As an electrical estimator you are always looking for some advantage to win more projects and make more money. One way is to do a job walk.
When you do a job walk you see details that are not shown on blueprints.
How it works
When you visit a job site it is called a “job walk”. On some jobs, mostly government type jobs, a job walk is mandatory. If you do not attend they will not let you bid the job. However, most job walks are not mandatory but when you attend a job walk you can greatly increase the likelihood of winning the job.
Job walks are usually scheduled by the building owner or general contractor. Often times several trades will attend. The owner or contractor’s rep will allow you and others to ask questions about the job.
Important tip: Review the plans before the job walk. When you review the plans before the job walk you have a good idea of the overview and scope of work. You are more prepared.
If the scope of the work is not clear – ask questions to get answers. Well-organized job walks have a sign in sheet that you sign. Those who sign in usually are emailed answers to all questions asked on the job walk. It’s helpful when you have all the answers to questions in writing. It helps level the playing field in that you (and everyone else) who attended will have the same information which should result in more accurate estimates for everyone. It is the time to ask questions.
Here are some questions to consider asking at a job-walk:
What’s the start date of the project?
What is the scheduled date of completion of project?
What hours is the work to be performed? (Is there any required overtime?)
Is the owner furnishing any equipment or materials like switch gear or lighting fixture packages? (If so you have to provide labor only for those items.)
Do power outages have to be done after hours? (If so you may have to pay overtime)
Where will your employees park?
Who will pay for vehicle parking costs?
Who will dispose of demolished materials? Are you allowed to use their dumpsters?
Who is responsible for concrete sawing, cutting or core drilling? Do you pay for it or the GC?
In high rise buildings ask if the concrete contains post tension cable. If so, all penetrations through a floor will need to be x-rayed. (Ask who will pay for x-rays?)
In high rise buildings also ask what elevators can be used to move materials.
Ask what time you are allowed to use elevators. Sometimes you cannot move large equipment into elevators until after hours which costs you overtime.
Remember the only dumb question is the one that did not get asked!
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