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How to decide who gets the job.

Bill_68 Member Posts: 25


  • gary_6
    gary_6 Member Posts: 60

    I'm getting electrical work done in my home. I received two estimates and told them the same as to what I want done. Both are full time electricians. One estimate was for nearly 14k the other for slightly over 9k. I just wanted some feedback on what would cause the wide range in estimates. The same was true when I did brick work on my home. Some of the estimates I received were for double the amount I paid and the work came out great. What gives??? Is the guy that does a good job at a lower rate just better at keeping his overhead in line???
  • Jerry_15
    Jerry_15 Member Posts: 379

    The definitive word on estimating was given by the father/plumber in his cashmere coat in the movie Moonstruck. It starts out "There's three kinds of pipe...". You should always get what you pay for, sometimes you pay a bit more. Check their references, and where they keep the boat docked. Good luck
  • Ron Schroeder
    Ron Schroeder Member Posts: 998
    What if

    you had a third quote for 11.5K would they seem so far apart?? Not knowing are they both companies with staff or is one a single op working out of his truck, grade of materials used?? Maybe they see two different ways of doing the same job?? Just how specific were you as to what needs to be done ie exactly how many outlets where how many total circuts?? Lots of variables

    Good Luck
  • gary_6
    gary_6 Member Posts: 60

    I usually only get two tops three estimates and decide based on who I feel comfortable with, references, price etc. I didn't expect such a big difference in the estimates. I could see 2k but nearly 5 k is a very big difference. I went over it the same with with both contractors. I'm not sure of the size of the outfits.
  • bob young
    bob young Member Posts: 2,177
    proposal vs. free estimate

    that is one reason we charge a fee for a written detailed proposal that specifies both material & scope of work. a free estimate is not the same.
  • jim lockard
    jim lockard Member Posts: 1,059

    It could be the guy that KNOWS his cost of doing business thats giving you the higher number. J.Lockard
  • John L
    John L Member Posts: 118

    Start off with what you wanted quoted. Was it specific or just to get a "ballpark" of an approximate cost? When I quote on HVAC, I have to include material, equipment and labor. If is routine procedure it is easier to quote on this, however on a more complex job many variables come into play. Today for instance I got a call for a furnace and a/c. Fifteen minutes later the same guy called back and asked what is "duckwork", well it turns he has a boiler and baseboard. I guess the point is that you have to be as specific as possible. The higher priced quote may have included a lot more material, labor etc. Examine both quotes closely and anything you don't understand call back for clarification.
  • gary_6
    gary_6 Member Posts: 60

    Or like someone else stated maybe it's the guy that wants to have the big boat.
  • Estimate psycology

    The high priced guy usually has allot of work,gives a high estimate and if you take, it is worth the effort to do the job.ALSO the low price guy may subcontract out the job or he needs the job to keep his men busy.If one doesn;t want to do the job a high estimate is given.a friend of mine is an electrian he says there is no money in residential he only does commercial.some guys work from home ,some from a 3500sq ft building.does a person answer the phone or is it a tape..does he get a new truck every year like my competion or hold on to the truck for years.does he pay his guys benefits or a hour wage only.the only cost that is the same is the materials,
  • Scott Gregg
    Scott Gregg Member Posts: 187
    It's common now

    to put out a higher price when you have all the work you can handle. (As stated already) Or if you really would rather not get the job. Some folks these days have plenty of work and their crews are already streached. (Supply vs. Demand and all that)

    Don't loose too much over it if you have checked them both out and feel confident in their work.
  • Tony_23
    Tony_23 Member Posts: 1,033
    Do you have a boat ?

    > Or like someone else stated maybe it's the guy

    > that wants to have the big boat.

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  • Tony_23
    Tony_23 Member Posts: 1,033

    Do you have a boat ? Or another expensive toy ?

    I don't, but sure would like to.

    Why should I live at subsistence level just so my customers won't feel like I ripped them off ?
    I've actually had people say I must've overcharged them for their new furnace/boiler because I bought a "new" used truck that was 7 years old ! OUCH !
    These same people think nothing of the extras they have, as if they deserve it and somehow I don't.

    In case you couldn't tell, this is a sore spot :)
    Nothing personal.

    If you're comfortable w/ the lower priced co's work, go for it. Maybe the higher priced co. doesn't need or want the job.

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  • gary_6
    gary_6 Member Posts: 60

    No I don't have expensive toys or a boat I'm just a middle of the road guy like you guys, my big luxury is a year old Toyota Camry. I was just wondering what caused the nearly 5k difference in price estimates. Thanks for all the replies.
  • Jim_65
    Jim_65 Member Posts: 184

    have never bid a job higher just because we are too busy with already signed contracts and ongoing projects. Why would anyone want to go through the bidding process if they didn't want the work?

    I have never been the low bidder. But then again I have been brought in numerous times to straighten out the low bidders work! Always cost more to fix what wasn't thought out and installed incorrectly.

    Good luck!
  • Plumb Bob
    Plumb Bob Member Posts: 97

    I once got two quotes for major electrical work, both from major local companies, and one was twice the other. I went with the lower one and they did a good job; you can't do much to screw up electrical work anyway, you have to follow code.

    Estimating time required to do a job is an inexact science, which is the main reason for the difference. Electricians and plumbers like to work for time and materials; for the HO, however, this is not really comfortable because you don't know how fast they will work. Even they themselves don't know how fast they can work, which is why their estimates will vary so widely.

  • bob young
    bob young Member Posts: 2,177
    perfect electrical work not

    That has got to be one of the most hilarious statements i ever heard. " you can't do too much to screw up electrical work. " i could tell you a few stories. sometimes it is also a little fatal ,too. you know like getting dead.
  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    What did

    the higher bidder give as his reason?

    Did you ask him?

    Mark H

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  • Jerry_15
    Jerry_15 Member Posts: 379

    It's really not that tough. Get references of past jobs of this nature. Actually contact those references and discuss the job. You're just being lazy and looking for a magic solution. Good luck.
  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    Scope of work or set of plans??

    Did you provide a list or any sort of plans? Seems for that kind of $$'s you would want a written bid outlining exactly what you will be getting.

    Does a permit need to be pulled? Make sure all bidders are licensed and insured. When you award the contract request a copy of their liability and workers comp insurance.

    That is a wide enough spread you may want to get a third bid. considering material costs are not that wide, sounds like someone is working for free :)

    hot rod

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