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We do mostly smaller excavating home owener, small comm. ,builder work. In years past in the spring is when we started to get busy with being wet then in the middle of summer was mostly building work or jobs that didnt have anything to do with drainage, then pick back up in the fall with waterproofing and drainage type jobs. It has rained around here for about a month now on and off, we have done some advertiseing yet still have not gotten many calls to evan look at jobs. Some of the builders we have done work for have called and asked for prices on jobs and I have given some prices i would never thought of years ago, yet there are still low ballers cheaper. Most of the builders dont ask can you match them or say anything they just move right to the low ballers after years of doing good work and being reliable to them. To sum it up I just dont see anyhting gitting better, maybe worse. Are any of you other guys seeing anything different ? Thanks
 

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Same thing here. I've been bidding alot of jobs. Some ppl after you give them a price won't even return your phone calls, so you know they've been bitten by the lowballer bug. We are acutally busy now. I was signed up for unemployment for 4 weeks and all of the sudden we got swamped. Right now we have enough work to take into December.

I bid out a site work job for a 3 acre shopping center. Guy didn't have his permits and the site requires alot of fill, so I didn't even worry about it. He called me yesterday and told me that he has a buyer for the property and this guy wants to start soon. I am trying to talk him into starting in the spring.
 

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It's real slow right now...same situation here....lowballers or start ups that don't know what they are doing.

We typically do bigger jobs in the 1,000,000+ range...well we have been getting beat by 20-30+ percent...I have seen some bids where people are doing jobs for 15% more than the material cost alone...it's pretty crazy out there right now as far as unit prices go...

Only thing you can do is put a manageable number on a job, hope you get it, then pray for a change order...lol.
 

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personally, i hate the mentality that we must "change order" a job to make a profit....and i know it leaves a sour taste in owner's mouths....bid em to make money, or walk away.
 

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I agree Day, but a guys gotta eat, so when in Rome......

You really cant make up all the profit in any one change order and beside's I've noticed most hard core G.C.s are really working hard to ensure any problems belong to the sub and they are doing a good job of pre-anticipating the cost of extras with in depth unit pricing on the bid sheets

But a change order is a place to make the profit you should make, at least on the change order amount, even if you got the job below margin to keep a crew going and that can help raise the overeall margin of an otherwise cheap job.

I never believed I would feel that way either but viciuos G.C.s and even more viciuos property owners make the worst come out in all of us:sad:
 

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Granted, my excavation work/site work is all in conjunction with our new construction, but I will use areas like this to make a job come in budget. If a competitor is charging X to build a home, and our costs are identical, then using my own equipment and labor is a deal maker for me, and it beats sitting at home.

Here is a "for instance" and this came up today: The subdivision just bought by my client may not have the main sewer lines run to about 11 of the building lots. The line is shallow, like 5 feet, and my plumbing sub is qualified to do mainline work. So I told him to figure the cost, labor and material, and keep in mind that the profit on this phase must be minimal...I will dig the line at an hourly rate, and we will keep the price down...insuring that we keep the 21 new homes on track. If I had to call in a sub to do this work, it might wreck the deal for building the new homes on that side of the street.

2 years ago, I would not have done this...but today, in this market, if it keeps the project alive, doing this work at cost is a small sacrifice for the overall project.
 

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i don't buy it...that's just not right in my opinion....i bid em to make money the first time, either they don't like my proposal, or they do....not to pray a change order comes along and that's where i do my spanking....unless the scope of the job changes, i just don't see it. maybe i'm naive, hellifino
 

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i don't buy it...that's just not right in my opinion....i bid em to make money the first time, either they don't like my proposal, or they do....not to pray a change order comes along and that's where i do my spanking....unless the scope of the job changes, i just don't see it. maybe i'm naive, hellifino
It's called be raised right and doing business the way it should be. When change orders come about, we don't whack he customer. We charge accordingly as we normally would. Many guys around my area are know for lowballing then whacking for extras and they have a reputation for it and alot of work comes our way because of it.
 

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Things are really busy around here for some reason.

Had my paving contractor and curbing contractor at the site today to setup schedule.

Asphalt contractor tells me things normally slow down about now, but for some reason everyone wants paving done. So he is busy.

My curbing contractor has had to turn jobs down he is so busy. Within a half of a mile of this shopping center we are building there are 3 churches being built and 2 schools. He was supposed to do the curbing onsite and in the street for one of the churches but do to scheduling and being so busy had to give it to another guy. And talking about lowballers, he was supposed to do one of the schools, onsite and street curb. He bid according to plans and got the bid. Then the general comes up with some additional curbing around landscaping, etc. about 1500 feet that wasn't on the original bidding plans. He wants him to do it for free, throwing it in for the orginal bid price, and says he has another guy that will do it all for that price. My curbing guy tells him to let the other guy do it, and declines the job. He tells me that he has been running into a lot of these lowballers bidding against him, and can't figure out how they are even breaking even.
 
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