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Thread: Estimating Services

  1. #11
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    Oct 2015
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    Boston, MA, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by brantmacga View Post
    Sounds pretty nuts to not review the take-off in-house, especially on something of that scope.

    Yeah, no kidding. I was with that shop for a few years and saw 4 projects that size, one after the other. They pretty consistently have one large job going at a time, with a couple months overlap as one winds down and the next gears up. Considering that, I couldn't believe how "seat of the pants" it all felt. No idea how they ever made money, but obviously they did.

  2. #12
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    Jul 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsurace View Post
    Can anyone recommend a good company that provides material takeoff and cost estimating for commercial electrical work? I am a smaller company and on the commercial side, do mostly service work and smaller new construction such as retail space build outs (1000-2000 sq ft). I'm getting more opportunities for larger retail and new restaurants which have more unique installations and want to proceed with care.
    Estimating services have been around for a long time. They are usually used by contractors that are too busy for their estimators to get to it. So it's no different for the contractor to pay thousands to a service, because they would otherwise pay their own estimators.
    When the estimate is delivered to the contractor, it's up to the contractor to verify it's accuracy, add quotes, expenses, and apply markup. The accuracy is verified by ESTIMATORS.

    ....if you can't estimate, how are you going to verify it's accuracy?
    ....why pay for an estimate on such small jobs (1000/2000 sq/ft)?

    If you are "moving" into larger projects, learn to estimate first. If you can't estimate, you can't verify accuracy of ANY estimate, whether you get a service or hire your own estimator...

  3. #13
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    Dec 2011
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    Ocala, Florida, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmo103 View Post
    A contractor I worked for used one of these services. I know that on one job I was on a couple years ago (30-something floors of apartments) they somehow managed to miss the MI. According to the GF, and I heard all this from him directly about 6 months after the job was finished, the contractor had to eat it all.
    What does MI stand for?


    I know what I don't know, and I know where to go to find it!

  4. #14
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    Oct 2007
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    New Jersey
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strathead View Post
    What does MI stand for?
    Mineral Insulated. iwire has posted pics on a couple of threads. A few runs of that could easily cost as much as the balance of the project.

  5. #15
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    Apr 2007
    Location
    Huntington Beach, CA (19 Hrs. 22 Min. from Winged Horses)
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsurace View Post
    Can anyone recommend a good company that provides material takeoff and cost estimating for commercial electrical work? I am a smaller company and on the commercial side, do mostly service work and smaller new construction such as retail space build outs (1000-2000 sq ft). I'm getting more opportunities for larger retail and new restaurants which have more unique installations and want to proceed with care.
    you don't say where you contract at. it's a huge piece of the puzzle.

    if it's california, you have T24 to contend with. prints aren't always compliant,
    engineers sometimes don't blow the whistle correctly and letting your
    wholesale house bid the lighting package without you CAREFULLY reviewing,
    and understanding what you are doing, will not turn out well.

    i recently watched a pretty good contractor flush $125,000 down the drain
    on a 7,000 sq, ft. remodel here. it wasn't even a big error. just a small oopsie
    in how he approached daylight harvesting.

    big oopsies are accidentally putting 800 2x4 fixtures in a ceiling, not noticing
    there was a mistake of a single digit in the part number. they put in fixtures
    that were not specified in the print. it never even made it to lighting certification.
    contractor called two days ago, canceling the certification. building inspector caught
    it after the lights were wired when they called for ceiling inspection.

    "blowing the bid" is the single largest cause of contractor death.
    i'd never let someone bid something for me more than a couple days work.
    ~New signature under construction.~
    ~~~~Please excuse the mess.~~~~

  6. #16
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    Jul 2005
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    754
    big oopsies are accidentally putting 800 2x4 fixtures in a ceiling, not noticing
    there was a mistake of a single digit in the part number. they put in fixtures
    that were not specified in the print.
    Was this single digit error specified and scheduled, or did the EC make the error when ordering?
    Where were the approved shop drawings? Everyone in the chain, including the EC, distributor, EE, GC, Architect, have an approved copy.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Huntington Beach, CA (19 Hrs. 22 Min. from Winged Horses)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strathead View Post
    What does MI stand for?
    money 'issapearing.... i was curious and looked... 250 MCM 1/C MI
    is about $8 a foot... and the labor to put it in, based on iwire's
    photos, is going to be a ton.
    ~New signature under construction.~
    ~~~~Please excuse the mess.~~~~

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    NJ
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    1,581
    Quote Originally Posted by Fulthrotl View Post
    you don't say where you contract at. it's a huge piece of the puzzle.

    if it's california, you have T24 to contend with. prints aren't always compliant,
    engineers sometimes don't blow the whistle correctly and letting your
    wholesale house bid the lighting package without you CAREFULLY reviewing,
    and understanding what you are doing, will not turn out well.

    i recently watched a pretty good contractor flush $125,000 down the drain
    on a 7,000 sq, ft. remodel here. it wasn't even a big error. just a small oopsie
    in how he approached daylight harvesting.

    big oopsies are accidentally putting 800 2x4 fixtures in a ceiling, not noticing
    there was a mistake of a single digit in the part number. they put in fixtures
    that were not specified in the print. it never even made it to lighting certification.
    contractor called two days ago, canceling the certification. building inspector caught
    it after the lights were wired when they called for ceiling inspection.

    "blowing the bid" is the single largest cause of contractor death.
    i'd never let someone bid something for me more than a couple days work.
    they didn't have to submit the fixtures for approval prior to install?

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Huntington Beach, CA (19 Hrs. 22 Min. from Winged Horses)
    Posts
    6,074
    Quote Originally Posted by cdslotz View Post
    Was this single digit error specified and scheduled, or did the EC make the error when ordering?
    Where were the approved shop drawings? Everyone in the chain, including the EC, distributor, EE, GC, Architect, have an approved copy.
    wholesale house blew it. fixtures came out, sparkies
    on site were in too big a hurry, as the fixtures were three
    weeks late, to check the box label against the fixture schedule.

    it's still fugly. job late, liquidated damages, etc.

    they modified the drawings and are resubmitting into
    plan check. expedited, premium fee plan check.
    cheap at four times the price.
    ~New signature under construction.~
    ~~~~Please excuse the mess.~~~~

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    754
    Quote Originally Posted by Fulthrotl View Post
    wholesale house blew it. fixtures came out, sparkies
    on site were in too big a hurry, as the fixtures were three
    weeks late, to check the box label against the fixture schedule.

    it's still fugly. job late, liquidated damages, etc.

    they modified the drawings and are resubmitting into
    plan check. expedited, premium fee plan check.
    cheap at four times the price.
    That's not on the EC....(well, contractually it is) but the distributor is at fault.
    I've had situations like this, and the EC and distributor have to work this out between them

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