We do take off pricing. Pricing per switch, gfi, fan, etc.. it's a more accurate approach.
When I give a bid it has the total number of each thing I provide. If the customer adds something than I charge for 1 more thing.
Does pricing per foot lead to problems with getting money for adds with an unspecified number of openings?
Custom homes can have a big swing on price depending on # of cans, type of can, can trim, can bulb, chandeliers, 2 story lighting, # of HVAC units, extra appliances, spa tubs, dimmers, device type, etc..
I knew a GC that was cring about going broke over a new custom home. He never priced the electrical out before the job was started. I think he used $4.00/ft too but it did not figure for over 100 cans and a generator.
I think Tom hit the nail on the head. I estimated commercial projects for the past several years and the first thing I learned was to never put a bid out based on sq/ft. Just too many variables. Specs alone can kill a job. So I have always qualified my bid to death on what I was going to include and exclude.
If you are new to estimating and estimating homes you can go to a Home Depot store and pick up a free CD that carries their pricing and also has an estimating package included. I have found that the hours they show for any given task are very close to the units that I use. Since I've never bid residential until now I kind of felt like I have been getting away with something considering the cost of esimating packages.
We've used a square foot price for some work, but not just a flat sq ft price. We came up with a sq ft price for outlets, switches, hvac, basic/standard kitchen, basic lights(only the standard required items). On top of that we added a fee for the service, recessed cans we extra, heat pumps were extra, and any other non standard items were additional.
I have some pre-set maximums for general lighting, a/c units & etc. When I review the plans I make note of the numbers and inform the homeowner of any specialty items not covered. Any item added over the pre-set maximums will incur an additional charge. Hey, Im just a sparky with a skill under my belt trying to make some money. Estimating is still new to me. But, so far so good. I have made about a 45%-50% profit on all of my jobs. Also, by putting together 3 cost levels--basic, upgraded, and premium, I have been able to incorporate small upgrades at a premium price. I will definitely go to the deopt to get that software. Thanks a million
[This message has been edited by marixelectric_dfw (edited 03-03-2004).]
I also learned that my competitors on a few jobs beat me out by a total of 10-15% Later the homeowner told me that they were confused on what was being installed and found out that alot of things were installed incorrectly or with substandard material. In a way I felt that my numbers were good based on the level of quality that I have to offer.
Where are you located? In my area $2.00 per sq/ft is just for basic up to code, no ups, no extras. From there I go $75 per fan and recessed can (Not including the trim). $1000.00 for an upgrade to 200 amp. $125.00 for hydromassage tub and extra circuits as needed.
Im in the San Francisco Bay Area. Things are pretty expensive hers. Where I live the average house costs around $310,000. The avg cost to build a house is about $150 per sq. ft. The avg cost per acre is about $275, 000
[This message has been edited by marixelectric_dfw (edited 03-04-2004).]