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I have been approached by a builder to provide a quote to prewire his homes that are being built. The needs are simple......Cat5e,Cat6 and RG6 to each Bedroom. 16x4 Speaker wire to several rooms for in-ceiling speakers and a couple of 5.1 systems. He had his alarm guy doing it previously,however one of my clients used him to build a new home and he would only allow me to do the pre-wiring and installation. The builder was impressed in the end with my work and has now asked me to quote him for his upcoming projects. These are nice 1M + homes so the potential to close some nice jobs could certainly be there,however we all know we can't count on that. I realize the pricing will vary around the country. I have never charged "Per Drop" as many do. What is the norm when working for a builder....Per Drop or just give a flat quote? Any advice would be great as I know many of you do this on a regular basis.


Thank You In Advance
 

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My custom builder (who builds comparable homes, although we're lower-cost here in Houston!) had a base package of 16 cat5e and 16 RG6 runs, with the structuring wiring panel and phone modules, one 5.1 pre-wire and 6 WHA pre-wire zones, plus alarm wire. Then they offered a per drop upgrade from there. I assume their contractor had essentially the same model - a flat fee for the base package, and then a per-drop fee.

If it were me, I'd come up with that base package, and then reasonably price (at least, to the builder) some higher wire packages that they could offer clients, without having to resort to per-drop fees which seem to cause nothing but angst and anger. Say an upgrade to an Ethernet panel plus more drops for network locations, WiFi APs, etc. as one option, maybe a 10-pack of additional drops (regardless of wire type). The goal being to upgrade the work since you're already there.

If the builder doesn't already offer AV consulting, I'd put an hour or two of "free" design consultation into any of the upgrade packages - get your foot in the door for the gear and install. It's amazing how few buyers are aware of how relatively easy it is to remotely locate AV equipment, add WHA support (especially with zone players these days), etc. - if the pre-wiring is just done up front. An hour of education to sell the inexpensive wiring package to "enable the potential" would seem like good way to build a trusting client base...


Jeff
 

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Will you sub out the alarm prewiring, or expand your skill set?
 
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