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Martyn
08-12-2011, 02:56 PM
Just recently I posted about a small job I did where the previous tenants had removed the network cabinet and cut the cable ends off. The client there now had me repair a computer and asked me if I could do something with the cable ends so I just crimped some connectors on and fitted a switch for the network. It got me thinking about adding this to my skillset. I've seen a few courses offering a one day cat5/6 system on installation and theory which would do most small businesses fine. Is anyone else offering this service and anything else I need to think about? As I said small business so one room, one cabinet and maybe up to 24 data points. How do you price this sort of job, per point, per cabinet, per day, per hour?

Cadishead Computers
08-12-2011, 04:22 PM
This is not something I actually advertise. However it's something which naturally I can do.

I have set up wired networks for 2 clients of mine. Both of which were wireless at the time, and complained of drop outs etc.

With these, I charged per drop, then added in the cost of the actual networking. It worked out at 50 pr machine.

I would think it would all depend on how long it takes you to sort out the cabling. If you are going to cable tie it all together, make detailed notes for the switch / hub etc.

In that case I would charge by the hour, plus the cost of parts. I would cost the cable up pr foot. Then add the cost of the face plates, trunking etc.

Alternatively, you could charge pr machine. Include all the materials in with the cost of the machine.

The majority of businesses these days already have their networks set up. We are only there to maintain them.

Or again, you could charge per day. If it requires a full days installation and setup. Not forgetting the detailed notes for yourself, and your client.

I think that the only way we could get this to work, is when clients move premises, and require new installations etc. We are too far into the networking age now. If this was years ago, then it would be a nice skill set to have.

4ycr
08-12-2011, 04:39 PM
I am currently doing this for a client. They moved into a new office that had no network cabling in it, there old one had it all done before they moved in.

I am charging by the hour and adding parts as needed, I am now stuck looking for a chrome conduit to hide the cables by their request.

Martyn
08-12-2011, 04:44 PM
Yes thanks for the replies. I'm just thinking about companies that may have network problems and I can offer the full repair set. Maybe additional points adding that sort of thing. I found a company that does one day training for 149 inclusive so I think I will do it then fit out my workshop for practice, cabinets on Ebay for around 60.

angry_geek
08-12-2011, 05:35 PM
We've been doing this for years, but have recently seen an increase in jobs. We bill it depending on the job. I learned a long time ago not to do cookie cutter pricing for certain types of service. Typically, our charges run between $100 $150 per drop for existing construction. That includes cable but not hardware such as mounts, panels, etc. We've done jobs that cost less and some that cost more. We are not the cheapest around, but we're definitely not the most expensive either.

The most important thing to remember for this work is to PLAN. Go in the attic and the crawlspace, between floors, above drop ceilings, etc. Make sure you will have access to do every run before you even order the cable. If you have to drill through concrete or firewalls or whatever, consult with someone to make sure you won't affect the structure or violate codes. Never run cable parallel to electrical lines, and try to stay clear of flourescent transformers. NEVER use the same conduit or boxes for high voltage and low voltage. Make sure to have the right tools for the job. If you're going to be doing this regularly, buy GOOD tools. They may cost more, but will save you time, money, and even physical pain in the long run. Invest in good knee pads, especially if you're over 30. Trust me on that one. ;) Get good fish sticks and a fish tape and a bunch of wire hangers to keep in the truck. Build something like this: http://www.jbprojects.net/projects/wifirobot/ It can come in handy sometimes, and the customers love it when I pull that thing out. I also just picked up one of these: http://www.flukenetworks.com/datacom-cabling/installation-tools/JackRapid-Punchdown-Tool Also get a good tester and a toner/probe set.

Cadishead Computers
08-12-2011, 05:37 PM
You don't even need a cabinet Martyn. Nor a course for that matter.

I kitted out the workshop with a 24 port d-link hub, which currently has 12 leads coming off it.

