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Building Bookcases
Old 06-26-2011, 07:59 PM   #1
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Building Bookcases

Looking to have a contractor build some custom bookcases for my home office.....any odd things to look out for from the cabinet builders ? So far its taken him 3 weeks to come up with an estimate....although he's mentioned it would probably be in the 3k range for approx a 16-17 length / 8 feet tall with a area in the center for a flat screen ( 40 "). I'm hanging with him for for now since he comes with a good recommendation, but he's awfully S-L-O-W....for certain , if he's selected there will be no $$ paid up front.....been there, done that, years ago with a contractor who happened to be a minister. Had to wind up going to his church and embarassing him to get my money back
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:18 PM   #2
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Make sure you specify the materials to use specially the wood as this will greatly impact the cost. You may want to plan for a TV larger that 40" in case you upgrade later.
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:53 PM   #3
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I'm a contractor and work a lot of subcontractors. If he's taken this long and not even provided an estimate... run now! This can only be a sign of things to come.
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Old 06-26-2011, 09:23 PM   #4
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I had a lumber yard make me up a bunch of one-side-open rectangular boxes out of plywood; that is, there were 5 solid sides on each box, and the books went in with the spines facing out to the open side. Then I stained and varnished them, and stacked them up against 3 walls. All modular. Easy to move and reconfigure. It worked real well, I thought.
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:05 AM   #5
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Make sure you specify the materials to use specially the wood as this will greatly impact the cost. You may want to plan for a TV larger that 40" in case you upgrade later.
This is a good point. Have the guy make it for a 60" and then add fillers on each side to accommodate you current 40".
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:40 AM   #6
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What about pricing......would having someone "south of the border" have a better price and similar quality ?
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpruitt85 View Post
I'm a contractor and work a lot of subcontractors. If he's taken this long and not even provided an estimate... run now! This can only be a sign of things to come.
+1

I'm a residential customer and a former Program Manager of govt contracts. If he won't put it in writing by a certain deadline (be flexible but don't wait too long), look elsewhere.
All of the home contractors I use do not hesitate to put their estimates in writing. If there is a need to modify because of unanticipated costs of materials or additional labor (unseen problems do happen), we resign the original estimate to accomodate that. Always in writing!
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Old 06-27-2011, 10:10 AM   #8
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What's a book?
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Old 06-27-2011, 03:33 PM   #9
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I usually get a couple of quotes. Sometimes another vendor will come up with an idea or material that I did not even know about.
You should have had a quote in hand by now.
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:36 PM   #10
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This seems low for that much cabinetry, assuming he does quality work and uses quality wood. A/

Quote:
Originally Posted by ferco View Post
Lhe's mentioned it would probably be in the 3k range for approx a 16-17 length / 8 feet tall with a area in the center for a flat screen ( 40 ").
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Old 06-28-2011, 04:01 AM   #11
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The actual quote (finally received) is $ 4,100 Total for Maple Hardwood with 6 file drawers. Labor and Installation is $1,145 of the total
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:05 PM   #12
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Got a new quote from a "friend of a friend"......19 ft long bookcase...(16 + 3)....$9,999. I asked him did he charge me for the K-Y and Preparation H also. When I told him he was 100% above 2 other quotes , all I heard was silence. Needless to say, I think I'll put this project on the back burner for awhile. I'm even considering just going to a furniture liquidator and buying some old fashioned conventional bookcases....in retrospect the"greedy" contractors have given me time to re-think this purchase and do I REALLY need the thing that bad.....I don't think so
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:42 PM   #13
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To justify a cost of almost $10k, this thing would have to be a work of art. The price still seems a bit over the top. Who are you trying to impress? If function is what you want, there are far cheaper and just as effective ways. I second the modular system idea, because it can be moved with you, rearranged as you see fit, and you will not be locked into a specific setup, which can date pretty fast as electronics evolve. Also consider looking at unpainted solid wood furniture, which you can have stained to your taste or stain or paint yourself. In my last house I did exactly this during a redecoration and I still own two pieces, which are looking great in my new place.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:13 PM   #14
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Meadbh has a good point - - that a separate modular bookcase would be much more flexible as your needs change throughout the years. Another thing to consider is that, while one might think that built-in bookcases would add to equity in the house, that isn't a certainty since some buyers do not like them. (I agree, they're nuts, but it is what it is). Not everybody reads.

Another solution might be stand alone cabinets. They look nice, keep dust off the books, and they are easily movable. Plus, if the world goes all Kindle in 20 years they could be used for knick-knacks, kitchen/pantry items, or clothing.
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:36 AM   #15
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Bookcases - Modern & Traditional - IKEA

I built something like the Expedit cases for our closet. The Ikea version looks like a steal. Used to be a set of IKEA veneer cases along the wall of MIL's place loaded up with books -they looked good and performed well, with no sagging, for at least 4 years that I observed them.
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:47 AM   #16
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Have you checked out Ebay? Look up "wood book case". Sees like some good deals and tons to choose from. Less hassle and cheaper than a contractor.
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Old 08-04-2011, 01:41 PM   #17
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Boy, for $10K I'd be spending a lot of time looking around. That's $526/ft. I know you can't go by $/ft ($10000/19ft) in furniture but that really sounds high. As others mentioned, I'd get that in sections in case you change layout in the future. I've seen some beautiful boodcases in furniture stores. Go to high end stores and see what they are dying to get rid of. Make 'em an offer they can't refure.

The IKEA suggestion just doesn't cut it with me. I really don't like anything they have. Not my style. I understand the thinking behind their furniture line, kitchen cabinets, etc. is that in Europe the tradition in moving is that you take everything with you, maybe even the kitchen sink. So, everything is built simple, with ease of assembly in mind. My nephew and his wife got transferred to Germany and in looking at apartments, found them to be almost bare, nothing in them. They had to buy everything, including the kitchen cabinets. Anyone else found this to be the case?
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:24 PM   #18
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Got a new price from a different company....19 ft of "wood grain" (cherry wood covered press board) for $2,963....with raised panel $3,293. this represents about a $2,000 "savings" versus going with the solid wood.
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Old 08-13-2011, 11:47 PM   #19
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IMO, customizing your home office like you are talking about does not seem to be on the path towards early retirement. A tricked out home office is listed as one of the 10 top money wasters when it comes time to sell your house. You will never get your money back.

Everybody has different ways of "splurging" once in a while. But custom built book cases made of any kind of wood seems like a waste of money. How can you justify this in your mind? Are you really going to run a business there that kicks out a profit? If you need a place to keep your books, go buy some regular book cases. Use the money you saved to pay off your credit card.
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