Estimating Software For Electricians

There are many ways to improve your estimating process, but one of the best ways is finding an app that will make your job easier. As we’ve outlined in this post, there are lots of obstacles that make estimating difficult for electricians. These include lack of accurate information and resources; lack of access to computers or internet in the field; difficulty communicating pricing via phone or email; and time constraints due to client demands. By using an app like Electrician Estimating Software that takes care of these problems, you’ll find it much easier to get accurate estimates done quickly!

In this guide, we review the aspects of Estimating Software For Electricians, electrical estimating software for small contractor, commercial electrical estimating software, and do electricians offer free estimates.

Estimating Software For Electricians

When you’re an electrician, the last thing you want to do is waste time. You need quick access to your estimates so that you can complete them as quickly as possible. However, there are many obstacles in the way of that goal:

Electricians face a unique set of challenges when it comes to estimating software. Their industry poses many obstacles to accurate and efficient estimating. The first is the sheer variety of projects that require reliable estimation. There is a large range of both large and small projects that electricians must be able to estimate for.

Electricians face a unique set of challenges when it comes to estimating software. Their industry poses many obstacles to accurate and efficient estimating. The first is the sheer variety of projects that require reliable estimation. There is a large range of both large and small projects that electricians must be able to estimate for, which can make it difficult to find software that fits your needs without making sacrifices.

The second obstacle relates directly to this challenge: there are many different types of electrician services, each with its own unique costs, labor requirements, and difficulty level. This makes it difficult for one tool or program to provide everything you need in all situations (if such a tool even exists).

The third major hurdle you may encounter when looking for an electrical estimating tool is that most programs are designed specifically for residential or commercial general contractors—not specialized HVAC contractors like yourself who work specifically with heating and cooling systems! When choosing an electrical estimating program that works best for YOURSELF as an HVAC contractor (as opposed as everyone else), keep these points in mind:

These include:

At-a-glance, our software will help you estimate the best pricing for your electrical work.

This includes:

  • Residential wiring
  • Commercial electrical work
  • Industrial work
  • Telecommunication and data cabling (T&D) installation and maintenance

bullet: Residential wiring

For residential wiring, most electricians charge by the hour or by the project. You’ll need to provide your electrician with an estimate of what you’re looking to do before he or she can give you a quote on the job.

  • Estimates for home circuits: Residential wiring estimates usually include all materials and labor, plus any fees such as permits, site visits, etc. In most cases, an electrician charges between $125-$250 per hour depending on their experience level and area of expertise (for example: commercial vs residential electrical projects).
  • Estimates for home electrical systems: Other types of electrical jobs may cost more because it requires more time-consuming research before starting any work at all (e.g., changing out old wiring), so expect this type of estimate to be higher than usual but still within reason–it should never exceed even two or three times as much as normal labor costs would be!

bullet: Commercial electrical work

Commercial electrical work is a large part of what electricians do. If you’re considering a career as an electrician, it’s important to know that commercial electrical work can be very different from residential electrical work. Commercial electrical jobs often involve larger and more complex projects that require detailed estimates. In addition, many commercial jobs require multiple people to complete them (such as the installation of lighting systems). This means that if you decide to pursue a career in commercial electrical work, you will likely be working on teams with other experienced electricians who can help guide your learning process along the way. But even though there are many benefits associated with being part of a team like this, one thing that many people don’t realize is how expensive these types of projects tend to be!

bullet: Industrial work

  • Industry-specific work
  • Large-scale projects
  • Complex projects with a lot of materials, people and equipment (or any combination of the three)

bullet: Telecommunication and data cabling

The telecommunication and data cabling industry is a subset of the electrical industry that deals with the installation and maintenance of telecommunications and data cabling. Telecommunication and data cabling is a service electricians provide, so they are responsible for installing, testing, inspecting and maintaining these systems for clients.

bullet: Cable installation and maintenance

Cable installation and maintenance is a big part of an electrician’s job. In this field, it’s important to have the right tools and knowledge at hand.

Cable installation is a highly specialized field with very specific tools and skills required for proper installation. These include:

  • crimpers that cut, strip, and join wires together
  • wire strippers that remove insulation from the ends of wires
  • wire connectors that attach two pieces of wire together

The second obstacle is lack of availability. Electricians can’t allow themselves to wait for power or access to tools only available on site. They are often required to perform estimates in the field without any access to computers or the internet. If an electrical estimator doesn’t have an app, it makes it impossible for them to accurately estimate away from their desk. Most electrician’s estimating software hasn’t caught up with the times, and still requires you to do most of your estimating at your desk.

