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Thread: Bid on small job trying to be fair on both ends

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Electric View Post
    I think 50 bucks a space maybe what do you think
    How did you come up with that?....just guessing?

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdslotz View Post
    How did you come up with that?....just guessing?
    With prices that low, I think he should just do it for free and become a nonprofit organization, because that's essentially what he's doing.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Electric View Post
    I have a job coming up that I have to look at and from my understanding it is just a condo with attic access and they want to get some ceiling fan boxes installed with the fans and possibly some can lights on switches for all of them.

    My question is should I go in with a bid of per hour, and material; or should I simply just bid it per opening and what is a good per opening rate to charge. They live in a well off neighborhood and they probably aren't hurting for the cash but have a baby coming.

    Any thoughts on this would be great thanks guys.
    If you go in with a bid of $X per hour plus $Y for materials, next thing they will ask you is how many hours do you think it will take?

    Give them a finished price, whether you calculate it per hole or estimate your time and materials doesn't matter, just make sure either way you figured in some extra for those surprises you may not have expected, or those surprises eat away at the profit margin.

    Should you run into some major thing that will run the cost up after you started, you then maybe consider confronting them and telling them the situation and that it is something totally unexpected and see where that goes. If they are decent and understanding people they may just ask for new estimate for the changes needed.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwired View Post
    If you go in with a bid of $X per hour plus $Y for materials, next thing they will ask you is how many hours do you think it will take?

    Give them a finished price, whether you calculate it per hole or estimate your time and materials doesn't matter, just make sure either way you figured in some extra for those surprises you may not have expected, or those surprises eat away at the profit margin.

    Should you run into some major thing that will run the cost up after you started, you then maybe consider confronting them and telling them the situation and that it is something totally unexpected and see where that goes. If they are decent and understanding people they may just ask for new estimate for the changes needed.
    If you're decent and understanding, would you oblige with smiles when they demand a significant discount if things went much easier than expected? If not, this is not being fair on "both ends". If you bid too high, they might get other bids and give the work to someone else. If you bid too low, you're bound to finish the job for the price. The purpose of contract is to prevent one side from manipulating and exploiting the other side to their own interest. Laws are different in each state. Those contingencies needs to be part of the written contract which should be written by or with the help of an attorney.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Electric-Light View Post
    If you're decent and understanding, would you oblige with smiles when they demand a significant discount if things went much easier than expected? If not, this is not being fair on "both ends". If you bid too high, they might get other bids and give the work to someone else. If you bid too low, you're bound to finish the job for the price. The purpose of contract is to prevent one side from manipulating and exploiting the other side to their own interest. Laws are different in each state. Those contingencies needs to be part of the written contract which should be written by or with the help of an attorney.
    Understand, that is what bidding is about. I don't bid on very much of the work I do. Sometimes people do want an estimate. Depending on circumstances sometimes I do tell them that the estimate is high to cover worst case scenario and that their final bill will not likely be over the estimate amount. This especially true for a lot of projects that don't have very specific plans to estimate off of, which I seem to run into a lot.

  6. #16
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    We bid just about everything. The easiest way to do it is unit price stuff. That way you just add it all up. I can usually do a very accurate bid before leaving the site if it's a smaller job like in the OPs situation. It takes a while to fine tune the numbers, but once you have them it makes bidding go really quick. You can adjust the numbers each year for inflation, wage increases, material increases, etc.

    Example:

    6" remodel recessed can with baffle trim and BR30, remodel, fished in - $175.00 each. This includes the materials (can, lamp, trim, wire) and the labor to install. If they want four, just multiply by four.
    Add a single pole switch, remodel, fished in - $125.00 each. They will need for the cans, includes labor and material.
    AFCI protection, existing circuit - $75.00 includes labor and material.
    Permit - $120.00

    So, you add them all up and you come up with $920.00 for the above made-up job.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MNSparky View Post
    We bid just about everything. The easiest way to do it is unit price stuff. That way you just add it all up. I can usually do a very accurate bid before leaving the site if it's a smaller job like in the OPs situation. It takes a while to fine tune the numbers, but once you have them it makes bidding go really quick. You can adjust the numbers each year for inflation, wage increases, material increases, etc.

    Example:

    6" remodel recessed can with baffle trim and BR30, remodel, fished in - $175.00 each. This includes the materials (can, lamp, trim, wire) and the labor to install. If they want four, just multiply by four.
    Add a single pole switch, remodel, fished in - $125.00 each. They will need for the cans, includes labor and material.
    AFCI protection, existing circuit - $75.00 includes labor and material.
    Permit - $120.00

    So, you add them all up and you come up with $920.00 for the above made-up job.
    Cool and I have a question not a criticism, What do you do about what we call 'mobilization'? Basically the costs to get to the job, get the supplies etc.

    If you do one can at $175 at one location that may eat up 1/2 day (4 hours).

    On the other hand all four might be done in six hours.

    Seems like you are making a lot less % for small jobs.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwire View Post
    Cool and I have a question not a criticism, What do you do about what we call 'mobilization'? Basically the costs to get to the job, get the supplies etc.

    If you do one can at $175 at one location that may eat up 1/2 day (4 hours).

    On the other hand all four might be done in six hours.

    Seems like you are making a lot less % for small jobs.

    All the prices list that I have seen that work like this have a miminum number of lights that this price is good for ( 4-5). Even at that there is max ceiling height of 10' or an additional charge.

    If you bother to give a bid to install one light you have already lost money, that's a service call.

    The good thing is I don't think I have ever been asked to intall just one recessed light.
    The 95% of people that you can't trust give the other 5% a bad name.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Electric View Post
    I think 50 bucks a space maybe what do you think
    Quote Originally Posted by cdslotz View Post
    How did you come up with that?....just guessing?

    I would think this is labor only and is side work (1 hr ).
    The 95% of people that you can't trust give the other 5% a bad name.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwire View Post
    Cool and I have a question not a criticism, What do you do about what we call 'mobilization'? Basically the costs to get to the job, get the supplies etc.
    We don't do separate trip charges or mobilization charges because that really turns people off. We are located in a large metro area so it typically doesn't take much more than 30-45 minutes to get to a job. That is covered in the unit pricing. If an estimator looked at the job, the parts will have been ordered and delivered to the site or the electricians house free of charge by the supply house.

    If you do one can at $175 at one location that may eat up 1/2 day (4 hours).

    On the other hand all four might be done in six hours.
    I envisioned the above job being done in a bedroom with accessible attic above. I'd estimate one of my guys could get it done in 3-4 hrs. If we were doing just one can, we wouldn't go out to bid it. It would be done T&M, which is always a winner.

    If the above job was without attic, like on a first floor with a floor above, those prices would go up.

    Seems like you are making a lot less % for small jobs.
    If it takes longer than expected, yes. We actually do very well on smaller jobs because we have dialed in the unit pricing over the years and adjust it yearly. A lot of the time we make more than our target % on smaller jobs.

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