I had my basement done and I received a bill from the electrician in the
amount of $3150.00. $2400 being labor. My wife said that he was at the job
only about 10 to 14 hours. Do you think that is a good rate. He won't show
on his invoice how many hours he worked?
He said he did not want people to know what he is charging?
I can see why! :)
Where are you and what about travel time, other shop time if the job
required anything special, who did the parts procurement, etc., ...
And, of course, we have no clue where you are -- rates in downtown San
Francisco don't quite correlate w/ somewhere in Anywhere, USA.
What kind of contractual arrangement did you have? What level of detail
you're entitled to see is dependent on that and whatever rules/laws are
in your governing jurisdiction...
I think you can do the math....
2400/14 = 171.42, but that doesn't count the time that they spent
doing the estimate, acquiring parts, driving to your house (probably
twice), overhead, etc, which would add the equivalent to several more
Having said that, if someone doesn't want you to know how much they
charge by the hour, I assume because it's probably too much.
googling a little finds
Electrical Labor Rate - Seattle $90 per hour ($150 for the first hour)
for one contracting firm (as it says, in Seattle). I would expect that
to be a fairly typical rate/schedule for most cities, probably higher in
Boston, San Fran, NYC, etc.
A 2005 Survey of rates by a trade association of facilities for
exhibitions for comparison
Anaheim Atlanta Atlantic City Boston Chicago
$78.83 $51.25 $85.58 $48.09 $98.30
Boston seem terribly low in comparison and compared to expectations.
There weren't any other "left coast" places in this tabulation. All
else found was wages for employees, not nearly as directly correlateable
to consumer charges.
The average of the three "high-price spreads" above is $90/hr in round
numbers, right in line w/ the Seattle contractor number.
W/ OP's original statement of 12hr (midpoint of estimate, that would be
about $1150 in round numbers for the labor w/o any of the other
adjustments that might have been reasonable.
No way to know how accurate the time estimate is, but if it's at all
reasonable, certainly would seem to be on the high end...
Did you get more than one bid on the project? Did you agree on a total
final price before beginning? If yes, what do you care what he charges.
You paid an agreed price for a specific job. You did not pay based on what
he in turn pays himself.
If you gave him a blank check to begin with or you did not check out his
price before he was done,. well ......
Compared to auto dealer's flat rate like 90.00 per hour, my rule of
thumb is from total amount usually halfs is labour. Maybe he charged
travel time as well.(coming and going picking up material, etc.)
My rate is 2 hour minimu 250.00/hr plus T&L. I am retired now.
Wiring a basement, I do it myself after getting DIY permit from city
hall which includes two inspections, so it'll qualify for insurance
IF you have not paid him yet, you are in the enviable position of being
ahead of a sub.
If you have paid him, then all this is mental masturbation.
You can demand an itemized bill, and if you have differences with it, submit
it to your State's Contractor's Board or the Governor's Council for Consumer
Affairs for arbitration.
BUT, what did the original agreement/contract say? Or was there even one?
It's hard to hold someone to an agreement that was never put on paper.
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