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#44106 - 10/28/04 02:03 PM Christmas Lights
mustangelectric Offline
Member

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 496
Loc: Bentonville, AR
Hi,
Does anyone ever bother installing christmas lights or is it too much trouble?

how would this work? service call over...then hourly--then smae thing to take down or flat rate?

thanks

Mustang
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#44107 - 10/28/04 04:03 PM Re: Christmas Lights
Jps1006 Offline
Member

Registered: 01/22/04
Posts: 609
Loc: Northern IL
Just got home from doing that today. I charge time & material. I bought the strings of lights from a festive display guy. He told me they charge $3/bulb for material and roughly $3/bulb labor ($6/bulb).

This is for a commercial building, all the areas to be lit are accessible from the roof.

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#44108 - 10/29/04 06:04 AM Re: Christmas Lights
mustangelectric Offline
Member

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 496
Loc: Bentonville, AR
Hi,
Thanks for the reply. How does anybody get away with charging $6 A BULB?

Simple math would allow anyone to calculate that if I install 1000 bulbs that is $6000. 1000 bulbs is not much when we are talking Christmas lights.

I dont think it would work out for me asking that because a 100 bulb string would be $600!

Somebody is going to have a nice christmas.

I was planning on charging a trip charge and my hourly rate for both trips.

-regards

Mustang
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#44109 - 10/29/04 07:38 AM Re: Christmas Lights
Dave55 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/04
Posts: 666
Loc: Crystal Lake, Illinois, USA
To answer your question of is it too much trouble, I'll wash people's windows if they pay my rate. I had someone ask me to do their fall furnace maintenance today. If I was qualified, I would have done it for her.

Dave

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#44110 - 10/29/04 07:56 AM Re: Christmas Lights
mustangelectric Offline
Member

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 496
Loc: Bentonville, AR
Hi,
If I charge $45 trip charge that covers my trip and the first 30 min.

I had a client call the other day and I ended up wading through knee deep insulation to tighten up a loose wire nut and to take down a ceiling fan and install a switch.

All of this took less than 1.5 hours.

Do not get me wrong, I am in business to do electrical work and to make a profit but myself I sometimes wonder if it is not better to flat rate a job. Sometimes the degree of difficulty does not match the charges.

A lot of the time I will just give a flat rate if the job is too small or it is a more difficult task..like digging a trench by hand...are you going to dig 8 hours a day for your hourly rate or would you rather troubleshoot a wiring problem at an old nasty restauant for the same money?

I will only do electrical work, I will not clean windows for my hourly rate ($45).

thanks for the comments..

-regards

Mustang
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#44111 - 10/30/04 09:49 AM Re: Christmas Lights
Gloria Offline
Member

Registered: 05/01/04
Posts: 395
Loc: Budapest, Hungary
Have you seen the christmas movie of Steve Martin?!
He had a switch in the kitchen, that was the "on" for the roof lights, about 6000. He turned it on and it hasn't work. He went up to the rooftop and checked the bulbs one by one, and when he finally fount the wrong one, her daughter (or I remember not well, it was long ago) switched off the light in the kitchen, and the same time lights on the rooftop.

LMAO!
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#44112 - 10/30/04 10:13 AM Re: Christmas Lights
Dave55 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/04
Posts: 666
Loc: Crystal Lake, Illinois, USA
I prefer contracting in many situations over T&M (it's almost always more profitable). However, there are so many instances where I can't bid it because I can't see it. Is that outlet dead because there's a loose connection in the box, or did the wire buried in the wall fail?

My worst case of T&M (when I had a 1 hour min. at $25/hour...no trip charge) was driving 1.5 hours round trip and doing 1 hour work. I made $10/hour that trip (less gas, insurance, taxes, etc.).

On the other hand, I'll still reset breakers or other short jobs and walk away without charging. It's good for business and you never know when it could bring you a $10,000 job. I consider it an advertising expense since I don't have any advertising expense.

Dave

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#44113 - 10/30/04 10:35 AM Re: Christmas Lights
Electric Eagle Offline
Member

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 928
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
 Quote:
Have you seen the christmas movie of Steve Martin?!
He had a switch in the kitchen, that was the "on" for the roof lights, about 6000. He turned it on and it hasn't work. He went up to the rooftop and checked the bulbs one by one, and when he finally fount the wrong one, her daughter (or I remember not well, it was long ago) switched off the light in the kitchen, and the same time lights on the rooftop.


Are you talking about Christmas Vacation? If so, that was Chevy Chase, not Steve Martin. Maybe there are 2 movies like that.

Personally, I'd do any job if the price was right and I was qualified. However, I'm not going to ask my employees to wash windows when they were hired to wire stuff.

There is a franchise called Christmas Decor. They do killer business in my area. I talked to the 1 of the guys and he said there average job was over $8000 with some going over $20k. I'm still kicking myself for not getting into it while i had the chance.

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#44114 - 10/30/04 11:30 AM Re: Christmas Lights
Gloria Offline
Member

Registered: 05/01/04
Posts: 395
Loc: Budapest, Hungary
You are probably right.
But if you ask me about christmas deco I see on TV, it is a joke.
It may be some sort of show-who-I-am, but we just laugh about it, how people don't know where to put their money.
I talk about houses with lights, and some animal in the garden all lighted up, and so on.
I prefer one chainon the tree that's all.
_________________________
The world is full of beauty if the heart is full of love

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#44115 - 10/30/04 01:07 PM Re: Christmas Lights
Electricmanscott Offline
Member

Registered: 01/12/02
Posts: 1478
Loc: Holden, MA USA
Geez Gloria. Bah humbug!

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