STRATEGY #33 – Part 2 – How can you be more competitive and win more jobs? Do a job walk.
In part 1 we talked about when estimating electrical costs it is important to ask the right questions.
In Part 2 we cover other job walk tips.
A picture tells a thousand words!
Take lots of pictures. When you get back to your office print the pictures, store them in a file folder and refer to them when you start doing material take-off.
What should you take pictures of?
Take pictures of all switch gear and panel name- plates. That way you will have exact information to purchase circuit breakers or stand-off hardware for circuit breakers.
OK maybe this sounds obvious or dumb but I will throw it in any way!
When you take pictures of panel name plates check the picture to make sure it came out clearly and legible. If you get back to your office and find out the pictures you took of panel name-plates are fuzzy you will kick yourself!
Of course SAFETY FIRST; but if you can, open up panels and switch gear and take lots of pictures. This can give you a huge edge!
What are you looking for when taking pictures inside of panels and switch gear?
- Look for blank spaces for future circuit breaker space. You must have enough circuit space for new circuits. If there is not enough circuit breaker space for new circuits you would have to add panels.
- Look for circuit breakers that do not have wires terminated to them which means – you can remove them and install new ones in their place.
- Look for stand-off hardware in switch gear for future circuit breakers. Stand-off hardware is usually made from copper and it is what connects molded circuit breakers to the switchgear buss bars.It is important to know if there is existing stand-off hardware in panels or to know if it is required and missing.If the panel or switch gear needs stand-off hardware and does not have it, it can be very expensive to buy. In the case of estimating electrical projects you would get it priced with the circuit breakers needed. Don’t miss this detail! It could cost you 4 to 8 hours or more of overtime and several hundred dollars for the hardware. Also, it will likely require a complete power shut-down to install the stand-off hardware. Since shut-downs are often required to be done after hours, you get into having to pay over-time to have the standoff hardware installed. I cannot stress this enough!It can be super expensive if you miss required stand-off hardware!
- Look for spare empty conduits running out of the top or bottom of the panels. When you find empty conduits, find out where they go and determine if you can use them on the project. If so, using existing conduits, especially feeder conduits, can save you a huge amount of time and money. Knowing that can make your bid more competitive than those who do not know there are spare empty conduits. Knowing this can give you a real edge!Take pictures of circuit breakers so you can tell if they have wires terminated to them. If not you will know there is circuit breaker space available for future circuit breakers.
When I do a job walk I take pictures of panel left side, panel right side, top and bottom. (Plus panel name plates)Then I have all the details needed to estimate accurately what is in existing panels.
To be continued………..
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