Estimate on job (Some Posts Deleted)

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  #1  
Old 02-27-15, 02:01 PM
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Estimate on job (Some Posts Deleted)

Hello im 2 yrs into the electrical trade and finally decided to do my first side job. I wanted to get an estimate on what i should charge my customer. I know prices vary due to location. ok I am going to run 2-2-2-4 to power a shed (distance from panel to shed is 185ft.). Therefore i will have to run underground pvc more likely. and pull wire as well. I want to get an estimate on that. Plus boxing wiring and trimming 8 plugs, 4 lights inside and 2 floods. so another estimate for that. and lastly Install ceiling fan coming off of a existing hot. On ceiling fan i was going to charge a bit more because the space in attic will be really tight and hard to get to. But if you can please give me your feedback on what i should charge him for labor THank you
 
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Old 02-27-15, 02:15 PM
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You have to decide. How much time do you think this will take and what do you expect to receive for your time? You've seen the site, we have not.
 
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Old 02-27-15, 02:15 PM
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How many times are you going to ask the same question?
 
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Old 02-27-15, 02:23 PM
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Thanks for the heads-up Pulpo on the multiple posting.

Jaime - your question has been asked and I have deleted the other places you asked it as well. Please stop re-posting the same question.
 
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Old 02-27-15, 02:26 PM
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Thank you stickshift.
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Old 02-27-15, 02:44 PM
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sorry about that guys i barely registered didnt really know. but i mean i dont know ive been in the trade for awhile now and starting off so i dont know how much i should charge. Do yall charge by hour or by plugs light what...?
 
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Old 02-27-15, 02:45 PM
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If you are not licensed there is a very good chance that you should not be charging someone since you don't have a license or insurance.
 
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Old 02-27-15, 02:47 PM
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true but say that wasnt a factor. because honestly this guy wants me to do it pronto and said hed prefer me...i dont want to over charge him
 
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Old 02-27-15, 02:50 PM
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Has a permit been pulled for the job? Do you have insurance coverage to do this kind of work on your own?
 
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Old 02-27-15, 02:53 PM
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no i do not.............................................
 
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Old 02-27-15, 03:04 PM
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Hard to believe you are two years in the trade and don't know how and what your boss charges. Hard to believe your two years in the trade and don't know someone you can ask.
 
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Old 02-27-15, 03:12 PM
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Jaime, Calculate the price of the materials separately from the labor. I'm just going to pick numbers out of the air. Let's say the materials are going to cost $2,000. Keep that # on the side.

Labor: Calculate how much you want per day, not per hour. Then determine how many days the job will take. Let's say that you want $300 per day & it's going to take 3 days. You add $900 to the $2,000 & there is your price.

If you are not sure about the price of the materials. Tell the customer to accompany you to the store & pay for the materials. That way you don't have to risk underestimating.
 
  #13  
Old 02-27-15, 03:15 PM
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Thank you Pulpo that was a bunch of adice thank you
 
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Old 02-28-15, 07:56 PM
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Estimating isn't rocket science, but if you don't know what you are doing you shouldn't even be attempting to do this job. After you list your material and cost per line item, in a separate column list the appropriate labor unit from your Manual of Labor Units. Add up both columns and you have material cost and hours. Multiply hours times your hourly rate. Add total labor to material cost with sales tax. Add insurance and permit costs and finally add markups and you are done.
 
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Old 03-01-15, 07:23 AM
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I pretty much do what Pulpo posted, but I figure it by the hour for labor. The thing about estimating a job is that you want to cover your butt so you don't end up working for nothing.

A better option would be to give him a "not to exceed" price and then do the job time and material. Say $75 an hour plus whatever material you buy.
 
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Old 03-01-15, 07:54 AM
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It's okay to calculate the price using an hourly rate in your mind but never tell the customer that you are doing that. That way, they don't stand there looking at the clock & try to rush you so that they can get more work done before the day is done. I tell people that I will give them a price for the job.
 
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Old 03-01-15, 08:07 AM
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I agree that giving a firm price is a good way to do a job when the scope is clearly defined, but many times it isn't. When it isn't clearly defined, figure worst case and use the "Not To Exceed" method Tolyn mentioned.
 
