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Thread: Estimating Switchboards

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Springfield, Mass.
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    Estimating Switchboards

    Hey guys, was hoping I could hear some feedback on how to break down an estimate for a switchboard.
    I work as an estimator for a commercial general contractor and up til now, we've been using a $/SF (from similar projects) or relying on electrical subcontractors.

    So I'm trying to get my hands dirty here and understand how this electrical scope of work comes together. I'm green and been in this field for less than 2 years, but I'm eager to learn.

    So, If I break it down...
    Material - Switchboard - What are the components that pull together a fully designed switchboard?

    • Frame
    • Busses
    • Overcurrent Protection Devices (breakers)
    • Meters (Are these supplied by utility co?)


    If you have any recommended readings/videos on this I'd appreciate it.

    As I currently understand it, someone like Eaton would design/manufacture this in a shop according to the design. But when we don't have a fleshed out design from the drawings yet (just a rough schedule). I'm trying to piece it together myself. Who could I ask? Who could I talk to?

    Labor - I'm not ready for this but I've been assuming - 1 week 3 electricians (depending on the size) I'd hope this would included future tests. (so many assumptions!)

    OH/P - Currently doing standard 10%
    Definitely not looking for you guys to do my job for me, but guidance/direction is appreciated! Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    836
    Why is a GC doing electrical estimates unless for budgeting purposes only?

    You said you will worry about the labor later? So you want input on pricing switchboards?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdslotz View Post
    Why is a GC doing electrical estimates unless for budgeting purposes only?
    Good question.

    Roger
    Moderator

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdslotz View Post
    Why is a GC doing electrical estimates unless for budgeting purposes only?
    This particular work is for a budget for a project still in development design. I should have said we are a CM on this particular job.

    I don't know how to budget a switchboard, but I'm trying to learn the parts/means/methods in order to come up with a logical number. (Without just saying... Oh it has a 2400 amp secondary run to it, so its 120,000 Grand).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Only manufacturer reps for switchgear can price a switchboard. I can't call my supply house and get a price on a switchboard. They can price panels, transformers, etc, but the big stuff gets kicked upstairs to the reps.

    Also, there are a thousand different options to consider on a switchboard or MCC. If you are savvy enough to navigate a Square D, Eaton catalog and price from there, but you need to know a reasonable discount multiplier.

    I never recommend RS Means, but in your case, I would use that

  6. #6
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    I agree with cdslotz, since you're only trying to come up with a budget number RS Means can get you there with a buffer.

    I will add, don't be surprised after the actual engineering with all the specifics with the bells and whistles that your number is in left field

    Roger
    Moderator

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Springfield, Mass.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdslotz View Post
    Only manufacturer reps for switchgear can price a switchboard. I can't call my supply house and get a price on a switchboard. They can price panels, transformers, etc, but the big stuff gets kicked upstairs to the reps.

    Also, there are a thousand different options to consider on a switchboard or MCC. If you are savvy enough to navigate a Square D, Eaton catalog and price from there, but you need to know a reasonable discount multiplier.

    I never recommend RS Means, but in your case, I would use that
    Thanks… I figured I don't have enough information yet for a rep to be able to price it.

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