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Old 11-14-2009, 07:19 PM   #1
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Default old timer rule of thumb for bids

i have benn running my business for 5 yrs and just had a gentleman that has retired but did electric work for 30yrs and he told me that a good quick rule of thumb to do a quick bid is: for every opening (switch, light, recept) you charge $35. that includes wire, labor parts. Is this price out dated or is it close.

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Old 11-14-2009, 07:28 PM   #2
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That may have worked for him since he was in business for 30 years....alot of job cost data for him.

Your requirements would/should be different. Since you have been in business for 5 years....what does your cost history kinda inform you?
You might be able to garner an idea similar to his based on your needs.

One of the last outfits I worked for in the past, said to figure out how many hours for the job and double it, and that would get close to a ballpark figure for just the basics. Extras are just that....extras.

Getting answers of prices from other EC's is a great thing to do, since it will at least give you an idea of what your market can handle. If your needs are at the upper end and market allows....good for you....if not, then may have to rethink your costs.

Good Luck...hope this helped a bit

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Old 11-14-2009, 07:31 PM   #3
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I doubt you could use a figure like that to start bidding houses from day 1. You're far better off doing take-offs, figuring your actual costs of doing business, bnechmark your work, and after 30 or 40 houses, you could come up with a 'per opening' price.
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Old 11-14-2009, 07:31 PM   #4
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$35 dollars seems very low if you plan on using that method.
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Old 11-14-2009, 07:36 PM   #5
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What he is advocating is having set prices for common "assemblies" like all the crap that constitutes a type of outlet.

How much to charge for each of them (NOT $35!) is a whole other can of worms and REQUIRES deep understanding of your businesses expenses and far more than just what the switch and plate cost.

But the principle is still valid.
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Old 11-14-2009, 09:08 PM   #6
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a basic bedroom will have about 7 openings

3 x 7 = 21

a living room will have 10

1 x 10 = 10

a dining room will have 7

1 x 7 = 7

a kitchen will have 15

1 x 13 = 15

bathroom will have 5

2 x 5 = 10

laundry room will have 4

1 x 4 = 4

garage 6

1 x 6 = 6

outside 5

1 x 5 = 5

6 smokes

1 x 6 = 6

84 x 35 = 3040
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Old 11-14-2009, 09:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudeboy View Post
$35 dollars seems very low if you plan on using that method.
It is low in CA but it all depends on where you live.

My father taught my the unit price, sat me down and said count the fixtures. I can make money on $75 per light (T bar commercial).

That was the 80's.

In resi., I unit price all switches and receptacles and common fixtures.

I add in for bath fans, sub panels, AC units, chandeliers, fans, etc. or you can get burned.

Then square foot cross reference to make sure I am not under $5 ft.---now it will be more, I have not done a new house that require AFCI's on everything. I would put another $1500 for that.

Take a shot, that is the best way to see where YOU are at. Keep track of the job expenses and at the end of the job you will know.

Figure in for 10' and vaulted ceilings sloped cans.

Last edited by Power Tech; 11-14-2009 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 11-14-2009, 09:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rewire View Post
a basic bedroom will have about 7 openings

3 x 7 = 21

a living room will have 10

1 x 10 = 10

a dining room will have 7

1 x 7 = 7

a kitchen will have 15

1 x 13 = 15

bathroom will have 5

2 x 5 = 10

laundry room will have 4

1 x 4 = 4

garage 6

1 x 6 = 6

outside 5

1 x 5 = 5

6 smokes

1 x 6 = 6

84 x 35 = 3040
So you'll do my house for 3040?
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Old 11-14-2009, 09:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudeboy View Post
So you'll do my house for 3040?
Only if you don't want the service, telephone, cable tv, computer, etc........
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Old 11-14-2009, 09:33 PM   #10
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I hear $55-$100 tract - custom in my area all the time
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Old 11-14-2009, 09:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Power Tech View Post
It is low in CA but it all depends on where you live.

My father taught my the unit price, sat me down and said count the fixtures. I can make money on $75 per light (T bar commercial).

