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Why Professional Electricians Visit a Site Before Estimating the Job

Professional Electrician Visits a Site Before Estimating the Job_Wilcox Electric DC

Depending on the industry, some professionals can give you an estimate for their work over the phone, which is very convenient. Yet it seems electricians always need to come out before telling you how much the job will cost, which means you’ll need to arrange a time to have them come out to your location. If you’d like to understand why this is necessary, let’s check out the many reasons why professional electricians visit a site before estimating a job.

Why Do Electricians Do Estimates?

An estimate serves a purpose to both parties in the transaction. A detailed estimate gives the customer a good idea of how much the project will cost, so you can compare with others and make an informed decision on which company you want to use. The bottom-line figure enables you to decide whether you can afford to do the whole project or possibly need to make a new plan. Finally, an estimate allows you to hold the electricians accountable for their time and supplies. 

An estimate is incredibly helpful to the electrician as well. It lets them know what materials and tools will be needed for the job so they can be 100% prepared when the work starts, and it gives them a reasonable idea of how many hours of labor will be involved. If you have the time, a whole home electrical safety inspection is an excellent idea, especially if you haven't had it done in a while or if you live in an old house.

Estimates allow the electrician to explain thoroughly what needs to be done on the job. It puts all the information into a written document. Regarding the estimated cost, there are a few factors that can set one electrician apart from all the rest: the level of detail within the estimate, the way in which the impending repair or installation is explained, and the quality of their work, based on their reputation. 

 The estimate benefits both parties and provides a foundation for an agreement on the job. 

What Goes in to Estimating Electrical Work

Estimating an electrical job isn’t as simple as it might seem. Just totaling up the cost of the materials plus an hourly rate does not equal an estimate. Each job is different, and there are several variables. Here’s a few things that can change from one job to another. 

  • The condition of the existing wiring is a big factor. For example, if the problem is in the wiring and needs replacing, it can be challenging and time-consuming just to track down wherein the problem lies.
  • A job site visit allows the electrician to find out the accessibility to the location of the problem. For example, whether it’s an old junction box in the basement or a crawlspace in the attic, is the spot accessible? Or will it take time and effort to access the section of the building or house where the job needs to be done?
  • Knowing what to expect at the location allows the electrician to be prepared. For example, if there are pets in the home, will they be safely kept away from the work area? Other unique factors to a particular job could include construction, ease of access to the building, or the weather, depending on if it’s indoor or outdoor work that needs to be done. 

When it comes to electrical work, every job is unique, and the only way to give a fair and accurate estimate is to see the site and determine the variables.


Wilcox Electric has provided excellent electrical service to the Washington D.C., area for more than three decades. We provide excellent work at a fair price and don’t leave a mess behind. Wilcox was voted Best Electrician in Washington, D.C., in 2022, which is an honor bestowed on us by our customers. We provide all types of electrical services, including EV charger installation and smart lighting, video doorbells, and security cameras

In January 2023, Wilcox Electric implemented a policy of charging a project estimate fee, but the total amount of that fee will be credited towards the final invoice, once the bid is accepted. Contact us if you need an estimate and would like to arrange a visit. 

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