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If you're a GC in residential construction and/or custom homes... how do you handle your estimating? We're a volume custom home builder, with 70-80 projects per year, all from the same 25 floorplans.

Any input on the following?

How do you handle your general estimating and PO submittal?

a) Get bids on every single line item, on every single project and issue PO's from your actual sub bids. (rather cumbersome!)

b) Establish "Quantity" takeoffs on all of your plans, and then "Quantity" prices with your subs and issue PO's from your "in-house" estimating.



How do you handle negotiating pricing with subs?

a) Work with each and every sub and try to arrive at an equitable agreement?

b) Establish your own "in-house" pricing based off of your local market standards and tell the subs what you pay. They either agree to work with you or not.
 

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I'm not quite sure why you are asking these type of questions. It sounds to me that with a portfolio of some 25 homes, and having 70-80 projects a year, that you already have your format in place.

How did you get some 25 homes priced and build some 70-80 a year without these questions already figured out.

This is not small time building you are doing.
 

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Congrats pond, you just got nominated for the most useless posts award. You are still a far cry behind Glasshouse Bob, but at least he's a cool bastard and is funny to boot. :cheesygri

I would assume that Stan does have some sort of system to be doing that volume of work, but like most contractors, is always looking/listening/learning from others on possible ways to trim the fat and do things slightly more efficiently. I have been in my trade close to 20 years, and still strive to learn more at every step, and the best way is asking questions of my peers.

Stan, probably can't help you myself, my take-offs are a lot different than yours, consisting of merely sq. ft. and different items for painting etc. Hopefully, another contractor will pop by and give you soem insight.
 

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Jesus Pro........... It seems most of the posts out of the midwest are just uptight. people love to bash.

It was a first post by someone, so I was trying to get into their head. Ahhhhh what the hell, why am I explaining myself. :rolleyes:

So here goes a professional response. ;)

1. Line item every single quote and issue PO's for each line. No sub or anyone is allowed to order materials without a PO from main office. All suppliers are to know this when accounts are set up. Nothing will be paid without a PO. They will only make that mistake once.

This is the most cumbersome, but once done like this, you can track every penny on a job, and any and all cost over/under runs.

2. As far as subs are concerned, this also has to do with type of quality you are projecting in finish product. Therefore in custom I sit down and work with my subs to arrive at a price. Once they are on board they will have all my work. But I expect high quality and warranty service.

Finish product and SERVICE are the name of the game. My subs know this and the checks are cut as soon as install is 100% complete and finished and inspected. No more than 14 days.

I'm fair and precise and they appreciate it. Never will I bullshiit them.

I hope this helps, maybe it won't. But I am known as a tracker when it comes to costs and numbers. I play with numbers all the time and how can I better them.

Now if you wil forgive me I have to go and post another useless piece of trivia and piss someone else off. I tried to be serious once when I came accross this board in December, but that was a joke. Now I will say what the hell and sling crap among serious answers in between, like the majority of responders on this board.

Jesus, go west of the Appalachian Mtns, and people get their panties in a wad. What a novice approach, a company asking how someone else does business. Never heard of that before. Thanks for the intellectual thought there PROWALL.......... :cheesygri

Pond
 

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If I am not mistaken I have tried to contact you about siding on of your homes on Gravelly Beach Dr. in Olympia . My inquires went unansered. That being said, if you used contractors such as myself you would be able to figure out my the based on square feet alone. Since you build a limited amount of models you should be able to get it down to a science.
Nick Bevans
Bevans Construction
 

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Stanbrooke you looking for framing subs? If so let me know. I have a insurance guy on hold so I will be legal.
 

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Got lucky Bob, I missed most of it too.
 

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magnum said:
You guys crack me up, should be a sitcom.
Don't be stealing my ideas magnum. I've already submitted a pilot to NBC :cheesygri

Too bad pondman is gone. I need him to play himself - the broken-down, know-it-all, drunk uncle with all the get-rich-quick schemes! You know, the kind of guy that's been EVERYWHERE and done EVERYTHING!

Man, sometimes, I crack myself up :Thumbs:
 

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You get NBC in the great white north? I thought that all you had was the BBC. LOL
You have no idea of who pond was. He could be his own series, similar to the Twilight Zone. I have to admit though that he is a character. I actually think that he followed me over here after I posted this place on some other sites. He has an obsession with me, kind of a cat and mouse game.
 

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Welcome to the forum Stanbrooke....lol.

"a) Get bids on every single line item, on every single project and issue PO's from your actual sub bids. (rather cumbersome!)

b) Establish "Quantity" takeoffs on all of your plans, and then "Quantity" prices with your subs and issue PO's from your "in-house" estimating."

If I'm understanding you correctly it seems to me these are rather self-fulfilling. If we have something that's highly custom - in your case it would probably be the first time you explore a new model - we get line item bids. After that we should be able to do quantity pricing. The main source of our business is 2nd floor additions. I can almost estimate these in my sleep (and have been accused of that) so there's no need for "a". However we recently got a 4 story add-out that they wanted an AIA contract on, so I set it up the way you did "a".


"How do you handle negotiating pricing with subs?

a) Work with each and every sub and try to arrive at an equitable agreement?"

This is what we do typically with subs who do mechanicals. In our market though, they are in much higher demand so in your situation you may have more leverage than we do.


"b) Establish your own "in-house" pricing based off of your local market standards and tell the subs what you pay. They either agree to work with you or not."

We pretty much do this on drywall, roofing and insul subs. Sometimes framing. Honestly though our "in-house" pricing probably originated from their "in-house" pricing.

Tim
 
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