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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I've run into a situation with a poor general contractor (long story, but basically poorly negotiated subs and poor oversight). Anyway, I've found some outrageous overcharges and am now questioning everything.

I had 17 wall sockets installed in a basement, new construction (i.e., the walls were open). The breaker panel is in the same room. I'm being billed $925 for the install, time and materials. I know regions vary (I'm on the MA cape), but I can figure local adjustments. Am I being ripped off here too?

thanks...
 

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Not knowing the specifics, obviously, my bill for that work would have been $935 as my best guess (guesstimate at 55 bucks a hole). That's only $10 more than your actual bill. It sounds very much in line to me, maybe even cheap considering your location. I am in central PA.
 

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Hi,

I've run into a situation with a poor general contractor (long story, but basically poorly negotiated subs and poor oversight). Anyway, I've found some outrageous overcharges and am now questioning everything.

I had 17 wall sockets installed in a basement, new construction (i.e., the walls were open). The breaker panel is in the same room. I'm being billed $925 for the install, time and materials. I know regions vary (I'm on the MA cape), but I can figure local adjustments. Am I being ripped off here too?

thanks...
Guestimate to pay between 50 to 60 bollars per opening (switch box, receptacle box, ceiling box) . That may sound like a lot when you look at a receptacle and think how can it cost so much, but realize the absurd price hike of copper lately, a trip to file a permit application, a trip to rough in the wiring, a trip to meet the inspector, and a trip to trim out, and the numbers aren't so far fetched. And of course there is overhead and profit to cover.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys. Since it seems in line, I won't worry about this item then. I definitely want to pay good money for good work. On this job, tho, I'm being overbilled a good 25% on the drywall and double what the paint job should be (not to mention how tools "accidentally" ended up on my account). At first the price felt okay, but I don't know anything about electric, so given the other things, I thought I'd check it out. It's kind of relief--this conversation isn't going to be pretty as it is.
 

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Sounds like you picked an unusually appropriate name there, BuyingAClue. The less you know about something, the more likely it is for you to get fleeced, whether you a shopping for a car, getting a mortgage or having a house built.

I highly recommend you buy the book "National Construction Estimator" (Home Depot, Borders, etc.) to get an idea of what things should cost (it sounds like your GC should pick up a copy as well). The $40-$50 this book costs will more than pay for itself in peace of mind if not being able to negotiate fairer prices, especially for labor rates.
 
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