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Winning The Job With The BIG Builder

 
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Old 04-11-2006, 07:24 PM   #1
 
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Winning The Job With The BIG Builder


OK drywall gods (and goddesses, if you're out there), I am trying to get an opportunity to do some work with some BIG builders. You know who I'm talking about? The guys that develop the new 50 unit commuunity consisting of "colonial" style houses that end up looking rather similar. I want to use this as a springboard for my business so that I can begin to develop some real experience, while getting consistent work, and beefing up the bank account a little.

Problem: I have been told these builders look for two things:
1. Lowest bid
2. Quickest turnaround

These companies have little to no concern about quality. As long as it's presentable, they'll pass it.

Does anyone out there have any experience with these types of companies? What was it like? Was it helpful, or just a headache? What did you learn from the process? Are you still working for them?

Please share your combined wisdom with me. I'll send you a Christmas card....you know....at Christmas time.
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Old 04-11-2006, 08:07 PM   #2
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Re: Winning The Job With The BIG Builder


One thing I noticed about the builders in my area that do the developements is profit. I was called by a guy I sometimes use to tape and bed after my crew rocks a job. He liked the way my guys take their time to do it right...makes his job easier. So he asked me to bid a 2800 sq/ft home (standard here for framers ect., throw in the garage for free) to drywall it...no big tricks, and only one tray ceiling. So I give them a bid, not caring if we got it. Sure enough, we missed,....but it was the amount that was a shock. A crew of 10 or 12 guys rocked it in a day for 1/3rd of my bid and the only complaint was the amount of scrap. The tape and bed guy wasn't happy because to him, it was sloppy. To the builder, it was fine, that is what he paid the tape and bed guy to make right...so beats me...we will still do quality drywall, and I won't cut my price. My sub likes our work and word of mouth spreads well.

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Old 04-11-2006, 08:42 PM   #3
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Re: Winning The Job With The BIG Builder


We do framing, plumbing, siding, and roofing. We often get the same thing from the big guys, no quality, just speed. I like to take pride in my work as my future depends on it, but as with many they do not want to pay for the quality. As a matter of fact many home owners wish they had me GC'ing the entire job, problem is I don't know how to get that first one.
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Old 04-11-2006, 09:09 PM   #4
 
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Re: Winning The Job With The BIG Builder


your idea of a springboard is fine, just make sure they don't string you out for more than 2 weeks for your money. If you can get in the flow its good cash flow and can allow you to do custom work on the side.
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Old 04-12-2006, 04:51 AM   #5
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Re: Winning The Job With The BIG Builder


abp: Step up to the plate when problems arise on a job site, and you will soon have a shot at GC. I keep a directory of EVERYONE I know that does anything I may need to contact or buy. It helps when a HO is looking to get something done or wants to kind someone to do something and you can say " I got it covered" One word of caution: Don't offer to help unless you don't have a GC since he will not appreciate the "help". Perseverance and quality is always the best way to become the lead dog, and the veiw is so much better.
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Old 04-12-2006, 06:00 AM   #6
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Re: Winning The Job With The BIG Builder


Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewtlocke

Problem: I have been told these builders look for two things:
1. Lowest bid
2. Quickest turnaround

These companies have little to no concern about quality. As long as it's presentable, they'll pass it.
Yup- that's about the extent of it. the only place working for those guys will "springboard" you to is the bankruptcy court- if you care about quality, pay your guys decent wages (and take out taxes, etc on them), and run a legitimate business, forget the big guys. There will always be some hack running south-of-the-border crews who will come in and cut your price by $0.01/SF and the builder will drop you like a bad habit.

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Old 04-12-2006, 07:02 AM   #7
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Re: Winning The Job With The BIG Builder


In a nutshell talking with a freind that services these big builders-speed and lowest bid period.

I'm amazed at all the new homes I've been in and how shoddy they are, and I've yet to meet 1 new home owner that's happy with their new home and are all to quick to give me a walk through beeotching about this that and the next thing. Really sad, but these guys learned long ago 98% of homies care for nothing more than the bottom line as well and cant understand cheapest price will never result in a quality installation of products....it just shows how well the next crew can cover up the prvious crews mistakes.
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Old 04-12-2006, 07:21 AM   #8
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Re: Winning The Job With The BIG Builder


I met the building super for a major new home developer in Oklahoma City yesterday, and he is changing jobs to a smaller company. He told me that this "major" builder, which does 120+ new homes a year cuts so much in cost, that they delete brick ties, house wrap, do not insulate the corners on framing, and rarely, unless caught on tall walls, use anything but 2x4 framing...and mind you, these are 250k+ homes...jeez.
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Old 04-12-2006, 01:38 PM   #9
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Re: Winning The Job With The BIG Builder


That happens everywhere.^^^^^^^^^^

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