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Bidding Jobs With Downloaded Prints

 
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:14 AM   #1
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Bidding Jobs With Downloaded Prints


The BlueBook thread got me thinking about this as well.

We do a lot of our bids by downloading the prints from a customers ftp site(or the bluebook...). We can get them printed out in proper size by a local company but it would become expensive very quickly to print out everything all the time, even for just the section(s) we would need.

So, what I do is download the pages and then I print out what I want myself, on 8 1/2" x 11" paper. Sometimes I zoom in on something on the computer and print just that section out so I can see it better. This has been working out pretty good, but man do my eyes hurt after trying to read those pages even with a lighted magnifying glass.

My boss said not long ago a company would call you up and ask if you wanted to bid and then sent out the prints for you.

Do you guys run into the same problem with bids or do you just have them printed?

I was thinking of trying to get myself and the owner a couple of cheap 30" lcd's to hang on the walls by our desks for easier viewing pleasure.
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:20 AM   #2
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Re: Bidding Jobs With Downloaded Prints


The good thing about electronic copies is the ease of getting them out to your subs for pricing. I've been toying with getting some larger screens myself and doing all my take-offs from the screen, instead of the reams of paper that make up my desk surface.....

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Old 09-08-2010, 11:22 AM   #3
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Re: Bidding Jobs With Downloaded Prints


I'd invest in a printer that can print 11"x17". Most prints are legible at that size, and it's always handy to have a paper set to be able to grab to review something quickly. We do all of our estimating on-screen, though- the paper plans are just for reference.
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:49 AM   #4
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Re: Bidding Jobs With Downloaded Prints


We have a HP D size (24"x36") plotter with roll feeder and 13" x 19" paper tray, and Canon and Brother 11" x 17" printers. Also have 24 to 26" monitors.

The Brother MFC I bought mainly for septic designs since the county has a requirement that the drawings be a standard 11" x 17" size. This machine has a 11" x 17" scanner so I can copy the paper drawings. Plus I got it for half of suggested retail at Frys electronics.

http://www.brother-usa.com/MFC/Model...ctID=MFC6490CW
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:57 AM   #5
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Re: Bidding Jobs With Downloaded Prints


I have an account with staples. I just send the PDF over with printing instructions. I always have them print 18x24 B&W. Its only $.25 a page
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:56 PM   #6
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Re: Bidding Jobs With Downloaded Prints


I do plans up at 24" x 36" fir the permit sets then re-size to 18" x 24" for the contractors.

"Works out very well, the 18"s aren't too expensive and they are still readable.

Lots of guys around here really like the PDFs so they can do a take-off in office without the expense of printing.

Andy.
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:00 AM   #7
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Re: Bidding Jobs With Downloaded Prints


I looked at Office Depot and they have a few printers that seem worthwhile so Im pretty sure we will go scoop one up today.

There is not a Staples near here to make it worthwhile for the .25 per page, which seems very fair though. I just dont want to be making a trip to Staples each day.
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:07 PM   #8
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Re: Bidding Jobs With Downloaded Prints


Larger screens are great, or even multiple screens. You can find some great deals on overstock.com or ebay. Also look at construction software most of these programs have zoom or snap zoom so you can zoom in to see detail but come back out for a larger view or to move around.

Printing has lost the joy it once had. even at $.25 it adds up plus the driving, I can't print at home for much less than that either.
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:22 PM   #9
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Re: Bidding Jobs With Downloaded Prints


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Originally Posted by CementCreek View Post
Larger screens are great, or even multiple screens. You can find some great deals on overstock.com or ebay. Also look at construction software most of these programs have zoom or snap zoom so you can zoom in to see detail but come back out for a larger view or to move around.

