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The Importance of Electrical Estimating

electrical estimating

Whether you’re an electrical contractor or a business owner, you know how important it is to accurately estimate your costs. Getting this right can help you win more work and improve your bottom line.

Estimating is the process of determining all of the costs involved in a project, from material needs to labor expenses. It’s also a key part of building bids and winning contracts.


Electrical estimating is the process of determining the cost of materials and labour required for an electrical job. This process is important because it helps contractors ensure that they stay within a budget while still getting the job done.

Estimators can use several methods to determine the cost of electrical materials. These methods vary depending on the size of the firm and the type of work being estimated.

A common method for estimating electrical materials is to create a bill of materials, which includes all the parts of a job and how much each piece costs. This process is a good idea for smaller firms, but can be inaccurate when used by larger firms.

Another method of estimating materials is to create a unit price, which gathers all the costs of an item into a single number. This is a good option for residential projects, but it can be risky when used for commercial or industrial bids.

Creating a unit price requires an understanding of the materials being used, which can be difficult for an inexperienced estimator. Having a system to automatically generate unit prices can help save time and ensure that estimates are accurate.

In addition, having a way to track labor costs is also vital for a successful estimate. This is because it allows estimators to see how many hours they need for a job, which can help them make sure that their bids are in line with the actual amount of time they need to complete the project.

An effective method of estimating labor costs is mobile time tracking, which provides more accurate information than paper or manual time tracking. This improves accuracy and decreases the number of overages at the end of the project.

Electricians often charge per hour, so it’s important for them to know how much time they need to complete a project. This will allow them to be more competitive in bidding on jobs and ensure that they don’t under or overcharge their customers.

Using electrical estimating software is the best way to automate this part of the estimate process. The software should have a large database of items that are commonly used by electricians, which will reduce the time it takes to build an estimate. It should also include tens of thousands of pre-built assemblies that can be modified to meet specific needs.


Electrical estimating is the process of determining what materials, equipment, and labor are required to complete an electrical project. It is important to accurately estimate all of these costs to ensure that you can charge your client the right price for the work that they need done.

There are several different types of estimating methods that you can use for electrical projects. One of the more common is based on the per-point method. The per-point method is used when a job requires a certain amount of work, such as running cable from a point to another or installing a single socket.

Using the per-point method can lead to overbilling, because it doesn’t take into account all of the different factors that impact the cost of the job. For example, a project may require more cable than a previous one, or it might involve drilling into concrete. This will add to the overall cost of the job and potentially cause your company to underbid the project.

A more accurate way to estimate the cost of electrical work is to use labor units. These are a standard way to calculate labor costs, and they are widely recognized by NECA.

The labor unit is a value that you assign to the amount of labour that is needed to install a particular part or fixture. You can also use the labor unit to help you determine how much equipment or materials are needed to complete a job.

Another way to determine how much labor is needed for a job is by using the National Electrical Code (NEC). You can also use NEC tables to figure out how long it will take to complete the task at hand.

When estimating for your electrical business, you should make sure that you get the details of all specifications clearly written down. This will ensure that your estimates are as accurate as possible and will prevent you from submitting incorrect bids that could hurt your business.

You should also use electrical estimating software to avoid underestimating labor for your electrical projects. These programs can help you quickly and easily create detailed breakdowns of the labor that is required for electrical projects like running conduit or wiring new panels. By investing in this technology, you will be able to grow your bottom line without worrying about underestimating labor costs for any future electrical projects.


Overhead costs are the fixed and variable expenses that companies incur outside of direct sales or production. They include rent, insurance, and utilities, among others. They also include business equipment, marketing, and legal costs.

In order to make the most of your business’s overhead, you need to understand these costs and how they relate to your output. This way, you can use your overhead efficiently and set competitive prices for your goods and services.

Overhead can be broken down into three types: fixed, variable, and semi-variable. In general, fixed overhead includes costs that remain the same over time; for example, rent or depreciation on a company’s assets. Variable overhead is a blend of fixed and variable costs that may fluctuate with business activity.

When estimating for electrical projects, you need to consider the size of your company’s overhead. Larger companies generally have higher overhead percentages than smaller businesses. This is because larger companies have more staff and equipment, which requires more money to run.

A contractor with a small overhead percentage can compete more effectively against larger competitors. However, if you’re competing against multiple contractors, you should trim your markup to avoid losing money on each job. This way, you can still have enough profit to grow your business and take on more projects in the future.

You should consider overhead costs when calculating the amount to mark up on each project you bid. Whether you are bidding on a small job worth tens of thousands or a big project that will be worth millions, it’s critical to know your overhead cost percentage and adjust your markup accordingly.

For instance, if you’re bidding on a job that will be worth a few thousand dollars, you might decide to add more than the standard 20% markup. This way, you’ll have a higher profit margin to cover the increased labor and material costs of completing the job.

Alternatively, if you’re bidding on large projects that will be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, you might cut your markup to avoid losing money. This will allow you to win the project and pay for all the materials you need to complete the work.


Electrical estimating is a vital part of the construction process. It helps owners determine how much a project will cost and ensures that contractors will have enough money to finish it. It also helps electricians know how much they need to charge for their services, so they can make a profit and stay in business.

When determining the total cost of an electrical installation, an estimator needs to consider the materials required to complete the job. This includes the amount of wiring, conduits, and other equipment. It also involves calculating labor and overhead costs.

One way to estimate the cost of a project is by using unit pricing, which gathers all of the material and labor costs into a single number. It is a good method for residential projects, but can be risky when applied to commercial and industrial work.

Another common estimating method is to determine the total hours required to complete a job. Estimators can use an online tool or hire a professional to calculate the exact hours necessary. It is important to note that this method can be inaccurate if a contractor does not have a precise sense of how long a project will take.

To figure out the actual cost of an electrical installation, estimators must know how long it will take to complete. They can do this by calculating the time it will take to rough wire and install each element of the project, including a single fixture or switch.

It is best to use an online time solution for estimating labor, as this will provide more accurate data than pen and paper notes. A time solution will also allow you to see how long other electricians are taking to complete similar jobs.

Whether you have a small business or are a large contractor, streamlining your estimating process is crucial for both productivity and profitability. It is also important to ensure that your estimating system doesn’t leave you vulnerable to mistakes, which can be very costly.

A comprehensive software solution like ServiceTitan allows you to streamline your estimating process, so you can spend more time on your core business and less on administrative tasks. This allows you to bring in more profit and grow your company faster.