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(647) 932 5666

Free estimates. Is a free estimate really free?

As you know, no one works for free.

kitchen electrician in Vaughan

Most homeowners pay more after getting "free estimates" on jobs with price tag lower than $3000. It's easy to save a few hundred dollars instead. Here is how.

95% percent of experienced electricians are able to give a precise quote for a bare frame, gutted, open, no drywall renovation or new construction project.

It is a completely different story when the drywall is hung. In most cases giving an estimate on work in an old finished room, condo, house, store, building, or property is either impossible or extremely risky.

Usually, there are many hidden obstacles, shoddy or lousy workmanship, undetectable defects from before that could turn any, even the simplest job into a nightmare. Here is why.

Some customers get estimates from four or more electricians/contractors for a $500 or $1000 job. Together those electricians waste 8 to 15 hours (with driving there and back). So in total, from $500 to $1000 is wasted on estimates! Assuming electricians do not work for free, you will end up paying twice as much for that small job.

An electrician making two or three estimates a day earns nothing and spends $20 or more on gasoline.

Guess what? Eventually you pay for all the "free" estimates.

Moreover, one seemingly identical job could take much more or less time than another. But only the worst case scenario is always silently priced in every estimate. And if your project was an easy one, you overpay twice, for all the "free" estimates and for the silent worst-case scenario cushion or markup. You don't overpay only if your particular job turns out to be the most nightmarish one. Welcome to your free cheese!

And be especially careful with those enthusiastic tradesmen and contractors willing to give a free estimate for a small job. The only reason so many of them desire to come right away is to produce a quote high enough to compensate them for both the worst-case scenario and the time wasted on all previous estimates.

All tradesmen and contractors always give the worst-case scenario estimates!

Choosing the lowest from three, five, or seven hugely overpriced bids is absolutely the opposite of what you were trying to achieve!


Nothing is free in this world and you know that. There is no such thing as a free lunch, but there is always free cheese in a mousetrap. Therefore, please use basic logic and common sense.


We work all over the GTA. An average small job on-site estimate takes from 20 to 60 minutes. But with driving there and back the total time would be around three hours. Even if an electrician spends only 20 minutes on a small job estimate, it takes him about 2 1/2 hours in total. And what if he gets stuck in traffic for an hour or longer?

And yes, absolutely, one of us will come along and give a quote. But only if it's a $3,000 or bigger job, excluding materials. We won't charge for giving it, but include the cost of that visit into the final price. Every contractor does that.


We could come for a $170 paid estimate. $170 will be included in the final bill. You will NOT pay $170 extra if you hired us to do the job. (It's $220 or more in downtown Toronto.)


To save our time and your money we would just come, do the job, and charge by the hour. If you give us beforehand a detailed description of what needs to be done and pictures, we would come prepared with all materials and save you even more money. We would also give a min/max price range based on our rates and materials over the phone.

So, from our point of view, it is a fair deal when a customer pays by the hour exactly as much as the job is worth and licensed, fast, and highly experienced PROs earn as much as it takes them to do the job.

This option is the least wasteful and fairest to both sides. It is also the most flexible, allowing any adjustments as we go!

The pay per hour method practically eliminates the possibility of disagreement, dispute, or conflict. And the customer is free to make as many of such amendments as he/she wishes. In contrast to the fixed amount pricing, that makes changes and additions in the work problematic. They usually require extensive negotiations, they could cause delays, disagreements, and are often very unpleasant to both parties.

Hourly rate approach allows us to talk you through each stage, explain and discuss available choices, pros, cons, and costs.

Electrician Toronto is a fast and efficient expert. The customer is the boss, decision-maker, and budget-holder.

You won’t be in the dark as to what and why the electrician is doing and there won’t be any unpleasant surprises. You’ll end up with a job well done as per your preferences.

On top of that, we will inspect wiring and devices we are working on and explain, in plain language, how to be safe in the properly functioning home or building and avoid problems in the future. It will not cost you a dime unless you ask us to inspect the entire electrical system. In this case, you will save hundreds of dollars.

