Builder's Exchange - General Discussion - Contractor Talk

Builder's Exchange

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-29-2010, 10:12 PM   #1
"Pro"
 
Ayerzee's Avatar
 
Trade: Construction Engineering Student
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Malvern, OH
Posts: 628
Rewards Points: 500
Question

Builder's Exchange


The company I did my co-op with got all of it's leads from the ohio builder's exchange. They were a large company so I'm curious: Is it worth if for a smaller contractor like me to join something like this? Every job I helped bid for the company was well over $100k so I don't know if they even list smaller jobs on the site. I do know that the service is very expensive, no doubt worth it for most larger companies.

I'm going to call the Builder's Exchange tomorrow I'm just curious if any of you guys have any experience with it and what you think. Thanks
__________________
Dan
Ayerzee is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   

Advertisement

 

Old 12-29-2010, 10:18 PM   #2
Fire up the BBQ
 
griz's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: ex-calif
Posts: 23,632
Rewards Points: 3,062

Re: Builder's Exchange


Yes, very well worth it to be connected with the local construction community. Small jobs & non-commercial are also posted at exchanges. I was just starting out when I joined. I attended the meetings, BBQ's & fund raisers. After several months a large & well respected contractor started referring me to smaller jobs he wasn't interested in.
It's a great social networking place for the construction community.

Advertisement

griz is online now  
Old 12-29-2010, 10:49 PM   #3
Pro
 
concretemasonry's Avatar
 
Trade: Masonry consultant
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: MSP, Minnesota
Posts: 3,379
Rewards Points: 2,960

Re: Builder's Exchange


I was on the board for a local Builders Exchange and most projects were available, courtesy of the architects, in the plan room for looking at specs and doing take-offs. - It was necessary to reserve some of the "hot" plans that had many trades bidding on portions. It was also possible to reserve plans to take out over night, but they had to be back by 7:00AM or you would never be able to reserve another. It was an office for the "take-off" subs, because of the coming and going of different types of contractors.

Not much general social activities except an annual meeting that everyone went to and a golf tournament. The board met monthly to referee the decision and guide the expenditures for the building. It had well over 1000 members. The exchange across the river (St. Paul) was a little bit smaller, but withmany common members and was much more social and had great mixers/events. - Every exchange has its own tradtion and profile.

My fish was caught during a "board meeting" in Canada and a contractor provided the plane to and from the the float plane base in Canada and had appetizers and "refreshments" on the plane for the return so it was a great organization to participate in and make good close contacts.
__________________
Dick

Engineer, designer and consultant recently active domestically and internationally on construction and design in about 40 countries.
concretemasonry is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 12-29-2010, 10:54 PM   #4
"Pro"
 
Ayerzee's Avatar
 
Trade: Construction Engineering Student
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Malvern, OH
Posts: 628
Rewards Points: 500

Re: Builder's Exchange


That's interesting. I thought the builder's exchange was just an online plan room with projects up for bid. I had never heard of it before I got my co-op. I never thought of it as a networking thing.
__________________
Dan
Ayerzee is offline  
Old 12-29-2010, 11:21 PM   #5
Fire up the BBQ
 
griz's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: ex-calif
Posts: 23,632
Rewards Points: 3,062

Re: Builder's Exchange


Hey youngin', college can't teach you everything.
Every now & then some old fart just may know something

Seriously, you are an asset to the construction industry & you will continue expand your knowledge. It's great to see your interest & enthusiasm. Thank You.
griz is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to griz For This Useful Post:
Ayerzee (12-30-2010)
Old 12-29-2010, 11:43 PM   #6
The Sheriff

 
Jaws's Avatar
 
Trade: Builder
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 25,609
Rewards Points: 17,250

Re: Builder's Exchange


If the Builders Exchange is the same thing
as a Builders Association it is a great asset
for you to build your name and brand
recognition. At least it has for me. I became
active right away in my local HBA and it did a
lot for my business right away. We mostly do
remodels and repairs work, with the occasional
custom home, and some of the larger GCs
refered us to some good jobs that they weren't
setup for or didn't want. You get out of it what
you put in, so go to the fund raisers and social
events and join a commitee or two.
If run properly they strengthen our industry
by promoting education
Jaws is offline  
Old 12-30-2010, 12:33 AM   #7
Chuck
 
S.R.E.'s Avatar
 
Trade: Excavating, Clearing, Underground Utilities
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 523
Rewards Points: 506

Re: Builder's Exchange


If you are looking at plans to provide a bid to a general you don't have to be a member. Just be careful that you don't spend a lot of time and money providing "Check Bids" for GCs who aren't going to sub out the work.

Check around and see if there is a local independent "Construction Reporter" in your area. If you are looking for ways to meet GCs go to mandatory pre bid meetings and make sure you study the plans first and then ask a couple knowledgeable questions about mistakes on the plans. Just know that most commercial work acquired this way is by being the low bidder.
S.R.E. is offline  
Old 12-30-2010, 09:07 PM   #8
Member
 
knoxwindowdude's Avatar
 
Trade: window,siding and roofing contractor
Join Date: May 2008
Location: knoxville, tn
Posts: 73
Rewards Points: 75

Re: Builder's Exchange


Is this the same as The Dodge Room?
knoxwindowdude is offline  
Old 12-30-2010, 10:54 PM   #9
"Pro"
 
Ayerzee's Avatar
 
Trade: Construction Engineering Student
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Malvern, OH
Posts: 628
Rewards Points: 500

Re: Builder's Exchange


Quote:
Originally Posted by knoxwindowdude View Post
Is this the same as The Dodge Room?
Idk, I've never heard of that...
__________________
Dan
Ayerzee is offline  
Old 01-01-2011, 01:44 PM   #10
Pro
 
larryb's Avatar
 
Trade: Retail and insurance repair claims consultant
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 383
Rewards Points: 258

Re: Builder's Exchange


My dad used to be a member of the MPLS builders exchange in the late 50's/early 60's and would bring me along as a kid where he taught me how to do commercial construction project take offs. I think that is what eventually got me interested in the biz.