Printing has lost the joy it once had. even at $.25 it adds up plus the driving, I can't print at home for much less than that either.
Wow...imagine that....the Planswift salesman in disguise included a link to his website.......
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:12 PM   #10
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Re: Bidding Jobs With Downloaded Prints


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Kovacs View Post
Wow...imagine that....the Planswift salesman in disguise included a link to his website.......
And on top of that, he didn't follow the site rules and use the vendor avatar.....that's 2 strikes!
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:26 PM   #11
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Re: Bidding Jobs With Downloaded Prints


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sar-Con View Post
The good thing about electronic copies is the ease of getting them out to your subs for pricing. I've been toying with getting some larger screens myself and doing all my take-offs from the screen, instead of the reams of paper that make up my desk surface.....
That's what I've been doing lately. The downside is I can't mark the prints up. I'm still trying to get the Sharpie marks off of my screen from the 1st time I used this method.
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:27 PM   #12
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Re: Bidding Jobs With Downloaded Prints


Quote:
Originally Posted by seeyou View Post
That's what I've been doing lately. The downside is I can't mark the prints up. I'm still trying to get the Sharpie marks off of my screen from the 1st time I used this method.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:10 PM   #13
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Re: Bidding Jobs With Downloaded Prints


We got the printer today and it is definitely an improvement. We spent $150 on the printer and another $50 on extra black ink and another $15 or so on paper. The printer can print 13x19 but we are using 11x17.

This thread was helpful, thanks!


I dont know how we would be able to get along without printing copies. Printed copies go in the folder for the job for reference for everybody, maybe the fabricator needs/wants to double check some number with our shop drawings or maybe there is a problem with what was fabricated and we need to check something while on a job to find out where the problem is. Not to mention you need them for the pre-bid and pre-work meetings (yes, a lot of the time its useless for us but we still have to go and cant go empty handed).
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:27 PM   #14
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Re: Bidding Jobs With Downloaded Prints


As a general contractor, we keep a plan room at the main office, and keep at least 2 full sets of any job we are bidding for subcontractor use. We have a copy machine that will do 11 X 17 available in the plan room, and tables and chairs and room for several subs to do take offs at the same time.
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Old 09-10-2010, 06:49 AM   #15
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Re: Bidding Jobs With Downloaded Prints


I went all electronic last year. I have the Bluebeam software package, which lets me do the take off right off the PDF file (I actually think I got the tip on Bluebeam from right here at CT). Let's you highlight areas of the drawings, tally counts, make notes, etc. No paper. When it comes time to build, then I use the Fed Ex Kinkos print-to-web feature, and go pick up the drawings the next day.
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:43 AM   #16
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Re: Bidding Jobs With Downloaded Prints


If you are a specialty trades contractor and not a GC, PDFs are great in that you can search for terms applicable to your trade. Highlight them before printing. If you do your takeoffs on paper it makes it a lot easier.

You can also use standard Acrobat to do quick takeoffs using its dimension tools. Don't forget to adjust the PDFs scale to match the document. Acrobat isn't nearly as complete as some of the other dedicated s/w but it definitely works in a pinch.

If your PDFs are the result of scanned paper, use Acrobat to run an OCR on them before searching. This works most of the time and will give you a searchable set of plans.
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:24 PM   #17
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Re: Bidding Jobs With Downloaded Prints


One thing I hate is when the prints are all just one pdf. Its sooo much easier when each page is its own file.

end rant/
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Old 09-13-2010, 09:23 PM   #18
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Re: Bidding Jobs With Downloaded Prints


Quote:
Originally Posted by jegolopolli View Post
One thing I hate is when the prints are all just one pdf. Its sooo much easier when each page is its own file.

end rant/
You can use PDFill, a free program, to split the pages .
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Old 09-14-2010, 03:10 AM   #19
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Re: Bidding Jobs With Downloaded Prints


HP5000 42" Color Roll Printer
42" Vizio Monitor
Earthworks, Roadworks, Trenchworks, Estimator and cross sections along with a GTCO III 36" Digitizer.
BlueBeam software and PDFill for splitting and combining.

Yup, I love my office!!
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:23 PM   #20
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Re: Bidding Jobs With Downloaded Prints


I have a Epson printer that goes up to 13x19 when i need to print. But mostly just use the (2) 24" monitors on my desk. I use Acrobat 9 pro mostly just zoom areas and it has a coply mark out fetures tp make notes. Or just use my 46 LED LCD TV as a mointor that I have in my office sometimes. I still get paper prints from smaller contractors and have them scaned to pdf so it better for me to handle.

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