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#2009 - 06/15/01 06:11 PM Speed  
sparky  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,311
Speed is $$$ on bid jobs. when it is said that one has 'run' so much pipe or wire, the literal sense is often true.

I am interested in what techniques others have found to accomodate this mindset.

i would rather work 'smarter' than 'harder'

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Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#2010 - 06/15/01 08:16 PM Re: Speed  
njelectricmaster  Offline
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 109
Lead, South Dakota
Hello From Colorado!!!!!
Speed is in the eyes of the beholder. My last employer told me I was too slow on the job, so I set up a little race. We had two houses that were the same model and both were spec homes with no extras. At around 3500sq ft each. The boss got his done in3.5 days and I did mine in 4.
The difference is that when we came time to trim the houses I did mine in 2 day and his took 3.5. IF YOU CAN DO IT ON THE ROUGH, DO IT!!!!!
time wise, I finished my house 8 hrs faster than he did! He has 8 years in the trade more than I do.
As far as what I do to save time: I pull a circuit through the wall all the way around the room, past the switch and up to the light, mount the light box and make it up at the same time,. come down the ladder pull some slack at the switch box and make it up, them go back and pull a loop of wire at each recept. and staple and make up while I am there and when I walk out of a room I am DONE! DON'T GO BACK TO THE SAME SPOT TWICE!!!
I have also found that 20 min. of planning will save you 10 hrs of work!
If you have an unfinished basement, trim it out while you are on the rough, and when you come to trim all you have to do is put in the light bulbs!
My general rule of thumb is 1000sq ft per person per day plus 1/2 day for misc. ON THE ROUGH, and 1/2 the time of the rough for the trim! ( if it take 100hrs to rough, it should only take 50hrs to trim (max))
I have been known to be wrong, but if I am doing it, it always works!
Foot note:-- I was a custom home specialist for several years( 8000sq ft min.) and I have always held true to the idea of doing everything you can on the rough!


Jon Niemeyer

#2011 - 06/15/01 10:38 PM Re: Speed  
bhester  Offline
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 38
That formula might work in most locations (1000 sq ft per man) in most areas but the one area close to me requires a 3/w switch at every entry to a room that has more than one entrance which results in more openings and more time.

#2012 - 06/16/01 10:23 AM Re: Speed  
njelectricmaster  Offline
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 109
Lead, South Dakota
Hello From Colorado!!!!

It works the same here with the 3ways. My example was based on a standard bedroom, and adjustments are made according to what room you are wiring, but that was the general idea.

As for the 1000sq ft per man per day, that is just a quick way for me to tell how long I will be on a job. One guy may only do 500 a day if it is in the most difficult places in the house, and another guy might do 1500 if he is in the basement. It all averages out though.

Jon Niemeyer

#2013 - 06/17/01 07:45 PM Re: Speed  
sparky  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,311
good suggestions here !

#2014 - 06/18/01 12:16 AM Re: Speed  
silverbk  Offline
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 60
I worked for one shop in particular that was tops when it came to speed. They taught me some good stuff.

Here to make money you have to do it on the rough, the trim is a break even at best situation. When roughing, use the Milwaukee D handle drill w/ the three foot extension and the 22 degree head. Saves numerous trips up and down the ladder. Drill extra holes in the header above your switch boxes. Use the smoke detector circuit as a homerun, for the circuit farthest from the panel. Use 3M stackers. When you wire a box from a ladder strip and splice the wires while your're there eliminating a second trip up and down.

In condos or complexes try to wire all the units exacltly the same. When your troubleshooting makes life much easier.

This shop even devised a system of bending and twisting the romex sticking out of the box in lieu of marking each cable with a sharpie.

They even went so far as to drill two holes above each outlet box. So that the romex can be run through the lower hole (within 6") directly into the box eliminating the need for a staple. I personally prefer the look of one hole and the wires stapled.

They did some stuff that I would never do like looping all the TV and Telephone lines. I run home runs to each location.

I did the same test with my first foreman there. His claim to fame was that he could wire an A- unit in two days by himself. Which he did, but it took another day and a half to fix all his mistakes, on the trim. It took me three and a half days, but I know that I'll never be in that unit again fixing any mistakes.

#2015 - 06/18/01 07:21 AM Re: Speed  
sparky  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,311
I wired a set of drive through windows at a burger joint once. The company sent out their efficientcy engineer to set up the order of functionality.

He had each job detailed down to the amount of footsteps, communication,and handmovements involved. One miscalculated scenario, could over the course of time, prove to be a costly repetion.

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#2016 - 06/18/01 10:39 PM Re: Speed  
SlamTex  Offline
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 53
I don't know much about residential. I do know that residential shops can cut there labor units by 40% many times, and still make money. In the commercial part of the industry, we can't do that. I will say that the estimate is the basis for project management, and if the estimate is done correctly, and the project is managed according to the estimate then it should make a profit. The key is project management. If management supports the field personel, and allows them to work at maximum efficency (proper support will include having needed tools, material, job schedule, man power, ect.) the job will have a better chance of making money.
If you want to make the job make more money than expected, do it twice as fast. Just remember one thing. The labor unit has installation time, supervision, lay-out, material handling, clean-up, and other items built into it. If I say you have 3 hours to run 100 feet of 1/2" EMT about half of that time is for installation. The other half is for the other items that I mentioned above.
The old saying, "Time is money", is true.

HMEL #688

#2017 - 06/21/01 12:30 AM Re: Speed  
Steve T  Offline
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 306
Oak Park, IL, USA
Make sure the guys wear a material pouch, tool pouch (with more than the linesmans and a screwdriver), and a holster for the screw gun. If it gets to be heavy, a nice pair of suspenders will help.

Just in case you are wondering, EMT is required for residential in the Chicago area. Most other municipalities in Cook County follow this as well.

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Delaware County, PA, USA
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