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Thread: Electrical Installation Costs

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    Electrical Installation Costs

    Hi there. Can any one advise on standard electrical installation costs. i am in the process of finalising and awarding the project of the building of my new home with various different contractors and need to determine as to the electrical installations and its associated costs. how is pricing determined? per square meter of a new building? or is pricing done per point?, per floor? or some other method (if so please advise). I would greatly appreciate some info on how this is determined and the general costs involved, i wont hold any one to them!. After watching carte blanch im a little bit more cautious and concerned as to whether the pricing i have recieved actually relates to what needs to be done on the building and so im unsure of where to go from here ,I dont mind paying for the work as well as the electrician making his profit but it must be fair and honest and relate ,i have quotes with no physical breakdowns but more of a final price for the job but they all range greatly and as much as the different colours in the rainbow, so i have no real method of determining such

    Thanks

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    Our company prices per point, but as there are a number of ways an estimate might be presented, perhaps it would be more helpful to say what you should look out for.

    No matter how the estimate is presented, you need to make sure you understand what you are getting for that price, and I mean really specific. One of the oldest tricks is to present a very basic quote that looks very cheap competitive, and you end up getting gutted by extras and changes that never were, but perhaps should have been in the original estimate.

    If it's a plug point, is that a single or double? What make of plug point?
    (Ideally you'll want plug point and light switch fittings from the same range - it generally looks better).

    If it's a light point, do you get a basic fitting with that?
    Does it include installing your own light fitting (bought at your own cost) if that's what you prefer?
    Do you want downlighters? Will that be low voltage or 220V? (You'll find most electricians will recommend 220V as they really give far less trouble and accordingly are far less maintenance).

    If any light points are going into a concrete slab, what type of slab is going to be thrown? Some types of boxes needed for particular beam-type slabs are considerably more expensive than for a straight shutter board throw.

    Obviously it's best to spec the job as accurately as possible up front, but most times there will be changes along the way. Get rates per extra point and likely changes - moving a plug point, adding a plug point, adding a light point, moving a light switch (the number of times a client changes their mind as to which side of the door they want their light switch is amazing).

    Make sure you understand what type of municipal supply you're going to need; single phase or 3 phase and the supply breaker rating. Make sure you can get the type of supply you need and get a quote from the municipality to connect. This can come to more than you might think.

    Get references for previous work. You want to know that the workmanship is good (would you like those light switches and plug points level, light points in line, or do you actually like the Picasso (nothing quite lines up) effect?), the electrical contractor is reliable and is likely to get along with the builder (take this point as particularly critical).

    Make sure you budget for extras (and that isn't just for the electrician). A wise man once told me he always allowed 30% extra above original estimates as his total budget for the project. This will remove a lot of stress (there's nothing quite like scrambling for R50k extra when you haven't got it and it's the difference between getting what you want and accepting something you don't really like) and if your planning is good, you'll have lots of extra money left over for curtains

    You might also find our page on construction tips for electrical installations useful.
    Seeing opportunity changes nothing. Seizing opportunity and running with it changes lives.

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    and if they say the project will be finished by the end of the month expect it done by the following month...and this is no joke.

    I think the reason for the bulk price...is to cover yourself for unexpected problems on site...i also dont give a per unit price or detail the quote anymore you end up loosing in the end...giving a total price helps when you manage to do something for a little cheaper and other things take a little longer you dont loose.

    your best bet is to find someone who is recomended by indepent people and not selected out the telephone book or by the builder...lots of calls i get are to rectrify installations done by the builders electrician...make sure he has the correct qualifications and not just the builders son or neighbour etc.

    make sure the contractor is registered with the "ECB" if not dont even consider them...then put the contractors name on the site so everyone can see and comment if they have had any issues with them.

    being registered with the ECA...no comment...just remeber as an electrical contractor you do not have to be registered with them...THE ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR IS PROTECTED BY THE ECA...not always the customer.

    make sure all the staff on your site have an identity tag with their relevant qualifications...elenop 1...2..3...electrical assistant...electrician etc to prevent the contractor using labour off the street and charging you top rates.
    We all have these ID tags...if they dont they are not registered for the position say they are.

    beware of twin + earth installations plastered directly into the wall...it may be cheaper to install but you will pay in the long run...if you are building to sell and just want to make money this is a good option hit and run...but if you are building for the long haul...stay away from it.

    thing to make sure of

    Db has spare pipes
    db has at least 25 % addtional space
    earth and neutral bars are big enough and not doubled or tripled.
    dont forget to allow for telephone and intercom points.
    make sure the kitchen and laundry have seperate circuits otherwise when you switch on the kettle you cant use the toaster etc...this is a common problem i am finding with new installtions...they wire 1 circuit to feed the kitchen area bad idea.
    position your DB in the correct place take some time to think about this.
    i find behind ther passage door is always a good place because you dont put things below it or over it like kitchen cupboards...you just close the door and you have easy access...you can also mount a rechargeable light in the passage which will switch on when the power goes off...so you dont need to find a light to find the DB.
    dont mount it in the kitchen because 90% of the time there will be a cupboard put over it then it becomes dififcult to work on or when you decide to re model your kitchen it sometimes becomes an issue and a big expense to reposition
    mount your meter box near the boundry...it will save you on connection costs.
    these are just some of the things to take into consideration hopefully the contractor you select will assist you with all the other things not mentioned here

