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Tight Bidding Today

 
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:10 AM   #1
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Tight Bidding Today


Bid on 3 sewer line projects today. Missed a $27,000 job by $180. Missed a $18,000 job by $200 and got a $12,000 job by $90.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:51 AM   #2
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Re: Tight Bidding Today


15 yrs ago, lost a $440k storm sewer job by $320.00

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Old 04-25-2013, 11:01 AM   #3
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Re: Tight Bidding Today


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15 yrs ago, lost a $440k storm sewer job by $320.00
That would make you bang your head against the wall.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:02 AM   #4
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Re: Tight Bidding Today


The letting before mine was a 1.5 million dollar street project and was won by $4500.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:13 AM   #5
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Re: Tight Bidding Today


I don't know anything about that, but I'll tell you a story from about 20 years ago. I was walking in front of one of the Smithsonian buildings in downtown DC late one summer day. A gritty guy was lazing on a park bench and asked me for some local guidance, etc., like places to eat. He turned out to be an excavator from upstate PA who was living out of a jobsite trailer a couple blocks down the street. He claimed it was his first time in a major city like DC, but he took a shot on a sewer contract and won it. They were doing work under I- 395 a couple blocks away. He was the proud, talkative type and said it was a 70k job that he expected to take 3 months. Said he planned to own a Nascar team one day, too. I should have kept his name to see what happened.

(Maybe it was b.s, but seemed authentic enough.)
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:16 AM   #6
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Re: Tight Bidding Today


Thats either very similar thinking people or contractors who pay attention to what the competition is doing.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:51 AM   #7
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Re: Tight Bidding Today


I lost a 20k dollar window job because my competition gave them their obscure windows for free. That cost was $75.
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:38 AM   #8
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Re: Tight Bidding Today


2 years ago a buddy of mine lost a $80,000 paving contract by ...... $0.12

Talk about a kick in the nuts.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:28 AM   #9
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Re: Tight Bidding Today


I'd rather lose jobs by $100 all day, than win a job by $20,000.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:37 AM   #10
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Re: Tight Bidding Today


Bidding is extremely competitive right now, especially public projects. Everything seems to be won or lost by just a few percent. But the good thing is bidding has picked up tremendously.
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:10 AM   #11
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Re: Tight Bidding Today


Last summer I won a lime removal job by $0.02/yd. About as close as you can get and still get the job!
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:15 AM   #12
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Re: Tight Bidding Today


So i assume there's a "going rate" in this line of work? When ever i see quotes from other contractors in this area bidding the same work as me they can be up +/- 150% difference. Crazy you guys can all be bidding so close to each other like that.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:45 AM   #13
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Re: Tight Bidding Today


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So i assume there's a "going rate" in this line of work? When ever i see quotes from other contractors in this area bidding the same work as me they can be up +/- 150% difference. Crazy you guys can all be bidding so close to each other like that.
Whether people here want to admit it or not, there is a "going rate" for every trade. At least for those people that competitely bid projects. I always hear the talk about, "there is no going rate, just charge what you need to make money", and I agree with the fact that every contractor is different in the OH and speed. However when I bid out a building with subs and my finish carpentry numbers are $55,000, $57,000, and $65,000, you see there is a going rate.
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:23 AM   #14
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Re: Tight Bidding Today


Are these city jobs for the lowest bidder?
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:53 AM   #15
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Re: Tight Bidding Today


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Are these city jobs for the lowest bidder?
Yes
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:57 AM   #16
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Re: Tight Bidding Today


Quote:
Originally Posted by BCConstruction View Post
So i assume there's a "going rate" in this line of work? When ever i see quotes from other contractors in this area bidding the same work as me they can be up +/- 150% difference. Crazy you guys can all be bidding so close to each other like that.
Pretty hard to not have a going rate when everyone has specs that require a bid based on specific material. 6 contractors bidding a job that requires 12 inch C900 pvc water main are going have damn near the same material cost for the pipe. The granular material supplier, be it a sand pit, or gravel pit closest to the job is going to have those same 6 contractors calling for a price per ton of material. If the job is a Prevailing Wage job, everyone has the same labor costs.

The only way you can be more competitive is to have your own material pit, or a cheap alternative pit that the other guys dont. You can have a crew that is more productive than the competition. Also, an alternative source for pipe will help your numbers.

In the civil business, having a material source or supplier the other guys dont, is the only way you will see much of a different price. I have done this with certain items such as valves and pump equipment for lift station/water treatment plant projects. A lot of guys in this area dont know, or havent considered checking suppliers in the oilfield world. Shipping is going to be more, but if you find a good priced source, and have time to plan the shipping, it can be a big winner.

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