1 coming in from the house, the rest are in trunking around the workshop, with 1 going to my printer, on each workbench they are in groups of 2. All with face plates on them.

So there is more than enough cat 5 down here, for me never to run out.

4ycr
08-12-2011, 05:44 PM
I like the wifi robot very nice.

kaiser715
08-12-2011, 06:13 PM
I do pretty similar to angry_geek, charge $150 (US) per drop (2 lines to a single wall plate), including wall box, cable, plate, keystone jacks, etc. Patch panel, patch cables, network switch, etc charged as separate line items. Sometimes bump price if building construction makes it more difficult (high ceilings, limited access, etc).

I usually subcontract out the rough-in (just the bare wires, no termination). I have a local telephone installer/contractor do it. I just get them to drop cable, I do all the terminations. Small jobs I usually do it all.

Fiber I charge $100 install fee, and $300 per termination. Always pull it myself. Usually, it's in an industrial environment, and I have their plant maintenance guys or a subcontractor install PVC conduit or EMT with a pull string inside, and usually work from one pulling elbow to another (takes 2 or 3 guys).

A how-to seminar would be great if you are starting out...there are lots of little 'gotchas' with data cable...bend radius, strain damage from aggressive pulling, proximity to electrical cables and devices, etc.

AdamP
08-12-2011, 06:41 PM
i've actually been doing a lot of these for residential customers. with the popularity of wall mounting internet ready tv's these days its a very easy sell. i'll do anything from just running cat5 to a wall plate to full in-wall av setups, i use mostly on-q equipment for those, they're cheap and so far been pretty reliable. as far as pricing goes i charge an hourly rate, per foot pricing for most cabling, and cost with a small markup for wallplates and such since i haven't really found a good place to get the equipment cheap enough to really make any money off of it the markup really isn't too high, i try to keep it close to the retail prices for the same things locally at like lowes and other hardware stores. but really its been a good addition to my business, on bigger jobs i'll bring a friend along and pay him to help me run cabling and since he's a journeyman electrician i let him handle any power outlets that need installed.

Martyn
08-12-2011, 06:47 PM
You don't even need a cabinet Martyn. Nor a course for that matter.

I kitted out the workshop with a 24 port d-link hub, which currently has 12 leads coming off it.

1 coming in from the house, the rest are in trunking around the workshop, with 1 going to my printer, on each workbench they are in groups of 2. All with face plates on them.

So there is more than enough cat 5 down here, for me never to run out.


I've got all that Nige it was for the practical side of doing an install. My network theory is good just the practical side of unseen wiring. It's also another income revenue stream and I also like to be able to do everything so as to use the old adage "the answer's yes, what's the question" :p

AdamP
08-12-2011, 06:55 PM
oh and as far as paying 149 to learn proper wiring techniques i'd say go for it. I paid thousands of dollars in college and it seems thats about all I left with, aside from monthly loan payments.

AvidTech
08-12-2011, 07:13 PM
Don't forget that some states require an electrical license to install cable, emt, etc. A low voltage contractors license at least to do data cable installs which does not cover running power to the rack or data closet.

AdamP
08-12-2011, 07:17 PM
Don't forget that some states require an electrical license to install cable, emt, etc. A low voltage contractors license at least to do data cable installs which does not cover running power to the rack or data closet.
that is true, luckily in my state one isn't required. but you can check the current requirements for your state and get information on how to get licensed at the link below.

http://www.necanet.org/job/compliance/?fa=specialtyLicensing

Martyn
08-12-2011, 07:25 PM
I'm in the UK :) ...........

Cadishead Computers
08-12-2011, 08:04 PM
I've got all that Nige it was for the practical side of doing an install. My network theory is good just the practical side of unseen wiring. It's also another income revenue stream and I also like to be able to do everything so as to use the old adage "the answer's yes, what's the question" :p

In that case mate, then I would say go for it. Apart from the cabinet, as I don't really see a need for one just for testing. Trunking's dirt cheap (I get mine from a local plumbers merchants!.) Far cheaper than that from bnq etc.

