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Thread: Learning to estimate (commercial)

  1. #1
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    Learning to estimate (commercial)

    I want to learn how to estimate, the gentlemen I work for offered to teach me but it like other things it will not happen over night. He is busy, he has had a terrible run of luck with employees who just were not qualified for the job and the jobs to say the least are in bad shape, I have got them under control, so what can I do to get involved with the estimating progress, like for example, we have a decent sized project coming up and I will be over the project, but on mobilizing the job, material etc,I want to be involved in the material ordering, and that is part of estimating, what other areas can I jump in

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  2. #2
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    we have a decent sized project coming up and I will be over the project, but on mobilizing the job, material etc,I want to be involved in the material ordering, and that is part of estimating, what other areas can I jump in
    None of that is estimating....that is project managment

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernardmulherin1978 View Post
    I want to learn how to estimate, the gentlemen I work for offered to teach me but it like other things it will not happen over night. He is busy, he has had a terrible run of luck with employees who just were not qualified for the job and the jobs to say the least are in bad shape, I have got them under control, so what can I do to get involved with the estimating progress, like for example, we have a decent sized project coming up and I will be over the project, but on mobilizing the job, material etc,I want to be involved in the material ordering, and that is part of estimating, what other areas can I jump in

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    You need to define that in more quantitative terms. To me, a decent sized project is the v/d/v wiring on a 60-140 room hotel. To others, that could be all the electrical in a 14 story apartment complex.
    Electricians do it until it Hertz!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernardmulherin1978 View Post
    I will be over the project, but on mobilizing the job, material etc,I want to be involved in the material ordering, and that is part of estimating, what other areas can I jump in

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    Quote Originally Posted by cdslotz View Post
    None of that is estimating....that is project managment
    Yes and I think it's probably a lot better to get into project management than to become an estimater. I mean for someone that worked as an electrician or foreman.
    The 95% of people that you can't trust give the other 5% a bad name.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by growler View Post
    Yes and I think it's probably a lot better to get into project management than to become an estimater. I mean for someone that worked as an electrician or foreman.
    problem is...most PM I've ever worked with, is a former or current estimator

    PM's price (estimate ) their own change orders in most companies

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernardmulherin1978 View Post
    I want to learn how to estimate, the gentlemen I work for offered to teach me but it like other things it will not happen over night. He is busy, he has had a terrible run of luck with employees who just were not qualified for the job and the jobs to say the least are in bad shape, I have got them under control, so what can I do to get involved with the estimating progress, like for example, we have a decent sized project coming up and I will be over the project, but on mobilizing the job, material etc,I want to be involved in the material ordering, and that is part of estimating, what other areas can I jump in

    Sent from my Z981 using Tapatalk
    I would start off by procuring an electrical estimating software program with a good data base. EBM, Accu-Bid, Estimation are only a few. Most electricians I know that start estimating out of the field under estimate labor units. They think back and use the units thier productivity produced. Fact is labor units only compensate for 50% of the total labor unit needed. The rest is lay-out, material set up, some supervision, etc.
    Most software purchases come with a material pricing system for your region of the country, which will work initially, however you may wish to subscribe and get monthly updates, especially for commodities like steel, aluminum and copper.
    You'll first take off the quantity of light fixtures and distribution equipment so you can forward it to your suppliers for quotes. Get it don't 1st so your not waiting on vender quotes. they need some time as well.
    It's is imperative your take off your devices, C&W, etc. in assemblies. Rather than take off every wire nut, screw, box , cover, etc.
    Then you'll need to figure non-productive labor such as supervision, lay-out, scheduling, job-site meetings, etc.
    Make sure you included any rented equipment you may need as well as sub's like F/A or trenching.
    The most significant aspect of estimating is getting close to what you think the project will cost. If you can get that down, you'll be on your way.
    Overhead distribution can be a very complex formula for some medium - large companies. Labor intensive projects should have a higher overhead percentage. I personally put 35% on Labor, 20% on non-quoted materials and 5-10% on Quoted materials. But I also do budgets a year out projecting my total overhead for the upcoming year based on $X in revenues. Many companies simply use a flat rate O/H ( say 25%) on everything. I like to get more accurate.
    To me the break even point on a project is when job revenues equal job cost AND overhead.
    Profit then is the easiest. Know your competition.
    Most of my competition here in central FL is working on approx. 30% Gross Margins, depending on size of project.

    Good Luck
    Unbridled

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