Many people wonder as to how long it takes to estimate an electrical project. There is no clear answer to that question as many factors need to be taken into consideration. It is a learning process, just as how it took you to learn to bend conduit in your early days as an electrical contractor or foreman. The basis of all electrical is knowing the cost of a project. Electrical project estimating is the art of predicting or knowing how much it will cost to complete an electrical project. The accuracy of your electrical estimate is directly proportional to the quality of your per unit costs as per Tim Jay, who is a professional estimators. Per unit cost of electrical items and labor vary with respect to time and need to be updated periodically in order to maintain accuracy. You can checkout Tim’s linkedin profile at http://www.linkedin.com/company/tj-electrical-estimators
As implied above, electrical estimating is a gateway skill. If you are an electrical contractor and you are hoping to stay in business you really need to use the right tools and have the skill set for estimation. The key is to increase your knowledge, by way of reading and watching videos online and then later putting into practice all what you have learnt. There are plenty of resources on the web for electrical estimators to explore.
The Ultimate Guide to Successful Electrical Estimating
The outsourced approached: If you are a small or start up electrical contractor and would like to outsource your initial projects, look for a freelance electrical estimator in your area. A major benefit of using a freelancer reduces the burden of having an in house estimator, overhead expenses for computer, software and office space.
The do it your self approach: It sometimes can take you a while to learn all the fine points in the estimation process. In order to do that you should be using an electrical estimating software. If you are not using a software, you are not using all the tools and skills you need, or you are not using your full capability.
Selecting and buying an electrical estimating software is the second step in being successful with estimating. Learn to use all tools that this software has to offer and exploit it to its maximum. You can checkout software from Maxwell systems, Bestbid, ConEst, Turbobid, Electrical bid manager etc and purchase one based on reviews and tools that come with it. Always look for a software that that is flexible, simple to use, has a wide variety of reports and is portable (can be used either in the office or at home). A single user client license for a standard estimating software system costs between $2,500 and $4,000. A Multi-user or Network versions will cost more, based on how many users will need to be licensed to use it.
The Manual electrical estimating process: The manual or by hand estimating process depends on the estimators knowledge of electrical installations. This knowledge can never be replaced by a machine or software process. Today’s estimators need to master the merging of both the manual and software methods of estimating an electrical project in order to get accurate estimating costs.