That was the 80's.

In resi., I unit price all switches and receptacles and common fixtures.

I add in for bath fans, sub panels, AC units, chandeliers, fans, etc. or you can get burned.

Then square foot cross reference to make sure I am not under $5 ft.---now it will be more, I have not done a new house that require AFCI's on everything. I would put another $1500 for that.

Take a shot, that is the best way to see where YOU are at. Keep track of the job expenses and at the end of the job you will know.

Figure in for 10' and vaulted ceilings sloped cans.
That's the problem with counting just openings for a bid. A fart fan and a 1g opening aren't the same thing. how about $100 per opening? how much for a four gang opening? $400?
But, i see your reasoning.
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Old 11-14-2009, 09:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudeboy View Post
That's the problem with counting just openings for a bid. A fart fan and a 1g opening aren't the same thing. how about $100 per opening? how much for a four gang opening? $400?
But, i see your reasoning.
X4, 4 gang, it is per switch not opening. Good point.

I just count switches.

Itemize everything else and the length of the runs and piece it out.

A big job is a bunch of small jobs.
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Old 11-14-2009, 09:41 PM   #13
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Only if you don't want the service, telephone, cable tv, computer, etc........
how much for all that stuff? i don't need multiple cat-6's and rg's, just one in every bedroom and the kitchen and living room and dining room---oh i need a phone in the garage. Did i mention I own seven televisions so i need lv and power behind the mirror in the master bathroom. I have in mind a graphic eye for the kitchen so can we wire it for that just in case?
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Old 11-14-2009, 09:45 PM   #14
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Dude you cant go on what someone else does. Thats rule number one in my book. Last year I had another pretty ell established electrician tell me that I was ripping customers off by charging 2500 and up for a 200 amp service change....! he told me I should be more like 17-1800......LOL
Some of these old timers get stuck in their pricing. You really have to do your own homework and go off of your own business plan not someone elses.
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Old 11-14-2009, 09:50 PM   #15
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I think $2500 and up for a service upgrade is a fair price.
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Old 11-14-2009, 09:53 PM   #16
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I think $2500 and up for a service upgrade is a fair price.
So do I. 3000 would be better but its getting harder and harder to get 2500.
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Old 11-14-2009, 09:53 PM   #17
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Dude you cant go on what someone else does. Thats rule number one in my book. Last year I had another pretty ell established electrician tell me that I was ripping customers off by charging 2500 and up for a 200 amp service change....! he told me I should be more like 17-1800......LOL
Some of these old timers get stuck in their pricing. You really have to do your own homework and go off of your own business plan not someone elses.
Agreed, it is not the same for everyone.

You have to stay current.

You have to have the huevous to charge enough and know the industry standard price per task.

I have had more trouble with the old timer customers that are stuck in there pricing.
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Old 11-14-2009, 09:54 PM   #18
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I know a guy in my area who will wire a three bedroom ,2 bath ,kitchen, livingroom, diningroom, laundry and two car garage 200 amp service for $5000.00. He works out of his house has no workmans comp insurance no advertising an old truck and enough tools to do a house.
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Old 11-14-2009, 09:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Power Tech View Post
Agreed, it is not the same for everyone.

You have to stay current.

You have to have the huevous to charge enough and know the industry standard price per task.

I have had more trouble with the old timer customers that are stuck in there pricing.
Yea I hear that. Another thing that Ive learned so far is that you just gotta let some customers go.....You could tell some people 50 bucks for an old work can (Not that I would or have ever charged that little) , between floors and they would still say thats to much......Oh well you just move on to the next one...
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Old 11-14-2009, 09:57 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by rewire View Post
I know a guy in my area who will wire a three bedroom ,2 bath ,kitchen, livingroom, diningroom, laundry and two car garage 200 amp service for $5000.00. He works out of his house has no workmans comp insurance no advertising an old truck and enough tools to do a house.
Yea I know a few guys like that too. All cheapo parts too. 696 exhaust fans, cheap devices......

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