Pricing Your Time:

How To Charge For Your Custom Framing Labor

In this video, Ken Baur, President of KB Consulting, walks through how to charge for your custom framing labor. Ken breaks down how to create your “shop charge” for doing labor-intensive projects, ways to learn about how much time these processes take to complete, and discusses converting time to a United Inch charge so that your POS system can create the proper fees based on project size. Video sponsored by Tru Vue.

Check out the new informational series from KB Consulting and Tru Vue!

The fourth presentation in my new collaboration with the Tru Vue glazing company is now available on Tru Vue’s YouTube channel and Facebook page. I’m excited about this new presentation because it gets into some details about how to price the labor intensive jobs all custom framers perform, but rarely know how to profitably charge for them.

I’m referring to jobs like canvas stretching, fitting, shadowbox layouts – anything that requires more time than materials to complete. The presentation covers how to create the proper hourly “shop charge” for your business, how to determine how long these processes take your team to complete, and how to convert this time into a united inch charge so that your point-of-sale system can automatically calculate the proper charge for any size of project.

This is the first time I have shared many of these pricing strategies with the industry and I hope they will simplify your pricing while providing more confidence in a pricing strategy that is designed specifically for building profit in your shop. This system takes into account the actual operating expenses your business must pay for and also how much time it takes in your shop to produce labor intensive parts of custom framing projects, removing the need to copy standard industry pricing, while ensuring a profitable result.

Over the years of working with hundreds of shops, I’ve learned that no two shops have the same operating expenses or ability to create projects at the same rate of time. That’s why it’s so important to build your pricing based on your particular expenses and production skills. I think the system I share will make pricing these types of projects much easier to do and profitable for your company.

“I hope this will simplify your pricing while providing more confidence in a pricing strategy that is designed specifically for building profit in your shop.”

I also want to say that I’m very thankful to Tru Vue for providing the opportunity to share this information with you during times where attending seminars is impossible. Many in the industry are continuing to experience very busy times and opportunities to learn in this manner allow shops to gain insights into improved performance as their schedules permit. So please take the time to watch these presentations and let me know if you found them helpful.


  1. In the calculations for expenses in the video “Pricing Your Time: How To Charge For Your Custom Framing Labor”, If one is not paying rent, (say they own the building) they should be including rent equivalent – correct?

    • I recommend using the expenses you actually have. If you are not paying rent, then you are probably taking the additional profits in salary. Many times it is more advantageous taxwise for an owner to take income as rent instead of a high salary.

  2. Just another question? How would you define wages, especially for a 1 person owner run shop. I could pay myself $10 hr & have money left over & another owner pay themself $100 hr and not have money left over??

    • Remember that the only wages we use to calculate shop charge is the hours used in producing the projects. If the owner works in production, then only the hours spent in actual production count towards the hourly shop charge.

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