Martyn
09-22-2011, 07:29 PM
Just a bit of feedback for the uk people. I went on the course today and the content was quite good, I definitely learned things. Different way to route cat5e and cat6. Did a bit of practical and theory, I helped the instructor on the theory where he was slightly inaccurate :D

Anyway the practical was wiring both cat5e and cat 6 to a cabinet 19" rack and wall plates. Wiring patch cables with RJ45 plugs. The trainer was quite knowledgeable in other areas as well that got me thinking. i.e. using structured cabling for phones, tv, cctv, and basically extending digital cables.

Most of the other people on the course were full time cabling installers. Really the course was a half day at best with a 9am start and 4pm finish and plenty of drink breaks.

Simmy
09-22-2011, 07:45 PM
Could you tell us where the course was held? 150 sounds like a bargain and funnily enough it was something we were thinking of doing just this week. Did they offer any courses on fiber installs too?

Martyn
09-22-2011, 08:00 PM
The course was in Crawley.

Have a look at their courses

http://www.tradeskills4u.co.uk/

Tony_Scarpelli
09-22-2011, 08:20 PM
Just recently I posted about a small job I did where the previous tenants had removed the network cabinet and cut the cable ends off. The client there now had me repair a computer and asked me if I could do something with the cable ends so I just crimped some connectors on and fitted a switch for the network. It got me thinking about adding this to my skillset. I've seen a few courses offering a one day cat5/6 system on installation and theory which would do most small businesses fine. Is anyone else offering this service and anything else I need to think about? As I said small business so one room, one cabinet and maybe up to 24 data points. How do you price this sort of job, per point, per cabinet, per day, per hour?

Hi Martyn,

We used to farm it out to our telephone guy, who grew into security cameras, cabling cat 3 and 5, now cat 6 and Fiber Optic. Now I do 100% of cabling myself unless I am crazy-busy-full with IT work. Its easy money.

Our basic rate was $150 USD per drop including the patch panel as one drop. Plus hardware of patch panel which are now only $30 but used to about $300-400. The cabling is $59 per 1000', the ends are 10 cents a piece and you get them cheaper in large quantity. The kick plates which finish them out in the wall outlets are at any home improvement store. So a drop usually runs 50' or less so about $2.50 for cable, another $5 for plates and ends and you net $140 gross profit, easy.

Total tolls include crimp-er tool under $20, punch down tool $9, Network cable data tester from $40-4000 depending on how crazy you want to get with it. I think a $160 cable test/analyzer is just fine it tells you that all the pairs are connected, how long that run is,if it is 2 pair or 4 pair or what have you.

$150 per drop includes up to 150' run from the cable closet but the average run is less than half of that so your cable usage will be low.

So a 24 port, 24 drop job would be about $3600 plus maybe $100-300 incidentals (in the $150 drop price I paid for cables, kick plates finished out).

If they want a printed out certified statement of the drops (from the cable analyzer) we charge an extra $50 per drop.

There is good money in it.

When you do a big job, you take 4 or 5 or even 6 rolls of cable and grab a cable from each roll so you make 6 runs at once, usually down the hallway and then split off each drop to each office off the hallway so it saves a great deal of time. Very simple, do it once or twice and you will have all you need to do a good sized job. Some guys add 10' in a big loop to each run so if they wanted to relocate a drop from one side of an office to the other wall they can without rerunning extra cable. I usually do not do that myself, I try to sell two drops per office up front.

When New Horizons (the IT training company) first started up in the USA and opened their Wichita Branch they paid us $15,500 to do all the class rooms. I think we bid it down to $110 per drop and still cleared $100 profit per drop. They paid all hardware, we paid for the cable. That is how I got my MCSE training. I traded out that job for my self and my brother to both take the 6 weeks MCSE training back in 1994. I would guess the drops might be more expensive now, but I stuck with the standard $150 per drop. As I recalled we did the cat 3 phone lines for the same price but hardly ever had to do them as we usually were doing refits where phones were not required. What I mean is that in a new office you can run both the cat 3 phone lines and cat 5 cable and put it out of the same kick plate in the office for the same $150.