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One final obstacle is the difficulty in communicating pricing information via phone or email. With the rise in video chat, there has never been a better time for an electrician estimator app that allows you to communicate over video chat! This not only makes communication easier and helps eliminate miscommunication, but also improves customer service by making interactions more personal than over the phone.

One final obstacle is the difficulty in communicating pricing information via phone or email. With the rise in video chat, there has never been a better time for an electrician estimator app that allows you to communicate over video chat! This not only makes communication easier and helps eliminate miscommunication, but also improves customer service by making interactions more personal than over the phone.

Video chat is also more effective than email because it allows you to show things instead of just describing them. For example, if your client asks what kind of switch he needs for his kitchen remodel, you can show him on screen without having to take pictures that may not be clear enough or go back and forth over many emails trying to find out exactly what switch will work best with his current setup (and this is just one example).

Electricians have many unique estimating needs that aren’t addressed by typical estimating software

Electricians have many unique estimating needs that aren’t addressed by typical estimating software, such as:

  • They need to be able to use the software in the field, often while working on a project.
  • They must be able to communicate clearly with clients and other team members about low-cost options and changes.
  • They need software that is easy to use–in fact, it should be intuitive enough so they can take full advantage of their time on the job site instead of fighting with their computer.

electrical estimating software for small contractor

Electrical estimating software for all size companies. Bid small to multi-million dollar jobs with our flexible database, takeoff modules and bid proposals.

Electrical estimating software helps electrical estimators win more profitable bids in HALF  the time.

Electrical Bid Manager is used by electrical contractors of all sizes. From small startups to larger companies with a network of multiple estimators.

Start estimating with custom electrical bid software that includes: electrical database, material pricing data, electronic on-screen plan takeoff and QuickBooks job costing.

Includes thousands of pre-built assemblies. Easily create new assemblies on the fly. Makes it easy to insure every material is counted. Each item has 3 columns of labor units to easily customize your bid.

Easily apply value engineering to your electrical bid to raise or lower the cost of material and/or labor. Quickly customize wiring methods, conduit types, fittings, and wire type to create a more competitive bid. 

It’s simple to keep your prices up to date with EPIC material pricing. Over 2 million electrical items and over 100 manufacturer catalogs with pages linked to each item. Use EPIC’s Target Price to make sure suppliers prices are fair. Import supplier prices directly into EPIC for easy price comparisons.

Takeoff straight from your digital plans using your electrical bid software database. Multiple options available. We’ll help you choose the best option for your electrical bidding needs.

Easily review your preliminary bid in detail or summary. Add hidden costs such as non-productive labor, subcontracts, and other job expenses. Modify material costs and labor based on job difficulty. Review and adjust profit, overhead, and all category totals. Create custom bids with only the details you want to present.

Customized takeoff modules make it super easy to perform electrical takeoffs. Electrical Bid Manager includes branch circuits, lighting, wiring devices and many others; all with pre-built assemblies for quick takeoff.

New Feature Tours

View short tours of some of our latest features added to Electrical Bid Manager. We will continue adding Feature Tours as we add new features to our electrical estimating software.

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Extras For Electrical Bid Manager

Start taking off using your digital plans.  Our digital plan takeoff solutions sync with Electrical Bid Manager and offer many time-saving benefits. 

Keep your material prices current in Electrical Bid Manager or other estimating software.  Includes over 2 million items updated daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly.  Use EPIC’s Target Prices to compare to supplier price quotes.

ESP allows you to maximize the Return on Investment of your Vision software. Most of our customers subscribe to take advantage of the software updates and toll-free phone support that is included.

Sync job cost data with QuickBooks.  Save time and improve your job cost accounting.

commercial electrical estimating software

Creating accurate estimates is one of the crucial steps in vying for bids and requires special attention. A single cost-related error can strike your business down in a snap; that’s the reason estimators are transitioning to electrical estimating software. It helps them avoid expensive mistakes as well as manage inventory and workforces efficiently.

The time you spend on finding the right estimating system can affect your business drastically because each and every second matters. The purpose of this buyer’s guide is to provide you with detailed insights about things to look for while selecting an electrical estimating application, helping you save time and money.

