Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner
1 - 20 of 39 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have been working on a bid for a new house, 3000 sq ft metal roof and sidewalks with 12 ' ceilings. Turned in my turnkey bid around 3:30 today. Within 2 hrs the owner sent me an email stating he had 3 bids. Mine was the highest, just enough room in my bid for leeway, I was underbid by over 47000.00. My materials and all my subs totaled up before my labor was higher then this guys bid. How do people make a living when they bid so low? Anyway I am writing this off as the good Lord is watching out for me and this is not a project he wants me on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
295 Posts
Listen to fjn. You are most likely spot on vs. the low baller, who will be out of the job and out of money shortly. When the prospect calls you to say "Help me! I'm out of money because the cheapo I hired is gone. Sharpen your pencil because I really need you to take a bath on this one!" You simply re-bid what it needs to get completed, and add the 25% to the overall bill for the PITA factor. Luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You are all right, my plumber didn't feel good about this one. Heck it has over 200sq ft of granite, would of been a fun project. Anyway this gives me time to finish a bid for another house.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
819 Posts
ive been out bid on new homes by $1,000 under my actual cost for my plumbing

lesson---dont spend much time bidding on new homes anymore...i used to spend hours on a bid...now i got it down to 30 minutes or less....my #'s arent accurate, but they are very close enough since odds are i wont win anyways

tons of guys working for under cost......i do a couple of custom builders (4-6 houses a year)....i pretty much gave up on the new home market....all low quality materials and skimping in every direction on labor/quality.

there are still customers who want a quality new home and are willing to pay full price...but they are few

get into remodeling.....10-20 years after people get their crap box new home they are now ready to spend full price for a quality remodel to fix all the poor quality issues their new house has....
 

·
Love me some Concrete
Joined
·
1,834 Posts
I understand your frustration, been there recently, just look at my post "I hate bidding" but thanks to all on this site it really helped take the sting away. Things happen for a reason I believe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,380 Posts
How long before he calls you back to see if you have a new price. Were they really that much lower or is he trying to get you to drop your price.

I do believe they can be alot lower. Recently a fellow contractor told me he got prices from $17,000 to $8,000 for the same plumbing on a new house. Everyone knows it can't be the same thing, but that is what they turned in.
 

·
Contractor of the Month
Joined
·
26,075 Posts
the other bidders are going to play the
"that's not included in my bid game"
or
"that's an extra"
If there is ever a dramatic price difference it's because something is missing in one bid.

I remember trying to explain to a potential client why my bid was higher and he just wasn't getting it, I said to him "Mine turns on and makes noise, this one won't!"
 

·
I own stock in FotoMat!
Joined
·
12,985 Posts
I once bid a commercial job for $38,500 and was told the winning bid was $5,800. The light fixtures alone were $12,000 my cost.

I just tell people like this, "The stingiest person spends the most!"
 

·
Contractor of the Month
Joined
·
26,075 Posts
I once bid a commercial job for $38,500 and was told the winning bid was $5,800. The light fixtures alone were $12,000 my cost.

I just tell people like this, "The stingiest person spends the most!"
He must have skipped over the notes section where it says he has to provide light fixtures.
 

·
Have Trowel, Do travel
Joined
·
909 Posts
why is it always here that the highest bidder is the one that got it right, and the others dont what their doing,
just sayin since i have no details,

How do we know that you totally didnt mess up your bid?
how do I know that you didnt add a little more here and their just to be sure?
just sayin', thats all
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
the other bidders are going to play the
"that's not included in my bid game"
or
"that's an extra"
That's what my former boss did and it made me sick it is part of the reason I quit working for him.

He'd sell an illuminated sign but have a clause in his contract stating the electrical must be within five feet of the sign and HOT, WITHOUT mentioning this to the customer before starting, then when the job is complete and their lighted sign doesn't light................. Well just tell them to read the contract. :whistling:whistling cha ching.

