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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am about to bid on a project but the contractor has decided that they are not giving out free drawings of the project but rather selling them. the question I have is which drawings shoudl I buy to bid on paint and maybe drywall.
should I get the Architectural drawings? or are there other options. They aren't cheap BTW.
I posted this also in the Painting forum, but I need quick feedback, thanks.
 

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I refuse to pay for drawings. I quit that crap awhile ago. If they want me to bid on prints they will GIVE me the prints for me to KEEP.

If they want to sell me prints I tell them to give me a digital copy (PDF perhaps) and inform them that I will take care of the printing... or I decline to bid.

One more reason I dislike new construction.


Ok I know that doesn't answer your questions :) I'd ask for the floor plans of any interior panting as well as exterior elevations, if exterior painting will be required.
 

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NSolano said:
the question I have is which drawings shoudl I buy to bid on paint and maybe drywall. should I get the Architectural drawings? or are there other options.
Ask for a list of the available drawings. You'll probably want the Architectural drawings but you may see others on the list that might be helpful. MAKE SURE TO GET THE SPECS FOR YOUR DIVISION ALSO!
Many GC's have a plan room that subs can use to review plans and do takeoffs free of charge. I've bid my fair share of jobs that way. The downside is you need to spend extra care in documenting your takeoff (plan numbers, dates, etc.) because you won't have the plans on file when your done.
The GC's that sell plans usually do so because they're already getting plenty of bids (5 or more) from subs who consistently provide competitive pricing (and get free plans). Buying plans is usually part of the cost of "breaking in".
 

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Plan Scams

I have met people that try and sell me plans in order to bid and estimate the project for them on several occasions.
This is a definite sign of trouble in my eyes !!!
The plans should be easily handed over free of charge on a disk in a readable format from a prospective customer that is even halfways genuine.
The last time this happened to me , I told the guy right from the first mention of it that there was no way that I had any interest in paying him $4.00 a page for his plan set of 17 pages. He stood up straight and told me that he was suprised by my comment and I just told him thats the way it is.
To make a long story short, after a week or so he sent the drawings in DWG to my e-mail and put a "Rush" on my Estimate !!! LOL !!! If that didnt take the cake, he wanted me to list my costs and what I was going to pay everyone on my crew as well as any subs I would use !!! He even went so far as to send a form he drew up on Excel for me to fill in the blanks. What a joke !!!
Stay Away from These Types of customers at all cost.
 

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Sounds like a sit down that says "If I buy the material, will you..."

Thats when I run for the door, unless ofcourse there is a pool, and two nicely tanned, above 18, daughters, and..oh yea, it's summertime....yea thats the ticket.

Bob
 

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Once the plans are passed through B+Z they are public record. The ol' battle axe charges me $2 per copy, the younger ones, that I occasionally take to lunch, manage to get it done for free. Works out about the same but one is much more enjoyable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
well these guys aren';t small. the company is Clark Construction and they have about two projects a week to bid on. I aint paying for the plans. I can access their online plans through their sub contractor website but they aren't very clear. The numbers are small and I can't make out all the words, even if I zoom in it takes forever to look around for it. I may just have to go to their plan room just like Pipeguy said and do my bid there. thanks anyways
 

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NSolano said:
the company is Clark Construction
:eek: :eek: :eek:
If you do not have the resources to continually respond, on a daily basis throughout the course of a job, to multiple written directives from a GC I highly advise you to stay clear of large, regional, national or multinational GC's. If you do not have a written and proactive safety program I highly advise you to stay clear of....If you do not have the resources to spend an entire day each month preparing your application for payment....If you can't wait 45 to 60 days for monthly payments...If you don't have the time to thoroughly read and consider each job's specifications before you bid....If you don't have the resources to do the work on the day, and at the hour they want it done, RUN AWAY!
 

