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#3334 - 08/15/01 08:12 PM cant come out on top
stan Offline
Member

Registered: 08/15/01
Posts: 38
Loc: ky
Can someone help me with my estimating im lost i seem to loose my asses all the time just how do u guys figure it up.
Can someone help me im a residential contractor im just starting my buisness .

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#3335 - 08/15/01 08:21 PM Re: cant come out on top
sparky66wv Offline
Member

Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2339
Loc: West Virginia
I can relate to that... I'm a "newbie" too, and I'm in a tight area...

Framed house code minimums... $2 per sq ft plus $4 per amp (service).

I've also got an experimental bid spreadsheet, but I can't claim any accuracy...

Follow this link:
http://electrical-contractor.net/ubb/Forum8/HTML/000011.html
_________________________
-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI

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#3336 - 08/15/01 08:30 PM Re: cant come out on top
Bill Addiss Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA
Stan,

You can check the Bookstore too. There may be something in there that'll help.
http://www.electrical-contractor.net/The_Store/

Bill

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#3337 - 08/15/01 08:51 PM Re: cant come out on top
Dallas Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/01
Posts: 159
Loc: North Salem, IN 46165
I've never had much luck with a price per foot bid on residential, seemed to always be too general. By the opening seems to work better for me. I've never figured a panel install by the amp, that's interesting. 200 amps by $4 = $800. This is for new work, or service upgrades?

Dallas

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#3338 - 08/16/01 03:57 AM Re: cant come out on top
ken m Offline
Member

Registered: 08/14/01
Posts: 61
Loc: south carolina
mike holt has an estimating program that i purchased when i first started. it covers commercial and residential and gives sample plans. his method uses labor units and material unit costs. it is somewhat involved but once you grasp the concept it takes only a few hours to do a 2000 sq ft home. i am speaking of the text book lesson, he carries a computer pgm. but thats a bit costly for my one man band. i was able to make up my own small program using excel. it's worth looking in to. you will have to adjust the $$$ amounts (per/hr rate, overhead) for your particular area. once the cost is figured then devide by the sq ft and see how close you are. i have had to lower my cost just to get jobs in this area because the builder has a pre-set cost for the electrical and it is usually so low you can't make any money but you stay busy. the going cost around here if figuring by sq ft method is $2 to $2.30. hopes this helps. good luck! ken m
p.s. holt also provides a video of the pgm.

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#3339 - 08/16/01 09:53 PM Re: cant come out on top
Jim M Offline
Member

Registered: 08/10/01
Posts: 453
Loc: Chestertown, MD, USA
Do not estimate based on the sq. ft. of a house. There is no way to document any charge for extra lighting, specialized switching or special circuits. If the homeowner adds something special the price will not go up, as the sq. footage has not changed. I use the per device method.

Do not lower your price, you can't feed the kids on long hours. You need to make a profit. People perceive quality based on price.

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#3340 - 08/16/01 11:01 PM Re: cant come out on top
Bill Addiss Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA
Jim,

Good point. There are always people that will take the second price if it's close and think they're getting something a little better.

Bill

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#3341 - 08/17/01 07:16 AM Re: cant come out on top
sparky66wv Offline
Member

Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2339
Loc: West Virginia
Right now I'm losing on a 2600 sq ft house... I had bid $5500, but was asked to lower it to $4800... ("Ya got some fluff in here?")

Things were OK until the owners showed up wanting can lights everywhere... and dimmers, etc. etc. So I bid on plastic boxes and snap switches, but will be putting in cans and dimmers... They wanted a "panic button that turns on all the lights" too, but I put my foot down... (Not at what I bid!)

Not only that, but the last "electrician"
that worked for these guys didn't bother to staple anything, according to the reports from the carpenters. So I had to lower my price to be more like an electrician's who is substandard... and now I'm making about $7 per hour (cost me $8 to run my business, so I'm losing a $1)...

That's why you see this post so late in the morning... I'm a little discouraged and feel like I can make the same money sitting in front of my puter than I can busting my butt out in the field.

