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surdel Offline OP
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I looked around did not see any. I like to do a better job then explaining to a current and future clients cost for all cat5 cable hardware, rack hardware etc and show cad drawing where cable is to be routed.

Also, instead of measuring the distance for each cable run in a room say its a 40 x 40 room, do you measure the farthest location where a drop is located and the closest location from drop to patch panel then take the average length "60 feet for furthest and 40 feet or shortest...average is 50 feet x total drops? It might save alot of time.

Anyone here in the Seattle region can give me a idea what electrical houses are charging per foot for cable?


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Originally Posted by surdel
Also, instead of measuring the distance for each cable run in a room say its a 40 x 40 room, do you measure the farthest location where a drop is located and the closest location from drop to patch panel then take the average length "60 feet for furthest and 40 feet or shortest...average is 50 feet x total drops? It might save alot of time.
I have had Project Managers sit at their desk and estimate cable runs from drawings and complain when their jobs go over time and over budget. Had they bothered to visit the job site and lift a ceiling tile they might have realized many factors that would have effected their bid:

  • Air handling space
  • Penetrating concrete structure
  • Fire walls
  • Asbestos environment
  • Routing around inaccessible areas
  • ...and TON'S more!


As for the cost of cable...it really depends on if you are shopping Anixter, Graybar, Platt Electric, North Coast or the Dollar Store and if you have an inside sales rep that can get you a deal better purchasing in volume than Joe Schmoe who just walked in off the street wanting two or three boxes of Cat 3 Riser.

Here is an example from Anixter for pricing just have to decide What type of cable you are looking for as well as which Brand.

There are many open source CAD software to meet your needs that a Google Search will show. It really depends on what equipment you will be running the software on and your learning curve.


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Higher price from Anixter
and lower price from Anixter


So you can see your question about pricing is like asking "How much does a motor vehicle cost?"


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I like to do a better job then explaining to a current and future clients cost for all cat5 cable hardware, rack hardware etc

Do what everybody else does. x$$$ per drop times degree of difficulty. Then add your marked up hardware and miscellaneous costs. Customer only sees the bottom line price for the entire installation. There should be no explaining because once you go there you open the door for negotiation.

You don't measure each drop, instead you have in stock sufficient cable to handle the job.

-Hal


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What Hal said. If the customer asks how much will it cost to do job x, give them one price. Total, no itemization. You'll quickly find yourself in a game of "I can get jack's on the internet for . . . " otherwise.

If they ask you to just do a small job then an itemized invoice isn't so bad. Depends on the job for me.

But to get back to your original query, average cost of a cable run depends on a lot of things. If there are a lot of long runs then your average will cost you money. I've never used any estimating software. I've taken the time and effort to manually figure out lengths, in the few bigger jobs I've done.

My $.02
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I have an average number that I use. But I really prefer to go onsite and look at things, like today when I showed up to bid the job. I asked ceiling height and was told 8 ft. I showed up and the ceiling grid is at 8ft. the deck is at 25. Now I have to include a lift rental on the quote. When I use my averge number I couch it with "assumes XXXX and XXXX and XXXX. " That way when those things go out the window I can try to recoup some of the extra costs.


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17 feet above the grid? Takes the term "dropped ceiling" to a whole 'nother level.

What I really hate is when the grid is 3" below the structural ceiling. GRRRR.

Not trying to derail the subject, just amazed that someone thought that much wasted space was a good idea.

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Originally Posted by Daniel
I have an average number that I use. But I really prefer to go onsite and look at things, like today when I showed up to bid the job. I asked ceiling height and was told 8 ft. I showed up and the ceiling grid is at 8ft. the deck is at 25. Now I have to include a lift rental on the quote. When I use my averge number I couch it with "assumes XXXX and XXXX and XXXX. " That way when those things go out the window I can try to recoup some of the extra costs.

That's what I mean by "degree of difficulty". The base or starting number you use is per drop installed in the easiest situation possible: in the space above a non-air handling dropped ceiling, easily accessed with cabling able to be easily supported by the structure. No fire wall penetrations, no floor or wall penetrations. Each jack location on a hollow sheetrock partition (non fire rated) that can be easily fished down from above the ceiling. No run over 100 feet.

Now you go and look at the job. This is where you come up with a multiplier or adder for the "degree of difficulty" If you see that the installation is pretty much according to what you consider for your base price, no addition is needed. Easy peasy- just multiply the number of drops by your base price.

But, as you found out such is not always the case. Here you are going to need a lift. Other times you may need to run cabling on a block wall, penetrate and firestop firewalls, require plenum listed cable, maybe there is no dropped ceiling etc. etc. Maybe you will need more help. Maybe the work will have to be done after hours.

What you do is figure your cost for the lift and any other item that is not included in your base cost and add your markup. This is your "degree of difficulty" cost. Total all your base drop costs and add this "degree of difficulty" cost. That number is the bottom line you give the customer.

-Hal



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Originally Posted by ChrisRR
17 feet above the grid? Takes the term "dropped ceiling" to a whole 'nother level.

What I really hate is when the grid is 3" below the structural ceiling. GRRRR.

Not trying to derail the subject, just amazed that someone thought that much wasted space was a good idea.


I have a regular customer that occupies a space that was a warehouse. Picture a Home Depot with ceilings dropped down to 8 feet. Fortunately not all of the space is 20 feet to the roof. Around the perimeter there is some space utilized by the floor above under which I ran most of my cable. Fortunately also, there were some unused hanger wires down from the roof trusses from a previous ceiling that I was able to use. If I had to use a lift after the ceiling was installed, it would have required taking apart the ceiling in a lot of places in order to get the lift up through to the roof height. Something the OP hasn't mentioned. Big money.


The original HID high bay lighting is still there. I'm one if the few people who knows where the breakers are to turn them on which makes it real nice to work above the ceiling.

-Hal


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Originally Posted by hbiss
I have a regular customer that occupies a space that was a warehouse. -Hal
agree

I worked on a new hospital construction that lasted a year and a half and there were LOTS of locations there you could not lift the ceiling to reach the cable tray and the glow rod. Too many obstructions:

  • HVAC
  • Sprinkler systems
  • J-boxes
  • MC cable
  • Fire Devices
  • et cetera...

That is why I posted "visit the job site and lift a ceiling tile".


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