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  1. gazdkw82
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    gazdkw82 Trainee Trainee Access

    Location:
    leicester
    i'm intrigued, what's your chosen way to quote for a job?

    Im looking at setting up on my own in the distant future and this is one of the things that im not really sure about.

    Do you have a add on a certain % for parts and then an hourly rate?
    Set price for specific jobs (sockets - £30 each, pendants £30 each etc?)
    a combination of both?
    Do you provide a parts breakdown with costs on an invoice?

    thanks
     
  2. FatAlan
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    FatAlan Trainee Trainee Access

    Location:
    Surrey
    Think I'd be quoting 100% the cost of parts plus labour & vat on top.
     
  3. gazdkw82
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    gazdkw82 Trainee Trainee Access

    Location:
    leicester
    So say for example you have a trade account and a job comes in. Do you then work out what you require, build up a trolly of items and then add this price to your hourly rate/cost of the job or do you add a % more onto the items prior to quoting?
     
  4. GMES
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    GMES Chief Gorilla Staff Member Trusted Advisor

    Lot's of different ways of doing it Gaz, some people just quote a total price paarts & labour included, some will break it down, it can all depend what the customer asks for.
    And again mark up on parts can vary dependant on what field you are in Ie Dom/comm/ind, personally I don't touch Domestic work as there is just no meat on the bones so to speak, you walk into any domestic job nowadays and you can guarantee the customer as a screwfix catalogue on the table so how can you get any mark up on it.
    @FatAlan@FatAlan do you mean you would try and put a 100% mark up on parts if so mate I don't think you will get away with it for long.
     
  5. SparkyChick
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    SparkyChick Making a banana smoothy for my fave gorilla Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    Business Name:
    SparkyChick
    I'm not discussing my pricing, quoting etc. on a public part of the forum, so I've PM'd you.

    Suffice to say, as @GMES@GMES has pointed out, having a mark up on materials in domestic is hard. I stopped doing it because I got quizzed a few times 'Why are you more expensive than ScrewFix?'.
     
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  6. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    initially tot up the poins. £xx per point id standard ( sockets, switches etc ), £yy per point for shower,cooker,fan, etc., £zzz for a CU toget a rough idea. then cost items, add mark-up, estimate time to do the job. if both figures are close to each other, then i know i'm in the right ballpark
     
  7. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    your answer to that is " if it goes wrong within 12 months, i replace for free. will screwfix come out and do that?"
     
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  8. FatAlan
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    FatAlan Trainee Trainee Access

    Location:
    Surrey
    No I'd charge cost price on materials although again as the OP's original question it would be good to know how others operate. How do people quote for cable and fixings for instance cos it ain't cheap and must be really easy to suffer unnecessary costs if you waste lots on first fixes.
     
  9. Andy78
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    Andy78 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Kingston upon Hull
    My reply is that I don't supply the tat that they sell. I provide a quality service which includes decent materials which are more expensive. I understand that sort of service is not for everyone. The person that wants a cheap job with cheap crap soon gets my drift.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  10. SparkyChick
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    SparkyChick Making a banana smoothy for my fave gorilla Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    Business Name:
    SparkyChick
    I steer clear of the cheaper stuff they sell because a lot of it is, as you say, tat and I don't want the hassle.

    As for the warranty side, I like your comeback @telectrix@telectrix :)
     
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  11. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    I only do domestic, and it is a pain with customers providing some of the products, usually lighting e.g. down lights. I draw a line though with basic stuff like cable etc, walk away from those ones. Normally work my jobs out, by calculating hours, plus materials, which I mark up then adding a percentage on top.

    Most of my jobs are small works, so I can understand those doing on price per point on larger jobs.
     
  12. SparkyChick
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    SparkyChick Making a banana smoothy for my fave gorilla Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    Business Name:
    SparkyChick
    Fixings and such like, depending on how many and what I use, I stick on a few quid to cover them, but they are always a best guess. I'm not going to waste time counting and pricing screws, wall plugs, sheathing etc.

    Cable, I estimate and charge by the meter for most jobs because they are small.
     
