Fine line between estimate and service work?

Old 02-19-14, 03:04 PM
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Fine line between estimate and service work?

Not sure if this will make much sense but how do you get an electrical system inspected by a master electrician without the contractor either sending someone out on a service call or having them see dollar signs if you know what I mean?

If I ask for a estimate I will get an estimater, if I ask for a service call....there may or may not be issues to fix. And if there are minor issues I would like them fixed on the spot.... so I am not sure what approach to take with the contractors.

I know some of you guys are working electricians, how should I find someone to help me?
Old 02-19-14, 04:04 PM
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I can't think that anyone is going to be able to inspect your system without a site visit. There is no way I would risk my license or your safety without seeing what issues need to be dealt with.

Simple fixes might be able to be made on the spot. You might want to look for a flat rate contractor where you pay for a service call that typically covers a time period. Extra work may fit into the time included in the dispatch fee. If not they can look up the pricing in the book while there.
Old 02-19-14, 05:48 PM
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Ask friends, neighbors, relatives. Everyone knows an electrician. I look over a lot of peoples electrical systems. I'll see them after hours and on weekends. I'll usually stop by and see what their concerns are. If it's a major job then it gets quoted.

........and yes..... some of us still make free house calls.
Old 02-20-14, 05:50 AM
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If I ask for a estimate I will get an estimater,
Smaller to medium sized contractors have estimator/project manager people on staff, many of whom started their careers as electricians and are fully qualified, to look at and inspect your system and make recommendations with no charges involved. If any repairs can be clearly defined, they can also give you a price for the work. Pure investigative work involving troubleshooting with no clear plan and with unknowns that must be figured out during the troubleshooting would require a service call. You need to discuss this with the project manager and get his recommendation on how to proceed. At the very least, he may be able to give you an hourly rate with an estimate of time he thinks the project will take. If you choose to go this route, do not expect any contractor to furnish materials at the wholesale cost to you. They are not in the wholesale business.

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