Negotiating Electric Work

4 Replies

I'm getting my house rewired from knob and tube to romex.  I have gotten 3 quotes so far.  Two that came in at $14k.  The third did a walk through and gave me a verbal estimate of $9k, but then the written quote bumped up to $14k along with the others after he found a code issue that would make the job harder than anticipated.  I did some digging and found out the code issue wasn't actually real for residential and only applied to commercial which was the past job he had based that on.  He then dropped the quote by $2k considering he can now run romex above a drop ceiling.  That brings the quote to $9k.

Is it worth seeing if I can negotiate this quote at all?  He is still $2k under the other quotes, but $3k over his initial estimate.  His quote states that they expect 3 techs to spend 5-6 days on the job.  I don't want to turn him off to the job by sounding cheap or like I don't see his value.

Could I save some money buying materials on my own and providing them?  I have a connection with one of the largest construction companies in the area who already offered to get me materials at whatever their cost is.  Should I bother bringing this up with the electrician?  I don't know if his materials discount for his company would be comparable to what the big company gets.

@Warren West

So your plan is to take the best bid and then try and undercut him? First, if he’s several thousand below two other quotes is he actually good? Super low bids make me nervous. Electricity is kind of important to get right. I wouldn’t hire somebody without a referral from somebody I trusted. Cheapest is not always the best route to go. Actually, it’s rarely the route to go.

@Anthony Wick I wouldn't say undercut him as to me that makes it sound like I'm trying to gouge him which isn't the case.  I just want to see if there's a way to save a little more money that I can then put towards other things.  I do understand completely what you're saying but he's only $2k cheaper than the other two quotes so not a huge amount and all the electricians I've contacted have come from trusted referrals from people I'm personally close with who also own properties so I can trust the work.

@Warren West

It’s good that all of them are referrals. But $2k cheaper is 14% cheaper than the other guys. That’s a big discount. I suppose a person could ask if there was any way to cut that expense. Perhaps he mentions different materials. Perhaps he says he’ll cut it by another $500. Let him decide what you’re really asking for.