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Thread: Rewiring Residential Homes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    Rewiring Residential Homes

    Hi Guys!! about 80% of the work we do is rewiring older homes in the area. Residential work is also the hardest sector for me to try and get flat rate pricing for. It seems EVERY home I look at has some kind of factor that influences pricing one way or another. It's usually not as simple as looking at a Bed room and saying it has 5 drops and a light on a switch. Clients typically do not want damage to drywall/plaster walls and we make our drops from attic. I was thinking about Doing a flat rate per Room for this type of work, but still have seen homes where the prices increase due to circumstance. A floored attic usually raises costs due to all the cutting of floors and putting in back down when we are done. I am trying to get more in line with flat rate pricing so I am not wasting 3-4 Hours on an estimate when I can do mostly all of our commercial and new construction from a set of prints in my office. Any one here have any insight to this? I am starting to think that doing a walk through and pricing the job as I see it is the ONLY sure fire way to not lose my shirt on a job.

  2. #2
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    Yup, i'm still wanting those Xray glasses i saw in comic books as a lad for reno bids....



    ~RJ~

  3. #3
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    Jun 2003
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    NE (9.1 miles @5.07 Degrees from Winged Horses)
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    What would you charge for a new home? Take that times four might get you close. Maybe.
    Tom
    TBLO

  4. #4
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    We also deal with Double Boarded homes where the only feasible option for running wire is wire mold or cutting channels where ever we need. Either way, huge costs when that is the case. Attics are also always a determining factor. Is the attic floored? can we walk around up there or are we crawling on our stomachs? Is their blown in insulation everywhere? Really wont know these things until I do a walk through and see for myself.

  5. #5
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    Then there's the integrity of the wiring one is interfacing with too....~RJ~

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Simi Valley, CA
    Posts
    8,412
    I was never a fan of flat rate pricing for anything other than new work. You never know what you're going to run into when doing remodel. I've put in new boxes for light fixtures in an hour or so and I've done others that took three or four hours. I had one where we got in the attic and found out we couldn't get to the other side of the house.
    I can build anything you want if you draw a picture of it on the back of a big enough check.

    There's no substitute for hard work....but that doesn't mean I'm going to give up trying to find one.

    John Childress
    Electrical Inspector
    IAEI / CEI / C10
    Certified Electrical Inspector

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Tampa, FL, USA
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    1,765
    Quote Originally Posted by Dansos View Post
    Hi Guys!! about 80% of the work we do is rewiring older homes in the area. Residential work is also the hardest sector for me to try and get flat rate pricing for. It seems EVERY home I look at has some kind of factor that influences pricing one way or another. It's usually not as simple as looking at a Bed room and saying it has 5 drops and a light on a switch. Clients typically do not want damage to drywall/plaster walls and we make our drops from attic. I was thinking about Doing a flat rate per Room for this type of work, but still have seen homes where the prices increase due to circumstance. A floored attic usually raises costs due to all the cutting of floors and putting in back down when we are done. I am trying to get more in line with flat rate pricing so I am not wasting 3-4 Hours on an estimate when I can do mostly all of our commercial and new construction from a set of prints in my office. Any one here have any insight to this? I am starting to think that doing a walk through and pricing the job as I see it is the ONLY sure fire way to not lose my shirt on a job.
    First of all you need to figure out what it will cost you to do a walk thru. Add up all the costs including labor (make believe you are sending an employee so you pay yourself), vehicle expenses, and materials (booties, forms). That will help you determine on which jobs it's worth doing. I avoid doing site visits unless the job sounds like it's at least a $1500 sale. I figure it costs me $100-200 to do a site visit where I will be there for about 30 minutes and is an average 45 minute drive one way.

    Secondly, you can always give a flat rate price based on a contingency. Whenever I do a phone quote I always say "Based on what you have told me, the price will $xxx." If I get there and the conditions are significantly different, I discuss with the HO what the new and improved price has to be. They are much less likely to say they will find someone else if you are already there; ready, willing, and able to do the job. Even if you do a walk through you can say "Based on what I see right now the price is going to be $X,XXX. If I discover some significant hidden problems while I'm doing the work, I'll have to charge you extra."

    Also, don't make the job harder on you that you have to. It's easier to cut channels in walls and have them patched than to fish wires through walls. Line up a good drywall guy and bid him along with your work. Drywaller labor and materials is cheaper than electrician labor. You can make the bids cheaper and spend less time in attics and crawl spaces.
    Last edited by Coppersmith; 09-26-18 at 08:20 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Central NC
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    I always have to see the house. Too much confusion if you don't. You need a look at the attic and crawl space, slope of the yard, whether you can park near house or have to walk half a mile from the curb. Even with your best efforts, you will hit purlins in the wall or have to drill & cut old seasoned wood that's hard as rock. Consider how much furniture you have to move around. Get a feel for whether the customer is ok or if he/she will be looking over your shoulder the entire job. See if they have a clear picture or if the job will change with the wind.
    Yes, I'll be happy to do a first class job for less than anyone else and take a dollar a week for 10 years.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    778

    Site Visits

    In my opinion half the reason for a site visit is to sell the job. Yes, you need to gather some info and adjust accordingly, but I have the best luck quoting and selling at the same time. I would also never spend more than an hour an doing a quote. I don't think margins should be super tight in residential remodel stuff. I do it like this: I can comfortably gets this done in XX days times day rate. Material around XX times 1.5 or 2. Quote done. When in doubt, add an extra day. Spend your face time with the customer showing them why they should hire you. Has worked well for me.
    Master Electrician

  10. #10
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    Mar 2003
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    Well said Jes

    and i'll add that anyone splittin hairs on a quote in what is the 'high side' of the bubble right now is wasting his/her time

    aim high
    ~S~

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