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Old 11-23-2007, 10:14 PM   #1
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Default Residential bidding

I recently got my license in NC and have never bid on new houses. I usuaaly do small jobs and service work. I know there are different methods, i.e. sq ft, per box, etc. How do I go about finding out what the going prices are for my area and are there work sheets available on-line that are good for work-ups?

I appreciate any and all help.

Thanks!

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Old 11-23-2007, 10:50 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish7 View Post
I recently got my license in NC and have never bid on new houses. I usuaaly do small jobs and service work. I know there are different methods, i.e. sq ft, per box, etc. How do I go about finding out what the going prices are for my area and are there work sheets available on-line that are good for work-ups?

I appreciate any and all help.
welp lets start with software:
http://www.accubid.com/
http://www.electrimate.com/ ($49.00)

http://www.electricalreference.com/ I've never launched this one ...so I don't know

deep reading required here
http://ceenews.com/mag/electric_elec...imating_today/

http://www.contractorguides.com/ < this is really the heat !
There also a book on esitmating about 65. + -

Remember Google is your Friend ...

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Old 11-23-2007, 11:02 PM   #3
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Irish, remember that your price has to reflect your costs for doing business. You intend on making a profit, right? FORGET "going price". You need to know what you need to charge to cover all your expenses, including a paycheck for you, and make a profit for your business.
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Old 11-23-2007, 11:20 PM   #4
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John, I understand I need to price to make a profit, but I don't know where to begin. It is an exteremely competative market in the Raleigh/Durham area for new construction and I don't want to underbid and loose profits or overbid and not get any...I don't have a starting point.

I'm sure CADPoint understands being from this area, and thanks for the links. I know there is software out there, but I need an idea of what to put in for price points. I would like to put in $10 a box, but I know that is not realistic...I just don't know what is. Everyone I asked locally won't give any clue to their pricing, even though I won't compete with them directly.

Just getting frustrated....
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Old 11-24-2007, 05:36 AM   #5
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Irish on all the sites the common answer t your question is ignore your competition and know you cost. I always feel, your competition has the same basic cost as you do, trucks, manpower, office, material, secretarial, warehouse, TAXES, ECT. So knowing what your competition charges is a good starting point. You need to talk to folks you know at other companies, put a set of plans out to bid, use a on line bidding source, then work out an average. Next figure what you think your cost are, most likely you can come up with a rough idea or use your accountant.

I would assume you have wired houses get a set of plans and determine what you think it would take you to completely wire the house, you'll almost always think you can do it faster than you really can, also allow for lost time, trip to the supply house, meeting with GC and home owner.

I have never bid residential, but did work residential as an apprentice, my boss at the time swore by the per box price. Get and read everything you can on estimating there are books out there somewhere. AND AS NOTED ABOVE Google, yahoo..The information is there somewhere.

An important fact that many green contractors overlook is proper mark up on material, you'll never make a living with only labor and most customers shop labor. Proper mark up on material is your pay check...

Last edited by brian john; 11-24-2007 at 05:59 AM.
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Old 11-24-2007, 09:34 AM   #6
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Before we can answer your question, there's a lot of info you need to supply, and it isn't easy.

Cost of living in your area. What do you need to live one?
Licensing.
Insurance.
Rent.
Bonds.
Legal fees (attorney).
Do you have a bookkeeping service?
How about an accountant?
What do you spend on advertising?
What are permit fees?
Vehicle costs.... repairs & maintainence, gas, insurance.
Tools.

And, of course, taxes.

It's all too easy to simply say "I charged $1,000 for the job, and my material was $600, so put $400 in my pocket!" Start deducting the actual costs of the above stuff, and you'd be surprised.



Square foot pricing went out with the Nixon administration.