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    Dave A and Murdock, Thank you both for your input and insight, you have mentioned things that hadnt even been considered and have cleared up a lot of aspects this morning. The architects pecified that only double plugs be installed as standard and that 2 way light switches and or even three way light switching be done for instance in the bedrooms so there are switches by each door as well as at both ends of the bed and patio sliding doors leading out to the baclonys, the first floor will be a 330mm rib and block with approximatley downlighers every 500mm to 650mm apart. As well as in the cantilever balconys

    The architect says the entire building is to be piped for electrical so no need to worry from that point, but will be sure to keep a close eye on it when i reach that stage

    I dont mind being quoted a bulk price but surley a more structure quote should be for eg:

    Lighting R xxxx
    Plugs R xxxxx
    DB xxxxx
    Fittings Etc R xxxxx

    Getting a Quote that says all ellectrical work R xxxxx, doesnt really allow me to make an informed decision?

    If you could give me some general indication as to pricing per plug point, telephone point / tv point ,and lighting points per room would help me in deciphering the quotes tremendously.

    I know this is quite difficult but even a general thumbsuck estimation say for a normal single or double story typical dwelling, lets say a moderate installation what would that cost?




    Thanks once again

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    double plug points = 400/500 per point
    light points = 350/450
    db single phase 24 way single phase 1200/1500
    supply cable depending on single or 3 phase 60 or 80 amps.
    if the house has lots of points and you plan on spending money i would look into home automation

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    been doing total rewires...3 bedroom double storey total rewire...R26000.00

    3 bedroom standard house...bathroom...ensuite...kitchen R19000.00

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    one last thing dont believe for a minute by getting a COC your house will be safe...get an independant inspector to check the house during the building and on completion...i dont believe that company which wires the house should issue the COC...lots of COC are not worth the paper they are written on even if the contractor is registered with the ECB...this is a sad reality...because as i will say for the 500 th time the electrical industry in this country is in total shambles as you can see by the carte blanche article...and thats just the tip of the ice berg...and only once they start procecuting criminals for the work they do with fines worth talking about will people start complying with the law.

    by the way i see they have changed the COC again...now it is 6 pages...i think i am gona start making a mockery of it again by filling out the form as jack sparrow or captain morgan registration number 10810 again and see if anyone picks it up

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    Thanks for all this, im now making good headway and getting a good idea as to who is too cheap and who the "real" guys are who seem to be professional and provide effective service with good quality products. Phewww no body said building a house was easy, they also never said anything about the amount of considerations to take into account , thanks to all who contributed once again.

    I think the independent inspector is one excellent suggestion, im assuming this will at least ensure and provide some sort of standard rather than just 1 installer being involved from start to finnish.

    Thanks

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    beware of clipsal dimmers...DO NOT USE THEM...you will have problems.

    rather use and R&D dimmer if you are going to use touch dimmers.

    I have also been having lots of recalls on clipsal plug sockets.

    make sure that all the equipment installed on site is sabs approved...otherwise the COC cannot be issued...if it is not stamped SABS then they must issue you with a certificate for the equipment.

    beware of the new CBI earth leackage units they were the best but they last about 2 years and cbi have reduced the warrenty to 1 year...to replace it will +/- R650...by the time the time you get the bill you are in for around R1200...rather use the cheaper din rail mounted DB with the cheaper product they only cost R280 for the e/l unit and you get complete modules for around R500 which includes the e/l unit and all the mcbs..i havent had any problems with the chint units...i was very anti these cheap units but so far i havent had problems...and all the products which in the old days where good quality products are all just as bad as if they all now come from the same factory...and this goes for all the plugs and light switches including clipsal and crabtree...there quality has dropped drastically...crabtree will tell you they have upgraded to a 20 amp rated switch...but the catch now is you cant just replace the faulty switch anymore you now have to replace the entire plug.

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    i dont envy you building a house...i climbed on the part of my house which was completed about 2 years ago...i found 47 broken tiles just on the garage...the walls all have hairline cracks on the plaster...the outbuilding has cracked from the roof to the top of the door frames in 2 places...it looks like the ground must have shifted...the ash blocks walls are so soft that you cannot drill into them...if i hit a 2 lb hammer against the wall it goes into the wall.

    the tar driveway is has turned into a gravel road...when i got other tar companies to quote to repair they all said the tar was only 3 mm thick and not prepared correctly...the insurance company say it is a maintenance issue and they are not prepared to pay out...the reality of workmanship today.

    no earth leakage was fitted even thought the plugs were installed just over 2 years ago...i had to fit one when i moved in.

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