Estimating is a critical skill for any electrical contractor. Without the ability to estimate a project accurately, you could find that you aren't getting paid enough to turn a profit.
Estimating an electrical construction project requires careful consideration and attention to detail. Here are three key aspects of the project that you must research thoroughly if you need an electrical construction project estimate.
1. Overhead Expenses
It can be easy for a contractor to get so focused on the materials and labor required to complete an electrical job that they forget about the overhead costs associated with the project. You must factor all overhead costs into your estimate if you want to generate a reasonable profit.
Overhead costs include things like accounting fees, insurance obtained for the project, phone bills, fuel costs, and taxes. If you don't factor all of your overhead costs into each project estimate, you will be losing money over time.
Takeoffs are essentially the estimated quantities of materials that will be needed to complete an electrical construction project. It's critical to take the time to carefully review all of the plans and drawings pertaining to the project when estimating takeoffs.
You will need to identify the components and materials required for each electrical element included in the plans and drawings for your estimate to be accurate.
If you underestimate your takeoffs, you will have to incur the additional expense of submitting a change order for the project. It's better to err on the side of too many materials when estimating takeoffs to avoid embarrassing and costly shortages once work begins.
Labor costs will play a significant role in determining the overall estimate you provide to potential clients. Many factors will come into play when you are trying to estimate labor costs. You will need to consider the size of your business, the overall experience level of your employees, and the complexity of the project. If the work involved in a project will require the skills of a master electrician, your labor costs will be higher than if you could utilize an apprentice to complete the work.
Carefully consider the number of hours that will be required to complete your project and the skill level required so that your estimate will be as accurate as possible. Creating accurate electrical construction estimates can help your business secure more jobs and become more profitable over time.