You could hire two electricians for one full eight-to-ten hour long work day (two electricians work much faster, up to five times faster than one!) After paying them for the whole day work at the end of the day, you can let electricians go in the highly unlikely event you were not satisfied with the work. They will also give you a precise quote for the whole job, excluding the first day.

Hire an educated and knowledgeable licensed electrician(s), highly experienced GTA electrical contractor. Get the best possible workmanship and speed. All work will be done perfectly the first time - to your complete satisfaction. We work fast, bring all materials with us and can literally do the work with our eyes closed.

You cut our wasted time. We work less and you pay us less! You save money! Does all this makes sense? Of course it does!


Please keep in mind that fishing a wire behind one layer of drywall takes up to 20 fold more time than running the same wire on an open frame. Therefore adding a regular wall outlet three meters to the left would take approximately 1 to 3 hours on the finished wall and 15 minutes or so if there was no drywall. Wood paneling, plywood, lath and plaster, steel mesh or thermal insulation behind the drywall would make the same task even more time consuming - up to 40 fold longer. Only exposed and visible wiring is possible on the solid concrete ceiling or brick wall.

Even more effort is required to install a three foot short jumper between two floors. In the old finished house it could take 3 hours and just 15 minutes if there was no drywall. (Unless you allow electrician to cut out a 2' by 2' patches in your wall and ceiling.)

Our electricians know from experience that 90% of 30+ year old finished houses and buildings have multiple hidden problems and dangerous alterations behind the plaster.

To avoid working for free and paying with their time for overcoming these obstacles and fixing faults created by others, most contractors give 100% to 300% higher estimates just in case. And the work based on hourly rates becomes a GOD sent alternative for customers who do not have too much extra cash in their pockets.


If you think your bare frame, NO drywall project requires less than eighty hours of labour, then call us but don't ask for a free estimate. Instead be ready to email pictures and give information. If you provided us with the detailed scope of work, we will give a ballpark amount or a best/worst scenario price range based on the hourly rate and materials over the phone.

This approach, if you hired us, would cut our total time spent on your project. In return we will deliver great workmanship and you will pay us less money. It's a simple and logical win - win arrangement!

(647) 932 5666
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Weekdays, weekends & evenings

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Free estimates for short repairs do not make sense. And giving estimates for small jobs in finished properties is an extremely risky proposition.

Just two examples:

We gave an estimate to add four receptacles on the second floor of the 40+ year old finished house. 20 minutes into the job, we discovered that outer insulation, the sheath had been partially chewed off from existing Romex type wire. We pointed it out to the homeowner. He said it was not his problem, nor his fault and that we must finish the job no matter what. We explained that it obviously was not our fault either because his mice chewed through the insulation of his wires in his walls long before our arrival and we should not be held accountable for that. The homeowner insisted. We refused to leave the dangerous condition inside the walls and disconnected the circuits from power for free. We said no to rewiring a big part or the whole house for $700 and left. It was not the end. The customer took us to a small claims court and lost. Yet, we have wasted about 25 hours!

Another simple but weird example. An electrician came to replace a wall outlet that stopped working. Expected time for the job was 15 minutes. But the electrician could not pull the outlet from the box. The code requires 4" to 7" of slack wire available inside the device box. There was none in this one. Some smart ass had first attached the wires to the receptacle and then pulled all the slack out from the back side of the box. After that he hung drywall. Absolutely crazy and unbelievable thing. Yet it happened. Two hours was needed to cut drywall, move the box, make the wire longer, and finally replace the plug itself.

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NOTE: Wiring in finished homes is impossible without making cuts and holes. Be ready for making arrangements to patch them after we are done.

Comments and questions

groony said...

The job was to replace all our plugs and switches to new decorator style ones.

They did not come for a free estimate. And gave us an affordable hourly rate and an aproximate reasonable estimate instead.

Our house is over 50 years old with a few odd things happening from time to time.

Two electricians worked hard for about 6 hours. They installed new plugs, switches and fixed all the issues.

They also installed 6 pot lights.

Guys worked smoothly, came prepared, did not waste time on shopping for materials and addressed all questions.

We ended up paying about $90 less comparing to two estimates we got from other electricians.

We recommended them to friends for other wiring jobs.

Thank you.

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