How to Use This Book
This manual is a guide to the cost of installing electrical work in buildings. It lists costs to the electrical subcontractor for a wide variety of electrical work.
Before using any estimate in this book, you should understand an important point about estimating electrical construction costs. Estimating is an art, not a science. There is no estimate that fits all work. The manhour estimates in this book will be accurate for many jobs, but remember that no two jobs are identical. And no two crews complete all tasks in exactly the same amount of time. That's why electrical cost estimating requires exercising good judgement. Every estimate has to be custom-made for the specific job, crew and contractor. No estimating reference, computerized cost estimating system or estimating service can take into consideration all the variables that make each job unique.
This book isn't intended to replace well-informed decisions. But when supplemented with an estimator's professional evaluation, the figures in this manual will be a good aid in developing a reliable cost of electrical systems.
Inside this back cover of this book youíll find a software download certificate. To access the download, follow the instructions printed there. The download includes the National Estimator, an easy-to-use estimating program with all the cost estimates in this book. The software will run on PCs using Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, or 10 operating systems. When the National Estimator program has been installed, click Help on the menu bar to see a list of topics that will get you up and running. Or, go online to www.costbook.com and click the ShowMe tutorial link for National Estimator.
Labor Costs
Labor Costs
The labor costs listed in this manual will apply on most jobs where the hourly wage in effect is the same or similar to the following rates:
      Journeyman Electrician Base Wage $30.25 per hr.
      Taxable Fringe Benefits at 5.48% $1.66 per hr.
      Taxes & Insurance at 19.86% $6.36 per hr.
      Non-taxable Fringe Benefits at 4.84% $1.47 per hr.
      Total Labor Cost $39.84 per hr.
The total hourly cost includes the basic wage, taxable fringe benefits (vacation pay), workers' compensation insurance, liability insurance, taxes (state and federal unemployment, Social Security and Medicare), and typical non-taxable fringe benefits such as medical insurance.
If your hourly labor cost is much lower or much higher, costs of installation can be expected to be proportionately lower or higher than the installation costs listed in this book. If your total hourly labor cost is 25 percent less, for example, reduce the labor figures in the cost tables by 25 percent to find your local cost.
The Craft@Hrs column shows the recommended crew and manhours per unit for installation. For example, L2 in the Craft@Hrs column means that we recommend a crew of two electricians. L1 means that a crew of one electrician is recommended. Costs in the Labor Cost column are the result of multiplying the manhours per unit times the rate of $39.84 per hour.
For example, if the Craft@Hrs column shows L2@.250, the Labor Cost column will show $9.86. That's .250 manhours multiplied by $39.84 per manhour and rounded to the nearest penny.
Divide the manhours per unit into 8 to find the number of units one electrician can install in one 8-hour day: 8 divided by .250 equals 32 units per day. Multiply that answer by the number of crew members to find the number of units the crew is likely to install in an 8-hour day. For example, if the crew is two electricians, multiply 32 by 2 to find that the crew can be expected to install 64 units in an 8-hour day.
Some tasks can require less labor under certain conditions. For example, when conduit is run in groups, less labor will be required for each 100 linear feet of conduit. It's the estimator's responsibility to identify conditions that are likely to require more or less labor than the standard for the type of work being estimated.
This book lists both the labor cost per installed unit and the manhours required for installation. Manhours are listed in hundredths of an hour rather than minutes, making it easier to calculate units.

The figures above are from a time and money saving construction cost manuals from Craftsman Book Company. Over 50 cost estimating databases are available and all come with the popular National Estimator program.

National Estimator helps you compile estimates and bids for any construction project

National Estimator lets you use these costs to create estimates for new construction, repair and remodeling, commercial and industrial projects. Copy and paste and anything you see here into your estimate. Then add overhead and profit and print the bid Ė or turn your bid into an invoice that goes out in a window envelope. Itís quick, easy and flexible.

Find out more about using these cost estimates with the National Estimator program:

Click here for more information on getting these cost estimates in book form and CD-ROM

Click here for more information on getting these costs as a download on the Web.

National Estimator Includes the following features:
Prints estimates and saves estimates to disk.
Add any percent for overhead, profit and sales tax. Plus, show or hide markup and unit costs.
Change, copy, revise or delete an estimate at any time.
Use your own labor rates and man-hour estimates.
Export to Excel, Word, QuickBooks Pro and others
Organize estimates by division with subtotals.
Turn estimates into invoices
No need to be connected to the Web when estimating.
Includes an extensive help system and free phone support.
CD-ROM includes the Watch Me video on disk.

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