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

  1. #21
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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.
    Here, "well off neighborhood" =

    ~ gate security/separate construction/contractor entrance = more time getting to the house
    ~ people who are sometimes incredibly anal/formal/picky, so budget more time on cleanup/setup. You do not want the foot of your 14' A frame knocking an $8,000 vase off a coffee table. You will also more than likely need a helper.
    ~ speaking of furniture, plan on moving or covering up a lot of stuff. Unless it's a huge bookcase or Steinway baby grand, move it (or have them move it), and bill accordingly.
    ~ plan on working around pets. They are their KIDS, YOU are the guest. Dont expect them to move/lock up their pets for you.
    ~ Make SURE the fans you install have the color of blade they want visible facing down. Every single one will have a lighting kit to wire up as well.
    ~ Make sure you program the dip switches or one remote could operate multiple fans in different rooms.

    Condo attics here typically have an entryway hatch w/no stairs. No attic lighting. No floorboards (good).

    If it is a high ceiling, you may want to go with remote switching; getting a switchleg to the location they desire can be all but impossible w/o cutting open finished walls. Existing switchplates may be wood or brass or something else non-standard, so if they want your additions to match, you need to know what they have.

    If they buy the fans, hopefully they will have also purchased the correct (optional) downrods and light kits.

    This time of year isnt too bad in attics, but I always buy the old work fan brackets that can be installed from below. Also, if the ceiling is anything other than drywall, plan on spending some extra time on it.

    Bid the entire job as a whole, and if they want more, schedule another trip later to do it.
    Electricians do it until it Hertz!

  2. #22
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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.
    hm. 4 can lights in a bedroom, with a ceiling fan box?
    you are hanging the fan, but not providing it then.

    $638 per room, based on two room minimum.
    incandescent cans. diva dimmer. switch with 3 wire
    going to fan box.

    patch and paint excluded.

    4+1 per room is five cans, so ten things overall.

    after subtracting material, you are at about $1,100
    for the day. if you can't get that done in a day, you
    may have to learn to scoot a little bit quicker.

    your one wild card is installing a customer furnished
    fan. i once had to install a tinkerbell fan from the disney
    store.

    it took almost six hours. it left a mark. i'm still having
    flashbacks from the trauma.

    tinkerbell sucks.
    ~New signature under construction.~
    ~~~~Please excuse the mess.~~~~

  3. #23
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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.
    I can tell you the way I do it is $350 for the first can, $275 for the second, and $150 for each additional beyond that. That includes up to 25' of 12/2NM.

    If I have to fish a wall to add a switch, it's another $150 for the switch leg, $35 for the switch, $10 for the junction box if needed.


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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by brantmacga View Post
    I can tell you the way I do it is $350 for the first can, $275 for the second, and $150 for each additional beyond that. That includes up to 25' of 12/2NM.

    If I have to fish a wall to add a switch, it's another $150 for the switch leg, $35 for the switch, $10 for the junction box if needed.


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    I've seen some of your installs, most are higher end. Does that price include a basic recessed can (~$12) or something better?

    I dunno how you guys give any kind of standard pricing. The last ceiling fan I put together and hung, I was standing atop a waterbed in my socks. That included removing the existing fan. Those are the rule not the exception. Or do you guys run down a checklist playing 200 questions with the HO before giving a price? or just suck up any anomalies or include such contingencies in your pricing?
    Electricians do it until it Hertz!

  5. #25
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    Bid on small job trying to be fair on both ends

    Quote Originally Posted by JFletcher View Post
    I've seen some of your installs, most are higher end. Does that price include a basic recessed can (~$12) or something better?
    6" can with LED trim; I use the 12w Satco trim in residential, and pay $14.50/ea. At that price, incandescent or CFL isn't even an option now. Sloped cans will add minimum $150/ea on top of normal price. Satco also has an 18w trim that costs me another $10 I think.


    Quote Originally Posted by JFletcher View Post
    or just suck up any anomalies or include such contingencies in your pricing?
    That, yes. We are 100% flat-rate. Every once in awhile, I'll break even on a call, and think about what I could've done differently to not let that happen.



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    Last edited by brantmacga; 03-20-17 at 09:53 PM.
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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by brantmacga View Post
    6" can with LED trim; I use the 12w Satco trim in residential, and pay $14.50/ea. At that price, incandescent or CFL isn't even an option now. Sloped cans will add minimum $150/ea on top of normal price. Satco also has an 18w trim that costs me another $10 I think.




    That, yes. We are 100% flat-rate. Every once in awhile, I'll break even on a call, and think about what I could've done differently to not let that happen.



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    100% Flats Rate...Is that including service work too?

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  7. #27
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    With the wide variety of types of installations I work on I see it as being difficult to maintain any kind of flat rate pricing scheme. If I strictly did residential work, maybe that would make more sense. I can't remember the last time I installed some can lights in existing ceiling other then as a part of a somewhat major remodel project. Who knows though, I might find myself installing several in a few weeks. I am not going to waste time breaking down what that project cost me when I likely won't do one like it again for several years.

