Submitting Proposals To GC's

 
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:14 AM   #1
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Submitting Proposals To GC's


I usually never give a cost breakout, only details of the work. I provide one lump sum at the end. what do you GC's think ?
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:25 AM   #2
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Re: Submitting Proposals To GC's


Most GC's like to see enough of a break down (ie. unit pricing) that they can plug your numbers into future jobs of perhaps a different scope.

For instance:

You are bidding a 4,000 sq ft line-residential with just base and openings.

You give me a price.

Tomorrow, I have a 6,000 custom-residential (more stain, less paint) with crown, coffers, and chair rail.

I really don't know, off the top of my head, (and we DO like to have these ball parks in our heads), where you would come in on this home. This is information I like to be privy to.

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Old 01-23-2010, 09:29 AM   #3
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Re: Submitting Proposals To GC's


I give sq ft pricing for materials & sq ft pricing for labor.
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:46 AM   #4
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Re: Submitting Proposals To GC's


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Originally Posted by pinwheel View Post
I give sq ft pricing for materials & sq ft pricing for labor.
That won't work for me.

Supose this house you are giving me a sq ft price on is 50/50 paint and stain.

You give me, let's say $4,000.

Joe also gives me $4,000.

And Henry gives me $4,000.

You figured it this way, 1,000 paint, 3,000 stain.
Joe sees it as 3,000 paint and 1,000 stain.
Henry has a balance of 2,000 and 2,000.

Each crew has their preference and strong suites. Perhaps it is simply that your painters are fast, and Joes are slower.

Maybe your guys struggle with staining while Joe's just love to do that stuff.

Maybe Henry just wasn't really sure, so he horsebacked his numbers.

I don't know. But I like to know for future references. If I get a house heavy on paint, with almost no stain.... I'm looking at you. I figure you can get in and get out faster for me than Joe can.

Stain? Maybe Joe gets the nod. But either way, I like to have some idea of the strengths and weaknesses of my options.
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:53 AM   #5
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Re: Submitting Proposals To GC's


Remember, we are geared to be budget number conscious. And that requires that we stay aware of both time and price on a variety of tasks. We anticipate and plan far more than we simply decide on one bid or another.
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:03 AM   #6
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Re: Submitting Proposals To GC's


We give a complete description of what will be done and what will not, we give one total price for the complete job. The only time we break up the price is when it envolves framing and drywall. We require a payment after the framing is completed and one after the drywall is completed.

We don't like to give per ft prices because of all the variables that are involved. We go out to each and every job were bidding on and bid accordingly to each job.

Willie when you put numbers from a prior job in your figures do you excpect the contractor to do it for the price of the other jobs even though maybe things went up like materials, or there is alot more things to cover up or clean up then on the other jobs, or the base is 6" instead of 3 1/2" ?
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:11 AM   #7
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Re: Submitting Proposals To GC's


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Originally Posted by drywallnflorida View Post
We give a complete description of what will be done and what will not, we give one total price for the complete job. The only time we break up the price is when it envolves framing and drywall. We require a payment after the framing is completed and one after the drywall is completed.

We don't like to give per ft prices because of all the variables that are involved. We go out to each and every job were bidding on and bid accordingly to each job.

Willie when you put numbers from a prior job in your figures do you excpect the contractor to do it for the price of the other jobs even though maybe things went up like materials, or there is alot more things to cover up or clean up then on the other jobs, or the base is 6" instead of 3 1/2" ?
Those are examples of EXACTLY what I want to hear about.

But if all I get is simply a sq ft number...... what else do I have to go on? Don't imagine that we GC's are any more mind readers than you guys are. If you do not give us enough information to know and understand how you work and what you need for various situations, all we are left with is that sad little sq ft price from the last job.

And, as I said, we do most of our jobs in our heads a few weeks ahead of the actual bid submissions. If I know and am aware of when, how, and why a certain sub wil perform...... they will usually be on the job before I will shop for a base price that reflects nothing more than a dollar amount.
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:33 AM   #8
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Re: Submitting Proposals To GC's


I will be frank with you here, because I too have given prices this way when I worked with my tools.

I would look at a house, decide upon a price, divide it by the square footage of the building, and submit that as a sq ft price.

This method is dangerous. Dangerous for both you and me, because it means nothing for my future budget considerations. And I, for one, do not like to just sit around and wait for each sub's bid to come in. I want to know that for a particular range of home (scope of work, time spent, and quality expected), pretty much what you will charge, what Joe will charge, what Henry will charge, and which of you will do the particular bulk of required work better and faster.

