Electrical estimating for profit
Electrical estimating is the art of predicting how much it will cost to do an electrical project.
The good news first. The good news is you CAN learn to estimate electrical. If you can wire it you can estimate it. Get ready to learn!
Would you rather learn to estimate electrical or have a root canal?
Tough choice. (Just getting your attention here.)
Many contractors are so busy that they never learn how to estimate projects. Estimating is a very IMPORTANT skill set to have if you like the idea of staying in businness.
It is well worth the time it takes to learn how to estimate projects.
Like bending conduit you are not going to learn it overnight.
It takes practice and patience to learn the skill.
When you do learn electrical estimating it can pay you back a thousand fold for your investment in time.
Start by making a list of materials to be installed.
To estimate any project, you start by creating a detailed list of materials. The material list is called a material take-off.
You also calculate additional job expenses like permit fees, and rental equipment costs.
Residential estimating is easier. OK its not easier but there is usually fewer materials to work with when estimating residential jobs compared with comerical. When estimating residential, you really have to watch out for what I call the remodel factor.
You can get eaten alive by labor for the unseen items in residential remodel jobs. Residential blueprints often don't even show you a reasonable semblance of circuitry. You kind of have to design the job as you estimate it. The blueprints, if any aren't much help.
Branch circuit take-off is torture! (Not really torture) I'm just getting your attention) It's more like tedious and more time consuming to take-off branch.
You have to take-off switchgear, panels and circuit breakers, lighting fixtures, devices, j boxes and everythihg.
Of all the items that have to be counted the most time consuming is branch circuits. Meaning, branch conduit and wire.
Let's face it, blueprints can leave a lot to the imagination when it comes to branch circuits. The blueprint shows you a few lines and squiggles with circuit numbers but does not (usually) show you exactly how many j boxes are needed or does not show how you must add or drop off wires feeding differant circuits. It just takes time!
Enter the materials into electrical estimating software and the software spits out the labor it takes
to install the materials and the price of materials.
Electrical estimating software has tools for speeding up the process.
Conduit Wizard You can input hundreds of feet of conduit in a few seconds using the conduit wizard.
Assemblies Electrical estimating software has assemblies that allow you to input all materials needed for items such as switches, receptacles, lighting fixtures, j boxdes, etc.
Accuracy using the Recap Electrical estimating software has a recap or a summary of the estimate. The recap is a report that shows how many hours are in the estimate, also material costs. You set up your mark-up in the recap.
Create Professional Proposal Finish by creating a professional looking proposal. Send your price to your customer and sell the job.
This website: learn-electrical-estimating.com will show how to estimate electrical projects.
Next go to the Overview page to see how to estimate projects. There are many links to training videos for elecctrical estimating.
Senior Electrical Contracting Consultant