Residential electrical jobs are sometimes difficult to bid. While the diagram says one thing, the wiring within the home might be something entirely different. There are many restrictions on and guidelines for residential wiring and electricity. But, you can ensure a pretty accurate bid by completing a walk-through on the job site, figuring a correct material take-off and including true expenses associated with the job. Follow these tips and your bidding for a residential electrical job will be easier.
If you have not worked with your potential customer before, get credit references from him. Ask him for references from his bank. Feel free to contact the banker for information about her relationship with your potential customer. Knowing if your customer has bad credit before you make the bid is extremely helpful and will save you time in the long run. Having a slow-paying or a non-paying customer is not going to help your business profit.
Determine if the job will make your business any money. If the job has so many details or difficulties that it will take more time than it's worth for you, decline bidding on the project. If you don't think you'll win the bid, this is the time to decline bidding.
Acquire the plans for the wiring and compare them against the actual job. Investigate at the job site to determine if there are any inaccuracies with the plans. Identify any problem areas that will cause the bid to increase.
Compile a list of all necessary supplies, fixtures, boxes, wire and other materials needed for the job. Calculate these costs for the material take-off section of the bid.
Calculate all expenses associated with the job. This might include all necessary permits and inspections, rental equipment or sub-contractors. Sometimes a sub-contractor must be hired to install a security system, dig a trench or pour concrete.
Put all of the information you have collected into a proposal. This should include your costs, material take-off, expenses and labor. It's always wise to increase your labor by a few hours to ensure you're making a profit or, at the least, breaking even. Provide detailed explanation for these parts of the bid. Indicate on the bid that the price is good for 30 days (or whatever time frame you would like to use). Provide your contact information, payment specifications and any important exclusions. This proposal works much like a contract, outlining what will and will not be included in the job.
Review the bid. Show the bid to your assistant and ask him to review it to see if you made any mistakes or left anything out.
Never bid too low. You're in this to make money.