Getting Into Commercial Contracting - General Discussion - Contractor Talk

Getting Into Commercial Contracting

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-12-2020, 10:34 PM   #1
Registered User
 
Votranphi900's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 2

Getting Into Commercial Contracting


Hello, I'm from iowa. I do residential contracting, remodels and new builds. I have experience in commercial construction as well but one thing I never understood was how to get opportunities to bid. I'm sure it's a dumb question but any insight helps. Thanks
Votranphi900 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 04-12-2020, 11:02 PM   #2
Fire up the BBQ
 
griz's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: ex-calif
Posts: 23,480
Rewards Points: 2,714

Re: Getting Into Commercial Contracting


Builders exchanges, plan rooms, legal notices in the paper, register with your local county, city, school districrs to be notified of jobs.

Advertisement

__________________
SOME JOBS JUST AREN'T WORTH DOING:
griz is offline  
Old 04-13-2020, 12:12 AM   #3
Registered User
 
Votranphi900's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 2

Re: Getting Into Commercial Contracting


Quote:
Originally Posted by griz View Post
Builders exchanges, plan rooms, legal notices in the paper, register with your local county, city, school districrs to be notified of jobs.
Is this strictly government/municipal or does this include private industries? I'm more so looking to get into warehouse/industrial
Votranphi900 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 04-13-2020, 06:43 AM   #4
Kowboy
 
Kowboy's Avatar
 
Trade: Countertops
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Sarasota, FL
Posts: 1,810
Rewards Points: 8,996

Re: Getting Into Commercial Contracting


Vot:

In commercial work, you'll become a banker. You loan out your expertise and materials for 90 days for no interest in the hope you'll get paid.
Kowboy is offline  
Old 04-13-2020, 08:27 AM   #5
Pro
 
Fishindude's Avatar
 
Trade: Industrial
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Indiana
Posts: 631
Rewards Points: 1,352

Re: Getting Into Commercial Contracting


Quote:
Originally Posted by Votranphi900 View Post
Is this strictly government/municipal or does this include private industries? I'm more so looking to get into warehouse/industrial
It's really quite simple. Make sales calls on the clients you think you are a good fit for and try to convince them that it would be advantageous for them to use your services.

Anything you find in the newspaper, plan room or builders exchange is always going to have multiple bidders already on it so you will be forced into a low bid situation. Making client contacts, negotiating and selling your work is much more profitable.
Fishindude is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Fishindude For This Useful Post:
bwiab (04-14-2020), Kowboy (04-16-2020)
Old 04-14-2020, 02:14 PM   #6
Registered User
 
Votranphi900's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 2

Re: Getting Into Commercial Contracting


How would I know certain companies want/need construction done?
Votranphi900 is offline  
Old 04-14-2020, 02:51 PM   #7
Fire up the BBQ
 
griz's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: ex-calif
Posts: 23,480
Rewards Points: 2,714

Re: Getting Into Commercial Contracting


Quote:
Originally Posted by Votranphi900 View Post
How would I know certain companies want/need construction done?
you won't.

IMO, only way you can be successful with cold calling is when you have an established reputation and know who you are calling.

plan rooms etc, will at least give you an idea of what kind of work is out there, what a set of commercial plans look like and you have the option of bidding if/when you want.

plans rooms will have private & public work listed.

nothing wrong with bidding jobs, lots of money to be made.
__________________
SOME JOBS JUST AREN'T WORTH DOING:
griz is offline  
Old 04-15-2020, 10:31 AM   #8
Pro
 
VinylHanger's Avatar
 
Trade: I'll do that for 500 bucks.
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 10,982
Rewards Points: 13,786

Re: Getting Into Commercial Contracting


I might start with developers/landlords who have tenant infill type properties.

Making large rooms into office space or clinic type spaces.

It is a good way for a residential contractor to get a foothold into the commercial network.

Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk
__________________
Your emergency does not constitute a problem with my Constitution.
VinylHanger is offline  
Old 04-15-2020, 11:41 AM   #9
Pro
 
GCTony's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Virginia
Posts: 389
Rewards Points: 494

Re: Getting Into Commercial Contracting


I’ve been in the commercial game for somewhere around 35 years,started out as a residential carpenter, then commercial carpenter, worked my way up to superintendent then projectmanager for a big GC. I then started my own small light commercial company 20 years ago.Yes, I’m one of those old guys. That being said:

The east coast market; I believe the commercial game is a hard business to jump into. The private market is all about relationships. If you have opportunities to bid work, even if you have the low bid, it’s not uncommon for Owners to use your numbers as a tool to negotiate with a GC they have an established relationship with. Public project clients (government) will require bidders to complete a qualification statement (AIA 305) that documents experience and financial means to support the project you’re bidding. Most public projects also require bonds. Bid, payment and performance. Insurance companies won’t bond a company that comes with any risk.They require experience in completing similar projects, assets and show money in the bank. Some of the best relationships we’ve had over the years is with Architects. Often times the bigger Owners and Developers will use Architects for contract administration, including bid solicitations. Those of us that have been doing light commercial for a long time, bid a lot of projects and may only be awarded 25% of those bid.

Like someone else mentioned; it’s pretty common to wait 60 and 90 days to receive payment from the time you did the work to the time you see a check. Government is a little better with 45 to 60 days but the paperwork is extensive. All projects are progress payments; bill end of the month for percentage of work completed that month. No such thing as deposits or “seed money” Your subcontractors need to buy into the“pay when paid” system.The positive is that it’s very unusual not to get paid, not so much “if” you get paid but more like “when”.Commercial work takes capital to fund expenses and material for a few months.

You need people to support the projects while you run the business; bookkeeper, project manager, superintendent. A good relationship with an accountant,insurance broker and a lawyer.We are a very small company and we use 2 insurance companies. One does or WC &GL the other handles our bonds and additional insured stuff. I use two lawyers, one I like, he handles our every day stuff like contracts, the other, a big a-hole who I use for collection and mediation.

I don’t know for sure but it seems going from residential to commercial is similar to a mason going into HVAC. If I could do it all over again, I would not be a GC. I would build my company to be a subcontractor that works for the GC’s. The business side of the commercial GC can be exhausting.We do some subcontracted work on bigger projects and find it much more enjoyable.

Last edited by GCTony; 04-15-2020 at 11:52 AM.
GCTony is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to GCTony For This Useful Post:
Kowboy (04-16-2020), NJ Contractor (04-15-2020)
Old 04-15-2020, 02:15 PM   #10
Pro
 
Fishindude's Avatar
 
Trade: Industrial
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Indiana
Posts: 631
Rewards Points: 1,352

Re: Getting Into Commercial Contracting


Quote:
Originally Posted by Votranphi900 View Post
How would I know certain companies want/need construction done?
There are many private businesses out there that just about always have construction projects ongoing. Drive around the industrial parks, you will see contractors trucks and equipment at many places. I've had crews in mills, plants and factories for several years in a row, going from one project to the next.

Many developers also have construction activity of some type always underway. When they're not building new, they're remodeling or repairing something.

Places like hospitals are the same, something is always being remodeled or built.

Get in with these type clients and you have steady work and an opportunity to develop a relationship. If you do your job and deliver exceptional service you can soon be negotiating, rather than bidding.

Advertisement

Fishindude 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


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?