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#79742 - 01/17/02 08:36 AM Residential Wiring
frodo Offline

Registered: 05/16/01
Posts: 129
Loc: louisville, ky usa
i am doing a survey to find out whether i am crazy or if people just want something for nothing.

i have been looking at a few houses to wire. one is 2000 sq. ft. no plans and another is 6000 sq. ft. with plans.

my question is what is the best way to bid a job like these?

i used to bid jobs by the opening but that doesnt seem to work anymore. now i try to do it by the sq. ft. and that isnt doing any good.

i hear of electricians wiring houses for .70 a sq. ft. i cant and wont work for that. i would like to get 2.25 to 2.50 a sq. ft. but i cant seem to even get anything at 1.50 a sq. ft.

i usually include the permit and administartive work as well as the service, rough-in and trim. no fixtures.

i have a couple estimating programs but a lot of times i just visit the site and look at the job...occasionally i will do a take off from the plans if there are any.

i live and work in kentucky and i charge the following rates...

RES: $45 HR
COMM: $55 HR
IND: $65

does this sound fair?

any input would be GREATLY appreciated!!!!



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#79743 - 01/18/02 04:09 AM Re: Residential Wiring
sparky Offline

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
It would seem most methods are not without a hole or two.
Having done a few homes T&M is enlightening, if notes are kept & examined

#79744 - 01/18/02 04:27 AM Re: Residential Wiring
sparky Offline

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
To add, a lot depends on what forthought in involved. The individuals that hand me crayola plans & think they are valid are example. Some can be guided to solid comclusions, some procrastinate.

One think is for sure, i'll not do fixtures. This is an area that people 'cheap out' on , then expect you to stand behind if involved.

The average marketed fixture, IM(ok, not so Humble this am)O , is poorly made in the first place.

#79745 - 01/18/02 08:20 AM Re: Residential Wiring
sparky66wv Offline

Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2339
Loc: West Virginia
OK I just had an epiphany...

When you guys say "fixtures not included" you're not just talking the material cost of the fixture, but the labor involved in hanging the suckers too...

I've been hanging fixtures "for free" all this time...

Who else hangs the fixtures for you then? The homeowner or another electrician?
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#79746 - 01/18/02 11:41 AM Re: Residential Wiring
dana1028 Offline

Registered: 01/09/02
Posts: 163
Loc: San Carlos, CA
wv - I bid the fixtures extra after I've seen them ...there is a big difference between a standard single lamp ceiling fixture and having to assemble some junk Home Depot ceiling fan (that takes hrs to figure out how to assemble).

I think bidding by the outlet is the most accurate figure for determining actual work - if you bid sq. ft. there are Large differences in the number of outlets (some bedrooms have ceiling light fixtures, others are receptacle fed)etc.

#79747 - 01/19/02 10:40 AM Re: Residential Wiring
nesparky Offline

Registered: 06/21/01
Posts: 650
Loc: omaha,ne
when i bid houses i use per opening, service, as a base bid-fixtures not included. then if possible take the new home owner to a fixture show room and have them (both her and him- as applicable) pick out thier fixtures. Then you can figure the rest of the bid. you also can see what they want and expect. If you have an account at that show room, have the salesman quote list price to them. It makes your bid appear more reasonable.

#79748 - 01/19/02 01:12 PM Re: Residential Wiring
motor-T Offline

Registered: 11/10/01
Posts: 293
Loc: Girard, Ohio, USA
To all:
After finishing the rough in a house I set a box in the vaulted ceiling over the stair-well, your standard 4" round box because the owner said he only wanted a small light in that area. Well 2 months came and went and the drywall went up and I came back to hang the fixtures all were standard one and two 60 watt decorative types but over in the corner was a huge box about 3 and 1/2 feet high, and of course I said what in the world is that monstrosity in the corner, Oh that, well that going in the stairwell, it weighed 37 and 1/2 kg or 2.28lbs per kg and had an overall length of 7 feet. You can bet the fur flew, and when all was said and done therer were WCO made out and also it took 4.5 hours to hang that sucker. the worse part was going up in the attic over the vaulted ceiling and changing the box to support this monster. I dont do anything anymore w/o it being in writing and we both agree on it.

#79749 - 01/19/02 04:39 PM Re: Residential Wiring
frodo Offline

Registered: 05/16/01
Posts: 129
Loc: louisville, ky usa
thanks for the replies. i never include the cost of any fixture. i always tell the homeowner to select their bids include the service and permits and trimming out. telephone and cable are usually just trown in...not data though...

i will install the fixtures only if they are on site when i am there trimming out. i always ask about special lighting or cieling fans. every job is different as far as how much custom wiring needs to be done.

what does $35 an opening sound like?

thanks for the replies....

trying not to go broke!!!!

#79750 - 01/19/02 05:37 PM Re: Residential Wiring
sparky Offline

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
Who else hangs the fixtures for you then?

I'll refer to a good lighting shop, they'll sit with mama for hours, have tea, talk up the wheather etc.

The final lighting package can then be faxed, T&M estimated, or package trim out included in the bid, i.e.--27 fixture package#____ hung from ABC lighting shop..

what does $35 an opening sound like?

about the rate here, adjust as your locale permits.

#79751 - 01/20/02 12:47 PM Re: Residential Wiring
electure Offline


Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4226
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
$35 a hole is, as I understand it, fairly representative of "about what it costs" for the box, device, cover & local wiring.
Homerun prices are added.
You probably are crazy (look at who you hang out with on the internet)!! People always want something for nothing.


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