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#64997 - 04/22/06 10:42 AM Is this bid too high?
frank_n Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 6
Loc: Metuchen, NJ 08840
Here's the job.

Install receptacle for an above ground pool. 40 feet of 1/2" rigid underground (customer digs) and 50' of Romex through the basement. There already is a GFCI convenience receptacle and the only thing on the bonding grid is the motor and pool. I bid $1100.

Last week I did a job for $1500 (I did the digging). 50' 1/2" rigid with 50' 1/2" EMT on the outside of the house.

The customer just called and said he found someone much cheaper (but wouldn't say how much). Do you think my bid was too high, or was the "other guy" working too cheap? I am in central NJ.


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#64998 - 04/22/06 10:55 AM Re: Is this bid too high?
Active 1 Offline

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 684
Loc: Grayslake IL, USA
We would do all that in EMT inside around here. If the basement is open it should not take long. I would figure 1/2 a day with 2 workers. $75 x 8 = $600. $150 should be more then enough in material and could cover some GFCI breakers, #12 wire with EG, pipe, box, in use cover, MU. I got $750. For trenching and back filling I would add another $300.

#64999 - 04/22/06 10:55 AM Re: Is this bid too high?
mahlere Offline

Registered: 11/17/05
Posts: 514
Loc: New Jersey
Frank, i'm in central NJ as well. That sounds more than fine. You'll be there all day with travel, setup, cleanup, etc.

There are plenty of guys around here who will work for nearly free.

We're south of the driscoll bridge, and we'd charge at least that depending on all the factors. North of the bridge has always been a higher rate as well.

Don't sweat it.

#65000 - 04/22/06 10:57 AM Re: Is this bid too high?
sparky 134 Offline

Registered: 09/04/04
Posts: 92
Loc: Joliet, Il, USA
Project costs vary greatly from region to region so I can't say if you're high or not.

Who called who ? If you called him to follow up on your proposal and he said he found someone much cheaper I would believe it. If he called you then I wouldn't believe him. Why would he bother calling you if he had someone cheaper ?

How much time did you figure for the job ? What is the hourly rate you are using ? How much would the materials have been ?

#65001 - 04/25/06 10:37 AM Re: Is this bid too high?
Jps1006 Offline

Registered: 01/22/04
Posts: 609
Loc: Northern IL
I had a customer call me back out of courtesy. He said I was so far off it probably wasn't worth me taking another look at the numbers.

Here's my job description:

Family Room:
Install (4) new 4" recessed cans (finish trim to be determined) for accent lighting over fireplace and future built-in bookshelves. Install (6) new 6" recessed can (Juno #24wh/wh or like) for general lighting. Open drywall at existing switch box. Remove box and install 3-gang box. Supply & install (2) Ariadni dimmers and (1) fan-only speed control. (ivory toggle, plastic plates) (some drywall may need to be removed on ceiling if attic access is not across whole ceiling)

Remove existing ceiling light and install cover. Install (1) new 6" recessed can (Juno #24wh/wh or like) Install dimmer switch for sink cans. Install (5) 20-watt low voltage puck lights on (4) transformers mounted in upper cabinets. Low voltage wiring to be run surface inside cabinet. Wall fish (4) 110v receptacles inside cabinets to feed transformer. Cut counter top receptacle into 2-gang and install switch to control pucks. Move existing fan box at dinette 1' toward patio door. Install new owner supplied light fixture. Supply & install 3-way dimmer.

Substitute (5) xenon line voltage undercabinet light with dual light level switch. All lights to be controlled from new switch location (provided existing piping allows). (Total price at the bottom reflects this option. Pucks would be an extra $200 above the bottom line)

Remove & replace fixtures throughout:
Replace light fixture with new owner supplied fixture.
Dining Room:
Remove existing light fixture and install new owner supplied fixture. Supply & install new 3-way dimmer switch.
Remove (1) 2-story existing foyer light fixture and install new owner supplied fixture. Remove (1) existing hall light fixture and install new owner supplied fixture.
Install new owner supplied light fixture on existing box.
Second floor hall:
Remove (1) existing light fixture and (1) ceiling fan and install (2) new owner supplied fixtures.
Replace pullchain.
Replace (3) owner supplied smoke detectors.
Supply & install (2) new Leviton digital timer with LCD display for front & rear lights.

Hall Bath:
Remove existing ceiling light box. Install new wet location can in shower and wire to existing switch. Remove existing & hang new bar light. Standard IC can to be 40-watt bulb.

Wall fish a total of (4) new switches in bedrooms to control existing closet lights.

Master Bath:
Install (1) new 6" can and connect to existing switch. Flip GFI receptacle to allow easier access for hair dryer cord. Remove existing light bar over vanity and install new owner supplied fixture.


He said the other "reputable" local guy was a little more than 1/2 as much. I'm going to guess $4000-$4200. A little unsettling that the competition is willing to be that cheap.

#65002 - 04/26/06 04:25 PM Re: Is this bid too high?
Jps1006 Offline

Registered: 01/22/04
Posts: 609
Loc: Northern IL
Just went to look at a kitchen today that the owners are remodeling themselves. The call came in well over a week ago and it slipped through the cracks and never got returned. After listening through messages I decided to call anyway just to see if they still needed the work done. She was happy I called, let me off the hook for the blow-off and said they were ready start immeadiatly. So I pushed my 11:00 and shot straight over.

Well picked up pretty quick that she knew what she wanted the end product to be, but wasn't really sure how to get there. I figured it would be better to tell her T&M rather than price it and adjust all the way through for changes. She agreed and was wondering a rough ballpark for hours. "$100 an hour right?"

"no, We're at $75 per man."

Look of slight disbelief, "Wow, I've had quite a few people through here and they were all $100 per hour. My neighbor just had work done at $100 per hour.
Everyone through here gave me lump sums but didn't tell me what they were figuring, so I don't know if it is even what I want."

Well, she's signed up thrilled, and I'm puzzled. Especially after the bid job being slightly more than half my cost. I'm really puzzled by the competion. I guess I'm still somewhere in the middle.


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