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#17290 - 11/23/02 06:02 PM working with other electricians
mj Offline
Member

Registered: 06/10/02
Posts: 188
Loc: meriidian, ms
guys, help me with this... i am one man operation, form time to time i seek the help of other electricians. the problem is... ,my wiring practices are different from that of my associates. on the jos site we get into , "how to" ... i want i done my way. sometimes i think ,the job will go better if i did it alone. any of you guys ever had this problem?

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#17291 - 11/23/02 06:28 PM Re: working with other electricians
sparky66wv Offline
Member

Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2339
Loc: West Virginia
Well, yes and no.

On the "big job", I teamed up with another EC and good friend of mine. We decided to go into an unofficial "co-op".

He admitted having no experience at bidding (lucky b_____) and wanted me to handle it. I figured, hey, if I'm doing the work involved and am taking the risk, then I want to be the EC and he can be a sub.

This was a good plan assuming I'd make a profit, but we ended up coming in at a loss.

To make a long story short, paying him $30 per hour and a 20% markup on materials was a bad idea, seems I was paying a lot for him to disagree with me, and he also made some questionable decisions and got ahead of the game which caused problems later. We had almost $1000 in "not productive labor" for the job. Ouch!

So, no, it's not worth it to pay someone T&M to stand there and argue with you while you're losing at a bid price.

We ended up splitting the earnings in percentage of investment which saved me paying him almost another $600 in the end.

I'm now gearing up to get an apprentice for a helper.

Too many Chiefs and not enough Indians...
_________________________
-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI

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#17292 - 11/23/02 06:43 PM Re: working with other electricians
mj Offline
Member

Registered: 06/10/02
Posts: 188
Loc: meriidian, ms
sparky, most of my jobs, i let the gc buy the materials, in that way he will owe me for labor only. that is the way like to do business, in case there is a problem with payment, i do not get screwed as bad. after the rough-in i always collect half the job labor amount. how do you guys handle the money collection process?

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#17293 - 11/24/02 04:59 AM Re: working with other electricians
Surge_in_fl Offline
Member

Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 17
Loc: Tampa, Florida
mj why would you loose the 25% or more mark-up you could make on the material? Supply houses will set up a job account for material used on a project and help you collect if the material portion is not payed. Dont you file an intent to lien when you start a project? It is ec's like you that let the gc's take advantage of our trade. I was asked to bid a project for a gc he told me his budget for the electrical work, I laughed when he told me his number. I had recently completed the exact same job and his budget was only $2,000.00 dollars over my cost on the last one. The project took 600 man hours and material cost w/ tax was $10,00.00, he wanted me to do the job for $23,000.00 I declined but he for another (sap)contractor to do the job. Our trade is the most important and complexed of any of the other trades and we need to be paid well for our services. If we as a group would stand up to the gc's we could make money like we did in the past.

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#17294 - 11/24/02 05:26 AM Re: working with other electricians
sparky Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
mj,
as to your original Q, i have worked for many other electricians, and do it thier way when employed by them.

i think we all have our own methods/nomenclature/standards, so to simply respect those who's hand feeds is appropo...

as to contractual/payments/making $$$ methods..... simply put.... if your not ......stay home & watch opra

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#17295 - 11/24/02 07:57 AM Re: working with other electricians
mj Offline
Member

Registered: 06/10/02
Posts: 188
Loc: meriidian, ms
surge, i just dont think its right to mark up the cost of material 100-200 percent, i am in this business to make a fair profit, and not to rip-off my clients. most of the general contractors know the "real cost" of electrical materials. i know that the electrical trade in more techinical advanced then the other trades,but we must maintain our sense of fairness.

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#17296 - 11/24/02 08:21 AM Re: working with other electricians
Electric Eagle Offline
Member

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 928
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
MJ, If the GC is going to have everything on site for you and go to the supply house and pick up anything else you need, then it's OK to let them buy it. But otherwise you should get at least 20% mark up for handling the materials. I refuse to let a home owner or contractor buy materials, not because I want the mark-up, but because the never buy the right stuff. I tried it once and ended up spending more time and money getting the right stuff than if I had just bought it myself anyway.

When I got started I provided materials at my cost and only wanted the labor, but I soon found that I wasn't being paid for about half my time. So unless you charge for driving time and the time at the supply house, you're ripping yourself off.

[This message has been edited by Electric Eagle (edited 11-24-2002).]

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#17297 - 11/24/02 08:38 AM Re: working with other electricians
sparky Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545


that bears emphasis EE......

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#17298 - 11/24/02 09:30 AM Re: working with other electricians
Surge_in_fl Offline
Member

Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 17
Loc: Tampa, Florida
Home Depot has taken care of our mark up. Mister home electrican shouldnt be able to buy a breaker for the same price or cheaper than we can buy it at the "WHOLESALE" house. MJ how much mark up do you pay for all your everyday needs? Gas, food, tools? Im sure 100% is on the low side. So what you are saying is that it ok for everyone else selling goods to make a profit on items but not the electrical contractor?

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#17299 - 11/24/02 10:26 AM Re: working with other electricians
sparky Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
 Quote:
Mister home electrican shouldnt be able to buy a breaker for the same price or cheaper than we can buy it at the "WHOLESALE" house.


Surge....... can you hear me laughing??

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