A Guide to Electrician Estimates
An electrician’s estimate may seem steep to you, but it is important for you to know the various jobs that an estimate should include in order to better understand this document. If a professional electrician gives you an estimate, it should include a neat and clearly-written list of all the jobs that have to be done. It should include the price of the entire job, an accurate description of the work, terms of payment and the length of time required for the job. A good electrical quote will also include any additional expenses or exemptions that might occur in the course of the intended job.
There are basically two ways of calculating electrical estimates according to the job that the electrician undertakes: based on square footage or itemized. Normally, if the construction is new the electrical quotes are based on a square foot basis. The electrical contractor calculates a predetermined dollar amount according to the square footage of the new construction. He includes all his costs within that estimate, for example: labor charges, material, permits, profit margin and also operating charges.
If you approach an electrical technician for repairs or supplements to a service that already exists, you will receive an itemized estimate. All the tasks which need to be performed will be listed, as well as all the materials which are required for it. Prices for each item will be quoted separately, such as price per hour and cost of materials, and the total will include taxes.
You should be able to understand the detailed description in the electrical estimate. If something is not clear, it is best to ask questions and get your doubts cleared before the electrician begins the job. After all, any kind of misunderstanding is eventually going to be a burden for you, especially financially.
Clarify the terms of payment before starting with the job. If the job is very big and has to be carried out on a new construction, most electrical contractors ask for a down payment, which is an acceptable practice. But if the repairs are lower than $1500 and the contractor expects a down payment from you, it may point to the contractor's dire financial condition. The last payment should be made when the job is absolutely complete, has been reviewed by you and you are totally satisfied.
If the job is very large, it is dangerous to sign a contract which is open-ended. A professional electrician’s estimate will give you a date of completion. If the job is new, a delay may occur due to weather conditions, schedule of electrical inspectors or availability of materials. But the delay should be justified and should not be postponed by more than a week.
The electrical estimate should include any additional expenses, for example the sanction of a construction permit may add some financial burden. It is important for you to have the entire electrical estimate on a hard copy, as it is equivalent to a contract. Do not be satisfied with electrical estimates which are given verbally. In the long run, a written document is beneficial both to you and the electrical contractor.