What is Electrical Estimating Software?

Electrical estimating platforms help professionals estimate the materials and labor required to complete jobs accurately. They offer item and cost databases, enabling estimators to generate reliable estimates. Managers can conduct what-if analysis to assess different estimating scenarios. They aid managers in allocating resources and monitoring workers’ actions efficiently. They also allow you to categorize priority projects and track job phases to stay updated about recent developments.

Electrical estimating software comes preprogrammed with safety limits and requirements regarding electrical wiring. You can calculate electrical requirements, such as the number of cables, conductors, circuits, insulators, outlets, inverters and more, needed for residential, commercial or industrial projects. You can submit quotes to different vendors directly through the system and receive the best price for installation processes. They can also help reduce electrical expenses through load sharing.

Why Invest in Electrical Estimating Software?

Gone are the days when pen, paper and calculators were the top estimating weapons. By switching to electrical estimating software, you can gain data visibility across an enterprise. With just a few clicks, you can access files from anywhere, at any time. The human eye sometimes fails to spot errors and stay ahead of the competition. It’s necessary to minimize mistakes.

There are several estimating mistakes that you could avoid by using electrical estimating products:

Electrical estimators can now generate estimates without having to worry about minor mistakes using these solutions. They can focus more on other construction procedures.

Primary Benefits

You need to handle electrical projects carefully. One wrong installation can result in massive damages. With the right estimating solution, you can tackle such obstacles. Implementing the software to the best of your ability offers you fewer accounting and inventory errors and increases revenue.

Below we provide an in-depth overview of the benefits you can expect from electrical estimating applications.

Generate Precise Estimates

Without creating estimates, it’s impossible to determine a project’s scope and allocate budgets efficiently. Electrical estimating platforms provide users the ability to count precise quantities automatically. Having an idea of the project’s cost structure helps direct resources to the right place at the right time.

Manage a Centralized Database

Paperwork can be tedious and time-consuming. With the right electrical estimating software, you can access and forward project files to clients from one accessible location. Project managers can grant role-based access to employees, protecting confidential information at all costs.

Win Profitable Jobs

The electrical estimating department can compare quotes side by side and select the best vendor for projects. Business is not only about gaining profits but also saving money.

Improve Collaboration

Efforts of the entire team make projects a win. Electrical estimating solutions provide users with tools to enhance team productivity and boost harmony among workers.

Develop Strategic Plans

Estimators can compare estimates to get an overview of which ones can attract more jobs and which need to be revised using electrical estimating systems.

Key Features & Functionality

Software Comparison Strategy

The construction industry is booming, so is the demand for electrical estimating systems. According to a joint survey conducted by QuickBooks and TSheet, 60% of respondents were confident about generating precise estimates. In comparison, 11% were mildly confident, and 29% were deeply concerned about receiving fewer profits than estimated.

There are certain things, including the accuracy factor, company size, integrative solutions, user-friendliness and data security, that you should consider while comparing software.

Cost & Pricing Considerations

The price of electrical estimating software varies depending on several factors that we’ll discuss below.

Some vendors offer a one-time payment facility, while others ask you for monthly subscriptions. Be thorough while discussing the cost of the app, and always remember to ask if it provides monthly or lifetime access.

The size of your organization plays a significant role when it comes to purchasing electrical estimating products. Spending on software not designed for your business size can shift you off your budget. It’s advisable to check the industry expertise and size of the company before you make any buying decisions.

Additional features might cost you extra. Prepare a requirements checklist to compare applications, helping you make informed business decisions. Some of the vendors offer different plans like basic, standard and premium. You can choose from these or ask vendors for a customized option that best suits your needs.

Vendors offer several support options such as email, phone or live chat, but accessing advanced options may require you to pay an additional fee. To access support portals, you need to complete registration processes that might or might not be chargeable.

Finally, training materials are often available on a vendor’s website. However, some materials come at an additional cost. These contain supplementary courses that give you an in-depth overview of the platform.

After considering these factors, talk to other electrical estimating professionals to gain insights about the market’s leading electrical estimating software.

Best Electrical Estimating Software

It can be tiring to go through every software to find the best solution. Before you do that, go through our list of top construction management applications. It will save you from opening unlimited tabs on your browser to prevent system and, more importantly, brain lag.