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Old 03-01-15, 08:12 AM
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Let's say it's a job that requires the removal of paneling & the repairing the walls. You have no idea what is behind the paneling. In that case, I'll give a range with the "not to exceed" or similar wording.
 
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Old 03-01-15, 08:17 AM
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In my head I always doubled the time I thought it would take then again in my head figured labor cost (which included things like materials I didn't charge for, truck costs, and other fixed costs). Then I bid labor plus actual cost of materials to be determined at the end of the job.. Material cost was listed as estimate only may be higher. My proposals always contained a disclaimer: Price may be more due to hidden problems.

Don't scribble on a piece of paper. Buy a proposal pad from an office supply or design your own and print on computer. Always do a carbon and get a signature of acceptance of the bid and terms.
 
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Old 03-01-15, 10:50 AM
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My boss always said he makes more money on a bid job then T&M and I can see why. When I bid, I tend to take worst case scenario so the bid will be higher then it would be on straight T&M. Most cases I come out OK, some times I do not. A lot of people do not like the unknown so they are more comfortable with a set price even if they could come out better on T&M.
 
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Old 03-01-15, 11:02 AM
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The large garage we built in the fall was similar. I gave the guy a good estimate, but my forms have a disclaimer that cost of materials can vary, and changes will entail upcharges. He wanted me to delete those statements, although I had figured them pretty closely and could live with my estimate. I deleted them and added $2000 to the estimate. He was happy and told me to proceed. He even paid upcharges for things he wanted done that were not in the contract, so we won on that one. Just have to be careful.

Sorry if I was hateful in my comments, but I still ain't doing homework for someone who needs experience first. Make your estimate fair to yourself, fair to the customer, and stick to it. Even if you get bit, you learn.
 
  #22  
Old 03-01-15, 12:42 PM
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I work in the commercial sector and if I was sent to do a shed my boss would use his rule of thumb of 3 devices per hour. Mind you I deal with running emt and pulling wire, but he would estimate 3 receptacles piped pulled and installed within an hour, resi should have some sort of rule of thumb for that also.
The pvc is cut and paste, shouldn't take you long at all. I like Pulpos advice of determining what you want for the day. Its a good way to light a fire under your butt too if you're being paid a lump sum for the day, the faster you get it done, the more you just made hourly.

EDIT: I'm not going to lecture you on doing uninsured work, but do be careful. I'm not sure where you are from, but where I live if I did some side work and something went wrong (fire etc.) I would be blacklisted with the apprenticeship board and never get my ticket. I'll do work for family since I know they wouldn't throw me under the bus, but strangers you have to be careful with.
 
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Old 03-01-15, 12:46 PM
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One other bit of wisdom from been-there-done-that. If the wife makes changes and the husband is writing the check be sure both spouses are on the same page. On one of my first jobs about 30 years ago when I was almost done remodeling a bathroom the wife decided she didn't like where the bathtub and water heater were and wanted them moved. I did. January and another few days laying in cold water under the house. When I gave the husband the bill he asked me how many days I'd actually worked then after some scribbling on paper yelled, "That is almost six dollars per hours. I could have hired someone at the bar to do it for $4/hour."
 
  #24  
Old 03-01-15, 02:50 PM
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I'm not sure where you are from, but where I live if I did some side work and something went wrong (fire etc.) I would be blacklisted with the apprenticeship board and never get my ticket.
My guess is if someone just turned you in for doing work on the side you'd be in trouble. Nothing would really have to go wrong.
 
  #25  
Old 03-02-15, 04:24 PM
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You're absolutely right Joe.
The way I see it, its only 4 years of twiddling my thumbs and accepting my hourly rate before the big money can start rolling in.
 
  #26  
Old 03-02-15, 04:54 PM
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before the big money can start rolling in.
It may take longer than that for the big money to roll in.




In Northern NJ where I'm from.... I'm having a hard time finding plumbers to run gas lines for generator installs. Then when I do find one.... he's asking (and getting) twice what I'm getting. What's up with that.

(please don't contact me to run gas lines)
 
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Old 03-02-15, 08:24 PM
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It may take longer than that for the big money to roll in.
hahahaha I think he just meant to cmplete his apprenticeship and get his journeyman's card.
 
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