Change Orders you say? By the time I get that accomplished, the drywall will be up and I'll be fishing in a house with catherdral ceilings and beams and blocks everywhere... I'd rather shoot myself in the foot... Heck they're probably insulating right now, but I don't care...

The bills are piling up and I have about $25 left and about a week to go on this rough-in... (it's been going slowwww)

I made a whopping $94 on the Service...
Haven't been paid for that either...

The GC just bought a $2500 trailer to haul his Harleys to Milwaukee, and vacated for a week...

I'm an idiot...

Oh yeah, Steve (sparky) tried to warn me...

[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 08-17-2001).]
_________________________
-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI

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#3342 - 09/03/01 08:43 AM Re: cant come out on top
bordew Offline
Member

Registered: 08/27/01
Posts: 155
Loc: Vienna,Ohio, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by sparky66wv:
Right now I'm losing on a 2600 sq ft house... I had bid $5500, but was asked to lower it to $4800... ("Ya got some fluff in here?")

Things were OK until the owners showed up wanting can lights everywhere... and dimmers, etc. etc. So I bid on plastic boxes and snap switches, but will be putting in cans and dimmers... They wanted a "panic button that turns on all the lights" too, but I put my foot down... (Not at what I bid!)

Not only that, but the last "electrician"
that worked for these guys didn't bother to staple anything, according to the reports from the carpenters. So I had to lower my price to be more like an electrician's who is substandard... and now I'm making about $7 per hour (cost me $8 to run my business, so I'm losing a $1)...

That's why you see this post so late in the morning... I'm a little discouraged and feel like I can make the same money sitting in front of my puter than I can busting my butt out in the field.

Change Orders you say? By the time I get that accomplished, the drywall will be up and I'll be fishing in a house with catherdral ceilings and beams and blocks everywhere... I'd rather shoot myself in the foot... Heck they're probably insulating right now, but I don't care...

The bills are piling up and I have about $25 left and about a week to go on this rough-in... (it's been going slowwww)

I made a whopping $94 on the Service...
Haven't been paid for that either...

The GC just bought a $2500 trailer to haul his Harleys to Milwaukee, and vacated for a week...

I'm an idiot...

Oh yeah, Steve (sparky) tried to warn me...

[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 08-17-2001).]


You are not an idiot, I have been there too,the last house I did, I put in writing everything I was going to put into the house, and of course, this guy had three girl friends and everyone had an idea what she wanted. Every friday night about 9:30 I get a call, Well Laverne wants this changed or shirley wants this, this went on for 4 months, talk about frustration, but everytime I made out a "work change order", and had him sign it before I started the work, that way you have a hammer if you have to go to court.
Someone wanted to know how I write a quote, example for a basic 100 amp service, I figure 9 hours labor @ $45.00/hour thats $405. that covers overhead,profit and labor.then material between 195-235 (225 is about normal) and 70 for the permit. comes out to about $700.00 for a 100 amp service. then I write up a "letter of Agreement", this is a legal document and it binding, and will stand up in any court, both parties sign and agree to the terms of the contract.
I have been in the electrical business for the past 29 years and in business for the past 10 years, and I have learned that if you dont put it in writing they will take you to the cleaners. And Small Claims court is a joke, at least here in our area, thats why the letter of agreement, it can certainly get tedious if you are busy, but since I have started it I have always been paid.
One more thing you have to look out for you otherwise no-one else will.

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#3343 - 09/03/01 10:32 AM Re: cant come out on top
CanadianSparky Offline
Member

Registered: 03/05/01
Posts: 86
Loc: Alberta Canada
Another way of looking at a residential job is "by the hole". It's a pretty simple way to bid a house. I know where I come from its just getting easier to let the customers have a certain dollar figure credit at a lighting store. This way they see the fixtures and if they want to upgrade they can. And theres no returns or missing parts problems its in their hands. Just a suggestion though.

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