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OK Sparky 93

Member
Location
Iridea14Strat
Occupation
Electrician
I recently fulfilled the requirements to be an EC in good ole Oklahoma. I am sure other have similar experiences. Still employed because you don’t have a large enough customer base.
Anyhow doing my very first takeoff on a total house require with no previous experience.

I have invested a little time at no cost to my boss, just to get the experience. It has been time consuming. Last night the boss text and says to stop. Don’t waste my time. (That can’t be possible, it’s now for the experience). He said the GC called and told him he had a bid for $18,500. The boss thinks $30,000. It’s a two story about 3600 sq ft.
I don’t what it will cost, because I don’t have the experience with this aspect of the job.
My experience in wiring for my current boss. To my knowledge we have never used the 3 VA / sq ft to figure GL circuits.
I bet we come closer to wiring like commercial with about 10 recepts per circuit.
However if anyone has any advice for this gray bearded guy, I’ll take it.
Have a good day!
Mike
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Retired Electrical Contractor
Impossible to know without specs and knowing more info. Is your boss including a light allowance. Imo, $30,000 is closer to what I would guess for the area I live in --possibly $40,000.
 

Strathead

Senior Member
Location
Ocala, Florida, USA
Occupation
Electrician/Estimator/Project Manager/Superintendent
With the cost of materials right now especially less than $6 per square foot even with just cans included is low. i agree with him, I wouldn't touch it.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
With the cost of materials right now especially less than $6 per square foot even with just cans included is low. i agree with him, I wouldn't touch it.
Well, if he's doing the exercise on his own time, there could be value in it for the OP to complete the estimate. Maybe take the boss for a beer and pick the estimate apart to see where it could be tighter next time.
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
I have invested a little time at no cost to my boss, just to get the experience. It has been time consuming. Last night the boss text and says to stop. Don’t waste my time. (That can’t be possible, it’s now for the experience). He said the GC called and told him he had a bid for $18,500. The boss thinks $30,000.
The GC may not be being completely truthful about the bid amount he got, or you and the other bidder might be bidding two different things. Some contractors are VERY good at getting their bid prices down to the bare minimum.
 

Eddie702

Licensed Electrician
Location
Western Massachusetts
Occupation
Electrician
The GC may not be being completely truthful about the bid amount he got, or you and the other bidder might be bidding two different things. Some contractors are VERY good at getting their bid prices down to the bare minimum.

The GC may be less than truthful LOL If the GCs mouth is moving he is likely lying
 

Coppersmith

Senior Member
Location
Tampa, FL, USA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
You should definitely finish the bid. It's good experience. After you do the takeoff, start making a database of materials and prices. Then the really hard part: make a guess as to how many labor hours each item will take. Add it all up and see what you get. Here's a rule of thumb for new estimators: whatever number you come up with for labor, double it. The only way it will come out around $18.5K is if the entire work force are undocumented aliens.

When you decide to go out on your own, don't bid new construction houses. That's the worst paying job an EC can get. If you decide to stay with residential work, service work is the big money maker.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
I haven’t priced a house in quite a few years and can tell that’s a bare minimum bid. Especially with prices today.
I’m with others here, the GC is lying to get your bosses price as low as possible.
see if the GC doesn’t come back and ask for the price with a story. Like the other guy had too much work to do it or something like that..
 

mikeames

Senior Member
Location
Germantown MD
Occupation
Teacher - Master Electrician - 2017 NEC
I echo what others have said but also emphasize what Dennis said about not enough details. When I started I did production residential. We did 3500 sqft house roughs in one day every day, service and all. Finish/ devicing out was a another full day at a later date obviously.

For example how many recessed lights are in there. They take time to layout, nail up, cut in, and add the trim and lamp on finish. That material and labor can be huge and be the difference right there.

Where is the panel? Is it in the basement, or garage? Is the kitchen close to it so the home runs are short? What is the ceiling height in the basement if you have to pull runs to the panel. What is the ceiling height where you have recessed lights? Probably 8 or 9, but if its 10 that slows things down, more time.

To get a rough start I would always determine the number of homeruns / circuits. We would usually bring them to a switch box in a room first. We did that to be consistent IF troubleshooting was ever required. So with that you can get an good feel for how much cable is needed, and how many AFCIs will be needed. The 3va is not relevant. That's for sizing the service not the actual layout and design. 10 receps per circuit is fine. Some may even say conservative. If you have to bid to minimum remember you have a $55 AfCI for most of those circuits. So be careful about being light. Its not ideal but you need to know if you are wiring to a minimum standard, an ideal standard, or a custom standard.

There are obviously more things to consider but you probably have the idea. I simply laid out my general thought process to get started, Like Coppersmith said the hard part is labor. I had an advantage early on because I did the same 2 dozen or so house floorplans over an over. You get very good at increasing efficiency and learning what's fast and what's not. Seeing a new design for the first time requires a bit more thought or pause but new residential in general is about being efficient unless you do large custom.
 
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