    I will look at what they want, a little at the design of the house and give it my best shot on estimating how much time and materials it will take, throw in a little extra for the typical "just in case" scenarios I have encountered over the years and give them a estimate or bid based on that.

    The next day I may be installing a circuit for a 100 HP motor - kind of different skill sets and circumstances most cases, and not as many constants on every installation as there is for installing a can light in a residence either.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwired View Post
    With the wide variety of types of installations I work on I see it as being difficult to maintain any kind of flat rate pricing scheme.
    .
    I honestly thought the same before I saw it and started using it. To each their own I know, but I'd never go back.

    We've actually swung to mostly commercial service these days, and those customers more so demand a pricing structure that gives them a clear cost up front for approval.


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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by brantmacga View Post
    I honestly thought the same before I saw it and started using it. To each their own I know, but I'd never go back.

    We've actually swung to mostly commercial service these days, and those customers more so demand a pricing structure that gives them a clear cost up front for approval.


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    I did a big project for a one man crew (with occasional help from the wife or my son) at a school last summer. Upgraded the service, changed it from single phase to three phase, (was originally 1800 amps single phase, new was 1200 amps three phase) redone a couple feeders to higher load areas with three phase, (of course changed the panels serving those areas), ran a 600 amp feeder to an area where they installed new HVAC equipment (primarily compressor units at this area), and installed branch circuits and communications cables to nearly every room in the facility for the individual HVAC units in each room. Also removed circuits supplying old HVAC units (many which I had installed in years past)

    I did bid this, though I wasn't exactly competing with other EC's, they still needed a price up front. I had never seen the HVAC system before and was trying to gather as much information on it as I could to determine what they looked like, how I needed to connect them, etc. I also had no idea how well changing that service out was going to go, how long to tell the owner they may be without power, etc. I don't install that large of gear everyday, let alone have to tear out the old gear first and put the new back in it's place.

    All I did was materials "take off", and some labor evaluations - both for tearing out and installation. I did spend quite a bit of time on site measuring, planning best routes (especially for the 600 amp feeder), and getting as much detail as possible before giving them a price.

    A lot of tasks in there that are not foreign to me, but the size of the overall project was more then I usually do. Good thing was we had all summer to do it, could make as big of a mess as we wanted for the most part to get it done. HVAC guy did have someone that was going to tear out the old HVAC units, fix holes in walls, replace ceiling tiles, etc, so as long as I stayed ahead of them when an area was about to be finished I didn't have to clean up or fix much.

    I think I did fairly well on that project and sort of wish I had one like it every summer now. Helped to be working in a place I have already done a lot of work in though, I know where all the maintenance chase accessible crawl spaces, etc. were and how the main distribution of the facility worked out just from being there several times over the years. I am the only EC that I know of that has done any work in there for about 20 years AFAIK as well.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwired View Post
    I did a big project for a one man crew (with occasional help from the wife or my son) at a school last summer. Upgraded the service, changed it from single phase to three phase, (was originally 1800 amps single phase, new was 1200 amps three phase) redone a couple feeders to higher load areas with three phase, (of course changed the panels serving those areas), ran a 600 amp feeder to an area where they installed new HVAC equipment (primarily compressor units at this area), and installed branch circuits and communications cables to nearly every room in the facility for the individual HVAC units in each room. Also removed circuits supplying old HVAC units (many which I had installed in years past)

    I did bid this, though I wasn't exactly competing with other EC's, they still needed a price up front. I had never seen the HVAC system before and was trying to gather as much information on it as I could to determine what they looked like, how I needed to connect them, etc. I also had no idea how well changing that service out was going to go, how long to tell the owner they may be without power, etc. I don't install that large of gear everyday, let alone have to tear out the old gear first and put the new back in it's place.

    All I did was materials "take off", and some labor evaluations - both for tearing out and installation. I did spend quite a bit of time on site measuring, planning best routes (especially for the 600 amp feeder), and getting as much detail as possible before giving them a price.

    A lot of tasks in there that are not foreign to me, but the size of the overall project was more then I usually do. Good thing was we had all summer to do it, could make as big of a mess as we wanted for the most part to get it done. HVAC guy did have someone that was going to tear out the old HVAC units, fix holes in walls, replace ceiling tiles, etc, so as long as I stayed ahead of them when an area was about to be finished I didn't have to clean up or fix much.

    I think I did fairly well on that project and sort of wish I had one like it every summer now. Helped to be working in a place I have already done a lot of work in though, I know where all the maintenance chase accessible crawl spaces, etc. were and how the main distribution of the facility worked out just from being there several times over the years. I am the only EC that I know of that has done any work in there for about 20 years AFAIK as well.
    Does Nebraska have a prevailing wage laws? That must have been a nice paycheck for everyone!

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