You may request or have requested a site visit; I charge for site visits. I can provide rough estimates of costs over the phone. If you want pricing that is more accurate I will need to put together a quote. You must pay me to put together a quote because a quote costs me time and money to put it together, especially if you are not really sure of what you want or if you are completely unaware of what is involved. Here are two examples:

1)      You want a light installed

a.      What circuit will it be tied to?

b.      How many watts is the fixture rated for?

c.      How many watts on the existing circuit?

d.      How do you wish the light to be controlled?

e.      Are there any obstructions to installing the lights?

                                                    i.      If it is recessed, is there:

1.      A wood member

2.      Wires

3.      Ducting

4.      Blow-in insulation

5.      Etc

                                                    ii.     If it is to be surface mounted:

1.     How much does it weigh?

2.      Is there assembly involved?

3.      Is it over stairs?

4.      Is it in some other place hard to get to?

5.      Do you have the bulb(s)?


2)      You are considering a service upgrade to your home or business*

a.      What size is the existing service?

b.      Is existing overhead or underground?

                                                    i.      If overhead - What height is PG&E’s point of attachment

                                                   ii.     If underground –

1.      What size is conduit?

2.      Where is PG&E in-ground box?

c.      What size service do you need?

                                                    i.      How do you know the size you need?

d.      Where will the added power go?

                                                    i.      Who is taking care of this?

f.       If it is for a car charger, are you aware of the E9 plan from PG&E?


Most, if not all, of the above is design time. Typically you might engage an engineer, an architect, etc., to gath information and produce documentation to which others may build to or provide an accurate quote.

Any time you wish me to spend for your home or business is time you should be willing to pay me for. I am fairly confident that if you work for someone else you expect to be paid anytime you are doing something for your employer. I am somewhat doubtful that your employer approaches you with questions like “can you do this for less money?”, or “I have a lot of other work for you, can you cut me some slack on this?” or “can you come in to work today and just look at everything that needs to get done and then give me a price to do it, but not count your time looking at things as time I should pay you for?”

Please be willing to extend the same courtesy to me you expect of your employer. Please do not call me if your expectation is to get a knowledgeable electrician to expend fuel, time, and energy to come to your home or business for free and gather all of this information and/or to explain things to you.

I understand the above may seem rather hard-lined, but I have wasted hundreds of hours over the years with people who then decide it is too much or they find someone who now does not have to go through all of the up-front effort because I have done it for them. I would rather spend my time doing other things, like being with my family or doing work I am being paid for (supports my family).

Thank you for your understanding.

* If you are considering a service upgrade, please be aware that a service upgrade will require a permit from your city or county building department as well as an application to PG&E for your business or home. PG&E typically requires an application fee, reimbursable upon completion of the upgrade. Both the permit and the application take extra time not only to secure and/or submit, but also to be party to inspections or other functions outside the immediate scope of the actual upgrade.