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#176524 - 04/05/08 06:10 AM New construction $$$
Lectricfishrman Offline
New Member

Registered: 04/04/08
Posts: 4
Loc: Va.
First I'd like to say hello & thx. in advance for any replies I may get . With the market like it is I'm forced to enter the new construction arena after years of being a service / remodeling EC . I don't want to leave money on the table or cut anyone's throat either pricing these new projects. Alot of GC's want a per sq. ft. price? Sounds like between 2-2.50 per sq. ft. ( living space only , not including garage ) ? What's your thoughts guys ? I'm not asking for your secrets just want to be fair to our trade ?
Thx. & good luck this year .....

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Business, Office, Estimating, Legal:
#176525 - 04/05/08 07:32 AM Re: New construction $$$ [Re: Lectricfishrman]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Who cares what GC's want? They can all go whistle Dixie, for all I care.

New housing , tract housing in particular, is cut-throat already. You could offer to PAY the GC for the joys of wiring his McMansions, and he'd still ask for more.

You're not running a charity.

KNOW your costs ... your true costs of operating a business. Then ... bid PER the PRINTS !!! No prints, no bid. Period.

Despite all the jobs I've done over the years, I have absolutely no idea what my 'per foot' numbers are. I'd be amazed if they didn't bounce all over the place. No two jobs are alike ... and even when they seem similar, parts prices vary greatly.

Finally, KNOW the GC! "Little things," like scheduling, site preparation, even trash removal have a great impact on how efficient you can work. I've had GC's completely fail to allow for electrical work ... meaning that my job was a nightmare of wet paint, dodging the carpet crew, etc.

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#176527 - 04/05/08 08:05 AM Re: New construction $$$ [Re: renosteinke]
LK Offline

Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1721
Loc: New Jersey
And just one more tip, if you have been away from the production construction end for a while. you may want to check with your insurance provider, and see how much more it will cost you to do this type of work, two years ago they increased the rates for anyone working on townhouses, and condos, and tract housing, both the liability if you can even get it and the comp rates are out of this world, a lot of guys never check on their coverages, and if their insurance company finds out they are doing any of the at risk projects, they will pay and pay and may never get covered again, take care and good luck.

What started these large increases in insurance costs were, contractors hiring poor trainned help, that caused large claims for projects that went bad, and along with the increased numbers of job site injuries, the undrewriters were forced to adjust the rates. In some cases the coverages can cost more then the jobs total worth, this caused many less then professional builders to seek out anyone qualified or not.


Edited by LK (04/05/08 08:11 AM)

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#176528 - 04/05/08 08:45 AM Re: New construction $$$ [Re: LK]
Lectricfishrman Offline
New Member

Registered: 04/04/08
Posts: 4
Loc: Va.
Sounds like great advice so far ? Does anyone work by the sq. ft. ? If not is it by the device ( IE 35.00 per outlet ect. ) ? I'm trying to be fair yet cost effective ? I appreciate your input .......

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#176529 - 04/05/08 09:02 AM Re: New construction $$$ [Re: Lectricfishrman]
electure Offline

Member

Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4226
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
If you bid by the square foot, you'll lose.
If you bid by the device, you'll lose.

You'll not be fair, or cost effective except to the GC. He in turn will markup by an astronomical amount, negating any impact you might have on "fair" or "cost effective".
How do you think the GC makes HIS money?

You are getting sound advice in the 2 above posts, if you choose not to take it, you'll lose.

Know your cost of doing business, and go from there.

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#176531 - 04/05/08 09:26 AM Re: New construction $$$ [Re: Lectricfishrman]
A-Line Offline
Member

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 264
Loc: Utah, USA
The only way I can see to give a square foot price to the GC would be to do a take off from the prints to get your price then come up with the square foot price based on that.

Then the GC would have his square foot price for each home that was identical to the prints. Anything not on the prints would be an extra. The square foot price would only apply to this exact model of home built in the same subdivision. A different subdivision may require an adjustment to the square foot price depending on it's location.

If the GC wants a square foot price for an additional model of home he builds then you would need to do another take off from the prints for this model, get your price and then convert it to a square foot price. You would need to do this for each model of home the GC is building.

I believe a lot of GCs that are building tract homes have a few basic models to choose from and make modifications to them at the customer's request. If you did a take off for each model the GC offers and came up with a price you could then give him a square foot price based on the prints for each model. You would just need to make sure it was clear that any deviation or changes from what is on the print would be an extra and is not included in the square foot price.

I don't do this type of work so I really don't know but this is the only way I could see giving a square foot price. I can't see giving a GC a blanket square foot price that covers all the different models of homes he builds.

You may want to look into an estimating program such as this one. http://www.turbobid.net/TurboBidHome.html

It works well for this.

An EC in my area does homes for $2.50 per sq ft then he finds people who will come wire them for him for cash under the table. This way he can wire a lot of homes with very few employees. Until he gets caught. He wanted to know if I would wire some for him for $25 per hour cash under the table.

That't the type of thing you'll be up against. Good luck.





Edited by A-Line (04/05/08 09:38 AM)

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#176534 - 04/05/08 10:15 AM Re: New construction $$$ [Re: electure]
LK Offline

Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1721
Loc: New Jersey
 Originally Posted By: electure
If you bid by the square foot, you'll lose.
If you bid by the device, you'll lose.

You'll not be fair, or cost effective except to the GC. He in turn will markup by an astronomical amount, negating any impact you might have on "fair" or "cost effective".
How do you think the GC makes HIS money?

You are getting sound advice in the 2 above posts, if you choose not to take it, you'll lose.

Know your cost of doing business, and go from there.


Four of the GC's we work for, mark up our work 100% or more. It is a real eye opener when the GC claimes he is hurting and needs your lowest price, then you find out later he charged the customer two or three times what you billed. Live and learn.


Edited by LK (04/05/08 10:18 AM)

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#176536 - 04/05/08 12:34 PM Re: New construction $$$ [Re: LK]
macmikeman Offline
Member

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 718
Loc: Honolulu, Hawaii
Maybe its time to increase or tweak the marketing of your company. Have you ramped up the effort? Survival of the fittest and all that...

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#176538 - 04/05/08 03:52 PM Re: New construction $$$ [Re: macmikeman]
Lectricfishrman Offline
New Member

Registered: 04/04/08
Posts: 4
Loc: Va.
Thx. for the advice but it's not marketing ! The overall economy is feeling the pinch & I'm just staying ahead of the curve . I keep hearing about sq. ft. pricing in new construction & don't want to cut my competion's prices too dramatically. If 2.50 / sq. is the going rate than I can decide if it works for me ? If not I can adjust as needed ? That's my intent for this thread . Thx. again everyone .....

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#176539 - 04/05/08 04:18 PM Re: New construction $$$ [Re: Lectricfishrman]
LK Offline

Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1721
Loc: New Jersey
Everyone bidding the jobs may be loosing money, your bidding electrical, there is no way to estimate by the Sq ft in our trade, roofers, siding guys and a number of other subs can estimate by the square, you need to estimate the job both labor time and material costs, then you can convert it to a sq ft price, but whatever you do don't loose money, account for all your expenses and overhead including a small profit.

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