How to Get a Bid on Your Electrical Job

In southern California, whether you are remodeling your entire home, have faulty wiring, or just want to add a few electrical outlets, you’ll want to be sure the Los Angeles electrician you hire prepares an bid for you.

An electrical bid will let you know how much it will cost you for the electrician to complete the project and includes the total cost of all materials and labor. An electrical bid also details any warranties you can expect with job and is a legally binding document that you can use in court if you believe the electrical job was not completed properly.

When requesting a written bid, be sure that it includes the following:

  • the total price of the completed electrical job
  • an accurate and detailed description of the electrical work the electrician will be doing
  • the electrician’s required terms of payment
  • the expected date of completion
  • the electricians warranty or guarantee

How does the electrician prepare the bid?

MATERIALS

Generally, a Los Angeles electrician will first find out from you what exactly you need. He may ask a few questions and than examine the property to see where the electrical wiring is and inspect the space. During the electrical inspection, he will also decide if there is any outdoor or underground electrical work that will be needed.

On a larger project, a good electrician may want to take a look at the architectural plans to get a better understanding of your house. If you don’t have the plans to your house, don’t worry, your Los Angeles electrician can still provide you with an electrical bid, though it may be a little less accurate.

Next, the electrician will review the electrical plans and count the number of breakers he’ll need, measure the lengths of electrical wire and electrical conduit needed for the project, as well as the number and electrical power outlets that already exist in the house and if any more are needed. Your Los Angeles electrician will then use this count to obtain pricing from his electrical materials supplier.

LABOR

Electricians in Los Angeles CA, and other parts of the country also include labor costs in their electrical job bids. In order to do this, he must make an educated guess as to how many hours and how many employees it will take to complete the electrical job. He will also need to decide if any subcontractors will be needed, and add the subs wages to the electrical bid.

Your Los Angeles electrician will also need to include costs associated with obtaining any necessary Los Angele County or Los Angeles City electrical permits. These will be issued by the City of LA Department of Building and Safety and are required for certain types of electrical jobs.

A Few Things to Consider

Electricians in Los Angeles CA, and elsewhere, use electrical terms and phrases that the average home owner doesn’t understand. Hiring an electrician can feel like a complicated and daunting task, but an electrical bid can help you know exactly what to expect. Here are a few points to consider when asking for an electrical bid

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you don’t understand what is being said or what is written in the bid, ask!
  • Get it in writing. A verbal bid won’t do you much good, so be sure to ask your Los Angeles electrician for a detailed written electrical bid.
  • Get a copy! Be sure that you get at least one copy of the electrical bid for your file.

If you don’t request an electrical bid before the start of the project, you could end up with an unexpectedly high bill. Any licensed electrician in Los Angeles CA should be able to provide a detailed written contract, but not all LA electricians provide free electrical bids. Do a little research and find one who does.  It will be worth it in the end.

 

Top 10 Tips for Choosing & Hiring A Reliable Los Angeles Electrician

Time is money, and when it comes to your needs for top-of-the line electrical work in Los Angeles, CA, your time and money are extremely precious. H Electric is well aware of this. We’re your local high-quality electrical service provider, and we’re here to help you recognize the top ten tips to think about prior to hiring a reliable Los Angeles electrician. Before you make any hiring decisions for residential or commercial electrical services, make sure you go over this checklist.

1)    Follow The Golden Rule of Three: Licensed, Bonded, and Insured – If your California-based electrical contractor is not licensed, bonded, and insured, “do not pass go!” Make sure you verify credentials. Electrical service providers carrying proper liability insurance (as well as workers’ comp for their in-house contractors) will be fully covered should anyone happen to be hurt on the job. This should not be your responsibility, and any electrician in Los Angeles worth their salt knows this.

2)    Don’t Fly Blind: Make Sure You Know What You Need – As you’re consulting with your electrician in Los Angeles, CA, tell him exactly what you need done. Some companies may or many not handle certain kinds of work or specifications. Also, you need to make sure they don’t tack on any needless expenses or services that have little to do with the actual things you need assistance with.

3)    Reputation Is Everything: Don’t Just Take Their Word For It – Do your research. Make sure your Los Angeles electrician’s service is up to par, has a BBB rating on file, and is registered with the proper associations (such as IBEW.org) or a similar organizations that set standards for electrical service professionals. Check out sites like Yelp as well as their own website, and ask for names and testimonials regarding the quality of their work if none is readily available.  Don’t just read about their credentials, verify that their contractor’s license is current.

4)    Good Los Angeles CA Electricians Put It All In Writing – No matter what, get everything in writing, whether it’s a quote, policy, or estimate. It’s worth the extra time and it’s worth your making this crucial request.

5)    Leave Your Own Paper Trail – Putting things in writing is not just something the electrician should do. You should do it, too. Pay your electrical contractor with a check or a credit card so that you have a paper record of the sale and scope of work. You can add detailed memos and notes in the memo fields as well. No cash-only payments, verbal agreements, or handshake deals allowed.

6)    Be Realistic – Your Los Angeles electrician and electrical contracting professional (be it for residential, commercial, or a combination of electrical service work) should be properly trained, with experience to boot. Don’t cut corners by trying to buy your own electrical supplies or doing a portion of the prep work or electrical repairs yourself. Should your electrical contractor discover you’re doing so, you may be the one making another trip to the hardware store, not him. You may not be aware of the full scope of electrical repair work that needs to be done or electrical supplies that need to be purchased.  Let the electrician buy the electrical materials, and try not to skimp too much on electrical service fees. Often, you truly do get what you’re paying for. Focus on quality first.

7)    Get Your Money Right, Straight from the Get-Go – Before you agree to or sign anything, ask: is it by hourly rate or per job? What is the exact hourly rate? Is a deposit required? That way, there will be no surprises. Any Los Angeles electrician with integrity will gladly answer any and all questions and address all concerns that you may have.

8)    Keep It Local – Make sure your trusted electrical provider is local to you. Should any electrical questions or follow-up needs arise, a short drive across town to resolve things right away is always best.

9)    Get A Guarantee – Make sure they guarantee their electrical work: no ifs, ands, or buts. Get that guarantee in writing.

10) Trust Your Gut – At the end of the day, trust your gut. How is your electrician in Los Angeles CA dressed? Does he speak with you respectfully without skirting around any issues? Is his truck or van clean and tidy? Does he answer the phone professionally? How he carries himself around you will always reflect in his work ethic, and the electrical services provided.

If your trusted electrician in Los Angeles CA does business appropriately, they’ll meet all the criteria on this checklist and then some. Call or visit us at H Electric Los Angeles CA for more tips to use when consulting with electrical service professionals.