. All buildings will need some type of electrical work at some point in time, creating a possible quote situation. The person that prepares this price is called an estimator. There are different types of electrical estimators, including senior, residential and commercial. Senior electrical estimators are responsible for training and managing other estimators. They are required to have extensive experience in estimating and project management. Residential electrical estimators determine the cost of electrical systems or upgrades installed in homes. Commercial electrical estimators bid on construction projects as subcontractors. Most use estimating software, such as the Best Bid, to help determine the cost associated with large projects. www.bestbidestimating to watch a video of how it works, go to www.bestbidestimating.com/x.html As you become an estimator, you need to choose your jobs wisely. At first, it may be tempting to bid on every project that comes your way, but this isn’t the best approach. Choose projects that not only fit your expertise but your workers expertise. You don’t want to bid on a job that is hours away from your office or requires greater manpower than you currently have. Once you’ve decided to bid on a job, ask that the contractor send you the drawings and specs. Review the plans and make sure you have everything you need to complete your bid. While electrical work will be shown on the electrical plans and in Division 16 of the spec book, it is wise to review the other sections of the plans as well, especially the section on mechanical equipment. You will be required to wire major mechanical equipment, which may not be shown on the electrical plans.

Keys to Successful Electrical Estimating explains the electrical estimating process from every aspect of electrical estimating – including the take-off, creating assemblies, manhours, material pricing, and the bid summary. Start by reviewing the entire set of building plans before you begin. Electrical drawings are often crowded with symbols and wiring information. By viewing the architectural plans first, you will gain a better understanding of the intended function of the space. This will allow you to create a more accurate estimate. To start a commercial bid, it all starts with the scope of work. Demand a complete set of plans for the electrical systems along with the specifications. The following is an outline of an estimate: 01. REVIEW: Review the electrical plans. Read the General Conditions in the Specifications Book and in the Bidding Instructions, if applicable. These often contain information that can greatly affect your price. Look for information on scale wages, night work, work in occupied spaces, and bond premiums or requirements. Include the cost of these items in your price. Read the project specifications. This is the manual that accompanies most sets of construction documents. Read the section that describes your trade, and then read the preliminary sections that give general project conditions. 02. Doing the takeoff: Perform a material take-off for each electrical system such as Site, Lights, Switches, Receptacles, stub ups, branch cir, feeders, gear etc. This involves counting the quantity of items shown on the plans; this is called the takeoff. Learn to use an electronic measuring tool or a Digital Takeoff software, like the Digi Count Takeoff Pro. 03. Requesting material pricing: Request a quote from your supplier. Simply put, you will get estimates from your suppliers based on the quantities you counted. Use these estimates to determine your total material cost. 04. Calculating material costs: Choose the best vendor for the project with the lowest price.