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#176135 03/21/08 05:11 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 3
New Member
Hi All, first time poster here. Was hoping I could get some feedback and advice on estimating. I have been doing this work for 25 yrs working for a contractor. Just got my license and now peeking at other options. Tired of doing side jobs for next to nothing, seems like anyway, Never been involved with the billing and guessing part of it. For instance rewiring a house, what is the average going rate per opening to come up with a ballpark number? Also if someone wanted to do there own house and they knew what they were doing. What is a fair price to let them do it under my license and insurance. Don't want to become overnight millionaire "well" but don't want to do it for nothing anymore either. Any help or constructive critisism will be appreciated!

Latest Estimating Cost Guides & Software:
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 265
No one works under my license and insurance, but me. No way to check everything someone else does and you and your ins. company assume all the liability for the job.


Life is tough, Life is tougher when you are stupid
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 984
Likes: 1
As far as letting someone work under your license and insurance, that's a bad idea.
Not only could you end up losing your license, you might end up with even bigger problems.

To paraphrase a quote from a guy I used to work for: "If you're going to do something illegal, unethical or questionable to make money, make sure that it's enough to make it worthwhile once when you figure in the fines and the jail time. There's no sense in finding out that the last 3 years of your life you netted out at minimum wage."

ghost307 #176140 03/21/08 05:33 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 3
New Member
That sounds like a very wise man Thanks

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 265
Originally Posted by JimKauffman
Also if someone wanted to do there own house and they knew what they were doing. What is a fair price to let them do it under my license and insurance.

Welcome to the forum Jim. If a customer is too cheap to have you do the work but wants to work under your You most likely wouldn't be insured if there was a problem as they are not your employee.

As for rewiring a home, many factors will influence the price. For instance if there's a 2nd floor the lighting on the main floor will be difficult to get to. How much of the attic is accessable? Are there firestops in the walls? How much stuff is in the basement that you need to work around? Is the client going to live in the house while you're rewiring, or will they be staying somewhere else? If they are away, you can leave tools, extension cords, etc laying around overnight, and there won't be a panic to power up some circuits for tv's, lamps, hot water, etc. at the end of each day.

I give all my clients an option to save on the labor by having them to do any cleanup. Cleanup is something they can do themselves - why pay electrician rates to do it?


"Will it be cheaper if I drill the holes for you?"
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 272
I use estimating software to estimate the job.
I have setup assemblies in the software for the take off.
For example an assembly would consist of the box, wire, device, staples, wirenuts and labor to complete the installation of this assembly.

I've set up three catagories for these assemblies.
Open Access (All Ceilings and walls are open with exposed framing)
Limited Access (Attic or crawlspace access with cutting in boxes and fishing wire down finished walls)
No Access (Ceiling and walls are all finished and all wiring has to be fished in the ceiling and walls)

Within these three catagories I have three difficult ratings for labor.

In these catagories I have assemblies set up for different lengths.
Assembly Examples:
0010-O Extend romex circuit 14-2 (0010 means 10 feet & O means open access)
0020-L Extend romex circuit 14-2 (0020 means 20 feet & L means limited access)
0030-N Extend romex circuit 14-2 (0030 means 30 feet & N means no access)

When I walk the job site I count the devices for each room and assign each device a code.
Code Examples:
0020-L-S (Means extend romex circuit 20 feet, limited access, standard labor)

0010-O-E (Means extend romex circuit 10 feet, open access, easy labor)

0030-N-H (Means extend romex circuit 30 feet, no access, hard labor)

I also have labor adders so if I think an assembly will exeed the preset labor time of the assembly I can add more labor to it.

When I do a job I track the actual installation time of each assembly and compare it to the labor time in the software so I can make adjustments to the software if necessary for more accuracy when estimating future jobs.

The software I use is called Turbobid.

As far as letting someone work under my license? No way. Let them get their own license.

A-Line #176153 03/22/08 03:10 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,827
Likes: 22
I see this "wire your own house and pay for the electrician to do the final hookup" sort of talk all the time on homeowner BBs. I always wondered if that really happened or they just said they did it to avoid flame wars.
I really can't imagine a guy risking his license and reputation to a home owner's wiring. I know if I was inspecting this and saw "homeowner work" I would probably be a lot more leery of trusting what I saw (or didn't actually see) when this guy's name was on the permit.
Inspectors and trades get a certain amount of trust built up over the years but that is based on consistent quality of work. I probably ended up actually looking at more stuff than the average inspector but that was because I was never that busy and I like looking at electrical stuff. I did get to know who to trust and who I could count on to do something right, even after it was signed off.

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 853
NEVER EVER!!!! You want my license and insurance? BUY IT!.

Or pay my current lease rates! That again meens BUY IT!!!

Trust no one! Charge All.

No good deed goes unpunished!

leland #176174 03/23/08 04:58 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 316
Work under my license ? NO
This practice is illegal in Maryland. The homeowners can take a test, if they pass they are allowed to pull their own permit for this project ONLY. I would like to think the inspectors take their time and look at everything when it comes to this. Most homeowners can't pass the test.

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
LK Offline
Quote: "Never been involved with the billing and guessing part of it."

There is no guessing part, guessing is for the hacks and side job guys, estimating is the professional way.

Quote: "For instance rewiring a house, what is the average going rate per opening to come up with a ballpark number?"

Going by the so called going rate will get you in trouble fast, the other guys may all be way off and not know themself how to estimate a job, so when you follow them, your usually diving off the cliff blind.

Quote: "Also if someone wanted to do there own house and they knew what they were doing. What is a fair price to let them do it under my license."

Do they give licenses away where your at, or do you have to test and have the knowladge to pass a test, I moost states it is illegal to loan a license, and even if it was legal, would you risk the personal liability of letting someone else do work that may kill an entire family, to make a few dollars?

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