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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I just received an rfp from an architect I worked with on a previous project. This is for a small attic renovation with some custom casework, and some other custom touches. I enjoy this type of work, so I would like to win the project, plus I think it would be good for business to complete another project for this architect.

I had a walkthrough yesterday and was told I would be bidding against two other contractors. Most of my work is referral based, so I haven't had to compete against anyone before.

I was wondering if anyone could give me any tips to make my proposal stand out against the others (other than being the lowballer).

I plan on providing a very detailed scope of work, detailing exactly what I will be performing, and what materials I will be using, and a shop drawing of the casework.

Any other tips would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Hi,

I just received an rfp from an architect I worked with on a previous project. This is for a small attic renovation with some custom casework, and some other custom touches. I enjoy this type of work, so I would like to win the project, plus I think it would be good for business to complete another project for this architect.

I had a walkthrough yesterday and was told I would be bidding against two other contractors. Most of my work is referral based, so I haven't had to compete against anyone before.

I was wondering if anyone could give me any tips to make my proposal stand out against the others (other than being the lowballer).

I plan on providing a very detailed scope of work, detailing exactly what I will be performing, and what materials I will be using, and a shop drawing of the casework.

Any other tips would be greatly appreciated!
If you are a referral then you are probably the preferred contractor. At this point they will be just comparing your bottom line to make sure you aren't completely out in left feild.
 

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Have Trowel, Do travel
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good luck,
bidding is an art.
referrals dont mean much
 
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Make sure you are bidding excatly what the RFP is requesting.

Make up a folder, computer generated pages, specifically for the job.

I don't think I'd provide a detailed shop drawing at bid unless requested. Detailed SOW calling out materials is a good move.

Make sure you spell EVERYBODY's name correctly!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks. It probably makes sense to wait to do the drawings until I'm sure of being paid for them.

There is a decent chance the other two contractors were recommended by the architect as well. Apparently the client is an old friend of the architect.
 

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Thanks. It probably makes sense to wait to do the drawings until I'm sure of being paid for them.

There is a decent chance the other two contractors were recommended by the architect as well. Apparently the client is an old friend of the architect.
Damn right, the drawings come after you have it in the bag. An rfq is just a quote with materials and labour for the specific scope of work.
 

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you could be the preferred contractor with the other 2 bids being used to make sure your in line....or they could be looking for the lowest priced bid.....who knows what they want

most of the time its a competitive bid = they want the lowest price

since no 3 bids will be apples to apples the job will probably go to the guy who uses the cheapest materials and install practices....not the guy who has the best quality

I wouldn't have too high of hopes if I were you....give it a try and see what happens...if you lose ask the builder by how much?....then decide if you want to bid with him again

I lost a bid once on a new home by $100.....I explained to the builder that I had $500 in higher quality materials/install practices....he told me out right...he only looks at the price at the bottom....he doesn't look at the differences in materials or the higher quality install I would be using....I never bid on his jobs again....I had the offer, but said no thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I lost a bid once on a new home by $100.....I explained to the builder that I had $500 in higher quality materials/install practices....he told me out right...he only looks at the price at the bottom....he doesn't look at the differences in materials or the higher quality install I would be using....I never bid on his jobs again....I had the offer, but said no thanks
Thats insane, I don't blame you for not bidding for him anymore


This is a small attic renovation for a friend of the architect. New windows, insulate, and some custom carpentry work. During the walk through the architect actually tried to up sell the client a reclaimed wood counter instead of the solid surface that was in the drawings. I wanna make sure my price is in line, but I don't intend on trying to win as the low bidder. I am going for thorough. I would like to show them that when they are paying me for custom work, they are paying for attention to detail throughout the project.
 

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We get a lot of work that we aren't low on. Bid the job at what you need to make money. If you have a good reputation it goes a long way. As long as you can provide a quality product and great service at a reasonable price you should be good. Maybe not on this one, but you'll find work. Sounds like the architect is referring quality guys everyone "should" be in the same ballpark. Good luck!
 

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You bid exactly what the architect designed, no more, no less. If the type of plywood isn't specified and could impact the price of your bid, send an RFI. Assume nothing.

Someone mentioned above about he wont bid to the builder again because he wasn't low due to better materials. If the guy bidding didn't ask and the builder didn't specify high quality materials; you shouldn't be mad at the builder. This is how competative bids work. If the person asking for the bid isn't giving you the tools for an apples to apples bid, then you need ask for it.
 

