How to Properly Bid Jobs

James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
Thankfully I'm not there in the land of pricing undercutters then! Materials cost the same everywhere and have approximately doubled over the past year. In 30 years I've learned NOT to be the cheapest guy around, and I have always had more work than I can handle, in any economy.
Same here, I'm not the cheapest.
I put in a bid for a new construction house wire about a month ago. I know at that time the GC was wondering how long his bid to the HO should be good for, given the instability in the price of lumber.

I’m going to have to touch base with him and let him know that the price of NM has recently increased by 2.5-3X and my price is going to have to increase as well.
I haven’t yet signed anything with him, only gave him a number at that time that he could use to compile his overall bid.
I have one, too.
 

sw_ross

Senior Member
Location
NoDak
Copper has increased by about $5.00 per opening, with an average of about 18 feet per
Are you specifying how long that bid/estimate is good for?
The GC I’m working with on the house bid was contemplating giving his bid to the HO with the clause that the price is valid for 24 hours.
In other words- This is the price for today!
 

James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
Are you specifying how long that bid/estimate is good for?
The GC I’m working with on the house bid was contemplating giving his bid to the HO with the clause that the price is valid for 24 hours.
In other words- This is the price for today!
I have never given a time frame for estimate pricing in the past, but on the one I mentioned then I priced a few months ago, it had to be priced so that it could go through some VA red tape. I told him that price is no good today, expect a 15% increase. I think they were supposed to dig the foundation in May and have it ready for me to wire toward the end of June.

I hardly ever price stuff well ahead, most is done within a week or two of pricing. But I think there will be a trend coming, where owners and builders are gonna want to get a fixed price ahead of time that's not going to move. Certainly something to take note of
 

Fred B

Senior Member
Location
Upstate, NY
Occupation
Electrician
I have never given a time frame for estimate pricing in the past, but on the one I mentioned then I priced a few months ago, it had to be priced so that it could go through some VA red tape. I told him that price is no good today, expect a 15% increase. I think they were supposed to dig the foundation in May and have it ready for me to wire toward the end of June.

I hardly ever price stuff well ahead, most is done within a week or two of pricing. But I think there will be a trend coming, where owners and builders are gonna want to get a fixed price ahead of time that's not going to move. Certainly something to take note of
I Probably will need to start getting Materials cost up front and pre buying even if job is a month or two down the road if they want a price commitment. Some of my suppliers have allowed a pre purchase (today's price) even on back orders. They too might stop that practice if this keeps going.
 
Location
New York
Occupation
Electrician
Maybe I'm twice as fast as others 🤷‍♂️
That's been the case my whole career.

But please, do share details. I'm always an advocate of extracting as many funds as possible.
If you consider a breaker as an opening and change $45.00 and $ 30.00 to pay you workers.how can you make money bro?AFCI alone is $45 to $50.00
 

James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
If you consider a breaker as an opening and change $45.00 and $ 30.00 to pay you workers.how can you make money bro?AFCI alone is $45 to $50.00
Because it's a collective average. It's like when you get a cow butchered, and it's $xx.xx per pound. Makes for awfully expensive brisket, but really cheap T-bones.

If all I wired was receptacles for that price, I would make $350.00 per hour
 

James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
I Probably will need to start getting Materials cost up front and pre buying even if job is a month or two down the road if they want a price commitment. Some of my suppliers have allowed a pre purchase (today's price) even on back orders. They too might stop that practice if this keeps going.
If you know the job is sold, then upfront buying will probably be beneficial.

I use the same materials over and over with regularity, so I decided to stock up a couple of months ago. I paid lower prices and have cushion there, so I'm bidding jobs with today's wire prices.

Prices could go up by 10% tomorrow and I'm ok on outstanding bids, except one - and I've told them already that price is no good
 

brantmacga

Señor Member
Location
Georgia
Occupation
Electrical Monke
Here’s a top to bottom take off I did Friday. Job is a 1405 sq/ft house re-wire. It’s gutted completely to the studs, so it’s basically wiring like a new house.

All has appliances, electric heat. I didn’t include the complete service in this take off because it’s part of a separate contract I have to provide a standby generator.

Anyway, I broke it out material and labor so you can see what’s what. Came in a little over $10 sq/ft. Recessed lighting fixtures & floodlights are included.













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Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
Here’s a top to bottom take off I did Friday. Job is a 1405 sq/ft house re-wire. It’s gutted completely to the studs, so it’s basically wiring like a new house.

All has appliances, electric heat. I didn’t include the complete service in this take off because it’s part of a separate contract I have to provide a standby generator.

Anyway, I broke it out material and labor so you can see what’s what. Came in a little over $10 sq/ft. Recessed lighting fixtures & floodlights are included.













Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Not quite up on abbreviations..
what is s/s/s3?
wire? Is it included in pricing?
 

brantmacga

Señor Member
Location
Georgia
Occupation
Electrical Monke
Not quite up on abbreviations..
what is s/s/s3?
wire? Is it included in pricing?
3gg box with two single poles and one three-way. Wire is included. Each item is a complete assembly price.


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sw_ross

Senior Member
Location
NoDak
@brantmacga how do you make quick pricing adjustments that reflect the price of a single component in your assemblies like the price of wire?
If you put together a proposal like this for a possible job how long is your price good for?
 

brantmacga

Señor Member
Location
Georgia
Occupation
Electrical Monke
@brantmacga how do you make quick pricing adjustments that reflect the price of a single component in your assemblies like the price of wire?
If you put together a proposal like this for a possible job how long is your price good for?
I use ConEst Intellibid, and material prices are updated in real time through Netpricer.

On a house, I’m holding them for 14 days. Petty much every commercial project i bid has a mandatory 30 day hold, some even 60 days.

The only thing you can do right now is slide an escalation clause into your proposals & contracts and send a stored material draw as soon as the contract is executed. I’ve had some push back on that but when you explain the alternative, the light bulb tends to finally come on.

I’ve had to just eat it on some jobs that were in progress when the price hikes started. Especially on the PVC prices. We’ve got a decent inventory on small parts and wire that helped, but large pipes just take up too much space.


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James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
Here's a bid I started 2 weeks ago, and submitted this past week. I don't know for sure how many square feet, it's about 4,000 finished.

This one I figured 3 ways and came out almost the same.

I have been at $45 per opening flat until wire prices just got crazy. My price has gone up to $50 per opening across the board. You might see I was doodling on the drawing, and tried $48.50 when I first started, but an additional $3.50 per opening was not enough for the increased cost of wire. This became evident when I compared the total to my estimated labor hours (also doodled on the drawing)

I had a total of 393 openings. That includes every single item as 1, each circuit as 1, and also each breaker space as 1, and then don't add for the service itself.....393 x $50 = $19,650

I did a material takeoff, plus subbing the trench, and it was material at $6,740 (current prices) and trench subbed at $650 for a total of $7390. I wired this same house last year, but without crawl space and storage, and had 118 hours in the rough-in and finish combined. I'm expecting this one to be 122 hours total. At $100 per hour, that's $12,200 + $7,390 = $19,590

Then I itemized a bid, per opening, reflecting actual material and labor per opening and added for service and trench. It came to $19,588.50

There was $61.50 difference from highest to lowest
 

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James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
I forgot to mention, that bid in my previous post is for 2011 NEC and will have 7 afci breakers.

If this were on 2017 it would have 12 more, and have about $600 more in materials. I will start to add each afci breaker as an opening at $50 (all 12+7) to cover that additional cost
 
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