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03/27/06 10:23 PM
03/27/06 10:23 PM
Junior Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 2
Hey guys. New to the New consruction home building and was trying to figure out how people price on bids. I was doing sq. ft 2.50 which is not to bad but on a small home say 1000 sq. ft. you have with the service and wire, plugs breakers, etc. my cost is around 1200 bucks. Now you figure in labor maybe 32 hrs total to finish job thats only around 40 bucks an hour. then subtract employee cost, fica, fuel and there is nothing left. on a larger house this might work with more sq. footage. Any suggestions ..

Business, Office, Estimating, Legal:
03/27/06 10:34 PM
03/27/06 10:34 PM
NJI  Offline
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 33
Oneonta, NY USA
If going on a sq ft pricing (which can at times be shooting from the hip) i've been around 3.5-3.8

and make sure that the customer is aware that fixture are seperate.

I have worked as an apprentice and on to a journeyman in a general construction company. 90% of what I do is residential. I have an associats degree in electrical technology. I have started my own buisness this year and am with out the help of other electricians. this is why i find this site so helpful.
03/27/06 10:39 PM
03/27/06 10:39 PM
Active 1  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 687
Grayslake IL, USA
Charge per opening. On small jobs figure the number of trips and time you will be there plus material, + material MU.

On a small job like a bath remodel you might go out for the demo work, rough, finsih the rough because you had to wait for something, trim, go back because they were missing a light, etc. You end up with a lot of drive time and not many openings. That's when you need to figure in trip charges hidden in your total.


04/26/06 09:57 PM
04/26/06 09:57 PM
bc  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 3
How can you do square foot pricing on residential new construction? It seems like there are too many variables. Even if your square foot pricing only includes code required minimums, there's still lots of things that could vary what it would cost to wire a new house. Something as simple as type of heat, size of the rooms or number of bathrooms could change the amount of time and material you would use.

Am I missing something here? Has anyone had good luck using square foot pricing for residential new construction?

04/26/06 11:06 PM
04/26/06 11:06 PM
Rich R  Offline
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 27
In my opinion square foot pricing is a sure way to lose money unless you have an accurate system in place that is based on your real cost.

If your using the going rate you are almost guaranteed to lose money. The GC's are always looking for new comers to give them ridiculously low prices.

2 things happen to these new comers, either they raise they're prices and the GC's look for new prey or the new comers keep working at these low rates and go out of business.

Dukester, you say 32 hrs to complete the job, I'll bet you spend at least 60 hrs between job, material ordering, paperwork etc..

I'll bet if you accurately crunched your numbers you will be at -$ per hour.

Problem is that there seems to be an endless supply of contractors doing jobs for these prices and thus creating this "competitive" market. I think they are competing to see who goes out of business the fastest myself

[This message has been edited by Rich R (edited 04-27-2006).]

04/27/06 12:19 AM
04/27/06 12:19 AM
trevman  Offline
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 47
i just priced a house 3.00 sq ft plus $800 for service 50.00 ea for pots 30 for outlets that are beyond min req 100.00 ea for extra ccts ,boilers electric heat as per kw to be determined 30 ea for more than 2 telephone data outlets and im not sure that thats enough. but i think im close. but im still learning. i always look back and wonder if its enough. you cant get every job if you do your not charging enough so sometimes go high ,thats what im gonna do on the next one and see what happens.

04/27/06 08:06 PM
04/27/06 08:06 PM
bc  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 3
$3 per square foot (plus other costs mentioned) sure sounds like enough. I suppose it would depend on where you're working and the type of house. Custom homes are always more labor intesive than spec or tract homes.

04/28/06 01:03 AM
04/28/06 01:03 AM
ExpressQuote  Offline
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 83
BC, Canada
The difficulty with Square foot pricing is that you don't know what your actual costs are and further more you really have no way of tracking it either.

In order to run your business successfully, you need to be able to determine the number of hours a project will take, and the value of the materials in order to ensure that you are going to make any profit.

In my area, we have electricians who are pricing houses for GC's at $2.25 per sq ft and they don't add extra for pots or service or, or... and think they are making money.

If you are new to residential wiring and you are doing the work yourself, you can take a chance on one house but you need to track how many devices and fixtures you are installing and the time for the service and take a close look at your materials costs once you are done. Then you can work backwards and figure out what your price should have been.

In my area, I use a rule of thumb of $2.50 per sq ft and then add for service and potlighting at $50 to $75 ea depending on size and style, etc.

Hope that helps.


PS I am looking for a couple of contractors to help me work some bugs out of my business. I have developed a customized estimating program and am in the process of getting ready to start an estimating coaching business. I am looking for a few contractors who are willing to go through the set up process and run some trials on my software. If anyone is interested, please feel free to contact me.


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