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most of the time its a competitive bid = they want the lowest price

since no 3 bids will be apples to apples the job will probably go to the guy who uses the cheapest materials and install practices....not the guy who has the best quality


I lost a bid once on a new home by $100.....I explained to the builder that I had $500 in higher quality materials/install practices....he told me out right...he only looks at the price at the bottom....he doesn't look at the differences in materials or the higher quality install I would be using....I never bid on his jobs again....I had the offer, but said no thanks
Thats insane, I don't blame you for not bidding for him anymore


[/QUOT/}

Huggy and Aron....... Honestly.... Who's insane here?

The man told you what he wanted. Why did you not tell him you'll take out the $500 better materials and save him $400. (Or was your labor $500 higher)

I respect you wanting to build to YOUR quality standard (which may be less than or greater than soneone else's wishes).... but isn't the point to build with materials to the standard that a customer wants.?????

You lost a new home bid by $100 with $500 of better material.... and you refuse to ever bid/work for the GC????????

Gosh.... You must be able to dictate your own terms and buried in work.

I'm really not trying to be an AH, just wondering what is sane or insane here. Beat by $100, and you'll never work for the man????

In the alternative, do you refuse to build to minimum code standards.... just curious.

Best
 

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We get a lot of work that we aren't low on. Bid the job at what you need to make money. If you have a good reputation it goes a long way. As long as you can provide a quality product and great service at a reasonable price you should be good. Maybe not on this one, but you'll find work. Sounds like the architect is referring quality guys everyone "should" be in the same ballpark. Good luck!
+1

A project is a good project only if it meets your expectation/projection of profit and projects do not always go to the low bidder. Stay the course that has brought you this far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So the architect called me today. He said I was 15 to 20 k higher than the other guys. I'm going to meet with him on Friday to compare notes and see who was off. I looked through my numbers and don't see 20k to cut out.
 

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Been there plenty of times. You start to wonder what others are bidding sometimes. I start to think people have a list of prices and just do a take off and plug the numbers in without thinking of how much work is actually involved.

Sounds like a good relationship if the arch is willing to review with you. Nice to do a post bid review, could find things you included others didn't or something on the plans you looked at differently.
 

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Just remember...

When reviewing and comparing the other proposals.

If you haven't made any mistakes in your figures and
they want you to do the work. for a lower cost.

Ask them what they want removed from the scope of work.
Don't lower your price on the same scope of work,
all you'll be doing is cutting into your profit.
 

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Moxley-Kidwell said:
Been there plenty of times. You start to wonder what others are bidding sometimes. I start to think people have a list of prices and just do a take off and plug the numbers in without thinking of how much work is actually involved. Sounds like a good relationship if the arch is willing to review with you. Nice to do a post bid review, could find things you included others didn't or something on the plans you looked at differently.
I was thinking the something today. We've been cranking out bids like crazy here lately. We do a lot of steel erection.

I bid a fairly good size new car dealership a few days ago, 48,000 sqft, fairly simple nothing too difficult. I was low, about 10%. Bid a 22,000 sqft YMCA today, a little smaller but much more complex, 2 story had some very large joist about 80' long, approx 5,000lbs each, so much larger crane needed and just more complex project. I was 25% high. Same thing on complex school yesterday.

I started running numbers and double checking. It appears that they were just square footing their pricing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Been there plenty of times. You start to wonder what others are bidding sometimes. I start to think people have a list of prices and just do a take off and plug the numbers in without thinking of how much work is actually involved.

Sounds like a good relationship if the arch is willing to review with you. Nice to do a post bid review, could find things you included others didn't or something on the plans you looked at differently.

We had a really vague drawing to go off of. During the walk through the architect and client added things into the scope that weren't on the drawings. Between the extras and fixtures allowances, I could find 15. I'm gonna guess the other guys didn't add that stuff in. We'll see on Friday I suppose.

The architect is a nice guy to work with. He understands that I'm pretty new to the business side of this, and seeing my previous work, would like to see me succeed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Just remember...

When reviewing and comparing the other proposals.

If you haven't made any mistakes in your figures and
they want you to do the work. for a lower cost.

Ask them what they want removed from the scope of work.
Don't lower your price on the same scope of work,
all you'll be doing is cutting into your profit.
I don't ever lower a price without removing something from the scope. I think I'm pretty fair and honest with my pricing. I'm probably towards the higher side of average for my area, but I don't pad it enough to drop my price without altering the scope.

If I really want the job, I'll spend the extra time to try and find a middle ground to fit the clients budget and expectations of what they want.
 
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