Electrical Estimating tips that help you win more jobs.
Take lots of pictures on a job walk – A picture tells a thousand words!
When you get back to your office, print the pictures or store them in a file folder and refer to them when you do material take-off. OK this may sounds dumb but I will just throw it in any way for FREE!
When you take pictures of panel name plates (or any pictures), check each picture to make sure it came out clear 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!
How would I know this?? Yep, I’ve done it! 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!
Take pictures of all job related switch gear and panel name plates. That way you will have exact information to purchase circuit breakers or stand-off hardware for circuit breakers.
What are you looking for when taking pictures of panels and switch gear?
- Look for blank spaces which allows 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 for an additional cost.
- Look for circuit breakers that do not have wires terminated to them. You can remove them and install new ones in their place if needed.
- Look for stand-off hardware in switch gear for future circuit breakers. Is it there or do you need to provide it? When estimating electrical projects you get stand-off hardware priced with the circuit breakers.
Also, it will likely require a complete power shut-down to install stand-off hardware. Since shut-downs are often required to be done after hours. Make sure you include overtime hours in your estimate if you have to install it.
- 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 this can give you a real competitive edge. Your bid can be more competitive than those who do not know there are spare empty conduits. Take pictures of site conditions
- Openings or door ways you would have to use to transport items through like transformers, panels or large fixture pallets.
- Inside ceilings and roof structures to determine how you would support conduit and raceways.
- Walls or concrete walls that would need core drilling or penetration. Pictures help you remember intricate details of a job. They help you estimate more accurately and more competitively.
Related: Job Walk Part 1
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