Measuring branch circuits is the final step of the take-off prior to recapping worksheets and writing up the estimate. It is also the most important part of estimating in that it will also check the existing take-off.
Measuring branch circuits is not a difficult task. Although it is time consuming, it is essential not to take any short cuts in this step of the take-off. Feeder conduit and wire, combined with branch circuit conduit and wire, can represent as much as 70 percent of the total labor on a job. If you are short on your measurements, you will be short not only in material, but in labor as well. Labor and material overruns are your worst enemy because they must be paid for, and the money to pay for these overruns will be taken out of your profit. Spending time to be accurate is but a small price to pay to prevent costly overruns.
A separate worksheet will be used for each drawing containing branch circuit pipe and wire. The headings of each worksheet will depend on the type and size of conduit specified.
The Branch Circuit Legend
Begin by setting up a legend of colored lines on the first drawing that will represent conduit and wire fill.
If underslab work is also on the same drawing and galvanized rigid conduit is specified, continue with your color code/
If the specifications call for a ground wire to all receptacles and none is shown on the drawings, simply change the wire fill.
If the specifications call for 3/4” minimum conduit, then change the 1/2” to 3/4”.
You may use any colors of your choice as long as your branch circuit legend is the same throughout the drawings.
The legend is set up to indicate the predominant conduit on the drawings. In most cases it will be 1/2”; however, for any other conduit and wire fill, use an orange pencil.
Note: In the case of increase wire fill, check the specifications for the type of wire insulation specified. Consult the National Electric Code for maximum wire fill allowed.