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PipeGuy said:
:eek: :eek: :eek:
If you do not have the resources to continually respond, on a daily basis throughout the course of a job, to multiple written directives from a GC I highly advise you to stay clear of large, regional, national or multinational GC's. If you do not have a written and proactive safety program I highly advise you to stay clear of....If you do not have the resources to spend an entire day each month preparing your application for payment....If you can't wait 45 to 60 days for monthly payments...If you don't have the time to thoroughly read and consider each job's specifications before you bid....If you don't have the resources to do the work on the day, and at the hour they want it done, RUN AWAY!

Heck fire!


Pipe guy, you are absolutely right. If you were to take on a job for an outfit like this one, there are a few things that you should check into. First of all, if they do a lot of work in your area, it wouldn't hurt a thing to talk to a LOT of other guys who have worked for them. Some of these companies take good care of their favorite contractors, and eat the rest for breakfast.

If these guys decide that you are more of an adversary than a friend, then you could find yourself in DEEP DO-DO (take it from someone who still walks funny).

When a corporation nickels and dimes everyone with fees on everything, it tells you a lot about the "personality" of the company. In other words... RUN, FOREST, RUN!
 

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mikesewell said:
Some of these companies take good care of their favorite contractors, and eat the rest for breakfast. If these guys decide that you are more of an adversary than a friend, then you could find yourself in DEEP DO-DO
The big GC's are construction machines - that's how they got big. Look at the websites of Clark, Turner, Gilbane, Skanska and see what they've accomplished. They have the resources it takes to get those things done. If you don't have the resources to work at their level, and you sign-on for a project with them, you will suffer dearly. The only relationship you will have after you sign a contract is that you will do what they want, when they want it done, or you will suffer. They will exploit every weakness you have to ring every dollar of profit out of the job. Their management techniques are designed to do one thing and one thing only - deliver the building to the owner on schedule at the highest possible profit (is that two things?). If you do not have multiple management layers and full-time administrative support you should think long and hard about working for a big GC.

By the way, I don't hold anything against the way big GC's do business. In fact, I admire the things they're able to accomplish. My experience is that almost all the horror stories you hear about the big GC's are a result of uninformed, unprepared, understaffed subs who just couldn't keep up with the big boys. I believe that the only way you have any chance of underperforming and not getting run over is if you are an MBE/WBE/LBE whose services they dearly require to meet their program quotas.
 

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I agree. If you're not competent enough to be a part of the team (no easy task), then you're nothing but a happy meal.

You had BETTER be well capitalized for the task that you are taking on, or you may end up being sorry that you were born. These people play hard ball. Don't expect them to be generous, don't expect them to be helpful, and don't expect any mercy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
actually thanks for the input guys but I already have done work for decent size contractors. maybe not as big as Clark, yeah this is my first time working for Clark, but I do know the risks.
thanks to pipeguy I got my safety program done, cause of his suggestions and warnings.
I do have the money and manpower to hold off for 60 days of pay, so there is no trouble there and the experience.
thanks for the information guys, there are things that people can't do on their own and thanks to people like you they get it done. The input you guys give is very helpful, thanks.
 

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It sounds to me like you're getting the run around. They probably already have their subs lined up. However, if they have already taken out the permit - the plans should be on file in the zoning office, (or whatever entity handles that where you are). You could go and look at them there - maybe arrange for a second-hand copy to be made. Or maybe you could just sit there and make a note of the square footage that you will be building on.

If you can't get a set of prints - you might have to "ballpark" your bid. But if you do so - take into account that you may run into unforeseen situations, such as lots of corners and cuts that will slow down your rocking and taping.

Good luck. Pursue other leads, too.
 

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As some of you know - I work for Hensel Phelps Construction Co (just broke 2 billion in backlog). We don't charge for the plans but we do require a deposit. If you don't get the job - return the drawings and we'll return your deposit. We then use the returned sets to give to the bought out subcontractors to use. And it keeps the drawings off the street. On some jobs where we're the GC only and not the CM too - the CM will charge to recoup some of their printing costs but I have only worked on one job like that - the Convention Center Hotel in Denver where Faulkner is the CM and in control of the drawings.
 
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