Service Rates

Rates & Terms Clearly Explained

Effective January 1st, 2022, the Flute Arts’ hourly service rate will be $125 (minimum 1hr). Please consult the table below for time estimates for specific types of jobs.

COA starting at $350 (assumes 2.25 hours of labor)
Overhaul starting at $1,200 plus supplies (assumes 11.0 hours of labor)

COA starting at $225 (assumes 1.25 hours labor)
Overhaul starting at $850 (assumes 7.5 hours labor)

Adjustments are billed at a labor rate of $125 per hour. Parts, supplies and shipping may be extra.



Straubinger Pads

Traditional Pads


.25 – 2.0 hrs.

.25 – 2.0 hrs.

.25 – 1.0 hrs.


2.25 – 3.0 hrs.

2.25 – 4.0 hrs.

1 – 2.0 hrs.

COA plus pads

2.5 – 5.0 hrs.

3.0 – 6.0 hrs.

2 – 4 hrs.


10 – 18 hrs.

12 – 25 hrs.

7 – 9 hrs.

For any work that may exceed these time estimates, Flute Arts will contact the client prior to beginning the work to ensure the cost of repair is within the client’s budget.

Terms to Know

Adjustment –  a minor repair required when the instrument does not speak quickly, or the action of the mechanism is sluggish or “off. ” There is no warranty on simple adjustments, and there is a minimum 1 hour charge.

COA – a clean, oil and adjust, best done once a year, in which the instrument is bathed, re-oiled and adjusted; it is not unusual to replace one or two pads. This work comes with a 3 month warranty, should your instrument come out of adjustment during that time, unless, of course, the instrument was damaged during that time. This warranty covers shipment both to and from Flute Arts for the necessary work.

COA + pads –  this is as defined above, but involves replacing three or more pads; generally, if there are three or more pads to be replaced, the instrument will need to be monitored over a couple of days. This work comes with a 3 month warranty, should your instrument come out of adjustment during that time, unless, of course, the instrument was damaged during that time. This warranty covers shipment both to and from Flute Arts for the necessary work.

Overhaul –  a major repair involving work to repair the mechanism and/or body, at the same time replacing all of the pads and adjustment materials; the instrument will need to be held for a period of about two weeks (and longer if necessary). Overhauls come with a six month warranty should your instrument come out of adjustment during that time, unless, of course, the instrument was damaged during that time. This warranty covers shipment both to and from Flute Arts for any necessary work.

For each of the above repair categories, Flute Arts charges at an hourly rate of $125.00. For players with dependable instruments, with Straubinger pads and with instruments that are well maintained, the pay-off is immediate. These flutes take far less time than average for each type of repair. Even for people who favor traditional felt pads, which take more time to level than Straubinger pads, the fee is based on the actual time spent on the instrument, not an inflated estimate.

Of course, the bill will reflect not only labor, but the price of materials and shipping.

Emergency Service/Repair Fee: Flute Arts has a $50 Emergency Service Fee. An Emergency service is described as any work scheduled 3 days or less in advance and which needs to be turned around in a day or less. This $50.00 fee is in addition to the Flute Arts repair rates.

Time Estimates

The times in the table are approximate, and are given as a basis of comparison from job to job. They are not guarantees – see below.

Adjustments can take anywhere from 15 minutes to over two hours, depending on the severity of the issue and the type of flute or piccolo.

COAs require at least 2 hours and can take up to four hours, even if pads are not replaced. The dynamic that creates the most variables here is the age and type of pads.

Over the years there have been many ideas about what materials make a good pad, and how to make them. Several of these ideas, to be frank, were not good ones. It is up to the repair technician to maximize the capability of the instrument while working around these difficulties. Our experience has shown that repairs involving pad work always go faster with Straubinger pads, and pads made with the same predictable construction techniques.

Secondary to that is the age and make of the instrument.

Obviously, the age (and handling) of the flute or piccolo will make a difference, but it is important to note that, generally speaking (but not always), instruments made in the Boston tradition are more predictable to work with.

COA + pads repairs usually take from three hours to six hours, principally for the same reasons as stated above. It is important to recognize another factor here, though. If a pad replacement is done on any of these pads – f, f#, or Bb – then key adjustments come into play. Even if the work is done quickly, it is recommended that the instrument stay over for a few days (as negotiated with the customer).

Overhauls are the most unpredictable of the repairs in terms of time involvement. Brannen flutes can be done in as little as nine or ten hours (on occasion) while some old flutes that have weathered the years with difficulty can take as many as twenty or more hours. If the customer chooses traditional felt pads, the job will require more time.

Piccolos can be tricky, especially wood-body piccolos. Stating in generality again, though, they often take less time for the same class of repair. Perhaps it is because professional piccolos are not handled as roughly, or because there is less of it to clean, piccolo repairs are consistently faster than flutes. COAs often take as little as an hour and a quarter, COAs + pads generally take two to four hours, and overhauls usually take six to eight hours.

These time estimates are not guarantees. Flute Arts believes, however, that it is in the best interest of both the customer and the company to be honest and up front about how much it will cost to get the job done right. There is nothing more frustrating to the customer than to get the instrument back and find that it is not playing as needed. And there is nothing more expensive, and embarrassing, to Flute Arts than to have to do warranty work (and pay for the shipping).

Payment Options

Payment can be made in a number of ways. As always, when Flute Arts sends your instrument back to you, we will include the invoice, or send it under separate cover. Payment is due upon receipt of the invoice. You can pay by personal check, or you can call and give us your Visa, MasterCard or Discover number and expiration date. We are very excited about adding credit card services, because it adds a layer of convenience for many of our customers.

It is our hope in posting this page that you get an idea of what it may take to keep your instrument in top shape. If you have questions regarding this information, please feel free to contact us.

Please see our Info page to learn more about our service policies.

Over the many years that I have worked with and known Paul, I have always respected his integrity and dedication to true customer service and as well as his exceptional flute-making and repair skills. I recommend him as one of the finest.
– David Houston