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#194937 07/01/10 12:44 PM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 830
Anybody in North Carolina do any sq. ft. pricing on new installations? Got a customer that has a 2 story garage, and wants to put living quarters on top. He just wants a "ball park" price for now, and I don't want to have to go in detail right now because I don't know if he's serious or not. Downstairs in the garage area he's just wanting recpts. for work bench etc.. garage door openers..
etc...It's been a long time since I've bid on a new house or anything like that and don't know the going price. I'm thinking it's around $ 2.75 per sq. ft. but I'm not sure. Can anyone give me sort of an idea? I know sq. ft. pricing is not the best way to go, but just for a "ball park" estimate, it's the quickest. Thanks a lot for your help. The reason I stated North Carolina is that I know the prices up north and far south are usually a lot higher than in North Carolina... Thanks again. Steve

Latest Estimating Cost Guides & Software:
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,955
Likes: 34
This is the kind of thing where one of the CAD programs is helpful, at least for the 210.52 outlets. Even the cheapest little program like 3d architect will place all the receptacles so you have an idea what you are bidding on. O would think, the smaller the footprint, the bigger chance for errors in square ft pricing.

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 466
Likes: 1
I can place the receptacles for the 6/12 rule using a scale or a compass in very little time.

Why not just give a price based on xx recpts, xx switches and come up with a quick estimate?

Jim M #194944 07/02/10 12:23 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,273
Sq Ft pricing does not work for EC's.

You use you lose.

Tesla #194951 07/02/10 08:55 AM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 34
CDS Offline
If this is an existing home , you probably want to look at the length and difficulty of the home runs .
You could spend as much time on them as the rough in .
Also space in panel . On a small job , those can bite you .

CDS #194955 07/02/10 09:51 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,460
Likes: 3
Cat Servant
No print, no price. You just can't hit a moving target.

Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 830
Thanks for the input, but job came to a quick hault when I called the inspection dept. They told me the garage was permitted to be a garage and storage, not for bedrooms etc..
They said it would have to be re-permitted and then that would involve something done about the existing septic tank. Probably won't happen. This property sets right on the lake front and inspector thinks they'll be problems for the homeowner updating his septic tank. Thanks anyway. If it gets done it won't be by me, cause I would have to get a permit. Thanks anyway...

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,390
Likes: 7
"Thanks anyway. If it gets done it won't be by me, cause I would have to get a permit. Thanks anyway..." (sparkync)

Leaves food for thoughts??

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 212
I don't use square foot pricing to arrive at a quote, not even a ballpark budget for the customer. I DO use a per square foot figure after the job is quoted to compare it to other similar recent jobs. It helps me keep a mental picture about what is driving costs in more complex projects. Here in Hood River OR we are way above the $2.75 figure you mentioned. For instance I just quoted a 2200 sq. ft. house that is upscale but by no means ultra fancy for about $16000.00 and I'm pretty sure I'll get the project, maybe with some minor negotiating.

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,460
Likes: 3
Cat Servant
A parallel occurs to me ...

Just as I have great difficulty taking a picture that has just ONE code violation in it, it seems that 'clever' folks practice their hustle in several directions at once.

While a 'square foot price' might have some role in analyzing a job, it (just like your 'hourly shop rate') has absolutely no role in preparing an estimate.

Why? Because then the focus is on the rate, rather than what needs to be done. It reduces you to a commodity - a path that leads directly to the trunk of the local, unlicensed, 'handy' sort.

Just as the old DI used to harrass recruits by asking them 'how long is a rope?', asking 'how much per square foot' is meaningless without first knowing what the job involves. Without a plan, that's a wild guess at best.

Oh, I get it ... YOU are supposed to spend your time making the plan ... share it with the customer ... and take a chance. How about the customer first paying for your design work? Mention that idea; I bet their look will be priceless.

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