Electricity is the lifeblood of the home that most of us take for granted. That’s why decoding electrical estimates is important as electrical work is highly specialized and homeowners rely on electricians often. Thus, it is important to know what to look for especially when decoding electrical estimates and to understand how they are constructed.
At Wire Craft, we pride ourselves on Straight Forward Pricing. You can approve the cost before we start any project.
Evaluate the Job in Person
The most accurate estimates are done in person. While it may be convenient to obtain an estimate over the phone while describing the problem, electrical work can be very technical and it’s best to have an electrician come to your home to evaluate the problem in person. Then, they can obtain a better understanding of what the job entails.
The evaluation should start with a project summary detailing the overview of the project. This provides a clear understanding of what the project requires, what the end result should be and what the customer is paying for. A project summary helps avoid miscommunication between the contractor and the client.
The body of the estimate lists the project cost line items. Budgeting accurately protects the contractor as well as keeps the customer happy. The more detailed the project costs, the more transparency the contract provides the customer.
Primary project costs include but are not limited to labor, time, materials and permits.
Labor costs will depend on the experience level of the individuals working the project. Many electrical projects require highly skilled labor, so this is typically the most expensive portion of the estimate.
The estimate should include the materials required for the project. If the client has already purchased some of the materials, the estimate should highlight that as well.
Depending on the project, you may require permits to do the work. These often have some associated costs. In a previous post, we discuss the process of obtaining permits and common projects that require permits in Seattle. Obtaining a permit for electrical work may also require inspections that sometimes incur minor costs.
Well written, clear estimates set great electricians apart from the beginning. It establishes trust with the customer and lays the foundation for a strong working relationship.