Here in North Central WV, most of my quotes work out to $2 to $3 a square foot. Do not bid jobs by the square foot unless you are interested in going broke fast.
However, having a rough idea what the square foot price range should be is a good way to make sure you haven't forgotten something in your takeoff.
At one time, I was involved in manufactured buildings. I kept very detailed records on quotations & here is what I remember. The price per square foot is greatly influenced by the floor plan, especially by kitchen counter layout & wall layout as regards to doors. This could swing the square foot price by 75 cents & this was back in the mid 80's.
Another important factor is the size of the house. That $1200, or whatever, for the 200 amp service is a small charge on a 4000 sf house, but raises the square foot price quickly as the house gets smaller.
Most electricians in my area work out a price per opening. Then we have an adder for dimmers, 3 ways, 4 ways, GFI's, WP GFI's, service, air conditioner feed, you get the picture.
Keep the following in mind, the first thing to do is to disable the subtraction key on your calculator.
[This message has been edited by Tom (edited 03-23-2002).]