“You must have this free tool”

When you are new to Electrical Contracting and you first start thinking of crew sizes and how to keep track of your electrical projects, it may seem easy.

You may say we will work 8 hours a day 5 days a week. This gives you 40 hours per week allocated per worker. You may think of this as spending 40 Man-Hours per week for each employee that will be working on the project.

Another way to view this is to divide the total number of Man-Hours from your electrical estimate by 40 to see how many weeks it would take 1 man to complete the project…

For example: If your electrical estimate says it will take 400 Man-Hours to complete the project you would divide 400/40=10. This tells you that it would take 1 man 10 weeks or 50 days to complete the work.

This gives you an idea of what size project you are looking at.

Using this method of thinking, if you used 2 workers the math would be 400/80 so it would take 2 workers 5 weeks or 25 days.

Breaking this down, you could say if 4 workers are working, the math would be 4 workers x 8 hr. a day or 32 total hr. per day  400/32=12.5 days then 12.5/5=2.5 weeks.

You may also look at it like this: Let’s say that you have 400 Man Hours estimated from your electrical estimating software to do the project and the project duration is 25 days. You need to know how many hours per day that you will need to work to complete the project on time.

You would start by saying 400 total Man-Hours /25 days in the project. This would be 16 Man Hours that must be worked per day to complete the project in 25 days.  To check this you would say 16 x 25 = 400.

This information is great to check your Man-Hours against a project. For example: If you are bidding a project similar to another project that you have completed, it is wise to see how many Man-Hours were in the original project and how well it turned out.

 For example: If the original project took 30 days for 2 workers to complete, then you know it took 480 Man-Hours.   (16 x 30) = 480 MH

You can use 480 Man-Hours as a guide for the new project. If the new project estimate comes out to be 680 or 280 Man-Hours, then you may need to check the estimate.

This is a very simple way to check your electrical estimate. It is also only a partial view of the project.

Producing Crew Sizes for Larger Electrical Projects.

When you start estimating larger electrical projects you will find that there is more to consider.

There will be important factors to consider such as the following:

  1. How long is the project duration?
  2. How soon can you start to work on the project?
  3. If there is site work, can you start early or will you need to wait?
  4. What season will the project start? Weather is out of your control but if you are working in mud your production will be slower, so you will need to make that time up elsewhere.
  5. When will the building be in the dry so you can start working?
  6. How many days will be left to finish the project?

Additional things to consider:

  1. When are the walls going up?
  2. When does the drywall go up?
  3. When does the painting start?
  4. When will the ceiling being installed?

There is much to think about to get the best production.

  1. Will you need a lift?
  2. Can you do your ceiling work before the walls go up to utilize a lift?
  3. Will the slab be poured or will you need an all-terrain lift to move around?

Producing schedules to allocate your Man-Hours.

On larger Electrical Projects you will be producing a schedule to work by. Your schedule will change as you perform task faster or slower than predicted. Some projects you will be in control of your schedule but in most cases the General Contractor will create a schedule for the project and you will need to perform your task to meet pre-selected dates.

If you are lucky the General Contractor will either let you review the schedule to make changes or ask you to provide information pertaining to the time allowed for each phase of your work. You must review the electrical schedule closely and provide input or agree to the timeframes allocated for each phases of the project.

If you have the proper electrical estimate this task is easy and will pay dividends because you will know the Man-Hours you have allowed for each phase. The Best Bid Hybrid Pro performs this task perfectly.

Setting up your schedule

We will show you how to easily set up your electrical schedule.

You should look at the entire project and break it down so you can get the feel of the difficulty of completion. In time you will have a feel for the numbers but let’s create a mock project to show you the steps…

This project will be called Gadston Project Center. We know that the project duration will be 365 days.

To start with the project duration is given in total number of calendar days to complete the project.

A 365 day project will have several days that you will not work.

For example:
01. Holidays.
02. Weekends.
03. Weather delays.

You see that the project duration is 365 days but you will not have 365 days to complete your work.

To start with you must do your best to determine how many days you will actually have to work.

Things to consider will be when will you be able to actually start installing electrical work. There usually will be site prep, slab, steel erection, and other things going on that you may not be able to be on site.

We can start building the schedule once we determine how many days we will have actually have to work.

In this project here are the key points of information:

  1. The project has 365 total days to complete.
  2. You know you will not be on site the entire 365 days.
  3. Your electrical estimate shows 6000 Man-Hours to complete.
  4. You only have 6 employees that you can allocate to this project.

Creating a Mock Schedule

Let’s start by doing a mock schedule to see where we are.

From talking to the General Contractor this is the information we have received.

From this information we can see that we have about 196 days to work after the slab has been installed.

Our electrical estimate has 6000 Man-Hours.

Using the Crew Calculator we will enter 365 days and 6000 Man-Hours.

Now let’s review the entire project.

This view shows hours that need to be worked per day working 7 days, 6 days, and 5 days a week.
How many hours that must be worked per week and per month.

This is the example we are shooting for. 8 hours a day 5 days a week.

With this knowledge we see that this project is possible as long as we manage it correctly. It would take 3 guys if we could work the entire 261 days but from the schedule we know we can’t.

 Let’s look at the electrical estimate and the Man-Hours that are allotted for each phase.

To start your schedule so that you can tell the General Contractor the time that should be allowed for each phase follow the steps below.

Steps to create your schedule using the Crew Size Calculator.

For the site we have 220 man hours. The General Contractor has allotted 14 calendar days to complete.

In the Crew Size Calculator simply change the 6000 total man-hours to 220 and the total of 365 days to 14.

This shows that we could complete this task with 2 men +++If+++ we worked 7 days a week.

Let’s look at the chart with 5-8hr days.

From this view we know we can complete this task with 3 guys in the time allotted.

We will enter 3 days into the electrical schedule for this task.

Next we will repeat the process for the slab. We estimated 100 Man-Hours to complete the slab and the General wants to allow 4 days. Using the form place 100 total Man-Hours with 4 days to complete as shown below.

Since 4 days is less than a week we can use this chart. We will allocate 4 guys just to be safe.

We repeat this process for RI Walls.

We have estimated 960 Man-Hours for this portion of the project. The general is allowing us 30 days to complete this task.

From our chart we can accomplish this task with 6 guys. This is in our limit of 6 workers.

We are filling in the schedule. So far we do not have any issues.

We proceed with filling out the schedule in the same way.

Next is RI Branch and we have 1780 Man-Hours to complete the task. The general is giving us 35 days to complete this task.

To complete this task using only 6 men we will need to work 6 days a week 10 hours a day for 30 days.

Completing the rest of the schedule it will look like this:

With the schedule filled out you can see that we will be asking for 178 calendar days.

Remember from earlier we have.

There are 18 days to play with. You could ask for a couple more days on the RI and I am sure you could get them with this information.

This is the finished schedule.

The Crew Size Calculator is a very valuable tool to create quick budgets. It is also a fantastic way to track your electrical projects. Every electrical contractor should be using some tool to keep up with the project after it is won.

The Best Bid Hybrid Pro with On-Screen Takeoff will win you the project but now you need a tool like the Crew Calculator to keep the project on track.

The Crew Calculator will produce your Schedules, Track your jobs, keep your Quotes and Change Orders in order. It will also keep up with your inspections and job notes.

If you do not have a tool in place to manage these tasks, Best Bid is providing you this tool for “FREE”

To receive a FREE copy call Best Bid Electrical Estimating Software.

800-941-7028—–Ask for Steve

Keep track of your electrical Projects

Always know how many hours are left per task.

Print where the project is weekly

Keep up with your Quotes

Track Change Orders

Keep up with Inspections