Stan Shook

Stan Shook was ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR's estimating columnist from 2005 to 2012. He works as an electrical estimator in California. Read his blog at or contact him directly

Articles by Stan Shook

September 2007
The NECA Show is just weeks away, and what a glorious location NECA has chosen this year—San Francisco—where wishes come true and everybody leaves with a new takeoff on life. Host to incredible food, swanky clubs, gorgeous skylines, amazing bridges and freezing cold summer temperatures, San Francisco is one of the most diverse, hilly and complicated cities in the world … to estimate. READ MORE
August 2007
I can hear youRfrustrated cries of “Part 2? When did he write Part 1?” Well, you need to keep up. It appeared in the June 2006 issue, and it was called “Estimating Blind.” If you don’t have that issue, visit, and enter the headline in the keyword search box. OK? Find it, read it and then come back. Go! READ MORE
July 2007
I have seen it done many different ways; I have heard twice as many opinions. Sometimes it’s a specific dollar amount entry or a small percentage value; sometimes nothing at all. No matter what it is or how it is done, one thing is certain: Tools and equipment are hard job costs and should not be omitted from any estimate. READ MORE
June 2007
Questions every estimator should ask In every area of business, trends play a vital role in the analysis of what makes a business successful (or not) and predicting the possible future. As estimators, we play an important part in our company’s current state of business and its future. READ MORE
May 2007
Cover the costs of job site safety Nobody ever talks about the safety of estimators. I guess everyone assumes we are pretty safe in our offices, protected from the dangers of the construction world, but they are wrong! Estimating is a very dangerous job, one that requires a strong focus on safety. Take paper cuts, for example. READ MORE
April 2007
Because everything’s connected—somewhere: Do you know what integrated systems are and how to estimate them? They’re not really that different from standard low-voltage systems, but they require more attention to the drawing details and specifications. READ MORE
March 2007
What you don’t know can hurt your company: Knowing your company’s complete scope of work is critical to successfully estimating a project; simply studying the electrical design and reading the electrical specification is not good enough. Systems and equipment of other trades could be involved and may not be shown on the electrical plans or discussed in the electrical specifications. READ MORE
February 2007
Make sure you don't get burned: READ MORE
January 2007
What's the plan this year? READ MORE