'Where did you buy your stand' - and whose eyes widened in amazement when I said 'I made it - from wood !' (It's nothing fancy - a couple of trestles, folding table-top from ply, wingnuts & rising butt hinges to hold a couple of frames up at side & rear.....)
I suppose it depends on what sort of 'life experiences' you've had - one of my earliest memories is of 'helping' my late Dad to build a garage & 3-bed b&b extension to out house in Cornwall - I must have been all of 4 years old. Never had enough money to 'get a man in' - so done most of my home improvements myself....
However - there seem to be quite a few people for whom screwing a few bits of wood together is simply something that they don't do..... and I guess that's where the market for a 'flat-pack assembly technician' comes in.
Surely there comes a point where it would have been cheaper to buy whatever it was ready-assembled ??
Funny old world <g>
Adrian
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It would greatly increase transportation costs - and the furniture might then fail to fall apart in a timely fashion.
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Flat pack doesn't fall apart if you put glue in the correct places. Having said that I bought ready assembled when I did my kitchen as it was no more expensive than flat pack.
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On Wed, 25 Jul 2007 20:31:18 +0100, "The Medway Handyman"

And you're allowing for the travel etc... on that as well are you?

I think most people would pay you to build something and expect you to be there for an hour or 2, which added to the price of the furniture in the first place would probably still be less than the alternative which would be commissioning someone to build something built in.
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On 2007-07-25 20:31:18 +0100, "The Medway Handyman"

They may be *charging* that, but are they actually getting it? In other words, are they then offering deals or being open to negotiation (not that most people would think to do that).?

Is that across a mix of jobs for you though? I would expect that assembling flat pack jobs are generally quite short (1-2 hrs max) and then travel to next job so the pricing is to account for that.

No it's not, which is why it isn't the reason.
Think of the range of jobs that you do. Apart from the projects like decks which can really be separated into a different category, I suspect that the reasons people come to you fall into three main buckets:
- Customer is time poor
- Customer thinks that job is beyond them
- Customer can't get a single-trade person to look at the job
Now think about assembling flat pack and ask your typical customers whether they would tackle it. I suspect that a fair proportion would.
A single-trade person probably wouldn't be interested unless he were desperate.
So this leaves........ Mr and Mrs Time Poor. I suspect that they are less price sensitive than the others.
All of which takes us back to a thread from a couple of weeks back where the question of does one charge what the customer will stand? For different reasons, IIRC, most people said yes to that.
Perhaps your flat pack asssembly prices could tolerate a little elevation......
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Andy Hall wrote:

Thats my full day rate, shorter jobs are at a higher rate http://www.medwayhandyman.co.uk/charges.htm
So 1 hour would be 45, 2 hours 75 etc

Certainly true, the Medway Towns are commuter land for London.

It surprises me that people regard flat pack as difficult. One customer said he would rather have a tooth extracted without anasthetic than assemble it. Another said his idea of hell was assembling flatpack for eternity.

They cant get most of them to return a call :-)

I'm thinking my prices in general could tolerate that.
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On 2007-07-25 21:17:58 +0100, "The Medway Handyman"

I think so.
Remember that you can always come down on price. Going up is much harder because then you have to justify it in some way.
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If they operate in Leicester, then you can pass my details on - any inside work would be a bonus for the winter. Alan.
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A.Lee wrote:

Sent it direct, can you let me know that it arrived?
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Cheers. Got it. I've just got a deal with a local property management company - I'd dropped a leaflet in to them a couple of weeks ago, and got a call last Wednesday.They needed quotes for fitting a new toilet pan in one of their rented properties, and a new sink in their office. They were amazed that I had arrived the same day to get the details, then even more amazed when I said I'd go straight away to see what the toilet job needed. They were telling me that they had rung up a number of plumbers, many of whom had asked for cash upfront to give a quote, another had agreed to do the job, but had never turned up. I did the quotes that night, dropped them in Thursday morning, got a call at 9:15am Thrusday, "yes, do them", so out on Saturday to do the toilet - 2 hours from leaving to getting back home, including a trip to screwfix to get a new seat, and then at their office at 9am Monday to do the sink. They were well pleased. Now, apparently, they will be ringing me first to price up any jobs. And for once, I was making decent money - though I have given them 12mths warranty, but I must have still been a lot cheaper than any other quote. Alan.
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A.Lee wrote:

Letting agents can be a good source of work, but of the original 6 I've worked for I've kicked 4 into touch.
Typical problems; they want everything done yesterday, they keep you waiting for your money, they expect too much - typical example, luxury flat with a leaking shower tray. Stripped out silicone, re siliconed. Small area of plaster damaged by leak, still wet. Noted on invoice that I couldn't fill it till it dried. Only charged for time on site. Returned 2 weeks later to fill plaster, charged for half an hour. Invoice queried "shouldn't that have been included in the original price"?
Can be a good source of work though, just be aware.
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Why does anyone pay to have something done? o Can't do it themselves (at all, or well enough). o Don't have time to do it themselves. o Cheaper not to (earn more per hour doing something else than it costs per hour to have someone else do it).
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Andrew Gabriel
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Andrew Gabriel wrote:

Or a bit of both, because the job gets faster with experience.
My wife has now decided to *get* the experience with basic hand tools that she'd missed earlier on in life, so flat-pack assembly has been taken entirely out of my hands. All I'm allowed to do is provide consultancy, and then I'm sent away... oh dear, isn't that awful...
She is slow but meticulous, but sure enough she's getting better and faster, and has now moved on to fitting loo seats as well. (Don't worry, Dave, we're 400 miles away :-)
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Umm... shouldn't she go and join the girl guides, they seem to have a new angle on flat pack furniture;)....

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tony sayer wrote:

Well, it makes a lot of sense. Let them spit curses at B&Q, IKEA and all their creations, for a change, while us blokes are pressing dried flowers.
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Andrew Gabriel wrote:

You missed out my usual option, though I do a lot of DIY in the house.
I can't be arsed to get my tools out :-)
The new central heating boiler was one and the second was the new 1 1/2 bathroom improvement. I just sloping shouldered it and left others to do it. I did my own kitchen about 10 years ago and I remember spending about half a day working out the waste pipe work under the double sink and the dishwasher out flow.
The installation of lots of extra sockets, moving the gas hob location all went to plan and were very easy. As was the rest of the job.
Over the years, I have realized that some jobs do not prove a problem, but the odd one or two can have some very nasty surprises. Or am I getting too old for this sort of work?
Probably :-(
Dave
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On Wed, 25 Jul 2007 20:31:18 +0100, "The Medway Handyman"

Only if you know you have to read the destructions in the page order 1, 3, 14, 7, 2, 9, 21 etc.
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Peter Parry.
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wrote:

Instructions? What are they for?
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