I think it would shock most of you to know how often price is NOT the deciding factor. That's individual task price. We look at overall project completion and satisfaction factors. Many times a sub who is 15 to 20% higher can actually save you money in the long run.

BUT...... we have to know how and why!
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Old 01-23-2010, 11:48 AM   #9
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Re: Submitting Proposals To GC's


We have given round about numbers to a few of the builders who we use all the time because they know and understand that is for a cut and dry senerio, and anything extra will be on top of it. Some just don't understand that and don't realize that there are diffrences between job A and job B and put there price together not realizing that there is alot more work to be done to complete the job per sq foot as is the reason for the higher price.
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:16 PM   #10
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Re: Submitting Proposals To GC's


If the PM you work with knows your numbers he can put in a realistic budget.
And most of the time will call you for the job, making his life easier goes a long way.
Of course you will be kept honest once in a while with other guys numbers
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:46 PM   #11
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Re: Submitting Proposals To GC's


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If the PM you work with knows your numbers he can put in a realistic budget.
And most of the time will call you for the job, making his life easier goes a long way.
Of course you will be kept honest once in a while with other guys numbers
Never forget this famous quote:
You can have anything you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want.~Zig Ziglar

Find out what the man (or woman) you hope to work for wants. Consider how you can deliver it. Succeeding here will smooth a lot of your pathways.

If you are not familiar with The Theory of Reciprocity, Google it HERE.
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:28 PM   #12
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Re: Submitting Proposals To GC's


Quote:
Originally Posted by drywallnflorida View Post
We have given round about numbers to a few of the builders who we use all the time because they know and understand that is for a cut and dry senerio, and anything extra will be on top of it. Some just don't understand that and don't realize that there are diffrences between job A and job B and put there price together not realizing that there is alot more work to be done to complete the job per sq foot as is the reason for the higher price.
No some GC's don't.

And worse, some subs don't either. I try to know each of my subs' jobs as well as, or better than, they do themselves. But I don't always succeed. I have an excuse because I am attempting to stay up with all the latest developments in 15 or 20 different disciplines of construction... plus, just like many of you, keep several projects on schedule.

But a man working only one trade has much less excuse for not staying on top of at least 90% of what is happening in his particular corner of the industry. Before you bid, KNOW everything there is to know about that specific job. And try to learn about the jobs that touch yours.

If you may get some over-spray on a window, KNOW that you do not let your skinned-ape of a helper grab a razor blade to just scrape it off. If you are working 10' above my expensive marble tile floor without a wide, thick, thick, protective carpet of firm padding between it and your sledge hammer teetering on the top of your step ladder... you better get some knowledge working quick.

These are but two of many things you, as a subcontractor, need to consider in your bids. Certain precautions and safeguards are needed and expected when you work with or near other trades. You never, ever set your tools on a countertop. You bring thick, CLEAN dropcloths.

These things cost you money to buy, and time to setup prior to working.

And about the worst thing you can do on any job is to cost the supervisor time or money because you 'didn't think' about something you needed to think about.

All this is part and parcel to figuring a bid. Planning on just cleaning your brushes inside my house? I don't think so. And the time it takes for you to set up someplace designated for things like that needs to be figured into your costs. And it's not just a move to my driveway or on my new sod.

Remember that old saying "If mamma ain't happy, nobody's happy"? The GC is mamma on that job, and all you have to do to keep him/her happy is to cover all the bases you are expected to cover.

Do all this up front. Before you turn in a short bid. Trust me, surprises do not make for a happy GC. "Well, hell, how was I to know I was going to have to cover up the lady's piano before I patched that hole in the ceiling?" "It's gonna cost more..." Again, I don't think so.

It only takes looking at the whole scope of the work to plan for the money and time to do it professionally. And let the man know what you see, and what you anticipate as running into more than your base price.
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Old 01-23-2010, 04:27 PM   #13
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Re: Submitting Proposals To GC's


Gentlemen,
Thank You for this excellent advice. My motto is to treat the GC's like their job is the most important job in the world, b/c it is. I try to be super professional, independent, and helpful. However, I don't give ANYTHING away.
I'm asking about the proposals b/c a GC recently commented about more detail. Like I said, I usually will detail everything i will do, but i will not give away my pricing breakout. My concern is GC in the middle of the project asking for take-backs. This happened to me not long ago, GC hired people and put them on his payroll, took a certain part of the contract away from me. He asked for a credit based on my proposal's breakout. It hurt my bottom line and they didn't do a great job, but it reflected on my work. I actually had to repair some of their work and bill him for it (he paid). So i figure the least amount of info the better.
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Old 01-23-2010, 04:44 PM   #14
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Re: Submitting Proposals To GC's


Knowing what my subs charge me allows me to bid jobs out more accurately and within a timely manner.

