I really dont look so much as to the biZ end of it as i work as an employee for a company. Over here in New Jersey we are in a building boom in the last few years and it shows no signs of slowing done, so for me this is great job security.
I half agree with GJ. New residential construction just doesn't seem like the way to go. To easy to lose your shirt or become career locked. However; residential service is real lucrative in my area (DC/VA/MD suburbs). If you sell yourself, homeowners around here won't bat an eyelash over paying for T&M work. If they are repeat customers, they seldom even question us. The key is to sell yourself/company. Get caught "messing over them" (like the way I cleaned that phrase up?)and you're toast.
I'll take a stab at your post. I don't know if I can help with the easier part but here's a couple thoughts on being efficient.
Repetitive, Repetitive, Repetitive. When you get to the job site have all the material for the day unloaded and in the structure. Have one guy that does the lay out and mark for home runs. Have one guy that nails boxes. Have one guy that drills out. ( Meaning fire up the drill and don't stop till your done.) Have one or two guys that pull out with the romex on hung or stud mount spinners. With home runs done first. Have one or two guy's that strap, strip and make up complete at each box. Have one guy build the service complete and make up the panel.
The fewer trips that need to be made to each room the better. The fewer trips made out to the van the better.
Henry Ford had a great idea with the assembly line idea. The more ways you can think of to run the job in an assembly line manner the more efficient you will get.....Then big raises....Employee of the year award.....All expenses paid trip to Las Vegas......
[This message has been edited by kentvw (edited 11-18-2004).]
I work for a company that does LOTS of the highrise flavour. Assembly-line style is the norm. Usually the crew is spread out over 3 floors.
Timing the material orders is key. Try to get one skid of boxes & fittings, and one skid of wire dropped per floor before the plumbers are done.
One guy does layout with a marked stick and black felt marker. Two guys mount boxes/panels and run the ENT chunks from the stub-downs in the ceiling. Two guys pull all the wire (pull wire & BX). Next, about 4-6 guys hit the floor to splice, secure the BX, pull string for the data runs, and terminate the panels. (Try to keep the data guy & panel guy on that task for a whole floor for accountability.)
Kent's got the right idea... if you're running a big enough crew.
As the "second man" in a two man crew, I'd work room-to-room. While my foreman was running HR's or dedicated circuits, my job was to
Go around to all the spotted positions and place 1900's..
Get a rough measure on how many sticks we'd need for the room.. then go get 'em
Measure and drill the studs or cap plates for the run...
Start measuring, bending, and cutting to make it all connect...
Tie into the HR box... if it wasn't already, stub up (or down, depnding on obstructions) for the HR. <TIP> We used deep 1900's (4" square by 2 1/8" deep vs. the usual 1 1/2") and 3/4" EMT for all the HR's.
Another tip - D1900's for dimmers and GFCI's...
A lot of the tips are "method specific" - my tips about EMT are worthless for folks that run NM all day.