BIM 360, developed by Autodesk, offers estimating solutions with 2D and 3D takeoff functionality. It promotes a collaborative work environment with granular controls. Share and access files from a centralized location, ensuring everyone is on the same page. It helps detect constructability issues enabling estimators to update costs per modifications.

Estimators can create digital safety checklists to make sure they are following all safety procedures. Dashboards provide you with a comprehensive view of each project to help keep you updated about project processes.

do electricians offer free estimates

“Hello? I’m having electrical problems, and I was wondering if you provide a free electrical estimate.”

It’s a question we get all the time. In fact, it’s a question all electrical contractors get—almost daily. In a nutshell, our answer at Clements Electric is, “No, not if we have to come out.” But we’d like to lay a little foundation first.

While it might seem like a simple yes or no question, it isn’t simple every time. We believe that good communication is a great start, so in this article, we’ll answer the question, “Do electricians give free estimates?”

The answer to that question will vary from one contractor to the next, and we know we don’t speak for everybody. But we want to sum up the general sentiment in the industry as we see it.

How Much Will It Cost?

First, asking about cost is a completely reasonable question. Nobody likes surprises when it comes to a contractor’s invoice. We get that. You want to know in advance, at least as close as possible.

For most electrical contractors, when we get a call and hear, “How much will it cost?”, the first thought is, “We really need something to base it on.” We need to know what the job is.

Here at Clements Electric, like many contractors, we provide two kinds of service: Installation and Troubleshooting. And they are very different animals.

Installations involve things like adding a few outlets to your home, installing a backup generator, changing out a breaker panel, etc. Those are relatively easy to estimate. We know the average time it will take, and we know the cost of materials.

On the other hand, troubleshooting involves an issue you’re having that needs figured out. A flickering light, a small shock when you touch the dishwasher, a tripping breaker, etc.

Those are completely different situations because we can’t do it over the phone. We can ask questions and narrow it down, but we can’t determine the problem until we find it. It could be a loose connection (an easy fix, once we find it), or it may involve replacing something (once we find it).

Electrical Estimate vs. Electrical Quote

For installation or upgrade, a contractor can give a pretty accurate electrical estimate. Many times, they’ll still want to come out and have a look before giving a quote to make sure there’s nothing unusual that might throw the labor estimate off.

The first number, usually given over the phone, is an estimate. Once the contractor has come to the site, they can usually give a firm number. That number is a quote.

When it comes to troubleshooting though, there are too many variables to give an easy answer. There’s an old joke in business about when a customer asks about cost but there’s nothing to base it on, it’s like asking, “How long is a piece of string?” Silly, right?

The fact is, we don’t know what the electrical problem is until we actually do some work to figure it out. And contractors have to charge for their work. So what’s the solution?

Time and Materials

For troubleshooting, what many contractors do is to charge a flat fee per hour. It will often include the first hour of work to find the problem, and then so much per hour after that.

This way, a contractor is protected from doing a bunch of work for free, because everyone has agreed to a known number (per hour), but the hours are unknown. An experienced contractor may be able to give you a price range up front, based on what their experience.

For example, they may say, “It’s a common problem, and in most cases, we see anywhere from 1-3 hours to track it down. Based on that, we estimate between X and Y dollars, plus parts if needed.”

In most construction and skilled-trade industries, this method of charging for the unknown is called Time and Materials.

Keep in mind that it’s not at all uncommon for a contractor to have a small charge for an estimate. Especially on smaller jobs where they have to drive to you to do the estimate.

The reason is that they are charging for their time. Time is the lifeblood of their business. But they will absorb that cost if you accept the estimate.

The Element of Trust

It can be a little unnerving when hiring an electrical contractor you don’t know. So the natural question to ask is, “Can I trust that this company won’t take advantage of me?” Here are a few clues to know if you can trust your contractor.

Are they experienced? How long have they been doing electrical work?

Are they licensed and bonded? In the electrical field, this is a must.

What’s their “bedside manner?” Are they willing to talk to you professionally and ask questions about your issue?

Check review sites, like Home Advisor or Angie’s List and look for good reviews from other customers. These sites are also a good source for finding electrician costs.

Are they up-front about pricing?’

Trust is the magic word here. See if they are willing to talk to you and put your concerns to rest. Any company wanting to earn your business should be willing to do that.

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