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SoSpec - electrical estimating and consulting service in Thomaston Georgia 3552 Old Alabama Road
Thomaston, GA 30286
Phone: (706) 646-4193
Fax: (706) 646-4268


How does one become an electrical estimator? There is no apprenticeship program as for an electrician. Some companies today take a person from the field, that has shown promise, and teach him to "click and roll". They spend much time and money; and probably eat a few mistakes to hopefully develop a top quality estimator. Some companies try to combine the responsibilities of project managers and estimators. The problem with this is that there are only 24 hours in a day; a project manager can not effectively control his projects and still have time to prepare quality estimates for new projects. Also, his lack of attention to his on-going projects while he is estimating new work may result in even more problems. Many times the project manager has a lapse in time from when his last job finishes until he is successful in attaining a new project.

In 1971, I was working for a general contractor in Carrollton, GA who purchased the assets of an electrical contractor in Albany, GA. When this contractor moved the company to Carrollton, most of the employees quit rather than move. The only employees who remained were (1) field superintendent and (1) estimator. I was given the opportunity to transfer into the new electrical branch and I was taken under the wing of this seasoned estimator. Later I went through the stages of chief electrical estimator and "on-site" project manager. Working in the field and actually seeing how the pieces came together taught me much more about the electrical trade. Through the years, I developed my own labor rates from jobsite records. I started estimating by computer in the early 1980's on an old DOS based system, ESTMAT by Datatrak.

The purpose of SoSpec is to help the electrical contractor gain a higher number of awarded contracts. If you are a small contractor, you are probably managing your projects during the day and working at night to prepare estimates for new projects. You probably have excellent field experience, but you are probably new at the "paperwork" and dealing with owners, engineers and general contractors. Use of my services will give you the experience of an electrical estimator who has been in this business for more than 38 years; without the costs associated with a full time employee. You do not have to worry with furnishing me with benefits or for paying me while I take bathroom or coffee breaks.

If you are a large contractor, from time to time you probably have a backlog of projects to bid that your estimating department just can not handle with the present personnel. Instead of searching for a new estimator, use of my services could be your answer. If you have tried to find electrical estimators recently, you have probably found that good estimators are very hard to find. I am only able to remain in business if my clients are happy with my services and keep using them. My clients use my services as needed, some have had me bid several projects in a row until they have enough work, then I do not hear from them until they need me again.

If you are an engineer or owner, often you require cost estimates for financing, etc. I can furnish an estimate so that, hopefully, there will be no surprises on bid day. If items can be re-designed to save costs; it is better to know before the project goes on the street for bid. If changes are made through negotiation after the project is bid, you will never see the same amount of savings.

Estimating is not an exact science, but because my estimates are very accurate, a contractor knows his bottom line when he inevitably enters negotiations on a project. Being low on bid day, many times is just an invitation to the "dance". Very seldom does a general contractor award a project without trying to tweak a little more out of your price. If you agree to lower a price, only to find that a major mistake was made; you have been hit with a double whammy.

Electrical contracting is "percentage" based. In the early 70's, I hoped to be low bidder on 1 out of 10 projects. Today, there has been an increase in the number of contractors, many who do not really understand estimating. Today, I believe if you are "awarded" 1 out of 20 projects that you bid, you are very lucky. Therefore, to gain more work, you have to bid more work. To bid more work, you have to have more estimators.

I have previously estimated and managed electrical projects up to $76,000,000. I can supply you with an electrical estimate or I can perform a "check" on an existing estimate. I can perform on site review of progress of construction of your projects; I can perform "change order" review or pricing.

I generate my estimates on ACCUBID, which allows me to adhere to almost any breakdown that you can imagine. I can convert an estimate to EXCEL, so that if you do not have ACCUBID, you have an estimate that you can edit. I have extensive "on-site" experience in the project management of electrical projects (9 years on projects in AL, NC and KY). I currently hold a master license registration in GA (since 1977) with previous registration in North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama and Virginia.

I am available for all types of electrical consulting including job site inspections, assistance with preparing construction claims and "expert witness" services. My services are charged at a rate of $55 per hour plus expenses for any work requiring travel.

There are different levels of difficulty in different types of projects. Commercial projects take much less time to estimate than industrial projects. Prisons and treatment plants are among the most difficult and time consuming. The level of breakdown required would make a difference in time required. Because of my experience and the degree of organization I have reached in my 38 years in this business, I am quite fast and require less time than other services might require

On many projects, it just gets to a point that you are better off to go fishing.  I can help you determine when that point is reached; never assume that you can do a project cheaper than someone else at any cost.  Sometimes it is better to let go and try another project.

Feel free to contact us with any comments or questions.

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