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Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 687
A
Member
I was wondering how do some of you bid new plans.
What do you do when you get a set of prints that does not have enough receptacles, 3 way switches, lights, GFI's, smoke detectors, etc.? Do you take the time to draw them in and add to the proposial? Or do you count up what is on the plans and price that only? If so when do you add these in? When the rough starts or are some waiting to see if the inspector catches it?

For the GC that I am established with I think they like all the adds figured in. No changes requested no changes in price. To make the job go on budget.

The problem is with new GC's or when a GC compeats against another GC. The customer has a incomplete or poor electrical print. The arhchitec always has a disclaimer at the bottom of plans. When it gets priced out some EC don't figure anything that is not on the print. The other EC appear way cheaper on the bottom line but the prices are more per opening. I don't know what happens to their price at the end.

I think I lost a number of jobs this way not because of my prices are too per high per opening but because I add things that shoud be done weather the inspector catches it or not.

Anyways I am starting a few jobs with a new GC. I priced out them out and added what is required. The GC came back with why I have so many of this and that and I am too much. He said just price them per print only then make what is required an add. So that is what I did.

I think I sould get more for an add because it is more messing around. The workers have to jump around the job to add things. More details to keep track of and adjustments of price. Also tring to colect money on those extras. I don't plan on hitting them too hard like some out there.

Is this just warning signs to stay away from these GC's? I asked the same GC about any service requirements for a remodel (nothing on print). He said just price out a new 200a underground. He must of forgot that the old was an overhead and the panel needed to be relocated across the building.

Fun Times,

Tom

Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,374
R
Moderator
Be careful. What you may think is code may not be.

For example: I did a plan review for a commercial job with an 800 amp service. The engineer showed parrallel 500 KCMIL conductors, which would be allowed by the round up rule in 240.4. The problem is that the computed load was greater than 760 amps (parrallel 500's are worth 760). He didn't comply with 230.42, so I made him change it to 600's.

Now, what I am afraid of is that the contractor may be experienced with 800 amp services and has installed a lot of them with 500Kcmil conductors. If he does on this job he will be removing them [Linked Image]

Be careful


Ryan Jackson,
Salt Lake City
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
I
Moderator
Ryan, I am glad you had them make the change, stick to whats right. [Linked Image]

Quote
Now, what I am afraid of is that the contractor may be experienced with 800 amp services and has installed a lot of them with 500Kcmil conductors. If he does on this job he will be removing them

Shame on him if he bids 600 kcmil and installs 500 kcmil.

I get many prints that I could get by with smaller conductors, just two weeks ago I pulled a 150' run of 1/0s from a 125 amp breaker, the load can not exceed 53 amps.

It seemed overkill but they where paying for it, in my mind if I ran 2 AWGs (round up) I would be stealing.

I know you will check on the conductor size at inspection time. [Linked Image]

Bob


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 650
W
Member
I agree with Iwire; if you bid for one thing, and then do something less, then you are stealing.

But when you see a situation where 'the print' doesn't match 'best practise', isn't there some way that you can bid to print, but then include an alternate bid for 'how it should be'.

In retail, this is often called 'upselling', and the goal is to get people to buy stuff that they don't really need. But there is a difference between 'what the customer doesn't want, but NEC requires', 'what the customer doesn't yet know that they need' (eg future expansion capability when it comes cheap), and 'what the customer doesn't need, but you can sell at high profit'. IMHO only the last part is sleazy, and _not_ illegal.

Active1, if you see a print, and have taken the time to figure out that it doesn't meet NEC, then you've already done the work for two quotes, the 'to print' quote, and the 'to NEC' quote. Might as well supply the customer with both... though you'd better be very explicit and include an appropriately higher quote for changes, so that you are not stuck doing the 'to NEC' quote as a change with all the extra work for a change.

But it goes in the other direction too; if the contractor doing the job that Ryan_J is inspecting came back to the customer and said: if you can demonstrate appropriate ambient conditions or higher temperature conductor terminations, then we could use 2x500KCMIL for the load served...so here is a quote for the to print 600KCMIL run and one for the 500KCMIL run.

(P.S. Ryan: am I correct that if they could show an ambient environment that was _always_ less than 25C that they could use 500KCMIL conductors?)

-Jon

Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,374
R
Moderator
Hi Jon. You make a good point, the ambient temarature is certainly a key aspect of conductor ampacity, and yes, I would have to allow it.

I'm really not sure how you could demonstrate it though. I've never put much thought into it.


Ryan Jackson,
Salt Lake City
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 507
G
Member
Bid to the print.
Anything else requires a change order. If you do otherwise you will lose work to other EC's who bid the minimum.

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
H
Member
When I was in business and I was bidding on a job, I would but in 2 bids. The first bid was as per the print. Then I would add all the extra receptacles, or outlets that were needed to make the job pass inspection. For example, recpt. in the attic within 25 of HVAC unit, etc. Also most of the time I was bidding on these jobs it was mostly residential work and the codes are more cut and dry.

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 642
N
Member
Have learned to always bid to print. If you do not you will lose work to those who do. Just have a disclaimer in your proposal that states that errors or omissions on the print are not your responsility.
It is not your responsibility to fix the archetict/ engineers mistakes or laziness during a bid.
If you get the job then get the extra/change order to do the job to code. Bill for your increased costs for the changes. If the owner/GC does not have a good print it is the owner's problem not yours.


ed
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 650
W
Member
But the question is: what should you do if you explicitly notice that something is wrong with the print that you are bidding. You are not some sort of autonomous wire stapling robot; you are an electrician, you know the NEC, you know the right way to do things.

When is the right time to tell the customer that the plans that they are having people bid on are wrong?

On the other hand, your time isn't free, and doing a 'plan review' in order to supply a quote seems like a great way to waste time doing work that the architect or engineer should have done.

-Jon

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 507
G
Member
"When is the right time to tell the customer that the plans that they are having people bid on are wrong?"

After you have a signed contract for the job. Until then you are spinning your wheels over a job you may never do.

GJ

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