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  13. FatAlan
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    FatAlan Trainee Trainee Access

    Location:
    Surrey
    I've yet to enter this world but from a customer point of an itemised quote for parts and materials and an idea of labour costs would always go a long way in my opinion to deciding to offer the job. Saves for any unpleasant surprises or hassel on both sides later on. Perhaps I'm stating the obvious though!
     
  14. Pat H
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    Pat H Don't ask, get an Electrician in.

    Location:
    Ware Herts
    Business Name:
    Sparks of Intelligence
    I'm not VAT registered and don't want to be so its easier for me to let the customer buy the main items. My quote is for labour and sundries like cable clips junction boxes etc. And I'll give an indicative price based on an estimated amount of time on the job plus the sundries. Sometimes it goes really well and I bill under the quote other times if unexpected issues arise I discuss with the customer and agree additional time/cost.
     
  15. SparkyChick
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    SparkyChick Making a banana smoothy for my fave gorilla Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    Business Name:
    SparkyChick
    Personally, I like to know what I'm getting into with any work and I like to see a fully itemised bill so I can challenge anything I find questionable (same reason why I like to see the parts they've taken off my car when it goes in for work). I try and treat all my customers how I want to be treated.

    I think it does go a long way to helping with trust, something which a lot of people don't have for those in the trades.
     
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  16. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Don't think you can provide a completely itemised quote, not like getting you car serviced, 6 litres of oil, oil filter & air filter.

    How long's a piece of string, or how many metres of cable is gonna take. Will you need joint boxes, and bits of the existing install might need replacing. That's why the quotation, needs to reflect for minor additions. Often give a separate price for the materials, but its not broken down into individual items.
     
  17. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    i generally use BG nexus accessories and CUs. buy from an online supplier who's very good and the prices are better than screwfix. means i can get anything i'm short of locally @ screwfix if i've forgottenn one or customer wants any extras.
     
  18. SparkyChick
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    SparkyChick Making a banana smoothy for my fave gorilla Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    Business Name:
    SparkyChick
    I agree, and whilst I try and make my quotes/estimates complete, I generally only include accessories and cable estimates, i.e. the big stuff which is a definite requirement, with terms that make it clear they are only estimates and depending on what goes on, the final invoice will be adjusted to reflect accordingly, but the final invoice is always as complete a breakdown as I can make it to ensure transparency.
     
  19. Midwest
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    Midwest Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Thought you said 'I'm not going to waste time counting and pricing screws, wall plugs, sheathing etc'. :)
     
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  20. SparkyChick
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    SparkyChick Making a banana smoothy for my fave gorilla Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    Business Name:
    SparkyChick
    I should perhaps reword that... as complete a breakdown as I can make it before I loose the will to live :)

    Screws (£0.05 each) - 3 off
    Brown Sheathing (£0.50/metre) - 0.025m
    ** ARGH!!! **

    I might reconsider if I ever get an apprentice "Count the screws before we start and when we've done, oh and I need sheathing measured to the nearest mm". Somehow I think that working relationship would come to an abrupt end :)
     
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  21. Murdoch
    Online

    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    I quote for the complete job - I NEVER separate out the parts..... the minute you down that route you will get beaten down on price ALL the time. Beware the client with the Screwfix catalogue on the kitchen table!

    If customer supply parts, I make sure I'm involved in the choice, remind the client that I will NOT cover any warranty on such parts and I also increase my hourly rate to cover the hassle.... and if they get it wrong, then I charge for all time lost.

    I get about 80% of my business from recommendation or repeat business, so my strategy seems to work.
     
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  22. leep82
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    leep82 Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Stoke on Trent
    Business Name:
    L.M.P Electrical
    Having recently gone self employed i often wonder whether im to cheap or even to expensive with my price. Generally only do small works for now, and once ive been to look at a job i have a good idea of how long it will take me. I then use an hourly rate to determine my price. I get some customers wanting to supply there own materials others are happy for me to supply. One thing i never do is give a ' rough cost ' over the phone. That extra socket or lighting point might only take you an hour but when you get there and theres no bonding to the gas or water try explaining how your original price has now probably more than doubled
     
  23. Murdoch
    Online

    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    Hit, nail and head spring to mind.

    The only cost I will quote over the phone is my minimum charge for PAT testing!
     