If a sub I frequently use jacks his price, he better have a good reason as to why he didn't call me or let me know. If it's a materials hike, I'm probably going to know about it before him. Most of my material suppliers notify me when materials are going up. (Just received notification shingles are going up 14% in March.)

If a sub has me guessing and riding the cost roller coaster, more than likely he'll be on the outside looking in on my jobs. Supplying cost prices to your GC isn't a military secret. You want the work, tell me what you charge and why.

The more of a breakdown a GC has, the easier it is for them to do there jobs.

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Old 01-23-2010, 04:49 PM   #15
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Re: Submitting Proposals To GC's


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Originally Posted by d-rock View Post
Gentlemen,
Thank You for this excellent advice. My motto is to treat the GC's like their job is the most important job in the world, b/c it is. I try to be super professional, independent, and helpful. However, I don't give ANYTHING away.
I'm asking about the proposals b/c a GC recently commented about more detail. Like I said, I usually will detail everything i will do, but i will not give away my pricing breakout. My concern is GC in the middle of the project asking for take-backs. This happened to me not long ago, GC hired people and put them on his payroll, took a certain part of the contract away from me. He asked for a credit based on my proposal's breakout. It hurt my bottom line and they didn't do a great job, but it reflected on my work. I actually had to repair some of their work and bill him for it (he paid). So i figure the least amount of info the better.
HERE is one way to look at that.
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Old 01-23-2010, 04:57 PM   #16
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Re: Submitting Proposals To GC's


It all depends on the GC that I am bidding for. The guys whom I have worked with for many years get the preferential treatment. If they want a breakdown they can have one. Although they seldom ask. Generally I wont provide this for a new builder. I can give him a basic idea, but like people here have been saying, it all depends on the job. Consistency is very important in pricing for the GC. They like to be able to give a potential customer a good idea on price as soon as possible to see where they stand, and if it is worth pursuing. As a framer, my prices are very consistent for each builder, although if they go outside of their general category of work, they can expect less consistency. A 2000 sq ft house will price out lower than a 20000 sq ft house (although not by as much as some would think!).
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Old 01-23-2010, 05:37 PM   #17
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Re: Submitting Proposals To GC's


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No some GC's don't.

And worse, some subs don't either. I try to know each of my subs' jobs as well as, or better than, they do themselves. But I don't always succeed. I have an excuse because I am attempting to stay up with all the latest developments in 15 or 20 different disciplines of construction... plus, just like many of you, keep several projects on schedule.

But a man working only one trade has much less excuse for not staying on top of at least 90% of what is happening in his particular corner of the industry. Before you bid, KNOW everything there is to know about that specific job. And try to learn about the jobs that touch yours.

If you may get some over-spray on a window, KNOW that you do not let your skinned-ape of a helper grab a razor blade to just scrape it off. If you are working 10' above my expensive marble tile floor without a wide, thick, thick, protective carpet of firm padding between it and your sledge hammer teetering on the top of your step ladder... you better get some knowledge working quick.

These are but two of many things you, as a subcontractor, need to consider in your bids. Certain precautions and safeguards are needed and expected when you work with or near other trades. You never, ever set your tools on a countertop. You bring thick, CLEAN dropcloths.

These things cost you money to buy, and time to setup prior to working.

And about the worst thing you can do on any job is to cost the supervisor time or money because you 'didn't think' about something you needed to think about.

All this is part and parcel to figuring a bid. Planning on just cleaning your brushes inside my house? I don't think so. And the time it takes for you to set up someplace designated for things like that needs to be figured into your costs. And it's not just a move to my driveway or on my new sod.

Remember that old saying "If mamma ain't happy, nobody's happy"? The GC is mamma on that job, and all you have to do to keep him/her happy is to cover all the bases you are expected to cover.

Do all this up front. Before you turn in a short bid. Trust me, surprises do not make for a happy GC. "Well, hell, how was I to know I was going to have to cover up the lady's piano before I patched that hole in the ceiling?" "It's gonna cost more..." Again, I don't think so.

