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

  1. #1
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    Bid on small job trying to be fair on both ends

    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.

  2. #2
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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.
    Your time is worth the same whether they are poor as church mice or siblings of Bill Gates with triplets on the way. If you've already surveyed the work you should have a good idea how you are going to perform it. Give them a fixed price and be done. No one is going to reduce your costs because you're a nice guy. You have to eat too.

  3. #3
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    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.
    What would your per opening price be, and how did you come up with it?

  4. #4
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    I think 50 bucks a space maybe what do you think

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Electric View Post
    I think 50 bucks a space maybe what do you think
    Sounds pretty cheap to me
    Bob

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Electric View Post
    I think 50 bucks a space maybe what do you think
    Ok, they want fans installed where there is none. So you are going to do them for $50 each? Let's see.....it takes an hour to locate where to cut the hole, cut hole, run wire, possibly having to cut in a switch, find/add a junction box etc.
    Then assemble and install the fan.
    All for $50?

    You should lay it out on paper, the cost of material and the time it takes to do it. Probably need to add some time because it always seems to take longer. Add your mark up on the material, then your profit, then your labor. I bet you come up with way over $50 to do all it takes to install a fan in an area that has no light or power.

    If you've done enough "virgin" installs for fans or can lights you can come up with a close "per each price". But if you just pull a number out of the air you won't be in business long.
    If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadfly56 View Post
    Your time is worth the same whether they are poor as church mice or siblings of Bill Gates with triplets on the way. If you've already surveyed the work you should have a good idea how you are going to perform it. Give them a fixed price and be done. No one is going to reduce your costs because you're a nice guy. You have to eat too.
    And the knowledge and experience to estimate accurately and bid accordingly is what helps you get future jobs as well as not lose money. Charity work should be seen as a time to take good notes on how long something takes. If you're working as an employee you just do the work as told and the billing issue is not your concern.

  8. #8
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    There's between zero to what you'd like to mark up on materials. This is the slack you can use if you had to. Pay close attention to how you though it will go, how it went. Go home and check over what you estimated, how long it took you and any issues you've run into. Barely making anything on something new the first time is fine but you'll do it again if you don't keep track of why.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Electric-Light View Post
    There's between zero to what you'd like to mark up on materials. This is the slack you can use if you had to. Pay close attention to how you though it will go, how it went. Go home and check over what you estimated, how long it took you and any issues you've run into. Barely making anything on something new the first time is fine but you'll do it again if you don't keep track of why.
    You have never been an electrical contractor or even earned a living as an electrian have you?

  10. #10
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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.
    I'm with gadfly. Fixed price.
    I was in a different area - mostly industrial and that's the norm. But even in commercial or residential, look at it from the customer's POV. You would want to know how much the job will cost, not an open ended how much it could cost.

    Another point that gadfly indirectly mentioned - if they are as poor as church mice will they be able to pay you? Would you want an up-front payment to at least cover your material costs. Your supplier will want to be paid even if your customer can't/doesn't cough up.
    Yes, the commercial world can have harsh realities.
    Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes.

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