  24. anthonybragg
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    anthonybragg Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    NORTHAMPTON
    Business Name:
    CHARLTEC ELECTRICAL LTD
    are you VAT registered then
     
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  25. Andy78
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    Andy78 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Kingston upon Hull
    I joined this forum when starting self employment and it was invaluable to me for advice from the experienced. I'll try to pass on what I was told and also what I have learned in the past 5 years.

    Don't worry too much about being too cheap or too expensive, you'll always be one or the other sometimes depending on others that quote and the means and expectations of the customer. As long as you are priced so that you are earning what you need then your prices are right for you.
    If you are losing most jobs you are too much, if you are winning every job you are too cheap. Simple.

    If you are aiming to be in the middle of the local market price wise, just stick to your prices and the customers you want should gravitate to you in the natural order of things.

    A first hour charge is essential if doing lots of small domestic jobs as it covers your time and expenses bobbing about between jobs. More than that though, it weeds out the skinflints at the first hurdle. Those more likely to quibble an hours time for a small simple job are not the ones you want to running about after.

    For small jobs, callout jobs, or other jobs on an hourly rate, I always quote my prices over the phone before even agreeing to turn up. Amazing how many people don't ask, I often end up saying "would you like to know my rates ?" There is always the odd one who "Will ring me back" after hearing them.
     
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  26. Leader
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    Leader Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Bucks
    This is something I struggle with too, not wanting to undersell myself but not wanting to be greedy. My other half is a painter decorator and I've been telling her for years that she doesn't quote enough. She gets a lot of work purely through recommendations and works long hours. The other thing I really need to do is some proper cost analysis on different wholesalers and set up a spreadsheet as it's hard keeping track mentally of where different materials are cheapest. Has anyone else done something like this?
     
  27. GMES
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    GMES Chief Gorilla Staff Member Trusted Advisor

    I do feel for the guys who purely do domestic because it must be a pain competing with all the big chains for materials and kev the kitchen fitter for the Labour, but as already said by the guys in the know-don't sell yourselves short, I realise I am very fortunate to only deal with Industrial and commercial work, as an example I have been on a project now that has spanned from october 2015 and won't end until later this year and too be fair most of it has been a case of providing a rough cost per section of the job but I have never been held to a figure, but obviously the downside can be large amounts of money outstanding at any one time and that's not something that suits all Electricians.
     
  28. SparkyChick
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    SparkyChick Making a banana smoothy for my fave gorilla Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    South Wales
    Business Name:
    SparkyChick
    Not exactly, but I know that if I want MCBs, RCBOs I go to TLC because I find them cheapest, same with bulk cable, but for nearly everything else I find I can get a better deal at ScrewFix for equivalent parts from the same manufacturer.

    I do have a standard price list for commonly used items (like Wagos, cable, socket outlets, backboxes etc.) which I update when I buy say a new reel of cable to reflect the price per m of that reel as it does seem to be quite variable.

    I did set out with the intention of getting the best price for the customer on every quote, but if you do that religiously, you'd never do anything else, so if it's something I've not supplied before I go looking, but in most cases I just use my price list and buy from the supplier I used last time.
     
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  29. Andy78
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    Andy78 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Kingston upon Hull
    Nope. I use one wholesaler for 95% of my gear. Giving them most of my trade lets me work out deals for the stuff that is not the cheapest with them. The stuff they can't compete on just stays in a mental log.
    I don't get everything the cheapest with them but a few percent here and there is worth the convenience of a one stop shop, both for materials collection and for billing.
     
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  30. gazdkw82
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    gazdkw82 Trainee Trainee Access

    Location:
    leicester
    I agree with you on that Andy. I prefer the idea of using one place, building a rapour and benefit from maybe extra customer support
     
  31. Murdoch
    Online

    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    I use 3 suppliers, 2 big ones and 1 local independent ..... These 3 all know where they stand and like Andy if something is a little more than another supplier its not worth the paperwork and wasted time collecting the kit.

    With loyalty you get strong relationships and I've never had a warranty return quibbled, nor on the rare occasions slipped up and bought the wrong part, had a return and credit declined.

    Chasing around to save a pound or 2 simply isn't worth it...
     
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