In the 70's I thought becoming an associate member might help me get more business for my own company. I signed up to receive Dodge reports on a regular basis. I would then visit the B/E and pull the plans on projects that peaked my interest. What I was looking for from those Dodge reports was heavy residential to light commercial - apartment/condo projects, etc.

Unfortunately, most of the projects at the level I was interested in were priced so tight that I wasn't willing to take the risk. One particular project, a large complex near the U of M, was poorly drafted by the architect and after running the numbers it was obvious there was no room for error.

Another guy I knew successfully bid the job but lost his behind when it became apparent (near completion) that his bid per the plans was dramatically short. When he told the developer he needed substantially more money to complete the project the developer said, "sorry, your bid is your bid'. After much discussion among peers, we eventually concluded that developers and architects on similar projects occassionally but intentionally "misrepresent" the true numbers on the plans in order to keep the costs down. Be careful out there

-----------------------------------------------------------
With the strange weather we've been having around the country combined with pent up demand, 2011 should be a good year for everyone - let's hope so.

Happy New Year! to all...
__________________
3RSystems, LLC - Storm Damage Contractor Insurance Claim Sales and Process Training, Hail Reports, and loss report analysis.
larryb is offline  
Old 01-01-2011, 01:57 PM   #11
Chuck
 
S.R.E.'s Avatar
 
Trade: Excavating, Clearing, Underground Utilities
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 523
Rewards Points: 506

Re: Builder's Exchange


Here is a link to the place I am a member at. They email me project updates, Prebid meetings, and local permits issued and applied for. It is a good resource. http://www.wcrinc.com/documents/about_wcr.php
S.R.E. is offline  
Old 01-01-2011, 02:20 PM   #12
Pro
 
concretemasonry's Avatar
 
Trade: Masonry consultant
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: MSP, Minnesota
Posts: 3,379
Rewards Points: 2,960

Re: Builder's Exchange


The different Builders Exchanges are usually great to view plans/specifications and make some contacts depending on the "social" activities (golf tournaments, parties/dances and fishing tournaments) be cause it is a casual setting for mixing with competitors, subcontractors, GCs and occasional architects/engineers that are invited as guests.

I also proweled around the St. Paul and the Minneapolis Builders Exchanges for a few years and never bothered with the Dodge Room because of location and convenience and it never offered the way to meet with others in a more social atmosphere.

I had a friend and customer that was a large GC and he belonged to both local exchanges. His son was my doubles partner in golf and worked hard for the old man. On one very large U of M project ($25,000,000), the son was in charge of the bid for the project and his crew of estimators spent 2 weeks putting a bid together. When they had the bid finished, the old man (engineer and experienced contractor) paged trough the drawing for about 10 minutes to makes sure they were good and the estimators had something to work with. After doing that, he asked "How many bidders and who are they?". There were about 4 other serious bidders. Then said add $2,000,000 to your price and I will be responsible for the result. All estimators immediately got a bonus for the work they did. The owner's son was devastated for a couple of days.

When the bids were opened, the "old man's" company was the low bidder (with the extra $2,000,000) because the guy knew the situation and projects scheduled the other contractors had and how serious they were about specific types of jobs. This was through social contacts and allowed selective targeting. The same thing applies to smaller projects since it is not based on low price. Late I played golf with the owner and his so. The son said "I can easily beat him at golf, but it will take years of experience and social contacts to get to his business level".

Do the estimates using numbers you know apply to the job and then evaluate the competition and the entire situation. Sometimes it is not good to be low bidder, since being higher allows doing more while the low bidders are busy losing money. - It is all a matter of knowing the customers and putting things in perspective. There will always be someone cheaper on a smaller job, so assessment is important.
__________________
Dick

Engineer, designer and consultant recently active domestically and internationally on construction and design in about 40 countries.
concretemasonry is offline  
Old 01-06-2011, 09:43 PM   #13
"Pro"
 
Ayerzee's Avatar
 
Trade: Construction Engineering Student
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Malvern, OH
Posts: 628
Rewards Points: 500

Re: Builder's Exchange


Thanks for the insight everyone. I'm going to call the NE ohio builder's exchange tomorrow and talk to someone. I also see that they have a free week trial of the online plan room so I can't go wrong there.

Advertisement

__________________
Dan
Ayerzee is offline  


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Condo - White Box Legal Definition and Builders Grade tpro123 General Discussion 2 12-20-2010 05:52 PM
Link Exchange coolflatroof Green Building 1 11-23-2008 12:06 AM
Builders opinions wanted... MEDIAINSTALLS Business 9 07-06-2008 08:24 AM
Another silver lining in these dark clouds Mike Finley Business 0 04-02-2008 02:36 PM
any nc builders?? brookslane27 General Discussion 0 02-13-2007 08:23 PM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

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.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?