Electrician Talk banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for some bidding advice. We are a 6 man shop with plenty of work. I have a contractor that I am trying to grow with. His business is taking off and I want to be able to accommodate him. He is having us bid about 5 jobs a week and he is getting 2-3. We are making decent money with him. All residential (which is 40-50% of our business), mostly 1000 sq ft additions and maybe a 2000-4000 sq ft house every 10th bid. He wants us to give him a flat rate square foot cost so we don't have to price out every job for him. Just so he doesn't have to bogg us down with pricing all the work. I trust him, however want your input. We don't price per sq so I wouldn't know where to start. I feel like the basic job should be around $8 per sq...? He wants us to give him options, like builders recessed cost $x, 200 amp service $x, flood light $x, etc. I'm sure that some of you are bidding like this and want to know how you come up with your pricing. What software has been helpful? Thanks!
 

·
animal lover /rat bastard
Joined
·
13,543 Posts
tell him there are two scenarios:

1) he gets you to bid on every job, and then if you screw up the bid it's on you. (you can estimate it any way you want. but more than likely, you will check your numbers if you see something odd.)

2) he prices them by the square foot, and when he misses something or screws up it's on him.


I betcha dollars to donuts he doesn't go for #2. What he's trying to do (trustworthy or not) is hang it on you, and you aren't even getting to look at the plans. In my opinion, it's just a recipe for (eventual) failure.

the alternative (#3) is that he has pricing ballparks and can give his customers conceptual estimates (which he should already be able to do based on price history), and then if he gets the jobs, get quotes from the subs before actually starting the job. If he missed a big ticket item, it's still on him to smooth it over with the customer or eat it. If he's doing cookie cutter additions, he should have no problem on his own giving estimates. If he's doing wild things, he should be getting estimates, and not trying to hang a square foot price on you.

The bottom line is this: do you feel like this would ever give you any advantage ? What if material prices go up 5% next month ? you are locked in to some price and have to eat material ? It doesn't seem to have an upside for you, just for him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,167 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,576 Posts
Food for thought..I know someone who bid $90 per outlet but, excluded service and any temporary power/lighting. All the homes were over 5k sq ft with all the bells and whistles you can imagine. He was never able to make it a success with 3 mechanics plus himself. Although the number sounds profitable it just wasn't managed properly from what his nephew told me and he owes a ton of money to a few suppliers.
 

·
animal lover /rat bastard
Joined
·
13,543 Posts
I could see pricing cookie cutter, tract homes, townhouses, with that method, once you did one or two.

But I see no upside in handing a carte blanche over to someone else to do same, because you need to be in control of your pricing. labor, materials, copper, time of year, time (elapsed since the original estimate), there are too many variables. Even if it's cookie cutter, you need to be in control. If you are busy, if they don't pay on time, your price needs to go up, etc. You can't hand the keys to someone else.

To estimate anything that gets more complicated than plain and simple, you need to divvy it up:
service
lighting package
feeders/subpanels/branch distances
controls
devices

etc.

I just see no upside to doing what the op is asking about (other than maybe using for inhouse estimating on projects that fit certain parameters)
 

·
RIP 1959-2015
Joined
·
10,750 Posts
Looking for some bidding advice. We are a 6 man shop with plenty of work. I have a contractor that I am trying to grow with. His business is taking off and I want to be able to accommodate him. He is having us bid about 5 jobs a week and he is getting 2-3. We are making decent money with him. All residential (which is 40-50% of our business), mostly 1000 sq ft additions and maybe a 2000-4000 sq ft house every 10th bid. He wants us to give him a flat rate square foot cost so we don't have to price out every job for him. Just so he doesn't have to bogg us down with pricing all the work. I trust him, however want your input. We don't price per sq so I wouldn't know where to start. I feel like the basic job should be around $8 per sq...? He wants us to give him options, like builders recessed cost $x, 200 amp service $x, flood light $x, etc. I'm sure that some of you are bidding like this and want to know how you come up with your pricing. What software has been helpful? Thanks!
Rule #1 in business, NEVER TRUST A GC. EVER.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,202 Posts
I could see pricing cookie cutter, tract homes, townhouses, with that method, once you did one or two.

But I see no upside in handing a carte blanche over to someone else to do same, because you need to be in control of your pricing. labor, materials, copper, time of year, time (elapsed since the original estimate), there are too many variables. Even if it's cookie cutter, you need to be in control. If you are busy, if they don't pay on time, your price needs to go up, etc. You can't hand the keys to someone else.

To estimate anything that gets more complicated than plain and simple, you need to divvy it up:
service
lighting package
feeders/subpanels/branch distances
controls
devices

etc.

I just see no upside to doing what the op is asking about (other than maybe using for inhouse estimating on projects that fit certain parameters)
Yeah. Tract housing type stuff is different. Customs are a whole different ball game.
 

·
Electron Pathway Engineer
Joined
·
3,105 Posts
Charge him per opening. 50 to 100 bucks a opening.
We have done the same at times, but that's from the light switches down only, service is separate depending on the size of the project and number of devices.

Lighting can sewer you, i.e. pot light to a builders light, there's a bit of a difference. You also have to keep a constant eye on prices from your supplier.

The environment that you will be wiring in can also bare weight on your price as well. New construction verses rework or rework without cutting walls. Without cutting walls and no repairs cost time and money.

They are asking for too much for what they are offering in return. And if he as a business owner doesn't know his hard costs, he would be far better to employ your services instead.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,553 Posts
I say he's asking for a sq.ft. price so he can get other ECs to try and beat it. It's too time consuming for him to compare prices on a per project basis when they involve openings, cans, 3 & 4-ways, service type and size, type of devices used, new work, old work, etc... All priced by different ECs differently. And he knows he can't run a project with a mix of the cheapest service upgrader, the cheapest can installer, the cheapest decora devicer, etc...

So he needs to get all the competitors on the same page for comparison purposes.

If this guy really needs sq.ft. pricing, tell him you're not selling carpet.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top