What sort of costs Should I expect?
It can be difficult costing bespoke work. By its very nature it's usually new ground, it's tailored specifically to the client, often far more involved, way more personal and hopefully infinitely more rewarding than an 'off-the-peg' product can ever be.
On my side, I invest a lot of time and thought into every commission, taking great care to produce drawings that the client can understand and visualise, researching and presenting options and the likely associated costs and maintaining good communication throughout the whole process. I will usually take and share photographs along the way so that the client is involved and stays up to date with the process of their commission.
Much of the work involved in creating bespoke items takes place before a design is approved, an estimate produced and before a price is agreed on. That can be evenings and weekends sketching, doing CAD work(computer aided design) researching materials and suppliers and figuring out the best way of doing things. That's what I invest in every commission.
For the client, they are also investing their trust in me to do a good job in a timely manner and on budget, listening and being guided by my experience and of course they are also investing in a financial sense. That investment ultimately has to be higher than an off the shelf, mass-produced product, but I have been lucky so far to have clients that appreciate and accept this, recognise the value added in bespoke work and really enjoy the whole process, not to mention the finished article.
So, just to give a brief idea of potential costs, I am including a few examples below of work that I have completed and the associated costs with each commission. Please bear in mind that complexity greatly affects budget, as does material choice and as do finishing options.
With a budget clear and up-front, and I encourage clients to give me an idea of that, I can be much more able to work to accommodate their budget with alternative or simpler ways of doing things and better materials and finishing choices.
Conference table in Oak and steel
Very large solid Oak conference table around 3.6x1.5m, made in four sections with an end-grain joint detail, cable porting and powder-coated steel legs.
£3000 of which approx 2k was materials. Finished in Osmo UV-protection oil with a darkening tint.
Built in cupboards
Here the client had liked an organic, curved door I had previously made and wanted to evoke that same feel in a fitted cupboard, with specific storage needs in a home office. The internals are mainly Birch plywood, there is a full-height pull-out section to the left, two drawers, a sliding surface for a keyboard and adjustable shelves. The doors are made from a hardwood and all shaped 'freehand'. Completely bespoke and one-off.
The Birch ply elements were all hand lacquered by me and all other components were all spray painted before installation and although I arranged this and transported everything, the client paid the specialist spray painter directly.
Alcove cabinets with accent lighting
A set of built in alcove shelves in a stunning central Leamington home. Unusually high at around 3.1m. The doors of the base cabinets were designed to echo the beautiful arched windows to the front of the property tying everything together . Each shelf is fitted with a warm led accent light which is controlled off a remote plug and gives a beautiful relaxing, ambient light.
£3300 including lighting. Painting done by client.
Dog bed area with tongue and grooved detail
An area in a utility room designed to sit above two dog beds and provide storage space. The tongue and grooved matchboard finish was made specifically to echo some existing tongue and groove on a side wall.
Hand painted in Farrow and Ball Modern Eggshell chosen by client.
Birch plywood concertina serving hatch with concealed hinges
This Birch plywood serving hatch was made to separate a kitchen from a studio in a barn conversion. It had to stay within the thickness of the wall and be minimal in appearance on the studio side. The grain is seamless from one side to the other. It uses concealed hinges, subtle finger-pulls and is finished in oil for a rich and warm tone.