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Small Works Projects

Step 1: The work request Step 2: The Estimate Step 3: The Approval Step 4: The Work Step 5: Invoicing & Closure Step 6: Project Feedback

Step 2: The estimate: How costs can vary

A tale of two sockets

New socket outlet: Foxhill House

New socket outlet: L029 London Road

  • PVC facia twin socket, wired in twin & earth cable & fitted into existing three compartment dado trunking
  • Existing distribution board fused rating- no change required
  • Update circuit chart
  • Test new circuit
  • Documentation
  • 3 hours' labour
  • E&F Administration
  • Brushed stainless steel twin surface mounted socket, wired in XLPE in galvanised conduit via existing trunking
  • Strip out existing distribution board due to the board being life expired & non compliant
  • Due to asbestos contained within the existing distribution board fuse carriers- include for the removal of asbestos prior to undertaking the work
  • Supply & fit new 12 way Single Phase & Neutral distribution board
  • Test new & existing circuits
  • Document
  • Update circuit chart
  • 2 days' labour
  • E&F Administration
Cost*: £324.10 Cost*: £1,769.64
* 4th Q 2009- exc VAT


Reasons for the difference

As can be seen, the amount of work involved in the second example is clearly far greater. But the following might help you to understand the controls we need to have in place, to ensure that all new work is properly designed, competitively priced and installed safely using competent framework contractors.

Job specifics

The key factors in this example were the age and layout of the electrical installations.


Legislation places duties upon the employer when undertaking any electrical work within the workplace. This includes:

  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • The Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007
  • The Electricity at Work Regulations 1981.

Other requirements

Electrical works have to comply with the current issue of the IEE Wiring Regulations BS7671:2008.

Further guidance is also provided in the form of British Standards, Approved Codes of Practice and University of Reading safety guides.

Competent contractors

Before any work takes place, the University appoints contracting organisations that are competent and can demonstrate compliance with statutory legislation and current regulations. This process is achieved with Procurements help, by appointing University framework organisations.

For electrical contractors registration requirements include:

  • membership of the National Inspection Council for Electrical Inspection and Contracting (NICEIC)
  • membership of the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA)
  • accreditation by the Contractors Health & Safety Scheme (CHAS) (or in some instances a University-approved equivalent).

The work

With competent framework organisations in place, E&F is able to specify the work and obtain a competitive quotation.


On completion, all installations and electrical test documentation are checked by a competent E&F Electrical Engineer.


The above considerations apply to all work, not just electrical installations. Which is why, in every case:

  • we collect all relevant information before any estimate is given
  • we stay abreast of relevant legislation and regulations, and ensure the work complies with them
  • we obtain competitive quotations from our pool of framework organisations competent to carry out the work
  • we carry out safety and completion inspections when the work is done.

Which is why a requests for similar work can, and often does, result in a variation of costs.