The Electrical Contractor Network

ECN Electrical Forum
Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals

Books, Tools and Test Equipment for Electrical and Construction Trades

Register Now!

Register Now!

We want your input!


2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

Recent Posts
Son of Sparky
by sparky
58 minutes 49 seconds ago
Speaking of Plugmold ...
by gfretwell
10/17/16 02:37 PM
Broken battery charger? Check for cobwebs!
by gfretwell
10/17/16 02:30 PM
230 or 345 kV transmission lines?
by annemarie1
10/12/16 01:23 PM
Is this a fix or just a bandaid?
by gfretwell
10/10/16 06:49 PM
New in the Gallery:
12.5A through 0.75mm˛ flex (just out of curiosity)
Shout Box

Top Posters (30 Days)
gfretwell 11
renosteinke 6
HotLine1 6
ghost307 5
Potseal 4
Who's Online
0 registered (), 261 Guests and 5 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#170220 - 10/29/07 06:03 PM A Bidding Tale
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
I occurs to me that many of out members have never actually been involved in obtaining the jobs they perform. I thought this tale might give a little insight into the 'business' side of contracting.

A local agency had, for a long time, used the same expensive contractor for all of its' work. For reasons completely unrelated to that contractor, or the work he did, a new management team was brought in. With this new team, work was opened up to everyone.

This customer put out for bid a lighting retrofit. Four contractors showed for the walk-through; only two submitted bids.

Now, I bid the job at $60K. Of that, about 1/3 was for materials (fixtures customer specified by part number), 1/3 for labor (wages), 1/3 for business expenses.

For the fixtures alone, I had pricing from two sources. Remember, these were customer specified as to type, make, and model. One source quoted $17K; the other quoted $71K. That's quite a spread! Two suppliers never got back with prices at all.

RS Means estimated $71K in labor for this job.

I did not win the bid. The winner bid $32K .... about half my bid .... and 1/5 of the bid that estimating software, and the wrong supplier, would have produced.

I look forward to seeing this other guy complete the job. I'd like to see how he makes money at his price.

I suspect that this other guy has no real idea as to his actual business costs .... will work his tail off .... and wonder why he's losing money. Time will tell.

Edited by renosteinke (10/29/07 06:04 PM)

Business, Office, Estimating, Legal:
#170223 - 10/29/07 06:21 PM Re: A Bidding Tale [Re: renosteinke]
ChicoC10 Offline

Registered: 05/30/07
Posts: 169
Loc: CA
Was the former contractor one of the four who walked the job?
I'd think he'd have an interest in keeping it.
I'd also guess he wasn't Mr. 32K if he was expensive.
Curious to hear how it goes.


ECN Electrical Forums - sponsored by Electrical Contractor Network - Electrical and Code Related Discussion for Electrical Contractors, Electricians, Inspectors, Instructors, Engineers and other related Professionals