I've never taken a class on it, that should be really interesting.

Cat 5 cable can go up to 328' technically or about 100 meters. Actually I avoided runs over 75 meters. In big jobs you might have some flexibility as to where to put the server room or cable closet so that you are in the middle or all the runs. If you have some runs short and the other runs close to the 100 meter limit then I worried about latency, drops, slowing down the whole network or server. I've never had that problem but I worried about it.

Do not go over incandescent lighting with your cables as it interferes greatly...

The main cable you will see or be asked about is twisted pair 'plane jane' blue or grey cat 5 is about $59 per 1000', Plenum which is required in some situations and cost about double in purchase price $110 per 1000', it burns with a non toxic smoke, shielded twisted pair is more expensive but I don't know its price off top of my head. your Class can give you more information.

As I have said in other posts, if you are a one or two man shop and sometimes have lulls in activity and sales, cabling helps a great deal as those jobs seem to come up, like a savior, anytime things get really dead. Also I have gotten network management and setup jobs because I could do the whole ball of wax from design, install, implement and manage a network from bare walls to finish. This is very desirable to a small business because it avoids the "problem is with this other guy" Hardware claims its the cable who claims its the IT guys who claim its the new software company with blames the hardware. So three or four vendors all point fingers at each other. With one main contractor whatever the problem its my problem and I will fix it.

Even a small 10 workstation project like that will make your month if your charges are correct.

A typical project like that today would look like this:

1. server $3000-3800 with raid no backup
2. ten workstations $7000
3. ten cable drops plus cable closet or server area $1650
4. Labor to setup 2 hrs for server and 1 hr per workstation $1440 labor to setup and configure
5. additional labor of 1 hr per network device such as network fax/copier/printers, routers.
6. Server software 2008 or SBS 2008 $1000 or $1500 retailed to client.

So this project would be about $14,000-15,000 or so and my cost would be less than $6000. All this can easily be done within 1 week to 10 days with only about 4 full days of work.

Martyn
09-22-2011, 08:31 PM
Hi Martyn,

We used to farm it out to our telephone guy, who grew into security cameras, cabling cat 3 and 5, now cat 6 and Fiber Optic.

Our basic rate was $150 USD per drop including the patch panel as one drop. Plus hardware of patch panel which are now only $30 but used to about $300-400. The cabling is $59 per 1000', the ends are 10 cents a piece and you get them cheaper in large quantity. The kick plates which finish them out in the wall outlets are at any home improvement store.

Total toles include crimper tool under $20, punch down tool $9, Network cable data tester from $40-4000 depending on how crazy you want to get with it. I think a $160 cable test/analyzer is just fine it tells you that all the pairs are connected, how long that run is,if it is 2 pair or 4 pair or what have you.

$150 per drop includes up to 150' run from the cable closet.

So a 24 port, 24 drop job would be about $3600 plus maybe $100-300 incidentals.

If they want a printed out certified statement of the drops (from the cable analyzer) we charge an extra $50 per drop.

There is good money in it.

When you do a big job, you take 4 or 5 or even 6 rolls of cable and make 6 runs at once, usually down the hallway and then split off each drop to each office off the hallway so it saves a great deal of time. Very simple, do it once or twice and you will have all you need to do a good sized job.

When New Horizons first started up in the USA and opened their Wichita Branch they paid us $15,500 to do all the class rooms. I think we bid it down to 110 per drop and still cleared $100 profit per drop. They paid all hardware, we paid for the cable. That is how I got my MCSE training. I traded out that job for my self and my brother to both take the 6 weeks MCSE training back in 1994. I would guess the drops might be more expensive now, but I stuck with the standard $150 per drop. As I recalled we did the cat 3 phone lines for the same price but hardley ever had to do them as we usually were doing refits where phones were not required.