Try to figure out how much a house will cost by it's square footage:
Are you installing vinyl siding or brick?
Linoleum floors or slate?
Formica countertop or granite?
Fiberglass one-piece shower stall or 4x4" ceramic tile enclosure?
Stock oak cabinets or custom, hand-rubbed cherry?
Asphalt shingles or tile?
2x4 exterior walls, or 2x6?
Fiberglass batt insulation or isocyanurate?
Single-pane windows or triple-glazed/Low-e/Argon filled with the blinds in the glass with all panes tilt-in for cleaning?
Slab hollow-core interior doors or solid 6-panel?
Standard duplexes & switches, or Decora receps and Lutron Meastros?
Ordinary forced-air furnace and air conditioning, or in-slab hydronics on a geothermal system?

In other words, how do you base your fees on square feet when you don't buy any material, or pay your help, based on square feet?

You can build a simple 3-BR 2-BA ranch for $100/sq.ft., or you can build the same plan for $2000/sq.ft.

HOWEVER: I do start my own pricing BASED on square footage. That gives me Code minimum wiring, but no service, dimmers, cans, ceiling fans and all the other bells and whistles that the Code does not require, but the HO wants.
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Old 11-24-2007, 05:33 PM   #7
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Bid the job and if you don't get it don't be afraid to ask by what percentage you missed it.
If you are afraid of underbidding, then you must not be putting enough in there.
Price it so you are comfortable but not "raping" the customer.

There really is no magic number to slide in on a form and "waa-laa".
I generally have built the whole job in my mind by the time I come up with a quote.
Read your drawings throughly, take in to consideration the type of framing, door openings, window heights, ceiling heights and types and so on.
Reading the "A" pages on a set of drawings can reveal a lot of little items that can adjust your job costs.

Just be thorough.
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Old 11-24-2007, 08:13 PM   #8
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Price it so you are comfortable but not "raping" the customer.
If you bid a job and the customer agrees and you make a profit no mater how great the percentage, how would that be considered raping the customer?

Last edited by brian john; 11-24-2007 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 11-24-2007, 09:03 PM   #9
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If you bid a job and the customer agrees and you make a profit no mater how great the percentage, how would that be considered raping the customer?
Easily. Somebody may agree on something without knowing the market values and competition prices. Thats called taking an advantage of someone. Price should always be reasonable.
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Old 11-24-2007, 09:07 PM   #10
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If you bid a job and a customer accept the price, it is a fair price. ...Other wise why would they accept the price....If you bid a job and lose you arse is the customer ripping you off?

The going rate in my area for an electrician is 70.00-90.00 and hour for T&M I charge $125.00 for my services am I ripping off my customers?

If you do many forum chats you will see electricians marking up material from 5% to over 100% for the same items, is the 100% guy ripping off his customers or is the 5% guy starving.

And lastly who determines a fair price? A fair price is what the payment is for a job that you and the customer have agreed upon.

Last edited by brian john; 11-24-2007 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 11-24-2007, 09:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian john
A fair price is what the payment is for a job that you and the customer have agreed upon.
Quote of the week!
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Old 11-25-2007, 03:43 PM   #12
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I'll take all the info at hand and process it and hopefully come up with a plan.

Thanks to all for the input!
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Old 11-26-2007, 08:09 PM   #13
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amen brian john
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Old 11-26-2007, 08:53 PM   #14
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I too like Brian John's awnser.
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Old 11-28-2007, 06:32 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by brian john View Post
If you bid a job and the customer agrees and you make a profit no mater how great the percentage, how would that be considered raping the customer?

My input was based on him bidding on a job.

I have not been very successful in being awarded jobs where my bid contained alot of "fluff".

I have no arguement in what a customer agrees to pay. But it depends on how hungry we are huh?
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Old 11-29-2007, 08:18 PM   #16
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If you really want to know what the "going rate" is in your area just call a few companies and say you have an addition, remodel, etc..and would like to know what they start at per opening.
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Old 11-30-2007, 07:04 PM   #17
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Talk (B.S.) to the G.C. Try to find out the electrical allowance and go from that point.


Last edited by bobelectric; 11-30-2007 at 07:05 PM. Reason: too many letters.
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