How do you quote a job?


Just wondering how the proffessional installers here quote jobs? I am talking about small residential. I like the idea of looking at our costs and figuring a ballpark number like $7/watt installed. You can still quote what specific equipement you will use and add tax but keep it really simple. My partner wants to do a detailed quote for every system down to the last screw and that takes a lot of time and is not something that can be done on the spot.

What do you guys do?




  • newenergynewenergy Solar Expert Posts: 291 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: How do you quote a job?

    Most of the time I just consider the type of modules and any changes if necessary to the service, but in the back of my mind I'm definitely thinking about:

    Rail system
    Type of roof
    Pitch of roof
    Any difficult/long conduit runs

    Once you've done enough quotes you'll definitely be able to add or subtract a quarter a watt here and there in your head.

    For the first few quotes it might be worth being really detailed, but after that you just can't spend that much time on a proposal.
  • stevendstevend Solar Expert Posts: 34
    Re: How do you quote a job?

    I don't do the sales side but from the invoices I've seen we charge for all the big parts individually (inverter, charge controller, batteries, inverter cables, battery interconnect cables, rack, E-Panel, tech cable, ...) For all the loose pieces (strain reliefs, tie straps, screws, ...) we either have a separate "hardware" or "miscellaneous" item with a rough cost based on experience or just include the cost of loose stuff as part of the cost of the big parts that the loose stuff ultimately are used for (e.g. strain reliefs on the E-Panel and screws to attach E-Panel to wall are part of the cost of the E-Panel.)
  • audredgeraudredger Solar Expert Posts: 272 ✭✭
    Re: How do you quote a job?

    When I was in the cabinet business; dowels, screws, glue, etc. were part of the "shop" overhead.

    If I saw a solar quote that listed every screw, foot of tape, zip ties, etc., I would run! On the other side a quote with no details, I would also run!

    Your partner is wasting dollars chasing cents!
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,998 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: How do you quote a job?

    OK I'm a bum here, have no idea about solar install estimates, but was a rather sucsessful printing estimator.

    It's good to look at all aspects of a job, and have a listing and cost for each, "96 - 1/4X2" - SS" may not be needed, but a hardware catagory on a check list is important.

    As time rolls on hardware will likely fall into 2 catagories, fixed and per panel, and estimates will become quicker.

    Know your sweet spot. Ok you won't have the competition of a printing plant in a capitol city... but you'll be more capable of some jobs than other companies. You may have an exclusive contract for roof tile panels, or a conveyor that will reach a 4 story roof, do those estimates first!

    Likewise estimates for odd jobs like a tiled or slate roof, do last, add a cushion, and farm out the odd part to an insured specialist, like having a roofer with a specialty in this area do the mounts. I'm NOT saying don't do an estimate! doing an estimate on this job even though you know there's a contractor who always has an insured roofer do their mounts and can beat your price, provides a second estimate so they can get the job.

    Am I saying help out your competetor? More like help out the industry...

    Likely they will see the estimate, much higher than theirs, and might well suggest the next home owner get a second estimate from you... you know the guy with the 4 story house...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former, 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
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