Hello: I have a situation I would like your feedback on. We are doing a 25,000 square foot, 2 story building. We have 90 "data outlets" scattered through the building. The original bid drawings defined a data outlet as: 2 strands of fiber, 1 Cat. 5e cable, 1 duplex utility receptacle and 1 duplex UPS fed receptacle. The fiber and data cables go back to the server room, to adjacent patch panels. The owner wants to change the data outlet to be 3 Cat. 6 cables in place of the 1 Cat. 5e. So, essentially, 2 more cables to each location. I just received the contractor's quote and here is the problem. The contractor has quoted 15,000 feet of cable for each run, thats a little high but ok. The labor is 120 hours. He has quoted all 3 Cat. 6 runs individually for a total of 360 hours, with a 120 hour credit for the Cat. 5e that was deleted, for a total of 240 hours additional labor. My question is this: since he is already pulling cable to the same location, why the full labor charge for each cable? He will be able to pull them all together, at the same time. My opinion is that there should be no, or very little, extra labor charge. I understand he has more cables to terminate and test, but that is quoted separately, and I don't argue with that. Any ideas on how to get them to be more reasonable? Or - do you think their numbers are correct? How much extra labor would be reasonable? thanks for your input.
Well, you put us in a pickle. We do not know the ins and out of the job. It may be that he is attempting to make up for a low bid to begin with, or trying to pad the profit like you suggest. Or, it may be that he feels the labor cost really need to be that high. Aren't you getting other bids? Can you reject his bid and ask for new? Is it a problem of time? Extras are sometimes counted on to make a profit, as the job is bid with little or no profit. Ask the contractor about his bid, maybe he will explain, or maybe he will come down some. Usually, if you are open and honest with someone they will be the same with you.
Re: Extra charges - your opinion please#34667 02/20/0402:48 PM02/20/0402:48 PM
Thanks for the reply. Job was bid last August. This contractor won the bid. Bringing in other contractors would cause too many problems. As far as bidding the job low, that is not my problem, and I dont think it's right, or fair to the owner, to charge 3 times the labor for this. I am willing to "play ball", but I think this is too much. We have a meeting scheduled for next week to go over the quote. Perhaps he is right, and has facts to back it up. The big question here is: if 120 hours labor is correct for one cat. 6 cable, is 360 right for three cat. 6 cables? One side note here: this contractor uses estimating software that prices all his work. That is how he arrived at his labor number. But his software has no adjustments for this kind of combining of the work. This is what his program spit out, so that's what his price is. Bob
Re: Extra charges - your opinion please#34668 02/20/0406:31 PM02/20/0406:31 PM
My opinion is that there should be no, or very little, extra labor charge.
not necessarily. It will definatly be more time in handling material, setting up for each pull, identifying and keeping track of cables. The pull itself should take a little longer, how much longer is the $64,000 question (maybe literally). Handling more at once always take more. Plus it is more to verify and be responsible for.
I don't price this type of work too often, but when I did, it was by the opening, so it would have come out the same way. If (1) data jack was $125, then (3) would be $375.
In my opinion (which based completely on speculation and heresay) the work is worth at least twice as much. Your contractor may have reasons to justify the additional third as much. Or maybe he just doesn't know any other way to figure it than what the software says.
the only other suggestion would be to consider time and material.
Re: Extra charges - your opinion please#34670 02/21/0409:08 PM02/21/0409:08 PM
Installations are priced per run. If one run costs x then 3 runs cost 3x. Doesn't matter if they can be pulled all at once or not. We often are able to pull many runs at once but that is at our descretion and we are certainly not going to give a credit if that is the case.
Our cost per run starts at $100 and goes up from there if it is difficult, involves fishing or raceway etc. This includes the jack, termination and testing less the patch panel cost. Sometimes the customer opts not to use a patch panel and we just press a RJ-45 plug on the end of each run.
I would say that $400 for three runs is right in the ballpark.
[This message has been edited by hbiss (edited 02-22-2004).]
I like the "unit pricing" method that jps1006 mentioned. At least that way, everyone knows upfront what the cost will be, no room for bickering. iwire, my situation is close to yours. Owner saw the quote, upwards of $50,000.00, and hit the ceiling. As owner's rep, my mandate is to pick apart the estimate and get the price down (Not my favorite part of my job).