It only takes looking at the whole scope of the work to plan for the money and time to do it professionally. And let the man know what you see, and what you anticipate as running into more than your base price.
I work directly for the GC....we supply carpentry and sub the specialty trades....We cater to our subs. We clean up their mess, do their dirty work, and when we ask a little from them the answer by saying...."That's not in my price"....Some of your thoughts in that last post were spot on...

We'll have to go protect the Piano because we can't trust our subs to do it....where's the water, I can't work like this, blah, blah....

I'm not involved in the whole arrangement btw my company and our subs, but it's BS having to create a perfect scenario before they walk or run to the office and cry.....blaming us and upcharging.

I wouldn't be suprised if my company lowballs the subs to the point they'd be loosing money if they were expected to do things mentioned either.

Our subs get better treatment than our employees...we're ecstatic if a sub cleans or protects at all! If something gets f'ed up our crew is responsible......Thanks Willie for your post!
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Old 01-23-2010, 05:42 PM   #18
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Re: Submitting Proposals To GC's


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That won't work for me.

Supose this house you are giving me a sq ft price on is 50/50 paint and stain.

You give me, let's say $4,000.

Joe also gives me $4,000.

And Henry gives me $4,000.

You figured it this way, 1,000 paint, 3,000 stain.
Joe sees it as 3,000 paint and 1,000 stain.
Henry has a balance of 2,000 and 2,000.

Each crew has their preference and strong suites. Perhaps it is simply that your painters are fast, and Joes are slower.

Maybe your guys struggle with staining while Joe's just love to do that stuff.

Maybe Henry just wasn't really sure, so he horsebacked his numbers.

I don't know. But I like to know for future references. If I get a house heavy on paint, with almost no stain.... I'm looking at you. I figure you can get in and get out faster for me than Joe can.

Stain? Maybe Joe gets the nod. But either way, I like to have some idea of the strengths and weaknesses of my options.

I'm a hardwood floor guy, how else am I supposed to price for you besides by the sq ft?

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Old 01-23-2010, 07:52 PM   #19
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Re: Submitting Proposals To GC's


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Originally Posted by WNYcarpenter View Post
I work directly for the GC....we supply carpentry and sub the specialty trades....We cater to our subs. We clean up their mess, do their dirty work, and when we ask a little from them the answer by saying...."That's not in my price"....Some of your thoughts in that last post were spot on...

We'll have to go protect the Piano because we can't trust our subs to do it....where's the water, I can't work like this, blah, blah....

I'm not involved in the whole arrangement btw my company and our subs, but it's BS having to create a perfect scenario before they walk or run to the office and cry.....blaming us and upcharging.

I wouldn't be suprised if my company lowballs the subs to the point they'd be loosing money if they were expected to do things mentioned either.

Our subs get better treatment than our employees...we're ecstatic if a sub cleans or protects at all! If something gets f'ed up our crew is responsible......Thanks Willie for your post!
I actually have a document in my files that I printed off and posted in houses (I'll try to find it). It's in English and Spanish stating that if we have to clean up the sub's messes, it will be a flat $200 charge.

It is here..... and also in a good sign form in the DOC File below. Feel free to print it off and use it... there is no proprietary info on it.

ATTENTION: All Subcontractors


La ATENCION:


Todos Subcontratistas

********************************
All floors will be swept with a broom every afternoon. And all extra material will be neatly stacked.

Todos pisos se barrerán con una escoba cada tarde. Y toda materia extra se amontonará ordenadamente.
********************************
If this is not done, your company will be charged $200.00 for each incident.

Si esto no se hace, su compañía será cargada $200.00 para cada incidente.
Attached Files
File Type: doc Sub Sweeping Charges.doc (23.5 KB, 71 views)
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Old 01-23-2010, 07:59 PM   #20
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Re: Submitting Proposals To GC's


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I actually have a document in my files that I print off and post in houses (I'll try to find it). It's in English and Spanish stating that if we have to clean up the sub's messes, it will be a flat $200 charge.
Really? Only $200!! I may as well not clean up the site at all. Actually, I find that keeping the site cleaned up and well managed actually makes me money in the long run. I hate a site that is not cleaned up and well organized. Lucky for me, most of the GC's that I work for don't bring out the other subs until we are nearly done. Nothing worse than having your clean, well organized site disgraced by a sub who could care less. Maintaining a clean site reduces injuries, makes things easier to find, and gives people something to do during any down time.

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At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

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