Someone once pointed out to me that I spend more time on the phone teaching estimating practices and answering questions about estimating than I do selling software. So, it seemed like the right thing to do was to just place all of the conversations and questions in a book, so everyone could benefit from it. “It is often said that experience is the most expensive teacher.” I have been in the electrical industry since 1973 and have seen many changes over the years. Some of the changes were good and some not so good. Over the years, there have been many innovative solutions to speed up the installation of electrical work. A good example of this would be PVC raceways or MC cable over rigid raceways, wire nuts over solder dipped connections, etc. Needless to say, most of the information that you have read about estimating was most likely outdated or written by authors who were not estimators. Most estimating practices were established years ago when most shops were union, or at least went through a 5-year apprenticeship program. It is no secret that work is installed differently today than it was back in the day. We are not against the union and we are certainly not against quality workmanship, but the fact is that most shops can install electrical work faster today than they did years back. So, doesn’t it make since that if our installation practices changed then our estimating practices would change also? Most estimators are skilled tradesmen in the field but are now faced with learning a new set of tools. This book was written to ease the complication of this transaction while giving you the confidence that you need to bid and that your bid is accurate. The goal is not just to be the low bid on bid day. Anyone can turn in a low bid on bid day. The goal is to be low and to still make money. It is the balance between covering enough while bidding enough projects to survive. Spending all of your brainpower worrying about counting the exact number of screws and wire nuts will make you miss the length of an expensive feeder.
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