How much to charge for networking gig?

By EltonWill ยท 5 replies
Feb 28, 2012
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  1. Hi Everybody,

    Need some help. I have a 4,000sq ft daycare that wants some networking, and wires ran, design and the whole bit. This is my first job I don't have any equipment and don't know what to charge. HELP or else I am going to have to pass it on.
  2. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Well common sense would dictate that you would charge the client what it would cost you in materials, and your time to do the work.

    That needs to cover:

    1. Your time to do the work
    2. Cabling (possibly different types, dependant on what you are actually doing)
    3. wall boxes and ethernet points in the various locations, and conduit required for exposed runs.
    4. Sundries (fixings, other bits you'll be using whilst performing the work)
    5. Tool costs. You will obviously need normal installation hardware, plus the correct tools to terminate ethernet sockets and make plugs, as well as testing gear to ensure that they are wired correctly.

    The fact its your first job, and you have no equipment might be a downer for you though in terms of costs.

    Do you know what networking cable would be required, and how much you'd be needing to use?

    What runs are you making?

    Solid cable is preferred for runs where the cable is not subjected to movement (fixed point to point), and stranded for installations where flexibility is required (e.g. when connecting a computer or laptop/printer a ethernet faceplate fixed on the wall or in trunking.

    You need to consider whether any runs would be subjected to strong interference. For these you would need shielded cabling.

    Cat 5e cable is fine for most office environments.
  3. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Bluntly put, the fact you have even asked this question here suggests you should pass.

    However, if you DO decide to take this project on, make it very clear to the daycare that you are new at this. Also, do it cheaply... and do it for the experience.

    There are too many variables here to even venture a guess. How many computers do you need to hook up? What's the layout? What kind of equipment DO you have? What does the daycare have, if any? Why do they need a network? Would wireless work? Would powerline networking work? So on and so on...

    Even if you take the time to answer everyone's questions as fully as possible, we still can't give you a good answer because prices will vary based on location, competition, your client, their situation and you personally.
  4. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,073   +219

    I agree with rick I am in my last semester for my 2 year networking degree and in my last networking class we did a simulated network for a company here and there over the course of the semester, if you do not know where to start it will be very frustrating. However if its real basic and only a few computers need a connection just wireless it up.

    If you want to learn on your own and need a little help get the book network design: a process for designing and managing networks. Its the one I used last semester and its pretty cheap used on ebay or amazon. You don't have to read the whole book just look up chapters in the index for areas you need help.

    Make sure your upfront with them it will save you and them a lot of head aches.

    btw you might have wanted to post this in networking

    To the question hmm i dont know how much id charge, I would make sure I was getting paid 12$+ a hour for my labor since your new to it. It really depends on how much you know and how much time will be used learning, 12$+ a hour is what I would guess if you know what to do and are not charging them for scratching your head.

    p.s. i live in arizona away from the city, remember the cost of living varies
  5. Zilpha

    Zilpha TS Enthusiast Posts: 319

    You also need to take into account the requirements of the municipality you are working in. You will want to make sure you are putting the correct type of cable in the correct places (i.e. plenum should be run in drop ceilings and a lot of municipalities require it).

    It sounds like you are trying to do a favor for a friend but if you do not wire it correctly and according to the municipality's code, you could cause them issues in the future should they need to put in an insurance claim if Gods forbid, the place burns to the ground.

    I'd agree with Rick - it sounds like you should take a pass on this one.
  6. penn919

    penn919 TS Addict Posts: 220   +71

    Well, I'd say by the fact that they asked him to do it rather than a professional certified local business means they aren't looking for anything too fancy. I agree with treetops. Just ask them if it'll be okay with Wireless or Powerline (In case security is a top concern). I'm assuming they've already got a modem, so all you'll need is some adapters, a router, and Cat 5e cables.

    If they start talking to you about drilling, municipality codes, major design layout, etc then you're probably in way over your head. I say you should go out and get some certifications first and then apply for a job in a small tech company or tech department to get some more experience.Then you could consider going solo.

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