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Residential Pricing #158656 08/05/06 10:35 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 23
neutron Offline OP
Junior Member
Just getting started with my own business and need some help with pricing new residential work on Long Island, NY. A builder gave me a price list to fill out and give back, but I am having trouble giving him accurate pricing-don't want to overcharge, but I also don't want to undercharge. Anyone out there willing to help me? Thanks for your help!

Business, Office, Estimating, Legal:
Re: Residential Pricing #158657 08/05/06 12:37 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 706
Tiger Offline
When builders ask me for pricing, I ask them to send a blueprint for me to bid on. Most of them don't respond. I suspect they're looking to save money to increase their profits.

My installations typically go well beyond code-minimum, so I don't do business with builders looking to increase their profits at my expense.


Re: Residential Pricing #158658 08/05/06 12:58 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 687
Active 1 Offline
To get a per opening price you need to do this:

Start simple with a receptacle amount by figuring:

How much material to instal and go to the next one (box, mud ring, device, fittings, straps, nails, wire nuts, trim, & wire)? Figure some loss and waist 5-10% (end of roll wire, pipe scrap, lost, damaged, stolen).

Mark up your material for profit and warenty.

How long will it take to rough? If you only figure the nail up time you migh be low. More accurate is how many can be done in a day including set up, break, layout, clean up, etc. You can loose 1 hour in that. 1 hour in 8 is 12.5%.

Drive time and material pick up may be a factor.

Now figure your wire pulling and trim out time. Don't forget the quality control time.

Multiply the device labor time by your new construction labor rate (do the math on this & if you need help figuring this post another thread).

Now you got your base rough opening price.
For most other otems just add to that price.
A GFI costs XX more than a rec so just XX more (and something for the company) to your price.
A vanity light will take you X longer to install so add that amount of time times your new construction labor rate and bang thats your price.
Figure a cieling fan needs a box thats costs XX more than a standard box, may need anouter switch leg, and on average it takes x more time then a rec at your rate to install it.

A switch can take a bit more labor and materials then a rec.

A smoke detector costs XX more then a rec, and has longer runs between openings.

You should charge for circuits and or home runs.

Dedicated circuits need to be more money.

Ark fault breakers cost XX more, may require there own nut, and may take a hair more time.

Two story openings can take a lot more time as well as crawel space work so those are extras.

Cutting into cabnets takes time and is risky so I add for each of those.

Chandeliers on average take XX longer then a keyless to install, may need to be centered perfect, and should have a heavier box so I add those amounts to the base price.

You also may need to figure in other job costs with village fees, bonds, etc.

Anyway that will get you started in figuring you opening prices. When you finish a job you should go back and look at you pricuing and if you won or lost adding up T&M with a proffit. Then ajust your numbers.

Several time a unknown GC might ask a opening price on a rec or can. The funny thing is those may be a small part of the job price. There a so many other items like built in ovens, A/C units, furnaces, spa tubs, etc. An opening price might be $5 or more lower but it can mode up on other items.

Another issue is should you give the GC your price sheet? I would rather give a price sheet then do a blueprint. Both may be a waist of time but the price sheet you can use.

If you do give the GC pricing I would include items or at least have a disclaimer on charges he might have missed like circuit costs, dedicated circuits, 2 story, etc.

[This message has been edited by Active 1 (edited 08-05-2006).]

Re: Residential Pricing #158659 08/05/06 01:08 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 507
mahlere Offline
short answer or long answer?

Re: Residential Pricing #158660 08/05/06 02:37 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
LK Offline
"A builder gave me a price list to fill out and give back,"

There is no simple answer, just read some of the information Active 1 posted, you will have a lot of work to do, before you fill out anything.

Re: Residential Pricing #158661 08/08/06 08:45 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 138
PE&Master Offline
How about a per sq foot price?

So much for basic, code requirement minimum wiring, then adders past that point for things like CAT5, dual coaxes, etc.

I've seen $4/sq.ft used before wire prices skyrocketed.

Re: Residential Pricing #158662 08/08/06 10:34 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
LK Offline

Square foot is ok if he is a roofer, or doing sq foot tasks, can you buy a square ft of cable, or install a square of cable?, he has to get a unit price first then he can convert it to a square foot price if desired.

GC's deal in square feet, with most of their building tasks, so EC's will unit price it, then convert it to sq ft.

Re: Residential Pricing #158663 08/11/06 07:11 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 197
LearJet9 Offline
When we were doing residential work we tried the sq ft pricing. It 'never' worked out for us. Who knows, maybe we were just calculating incorrectly. We abandoned that fairly quickly.

Re: Residential Pricing #158664 08/12/06 02:27 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 23
neutron Offline OP
Junior Member
active 1
your info is a great start for me I have alot of work to do and i'm sure that there will be alot of trial and error until i work out all the kinks. Thank tou to all

Re: Residential Pricing #158665 08/12/06 05:44 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 74
Tom H Offline
I always do takeoffs weather a print is available or not. I look at what is required per opening, ie home run length, breaker brand and type, box to box length, boxes, outlets, switches etc. I also figure any ceiling opening not in a basement, attic or crawl as a ceiling fan. I spec basic recess and provide cut sheets for those recess with the proposal package.

I NEVER include dimmers unless they are spec'd in plans as they can range in price from 10 to 280 a device.

Ok not always but especially for new contractors.

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