When he could have just added an extra bid in there to run some conduit and make some more money instead of having a pissed of customer that will never return.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
Ya , I hate to be out bid on a job ,I lost a remodel last year .
I bid 289000 , fair bid I was thinking .
The next guy was 278000 a bit less, but really still the same #.
The cheep was 205 000 The owner took my plan to his arky and had them stamped (Pisses me off )
Then The job starts The concrete guys are real good . They used my guys .
The framing starts and 4 weeks in, we have 6 rafters up with a ridge .
This was easter sunday , the job is just sitting now , the builder must have realized he cant do the job for 205 000 (no kidding ), my cost was 180 000 mat and subs . labor 55000 = 235,000 8000 over head 4500 fuel= 247,500
That leaves me with 40,000 if things go good . But I have to pay my self to work on the job 1200 per week x 15 weeks = 16000
I really wanted 320000 for the job but I chewed my self down .
Good thing I dident get it , with the winter we had the profet would have gone to snow removal .
I will get a call in the next few weeks to fix the mess they made .It happens all the time John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
I have dealt with this a lot. I honestly think most people are completely clueless as to what stuff costs. When someone wants a custom tile shower put in for under a grand you know to just turn around and run.

On the flip side I have underbid many others and still made a good profit. I was doing some work on a whole home remodel where I seen several "bosses" pull up in beemers and dress clothes to tell his painters what to do and then leave, only to have another "boss" drive up in another luxury car and tell the carpenters what to do. Too many people getting paid to supervise. And on top of it corners are being cut everywhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,600 Posts
I lost a house last week. I figured it for the homeowner last year. They took my price to the bank. I have worked with these people the whole time, taking them to look at houses, pick out brick, picking out stone and endless phone calls, answering their questions.

They had problems securing their loan due to land/ survey/ right a way problems. And every week or two they would call me begging me to keep them on my schedule.

I put their basement in, back at the end of the year only to find out they couldn t pay me ! That was the first time I heard about the loan issues. It took them a month to pay.

The loan is good now and the HO told me he wanted me to start as soon as possible. I finished the job I was working on and they wouldn't answer my calls for two days. I figured they were busy.

I called my truck driver and told him to go ahead and move my lift up there. I went up there a week before I was to start, and the HO got real cocky and told me a friend of his wife , is a brick mason and is out of work ,and give them a price 1/3 cheaper than mine :censored:

The mason he hired doesn't have a license, doesn't have liability ins, doesn't pay WC, doesn't pay unemployment insurance, doesn't have a lift or decent equipment, and pays his help cash..... I know him, he worked for someone else....and now going out on his own!

It's his house ,his money...he can do what he wants, my problem is , I've been turning down work cause they told me I had their house. It's very frustrating,

In the long scheme of things, I guess he did me a favor :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,403 Posts
This has been happening to me a bit lately. Seems im getting a lot more calls from cheap HO's. But the bids they are getting are impossible to do right at them prices. On almost everyone i looked at it was below my cost for material. It would have been impossible to build a few of the projects with any less material. Whats crazy is these are builders that have been about for quite a few years. What pisses me of more than anything though is that im up against 2-3 other contractors who tell the customer the same exact thing yet it's totally wrong and im the lone contractor telling them the right way to do it and the right products and methods yet im looked at like i dont know what im talking about :blink:. There's a lot of contractors in this area who just tell you what you want to hear.

But the worst part of all is when they tell me another builder wants to do it this way and i say that's not allowed in code. They reply with he said it's fine and i even showed a few of them the codes saying it's not yet the building inspectors did pass it. Had a few call me back to rub it in that it passed? it's not at all uncommon to see work that's not to code get passed around here. There's a lot of polished turds around here that's for sure.

One job a customer wanted a deck built. 2 big builders here spec'd standard lumber. I warned the customer this was a bad bad idea yet the other 2 said it's fine as long as its stained and sealed. We i never expected this to pass inspection. Well it f-ing did and i heard that all they had to do was put gravel around the posts on the surface :eek:

Whats crazy though is these guys are slammed with work year after year because they are cheap and don't do it right. after 30 years you would think it would catch up with some of them
 

·
Love me some Concrete
Joined
·
1,834 Posts
I don't really wish ill will on people but I agree, I hope karma catches up to them most times and just can't believe what code violations are allowed, it really depends on what contractor does the work sometimes. Not quality of work but who does it, I realize that inspectors can't know everything all the time but come on, some of the things they miss are easy mistakes.
 
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
Top