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Discussion Starter #1
Here is a question for you, on typical remodelling jobs there is electrical work involved, sometimes I know for sure that a new circuit will have to be included with the work, such as a jetted tub, but other times say when adding fixtures to existing circuits I don't know, nor do I have the time when doing the quote to determine of course if the current circuit will be able to handle the new fixtures or if a new circuit will be needed. For example a job I looked at recently will involve removing the old flourescent box light in a kitchen and installing 6 recessed cans to replace it. In this situation depending on what is on the circuit the new cans might be fine or they might be too much and require a new circuit being run.

In these situations I typically quote based on not having to run a new circuit with a note on the quote about it and stating that the possibility exists that a new circuit may be required at additional cost.

Is this typical of the way it should be done or is there a better way?
 

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Is there really anything "typical" about the remodeling industry Mike? lol

I think the key is to identify clearly for the client what you have assumed, and err on the side of caution in your assumptions. In other words, if the house has a 60 Amp service, more than likely you'll be running a new circuit for the can lights. If the house has been re-wired previously, and has a substantial service with a number of circuits, perhaps that won't be the case. In either case, include or don't include the circuit, identify in your proposal what you did, and give a cost to add the circuit if it's found to be required (assuming you excluded it). This allows the client to compare apples to apples when comparing your bid to someone else's who did include the new circuit.

Best of luck,

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Bob Kovacs said:
This allows the client to compare apples to apples when comparing your bid to someone else's who did include the new circuit.
Bob
LOL! Now that is funny!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No offense meant Bob. I think your reply was right on in regard to what to do.

My comment was only about the benefits of supplying a customer with a means of comparing apples to apples in regard to comparing bids.

I don't really think it is in my best interest to pursue providing clients with those abilities. That is coming too close to supplying line item quotes which are also not in my best interests.
 

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Mike Finley said:
I don't really think it is in my best interest to pursue providing clients with...line item quotes
Amen brother! Nothing like being "high" on the insert item here while being low on the overall job to give someone (especially the big GC types - you know who you are :cheesygri )the idea that they deserve an even better price.

Like they say, a little bit of information can be a dangerous thing. :D
 

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mike i ussually give two prices
one is remove existing light,install new lights and alot time to investigate the circuitry to determine load
and the second bid is to rewire or add circuit if existing has too much load
as the example you stated before a typical newer florescent light draws about an amp adding 6 cans on the same circuit assuming and allowing for the homeowner to max out the lamps @ 75 w wich most cans are rated for that adds 450w or 3.75 amp to the circuit allmost a increase x 4
its best to figure on the side of caution when adding more than a fixture for a fixture
ive done a lot of rework in production homes and the circuits are right on the edge of max when wired new (for obvious reasons builders dont want to pay for expansion just the bare minimum)
older homes are even worse i dont even consider if it is more than a fixture trade
hope this helps in any way
 

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Mike and Pete,

I haven't found a "formula" for remod work that works well (for me or for the customer.) If the job is simply adding outlets/switches/lights to an existing circuit, I sometimes use $30 per "hole" (each gang or box) as a rule of thumb. Keep in mind that this part of NC is notoriously "low-wage" so the same work in the western part of my state would be more.

Most of the time, I visit the job, look it over, determine what is needed and bid it accordingly using Kentucky Windage and experience to calculate labor, material and a reasonable profit. I don't do "line item" quotes either, but I do spell out what my estimate includes and leave myself an "out" if we encounter anything unexpected inside the walls, etc.

For new home construction (custom pre-sold, I don't do spec houses), most builders in this area prefer a sq ft price. I usually figure around $1.45 per sq ft (heated) which does not include fixtures and bulbs. It does include a 200 amp serivce, two ceiling fans, two phone jacks wired with CAT5E, and two cable outlets. Additional jacks and fans are $50 each, a 400 amp service is more, and if the panel and meterback are more than 5 feet apart there is an extra charge, anything outside the footprint of the foundation (water pumps, pool equip, postlights or landscape lighting) is extra. The only draw back to this method is you tend to make next to nothing on a small house, since a 1400 sq ft house and 4100 sq ft house both have kitchens, WHs, bath circuits, arc fault BR circuits, a laundry room, etc, etc.

I am also interested in how my fellow electricians are figuring this sort of thing. If there is a simpler soultion that is both competitive and profitable, I would surely love to try it out here.

By the way, I LOVE the CT forums. Some very helpful and knowledgable folks here. I wish I'd found this place long ago.
 

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Atricaudatus said:
The only draw back to this method is you tend to make next to nothing on a small house, since a 1400 sq ft house and 4100 sq ft house both have kitchens, WHs, bath circuits, arc fault BR circuits, a laundry room, etc, etc.
Why not modify the method to incorporate some sort of 'per each kitchens, WHs, bath circuits, arc fault BR circuits, a laundry room, etc, etc.' cost consideration? That'd eliminate the low end SF price penalty.
 

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Mike Finley said:
No offense meant Bob. I think your reply was right on in regard to what to do.

My comment was only about the benefits of supplying a customer with a means of comparing apples to apples in regard to comparing bids.

I don't really think it is in my best interest to pursue providing clients with those abilities. That is coming too close to supplying line item quotes which are also not in my best interests.
Mike-

I'm not talking about providing "line item quotes"- just identifying what you've excluded (if anything), and a cost if they want to add it. The base bid can still be a lump sum. The goal is to keep them from being having to call you to get the add- keep it simple.

You've got to give them a means to compare apples to apples- how else can they realize that "Joe Sparky's" bid, which is 1/2 your price is actually missing 1/2 the scope?

Bob
 

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sq ft prices don't work when bidding custom anything.you need to tailor your bid based on the plans spec and job site conditions.if the plans are incomplete or unclear you can only give rough est.unless say your doing two or more custom homes that are exactly the same.
 
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