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hello everyone. my names tim, ive been an electricain for 20 years. just venturing on my own. i ive in southern california. glad to become a part of this site.

my question is..... i recieved a job in l.a. ... its a small house which is having all the wiring removed. and im to rewire it. walls will be open. theyre asking me for a estimate... is there a trick to estimating by receptacle/light/ect.. ? or by square footage? any help would be greatly appreciated
 

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If they want a budgetary estimate, take a guess at how many hours you're going to have in it times your hourly rate you expect to earn, then add in materials & markup. If they want a flat rate for the job, charge large. Rewire always takes n times longer than new construction. And are they doing the demo? Or are you expected to do that too? You don't need to answer for me, but you need to know that before you give them any numbers.
 

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There are no tricks. You simply have to figure out how long it will take you to do each part of the job and then multiply that time by the rate you have figured for your labor. Add that number to youmaterial and overhead expenses with markup.
 

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What size is a small house? Here, it’s 600 square feet. Elsewhere, it’s 2000 square feet.

If the place is completely gutted, it sounds like a good job to get started on. Estimating is a learning experience, just remember that you need to get paid for the hours you spend running around, talking to the customer, on paperwork, etc. You also need a mechanism in place for change orders.

Most important is figuring out how you will get paid. Staying ahead of the game with a deposit and progress payments is best. We have all been a victim of our own bad estimating at one time or another but what really sucks is waiting for the money from a bad estimate.
 

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First you have to consider how long it will take to do the demo work. If all the drywall is removed in from every wall and all the ceilings then it should not take too long depending on the size of the home. Hopefully you will have some plans that you can use to calculate what supplies will be needed and how long it will take to install them.
House wiring seems simple but if your used to doing commercial work it's not so simple.I guess what I mean to say is that if you haven't wired a home in a while there have been lots of code changes and new materials introduced over the past 10 years and it can be time consuming if it's not something you normally do.
If your background is in residential then you don't have to worry about most of what I said.
Compile a complete list of parts including light fixtures and trim that is needed for the job and determine your cost. If you have wired similar homes in the past you have a good idea on how much labor will be involved. Now add some hours for getting permits and being there for rough and final inspection then add time for talking with the customer and getting parts.
Consider what 99cents said about change orders and receiving payment.
It usually takes longer than we think to do a residential job especially on a rewire job so add some extra padding to your labor cost. Consider the other trades. Carpenter, Plumbers and HVAC would be your main concern. Take time to coordinate with them so your installations don't hamper what they are doing.
 

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There are no tricks. You simply have to figure out how long it will take you to do each part of the job and then multiply that time by the rate you have figured for your labor. Add that number to youmaterial and overhead expenses with markup.
Murphy's law will always rear it's ugly head in a rewire job so go higher than usual with your labor estimate. And it is unreal how many tradesmen fail to add for their overhead.
 

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I agree with 99, get a deposit, people don't mind doing that right away before the job starts and then progress bill. This will keep the money flowing and give you a good insight on who you are dealing with.

Tim.
 
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