If you bid new homes by square foot i have a Q.

bullheimer

Senior Member
Location
WA
heck with that long post. SHORT VERSION. is there anybody out there in their right mind that DOES NOT include the s.f. of the garage in their price? I do. ESP when the panel is in it and every home run goes thru it and there is a man door that requires 3 way switching. anybody out there who does not?
 
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ptonsparky

Senior Member
Location
NE (9.06 miles @5.9 Degrees from Winged Horses)
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
The only thing I use SQ FT for is the service entrance and mostly ignore the unfinished basement, which is wrong. It takes no time to add that square footage and the typical 200 amp service more than covers it for the few homes we do. FWIW, I've never been asked for those calculations. Specific equipment in the garage would be added to the calculations.
 

readydave8

re member
Location
Clarkesville, Georgia
Occupation
electrician
yes I would include garage, unfinished basement, and porches, and adjust Sq, Ft. price to take into consideration that some areas may be cheaper than others to wire
 

480sparky

Senior Member
Location
Iowegia
I'm not sure if you could compare the living room and the garage as 'the same' when it comes to the cost of wiring them.
 

brantmacga

Senior Member
Location
Georgia
Occupation
Electrical contractor
Would somebody that bids by the Square Foot, Please reply.
I don’t bid this way; I know people that do, and they don’t include garages and porches.

I don’t think you’ll find more than 2-3 people here that price by sq/ft.


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bkludecke

Senior Member
We never bid by the square foot but I have always calculated the square foot price by doing the math backwards. It gave me another check on things as I went along. Currently the math shows custom residential for us seems to be around $10-$14/sf depending on features and things desired by the HO. We do most of the bidding for residential using a unit price system which we have developed and keep refining as we go along. As for garages; when we consider all the lighting, 20 amp circuits, EV charging circuits, and all of the things folks want in garages here, they are one of the most expensive parts of a home to wire. When I first started out, residential was going for less than $1/sf including the light fixtures. Things really went up in price when we started calling light fixtures 'luminaires'.
 

brantmacga

Senior Member
Location
Georgia
Occupation
Electrical contractor
Currently the math shows custom residential for us seems to be around $10-$14/sf
Bid the same way; my numbers are dead on with yours on base price.

When I first started out, residential was going for less than $1/sf including the light fixtures. Things really went up in price when we started calling light fixtures 'luminaires'.
You’ve been at this awhile then! When I was an apprentice, we were roping houses for $3.25/ft excluding fixtures.

What’s really, really freaking sad is that resi EC’s here are at the exact same price now we were at 15 years ago. Except they’re adding $800-$1000 on top of that and calling it an “AFCI charge.”




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Cow

Senior Member
Location
Eastern Oregon
In our shop we don't pursue residential work, we just aren't competitive with the guys that do it day in and day out and are really good at it.

That said, when someone wants a quote, I will give them a price. I do similar to the poster above and work it up by device count takeoffs and then at the end see where I end up by the sq. ft. Just to get a feel for where I'm at.

I've only quoted two so far. I wasn't including the garage and I've been around around 7.50-8.50/sq ft for a fairly basic house. Just a bit above code minimums.

Didn't get either project. I figure I must still be high, or else they are shopping my price out....
 

bullheimer

Senior Member
Location
WA
judging from the posts i searched under square footage, i didn't think i'd get a ton of replies, but this is way less than i thought. most ECs around here, in Western. WA do use sq footage, at least thats what they tell me. i'm at a base of $5 and I have always thought i was making enough, even tho i do it all myself and i am at about half my usual hourly rate. i could just see telling people it's $100/hr T&M. i'd get nowhere. and btw, the garage is THE most expensive room in the house, by FAR in this house as every home run goes thru it: all the 6-2, 6-3, 8-2, 10-3 you name it. If the panel is in the garage in a far corner of a house then it is going to be the same as this one. btw- Garages are a dedicated circuit in case you arn't on the 2017 cycle as we are here. 1 outlet per car and g-door(s), usually a man door which always requires a 3 way and one light per car in my world too, so i ALWAYS charge. I'm still waiting for more replies, please don't post if you don't charge by the sq ft because i've read pages upon pages by peeps who don't. by the time i add a pile of 240V ckts it almost always comes out to $6/s.f. too. i can't for the life of me see how you would lose any money at $5 or $6 a s.f. and i'm slower than the Second coming of Christ for crying out loud! And i'm talking far above code mins too. If i add a box i generally charge a Hundie per, but at $6 i'm overly generous about it. Guess i need to raise my rates, but darn, i made out awesome on a whole house rewire i just did with NO DEMO at $10/sf. THAT was code minimum except for all ceiling lights. Did not and do not include light fixtures in any of my work except commercial, which i don't do by the sf either. again. My definition of making out well is to make $9 or 10 Gs a month profit, which i rarely do with service work. Am i that used to POVERTY that i don't even know it???? i would like s.f. replys only UNLESS you have a price per circuit. like $1000 for septic or hot tub on a new house. or however many thousands of dollars you charge. in other words, some helpful information instead of not. THANKS!
 
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romex jockey

Senior Member
Location
Vermont
i would like s.f. replys only UNLESS you have a price per circuit. like $1000 for septic or hot tub on a new house. or however many thousands of dollars you charge. in other words, some helpful information instead of not. THANKS!
There's a 'saving the planet' archy in my area pushing mico-homes ,along with the idea that they should also cost less to construct per sq ft

but what one will save on wire, one will spend on fighting for their space among other trades, because all the same amenities exist in a tighter area

so, to address you're askance of helpful info, i'll never bid sq ft again:happyno:

nor should you

you're welcome:happyyes:

~RJ~
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
i made out awesome on a whole house rewire i just did with NO DEMO at $10/sf.

Am i that used to POVERTY that i don't even know it????

in other words, some helpful information instead of not. THANKS!
Four questions...

Are you happy with the money you make now?
apparently not, your asking for comparisons.

Do you have vacation time?

Do you work more than you want to?

Do you have a retirement plan, or will you be forced to work until you die to make ends meet?


these are questions you need to ask yourself regarding your pricing plan.
I personally know electricians with lake or beach houses (one has both!),

I know one that is good, and WAY too cheap. He works seven days a week, but is scared to raise his prices.
He was in it in 2008 and it almost did him in.

Ask yourself, which one are you...
 

Little Bill

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee NEC:2017
Occupation
Electrician
judging from the posts i searched under square footage, i didn't think i'd get a ton of replies, but this is way less than i thought.......
i would like s.f. replys only UNLESS you have a price per circuit. like $1000 for septic or hot tub on a new house. or however many thousands of dollars you charge. in other words, some helpful information instead of not. THANKS!
There is only one true way to do Sq Ft pricing. That is you would have to have done at least two of the same type house, keeping up with time & material. Then you could come up with a per sq price.

With that said, I think you have received enough answers/opinions, which you don't seem to like.
 
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