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How To Calculate An Estimate For Electrical Services

Author: Route Nation

This article outlines how Building Service Contractors can calculate Estimates for Electrical services, things to remember while you quote electrical work, tools that can help with an electrical estimate, and everything you need to submit an electrical service proposal.

Costs To Consider When Writing An Electrical Service Estimate

Electricians are a high-demand profession. Due to the skilled nature of the job, the permits needed, and the availability of licensed workers, making a reputable name for yourself in this business takes a lot of work.

There are many parts to establishing yourself as a household name in the electrician business. By this point you should have already taken a thorough walkthrough and you may have begun drafting your proposal. The last step is to write a comprehensive estimate of the services you will carry out.

This article will help you determine how to set a price for your services and what to include on your estimate to make the most profit from your job.

Hourly Rate

To start out, be aware that many electricians charge a base fee just for the visit to the location. However, a common practice is to roll that fee into the first hour of work. So, for instance, if you charge $80.00 as your base fee, that money will also cover your first hour of labor.

There is great differentiation in what electricians charge for their services, but the average hourly rate is anywhere from $50-$100.00 per hour.

This does not include extra parts, travel time, or permits and fees.

One pain point for customers is the possibility of “hidden fees” in electrician work—many people feel like they price they are quoted is unstable and increases along with the project.

You can avoid this by being fully transparent and building your estimate with Route.

Route’s Estimator allows you to separately enter your hourly labor, your supplies and materials either as one-time or recurrent charges, plus any additional costs or special concerns that could affect the final price.

When you are accountable to your client and show them upfront what they are paying for, you will look more trustworthy and business-savvy when you present your bid.

Prices And Services

Electrician services vary greatly in price in part because of the complexity of the job. It may help you as the contractor to know some of the median prices for common services as you write your own estimate.

Generators

Installing a new generator is a common request for electricians. This is a pricey job however, with starting costs around $2,000 before installation. After assessing labor and supplies, it’s not uncommon for this job to cost around $3,500.

Lighting Fixtures

Lighting fixtures can quickly update the look and feel of a place, but it’s best to leave this job to professionals like yourself. The average cost to install a lighting fixture is $450, but this price can vary, because it includes the price of the fixture.

Replacing An Electrical Panel

Older buildings sometimes have electrical panels that aren’t up to code. The cost to upgrade a 200- amp panel is around $1,100. Remember that electrical panels come in different amp capacities, so don’t assume that you’re working with a 200-amp panel—always check.

Installing New Wiring And Switches

Installing new wiring is a complicated process. An average price for new wiring or replacement wiring is around $1,300, but that number can go up depending on the accessibility you have within the walls.

Automation Systems

In today’s digital age, automation systems are becoming more mainstream. An automation system syncs your building’s appliances to your electricity.

This allows you to close the garage door from miles away or change the temperature inside when you’re out. At around $1,200 for professional installation, it’s not a cheap investment, but automation can ultimately save your client money on their electric bill in the long run.

This is just a basic list of some common job requests. You can do more research online to find the average price of a multitude of services that can better help you come up with a price as your write more estimates.

Assessing Labor

There are three main categories of electrician: Apprentice, Journeyman, and Master Electrician. Each category is based on experience, skill, and the professional progress of the technician and thus will have a different cost.

The Apprentice is working at entry level and never works alone. Apprentices are not yet licensed and can do basic electrical work such as installing light fixtures and assisting the Master Electrician with wiring projects. The Apprentice will be billed lower than their counterparts, often between $40-$50.00/hour.

A Journeyman has completed four years of apprenticeship and has passed the Electric Journeyman Exam. A Journeyman can work without supervision and perform advanced tasks. They can be billed anywhere from $50-$100.00/hour depending on their experience level.

A Master Electrician has worked for at least two years as a Journeyman and has passed the Master Electrician Exam. At this stage, the Master Electrician can open their own business and bid on new jobs. They also manage the Journeymen and Apprentices.

If you are working with multiple skill levels on one job, you will be billing the time differently on your estimate. Route has a tool to help with that.

In the estimate builder under the labor tab, there is a box that says “advanced”. Checking this box will open a menu that allows you to break your team down by composition. This means if you’re a Master Electrician but you’re having an Apprentice help you, you can delineate between the positions and pay scales within the estimate.

Conclusion

Being an electrician means you’ve done years of work to get to the level you’re at. Making sure you stand out as a professional when writing your estimate is critical.

Start by assessing what you want to charge per hour. You will probably also charge a base service fee, which you can roll into your first hour of work. Make sure you are telling your client about all the charges upfront. You can easily do this in Route’s estimate builder.

Do research on the national price average of different services to see where your prices fall. Many jobs are well over $1000 and might require more than one worker to complete. A good electrician will be able to make an accurate prediction as to how much time and labor a given job will take.

Think about the type of labor you want to bring with you. Some jobs may be suited for Apprentices, but bigger jobs may need a Journeyman’s experience.

Factor the different skill levels into your estimate by using the advanced tools under the labor tab in Route’s Estimator. Here you can break your team into different skill levels and pay grades.

Finally, remember that transparency is key in making a good impression on your client before you do the work. Writing a thorough estimate with all your materials, labor, permits and fees, and extraneous costs will help you look like a reputable business person, not just another electrician.

Save this article to use as a guide the next time you write an electrician estimate and you’ll be writing better bids with every job you take.

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