How to Bid Electrical Work

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Even though you may be a very knowledgeable electrician, you may still lack the skills required when bidding electrical work. Many variables come into play when making the bid for an electrical project. These may include supplies required, extra labor for more difficult conditions and necessary sub-contractor expenses. As the electrician on the job, it's your responsibility to figure in all of these things when presenting a bid to your client. Here are some tips to help.

Check your potential client's references for good credit and acceptable payment history. You don't want to waste your time making a bid for someone who will end up being a non- or slow-paying customer.

Analyze the job. Determine if it's one that can be profitable to you and your business. Some jobs are so difficult based on their conditions, they really aren't profitable when it comes down to the bottom line. Also, figure in your chance of winning the bid. If you're pretty sure the client will be taking bids from another contractor who consistently undercuts himself just to win the bid, don't waste your time.

Review the plans involved in the job. For instance, look at all wiring diagrams of the home or business. After reviewing the plans, go on a walk around the potential jobsite. Examine the current wiring and conditions. Measure various aspects of the site to ensure the diagrams are true. Take notes about anything that may affect the job positively or negatively.

Add up the material take-off. This includes all fixtures, supplies and necessary items needed to be purchased for the job.

Include the expenses for the job. This may contain costs for sub-contractors, permits, rental equipment, permits and concrete work. Any cost that you'll have to pay to someone else as a result of this job needs to be figured in here.

Review your bid information. Look for anything you may have missed. Ensure your profit and any overhead costs are covered.

Create your professional proposal. Include costs with line item amounts. Be sure to include your contact information, along with exclusions, limitations and guidelines for the bid. This would include lack of liability for various things due to power loss, expiration date of bid and conditions of the contract. Payment information should also be included within your proposal.


Look at other professional proposals for guidance.


Never waver from your bid because a customer told you that another company bid lower. This may not always be true.