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Thread: Estimating, I hate it

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member Homeownerinburb's Avatar
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    Default Estimating, I hate it

    Anybody care to throw out a ball park number?

    Old house. Has abandoned knob and tube!

    Lots of rigid conduit. Cloth and rubber wire.

    2400 sqft on two floors, generous basement, have not looked in the attic.

    About 30 receptacles switches sconces and ceiling lights.

    Customer wants a price to beat the seller down on the price.

    I would be running lots of 14 ga and some 12 ga as needed.

    What do you think it would take to pull fresh wire into the conduit?

    I am not sure yet if the local authority will demand arc fault breakers in a re-wire. The town next door will go to that next year on a rewire.

    If so, that increases somewhat the amount of white wire pulled.

    I'm thinking it will take me four days to do the pull.

    Opinions?

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    OPINIONS? YES! Make up a fairly detailed material list and price it, then if you can REALLY do it in 4 days, multiply your hourly rate by 32 and add it to the "selling price" of the materails, plus tax, and that is your number. WE do not know if the old wires will pull out of the conduits, or how much "knob and tube" will be replaced by Romex or EMC. Given the little bit we do know, I think my minimum would be about $6,000.00 with new switches and receptacles.
    Last edited by hj; 07-31-2013 at 01:23 PM.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member Homeownerinburb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    OPINIONS? YES! Make up a fairly detailed material list and price it, then if you can REALLY do it in 4 days, multiply your hourly rate by 32 and add it to the "selling price" of the materails, plus tax, and that is your number. WE do not know if the old wires will pull out of the conduits, or how much "knob and tube" will be replaced by Romex or EMC. Given the little bit we do know, I think my minimum would be about $6,000.00 with new switches and receptacles.
    Best that I know, all the knob and tube is abandoned and superceded already.

    Should have said, I am assuming that the kitchen needs no update, as it has recently experienced a full remodel.

    Looks to be about six circuits that need a re-pull. There are only three or four conductors per run of conduit, that I have seen. I think it will run ok.

    I was thinking $4k, but I'd take $6k for the job!

  4. #4
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    I will only do this type job at time and material. I set my man hour price plus 35% and all material at cost plus 35%.

    I use a lawyer as my base for the cost of my time.

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    No you are giving more information which was NOT in the original posting. I would stick with my original number as a good guess maximum, but do it time and material. Giving an estimate has to cover ALL the contingencies which could occur and that I do NOT want to "eat" if they happen, whether they do or not. If they do not, then I made more money and you overpaid, but that was the chance you took when you wanted to know what it would cost ahead of time. If I do it time and material, it would probably be less, but if things come up the price will escalate. That is the chance you take when you want to pay as little as possible. "Flat rate/Menu pricing" is the first case and you WILL pay for anything that COULD happen, it is included in the pricing.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  6. #6
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeownerinburb View Post

    Customer wants a price to beat the seller down on the price.
    Based on this alone I would even bother. Just on principle. What, do the sellers not know the wiring is like this? Was it some hidden "defect" that a H-I found?

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; Was it some hidden "defect" that a H-I found?

    You are kidding, right? H-I's can't find obvious "defects" , other than missing screws in switch cover plates.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  8. #8
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    quote; Was it some hidden "defect" that a H-I found?

    You are kidding, right? H-I's can't find obvious "defects" , other than missing screws in switch cover plates.
    How come this board does not have a "Thank" button?

  9. #9
    DIY Senior Member Homeownerinburb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    Based on this alone I would even bother. Just on principle. What, do the sellers not know the wiring is like this? Was it some hidden "defect" that a H-I found?
    The home inspector had a very long and detailed list, which was the basis of my costing for the negotiations.

    Here's how it works in my life: one of the most successful real estate agents in town is a good friend. He has many colleagues back at the office. When a purchase happens, I often get called for the repanel etc.

    Part of the dance is to help the buyer beat down the price in order that they feel they have a few extra thousand to pay me to do the work.

    I don't mind dancing my steps if it keeps getting me work. I like the remodel/rewire/upgrade work. It suits me somehow.

  10. #10
    DIY Senior Member Homeownerinburb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    I will only do this type job at time and material. I set my man hour price plus 35% and all material at cost plus 35%.

    I use a lawyer as my base for the cost of my time.
    I'll take that under advisement. I use a similar material cost plus.

  11. #11
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeownerinburb View Post
    The home inspector had a very long and detailed list, which was the basis of my costing for the negotiations.
    They always do. From what I have seen and heard probably 80% of what's on the list is bullsh*t, and ONLY there to get a lower price.


    Quote Originally Posted by Homeownerinburb View Post
    Part of the dance is to help the buyer beat down the price in order that they feel they have a few extra thousand to pay me to do the work.
    Yup, I know, that's my point. I have a fundamental problem with this dance, and the new system.

    I've said it many times before. In today's world a H-I has ONE purpose and one purpose alone: To get a lower price for the buyer. NOTHING more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Homeownerinburb View Post
    I don't mind dancing my steps if it keeps getting me work.
    I do mind. Maybe I shouldn't let principles get in the way of making bank.

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