Who here does residential electric?


Senior Member
I am looking for a few electricians who can help me establish a pricing guidline for my work. I have been doing jobs for a general contractor for the last year now and it is mostly nothing Automation related. Just general things such as rewiring a room and sometimes an entire home. I think I have been under charging for the jobs tho and would like to talk to a few experienced people in private. I am making a profit on my jobs but I am not so sure I am getting what I should be getting.

Often the general contractor gives me a price he would like me to do the job for. I think I need to start taking control and give him the prices.

One example is a small job I am currently doing. He said he had a quote from another electrician to do the work for $375. Wanting the job I said sure I will do it for $375 also. After looking deeping into the wiring system and before starting work I had to bump the price up to $450 because it was going to take me a little longer than I initially thought. He agreed rather easily to pay me the $450. So now I am wondering if I could have gone up to $500 or even $600 and still got the job.

If you have experience I would love to talk to you. I am in the Baltimore, MD area and do realise the market is different in each city and pricing will change. But any advise will help.

Here in my area, California licensed general electricians charge $55-$75hr (most are $65-$75).

NorCal is $80-$90/hour to the GC, but that's clearly a level above Baltimore. IIRC DC salaries from my time there, and how Baltimore used to be a click lower, I'd say $55->$65/hour to the GC is about right.

Your issue is going to be in finding the work. As long as the GC is handing you stuff, it'll be hard to negotiate much upwards. You can get much closer once you start finding your own work and building your own clientele.
Thanks guys! I see from your post and a few post over on the integrationpros.com forums that I have been way under biding. I just hope I did not put my self in a spot where I need to fight to get my bids higher. I really wish I could just talk to the other bidders and see what they are putting on the table. I know thats not going to happen tho.
Ease your bids up slowly in my opinion. Less chance of having problems and more time for your reputation for a quality end product to build. Some day you might even be slightl higher than others but you might still get the work based on reputation.
Big question is what is your time worth? If I don't have much on my plate price can go down. I would rather work then not even if I don't make as much profit.
Bidding is tough and a skill by itself.
Thats why the big guys just hire people to only bid on jobs.
I try to estimate the hours and go by it.
Also depends on the people. There is one group of people I used to work with that are hard to please so the price is higher because of it.
I am a GC, and I use about 3 electrical subs, and all their prices are similar. But I do mosly medium sized projects. I price my jobs out per fixture - 75 per light 40 per outlet 40 per switch 100 per panel run. Hope this helps.
Thats labor and materials. I should have added that 75 per light is for recessed light with standard white baffle trim. For just wiring a keyless fixture its 45. Some other costs, 600w Dimmer switch add 18, 1000w Dimmer add 55, GFI add 15, Exhaust fan 50 (labor only).