05. Adding labor cost: Determine how many hours you’ll need to perform each type of installation by adding a man-hour to each piece of material. Include supervision and laborers as needed. Calculate your labor costs. Multiply the total man hours by the rate of pay that you need to charge. 06. Include Other Cost: Add other cost such as storage trailers, permits, rental equipment, plans, etc. 07. Arrive at a job cost: The total material cost with tax, added to your other cost and your labor charge will become your job cost. 08. Arrive at selling price: Job cost plus overhead and profit will be your selling price. 09. Review: Review your results and include any bonds or extra fees associated with the project. 10. Proposal: Prepare your proposal listing – the scope of work that is to be included in your price. 11. Turn in your bid: Submit your bid. 12. Use alternates for cost-savings and value engineering.
Dissecting an Estimate There are many techniques used for successful estimating. In this book, we will cover all of them. You will learn overtime that one approaches work. You will learn overtime that one approach works better for estimating certain jobs while another approach will work better for another. Estimating is broken down into easy to understand sections. Review When starting a new project, make sure that you at least have all of the sheets that apply to your trade, a specifications manual and copies of all addenda and changes. If possible, request the mechanical and architectural drawings in addition to the electrical prints, as some items on these drawings can affect your price. Start by reviewing the entire set of plans before you begin. Record the scale and check it twice. Many jobs have been missed by using the wrong scale. By reviewing the architectural plans first, you will gain a better understanding of the building. This will allow you to create a more accurate estimate. Notice the name of the Engineer’s who stamped the drawings and record it. Often times the Engineer will use a standardized set of specifications. This will allow you to become familiar with what a particular engineer’s special needs are, making it easier to review the specifications. Make special notes of who pays utility fees, minimum size raceways, fitting type, raceways allowed, device types, temp lights and power, grouping of home runs, deadlines, and liquidated damages. Read the General Conditions in the Specifications Book and in the Bidding Instructions, if applicable. These often contain information that can greatly increase 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. Pay close attention to the Instructions to Bidders. I have seen many low quotes thrown out simply because they didn’t follow the instructions to bidders. Filling out an envelope should be simple. Don’t alter the instructions. If they ask for an item to be first, make it first. If they ask for a bid package number, include it. Visit the site. Sometimes the existing conditions play a major factor in a bid. I once encountered a run of conduit that was only 100’ in length. Seems like a very routine installation, right? When I visited the site, the plans didn’t mention that it was to be installed under an existing lake.

Highlight points of interest on the drawings such as firewalls. Material Material consists of the components that it takes to install the project such as conduit, wire, fittings, devices, boxes, screws, plates, plaster rings, straps, wire nuts, etc. For this illustration, material is considered the items it takes to install the work as SHOWN on the plans. For definition, material can be called Rough in Material, even though some of the products will be used for trim out. The material list may be priced in several ways: A. A complete list may be sent to a supply house for current pricing. B. You may have an in-house pricing sheet that your material is priced by. C. You may subscribe to a pricing service. D. You may use software and rely on the stored prices or use a service such as NetPricer, in conjunction with software for instant real time pricing. TIP: Make sure that you spell out the specific material as asked for in the specifications. Some of the items we always look are: A. Fitting type: Set screw, compression, and diecast, steel. B. Device and plate type C. Minimum raceway size D. Rigid 90’s VS PVC 90’s for slab work E. Is MC cable allowed? F. W/P GFI covers. These range from just a few dollars to several hundred dollars. G. Is grouping of home runs allowed? H. General duty or heavy duty disconnects Quotes Quotes are products that will be purchased for the project, usually in packages. On most jobs, there will be a Lighting package and a Gear package. Other than design and build projects, where you are in control of all material, you will be guided by a Lighting