Electrical Estimating: Key Considerations for a Successful Project

Berry Mathew

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Electrical Estimating: Key Considerations for a Successful Project

Cost estimating is a challenging task, whether you are preparing costs for landscaping, concrete, masonry, drywall or electrical projects. An expert-level estimator makes sure that he does not ignore any cost be it the most minor one.

Let us talk about electrical estimating over here. There are some key considerations that you should always keep in mind. Costing electrical projects is believed to be the critical step in every residential or commercial construction project. You cannot calculate the total cost of your project if you have not included the electrical estimating part.

Electrical estimating – Top considerations to remember

You might be wondering what goes into electrical estimating, without further ado, let us see the details. Even if you have been performing detailed estimates, these considerations carry equal significance for your project.

Accurately calculate the overhead cost

Electrical estimators have to consider the overhead costs on a priority basis. Here you will be including the indirect costs such as accounting fees, insurance, legal fees, phone bills and utilities. Remember this golden that underestimating overhead cost will push your project to become unprofitable and shall cost the contractor too much money.

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Calculate Takeoffs accurately

Take offs are assumed to be the expected quantities of items that the electrical contractor requires for a project. You can calculate the takeoffs by using advance tools; this will make your job easy. Furthermore, takeoffs should be performed accurately. If not enough materials are ordered, project will get delay.

While performing a quantity takeoff, use scale master, highlighters and the best takeoff software. These items will make it easy for you exactly count and measure items as showcased in the electrical drawings. Ordering correctly the light fixtures, receptacles as well as conduit runs, panels and gear is essential! 

It is recommended to start with one item category and count it. Afterwards, you can move onto the next item. This way, you will not miss anything and exact number of items will be delivered at the project site.

Include the Material and Labor Costs

Labor and materials costs are an important part of the electrical estimating process. The size of the project determines how much labor/materials you need, how many hours they will be working and what exact skill is needed.

Preparing material estimates is done by calling a supplier and getting rough price stats from him. And determining labor cost is done by looking at the past production history i.e. how much time they took to complete similar project.

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Bid on the work in which you are experienced

To grab an electrical project, you must always bid on those projects in which you are extremely skilled and experienced. Avoid bidding on those electrical projects in which you have limited experience and chances of making mistakes are more.

Understand working heights and electrical drawings

Understanding the architecture, electrical drawings, working heights and elevations remains a must. This practice will tell you exactly about the scope of project and what kind of work to be expected from labor. In addition, a complete understanding of the project will help you estimating labor costs, equipment and material pricing accurately.

Request quotes from multiple electrical suppliers

Experts have advised requesting quotes from multiple suppliers. Suppose you want to order lighting fixtures. What you can do is to get in touch with multiple local lighting firms and request for quotes. This way, you can get desired pricing in a timely manner.

More golden points to ensure successful electrical estimating

  • Double-check the scope of your project! Use RFI (Requests for Information) if anything looks ambiguous.
  • Run a “sense check” to keep everything in place.
  • Become the master of time-management. If you have been given the task to prepare multiple estimates, keep track on a priority basis!
  • Try transforming yourself a savvy electrical estimator. They are practical and knowledgeable. Such estimators know how to influence and build networks.
  • Acquaint yourself with the advanced cost estimating tools. These tools will make your work more accurate and efficient.
  • Prefer using cloud-based apps. They will help you immensely to get done with your work literally from anywhere.
  • Cloud computing and embracing digital transformation has become the need of the hour for beginner electrical estimators.
  • Always use specific criteria for bidding. This will narrow down your choices and push you bid on those projects in which you have massive caliber.

Thus, that is the end of electrical cost estimating discussion. We have put up a very basic guide and if you are interested in getting in-depth and more technical details, please let us know. Stay connected.