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Old 12-07-2009, 03:04 PM   #1
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Exclamation Average square footage costs

Good day all,

I hail from the caribbean (Trinidad) and I am an Elec. Project Manager (PMI/PMP Certified)/Estimator/Licenced Wireman. I am curious about what is the average square footage cost used for fomulating preliminary budget costs for commercial office buildings, etc. in the US.

Here in the caribbean, the basic SOW for an electrical contractor is not limited to strictly electrical works. I mean we have to supply and install items for Fire Alarm Detection, Security, CCTV, BMS, UPS Systems and Standby Generating Systems along with the infrastructure for same of course.

The reason I ask is because with today's market you get a number of client's wanting the best service for the lowest cost. While this understandable, I think it is fair to say that the electrical industry is the most labour intensive, most technical (along with IT) and has the highest risk involved.

So basically I guess I'm looking for some feedback from you guys as to some of the alternative methods you guys use to derive the average square footage costs and any helpful pointers.

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Old 12-07-2009, 03:29 PM   #2
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Every job is different only ,a fool would use square foot pricing,especially for a commercial job.

Sq ft pricing MAY work in a Resi development where every house is exactly the same.

Don't give them a price until they give you a set of plans. Do a take off and give them a price.


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Old 12-07-2009, 03:31 PM   #3
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Here we go again.
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Old 12-07-2009, 03:34 PM   #4
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Hey stbernp did you seach this topic before you started this thread?

There are like 1,000,000,000,000 like it already all with the same outcome.

Its almost but not quite as bad as the power saver threads
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Old 12-07-2009, 03:36 PM   #5
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Default sq ft

Quote:
Originally Posted by stbernp View Post
Good day all,

I hail from the caribbean (Trinidad) and I am an Elec. Project Manager (PMI/PMP Certified)/Estimator/Licenced Wireman. I am curious about what is the average square footage cost used for fomulating preliminary budget costs for commercial office buildings, etc. in the US.

Here in the caribbean, the basic SOW for an electrical contractor is not limited to strictly electrical works. I mean we have to supply and install items for Fire Alarm Detection, Security, CCTV, BMS, UPS Systems and Standby Generating Systems along with the infrastructure for same of course.

The reason I ask is because with today's market you get a number of client's wanting the best service for the lowest cost. While this understandable, I think it is fair to say that the electrical industry is the most labour intensive, most technical (along with IT) and has the highest risk involved.

So basically I guess I'm looking for some feedback from you guys as to some of the alternative methods you guys use to derive the average square footage costs and any helpful pointers.
This is the worst approach to electrical estimating. The variables to wiring methods alone would scare most people away from this. I have seen typical electrical square foot prices go from the low $8.00 sq ft to over $50.00 sq.ft. The last office space 6500 sqft all emt 6-60a heat pumps, 2 panels and 1 transformer existing office renovation with inexpensive 2x4 fixtures works out to be $10.50 per foot
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:35 PM   #6
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Hey guys thanx for the response. I only just registered to the forum today, so I really didn't look for similar topics.

Whilst I'm sure it may be a frequent question, I on the other hand am looking at it from a different perspective. Firstly, I must apologise for being vague. Let me explain

For the the 13 years I've been in the electrical/construction industry (in the caribbean) I've come to realise that in today's ever changing, demanding and not to mention very competitive market we have the following players:

1) The client who expects to get the best/highest quality finish within a fixed budget.
2) The designers (Architects/MEP Consultants & Engineers) who provide SOWs with
high end specifications and limited options for approved equals.
3) Main contractors who never seem to get their timelines/milestones right.
4) The Dependancies i.e. the other service trades who rely on the elec. contractor to
co-ordinate between them.
AND last but not least
5) The electrical contractor. Who has to contend with various overheads, bankers,
labour issues and of course...the most technical trade in any construction project.

So when you have a client who demands that they get a rolls royce type project done within a hyundai budget; designers who send out RFPs with SOWs requiring high end specified items, unrealistic deadlines and preliminary budget costs that don't come near to what the real costs are when you submit your bid, what do you do?

Do you,
a) review and revise your costs to try and reach a middle ground i.e. give a discount?
b) reject the project in it's entirety?

Whilst I understand the difference in scales of the types of project, methods of approach and overhead costs between the US industry and the caribbean industry, I believe the basic concepts are the same.

Thus my original question of the average sq. ft costs. It was an attempt to get some sort of comparitive idea as to what is used throughout the international industry.

I hope this helps.
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:38 PM   #7
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Champaign taste/ beer money... same as in the states.
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Old 12-23-2012, 02:28 PM   #8
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the problem is no 2 electrician price the same a real busy electrician my set a high price while a guy just looking for work my give it away. besides competing with craiglist electricians is impossible i lose every time and i am reasonably priced per hour

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