Out of the pile of Hanley-Wood trade magazines that seem to appear in the mailbox every month there actually are a couple of them I occasionally read; one is Cabinetmaker
One of the nice things Cabinetmaker
does every fall is an annual Price Comparison survey. It's setup so that they have a downloadable set of plans & specifications for various projects (A Kitchen, a library built-in, a bedroom built-in, and a home theater) and then ask shops to submit what their bid would be for that job. Whether or not your shop is chosen to participate and is written up in the subsequent follow-up article, it's still interesting to do the bidding and see how you compare to other shops across the country.
For these of you who would like to see how this works, I have attached a couple of zipped pdf files to this post: one is the \"bid package\" for the 2004 survey and the second one is the results. It's an eye opener -- for example; for exactly the same kitchen job, the low bid was $9646.00 (California) and the high was $38,580.00 (Maryland). It's a pretty graphic demonstration of how the perception, definition, and execution of a \"custom\" kitchen is pretty well all over the board.
The \"job\" for the 2005 survey will be posted later in the summer at http://www.cabinetmakeronline.com/
Note: I cannot get the \"bid package\" to upload -- but if you go to the above link and click on Pricing Survey
you can find it there