I've never taken a class on it, that should be really interesting.

Cat 5 cable can go up to 328' technically or about 100 meters. Actually I avoided runs over 75 meters. In big jobs you might have some flexibility as to where to put the server room or cable closet so that you are in the middle or all the runs. If you have some runs short and the other runs close to the 100 meter limit then I worried about latency, drops, slowing down the whole network or server. I've never had that problem but I worried about it.

Do not go over incandescent lighting with your cables as it interferes greatly...

As I have said in other posts, if you are a one or two man shop and sometimes have lulls in activity and sales, cabling helps a great deal as those jobs seem to come up like a savior anytime things get really dead. Also I have gotten network management and setup jobs because I could do the whole ball of wax from design, install, implement and manage a network from bare walls to finish. A 10 workstation project like that will make your month if your charges are correct.

A typical project like that today would look like this:

1. server $3000-3800 with raid no backup
2. ten workstations $7000
3. ten cable drops plus cable closet or server area $1650
4. Labor to setup 2 hrs for server and 1 hr per workstation $1440 labor to setup and configure
5. additional labor of 1 hr per network device such as network printers, routers.
6. Server software 2008 or SBS 2008 $1000 or $1500 retailed to client.

So this project would be about $14,000-15,000 or so and my cost would be less than $6000

Thanks Tony some great information there. I'm not sure I will get into full installations but more like being able to identify network problems and resolve the lot myself. It was interesting that the instructor used to be an installer himself and talked about using cat5 for all sorts of uses. Obviously I've heard of IP phones but not to using cat5 for extending digital signals. For instance at the bottom of his garden he has a room with a 50" tv running off his Sky box in the house. He uses 2 hdmi to ethernet convertors and a connection between them of cat 5 cable so his sons can watch tv in their own den. Of course you can run cctv, burglar alarms and all sorts through them. Food for thought.

Tony_Scarpelli
09-22-2011, 11:33 PM
I was a day late and dollar short to this thread, I didn't read the thread until I posted to your first post, so then I saw you took the class. I am glad you did.

After you do a few jobs you will get to where you will tackle bigger and bigger jobs. When I was by myself out of my home I used to refer to these jobs as Christmas jobs as they would pay for Christmas dinner, gifts, holiday and treats with some savings to spare so grampa can by himself a nice toy - Jacuzzi or Surround sound system.

I just picked up two new attorney clients and each one need cabling for 5 drops. Both will be jobs I do myself in 3 hrs or less. Both will make me look like a magician because it will clear up many of their network gremlins. I used to love wireless because it saved work setting up new clients, now I love it because of all the problems they cause when clients needs outstrip the speeds of the wireless. For some reason even seasoned techs just assume that a wireless network is ok without looking and understanding the amount and type data demands. Both my clients are heavy imaging users and graphics and put 5 users on a G or even N wireless and you get those little hour glasses and circles. :)

Martyn
09-23-2011, 06:57 AM
I agree Tony wireless and laptops are only a compromise over wired and desktops in my view. I run an Ethernet cable from my wireless router in the front of the house to the rear and my switches for a good solid connection with no drop outs. I've had clients with laptops(never moved) communicating wirelessly to a router 1 foot away! Minimal security issues as well with cable if you turn the wireless off.

ComputerPro
09-10-2013, 04:09 AM
We do it based on a few things. If its a few runs then the going rate is $100 per drop including parts and labor. Very, very easy to ball park and quote using this method. Simple to invoice also.
If a bigger job then it depends on the client. If its a one time thing, then we'll prob bill hourly. If its a current, good client then we may do our special 'tech for a day' rate, which is a $500 flat rate price. We usually use one of the three methods depending on the situation.

We made a little video a while back with some of the networking tools we use. You can see it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gydRZU77sPM