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Love me some Concrete
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I know we are not suppose to talk about dollar amounts but I'm fuming right now. I bid a friend's concrete job, triple driveway, cutting street for new approach as it was single before and all (80') of sidewalk.

So here's why I'm pissed, I bid just over 10k, very fair I think. Because of friendship I didn't charge for bobcat, dump trailer and major demo as I normally do. After I give bid, to say she's shocked is an understatement, and tells me another guy bid 7k! The materials cost, permit and my insurance barely cover that, most of my crews labor (not including my labor) put me way over that, how can this be? Concrete is pretty much a set price, I explain that he must not be using rebar, visqueen barrier and I'm supicious if it will be 4" through out and minimum of 6" from approach to sidewalk.

It's someone I know, they think I'm trying to screw them and not sure they understand what his bid is probably missing (I did try to explain but that's a big difference), let alone care due to 3k! How do you compete with this? How can another contractor do this job for that amount? Am I missing something? :eek:
 

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I know we are not suppose to talk about dollar amounts but I'm fuming right now. I bid a friend's concrete job, triple driveway, cutting street for new approach as it was single before and all (80') of sidewalk.

So here's why I'm pissed, I bid just over 10k, very fair I think. Because of friendship I didn't charge for bobcat, dump trailer and major demo as I normally do. After I give bid, to say she's shocked is an understatement, and tells me another guy bid 7k! The materials cost, labor, permit and my insurance barely cover that, most of my crews labor (not including my labor) put me way over that, how can this be? Concrete is pretty much a set price, I explain that he must not be using rebar, visqueen barrier and I'm supicious if it will be 4" through out and minimum of 6" from approach to sidewalk.

It's someone I know, they think I'm trying to screw them and not sure they understand what his bid is probably missing (I did try to explain but that's a big difference), let alone care due to 3k! How do you compete with this? How can another contractor do this job for that amount? Am I missing something? :eek:
what are you pissed at? someone else's cost isn't yours.maybe its a one man show who is happy to work for the week for a guaranteed check.

don't bid a on friend projects and you wont have an emotional attachment

I price high and play the numbers game...do less job s and make more and ficus highly on the one you are on..its my MO now.

numbers dont matter to me anymore...meaning volume
 

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I'm guessing there are no specs on the job.

Without specs, even for simple residential work, opens the door to apples vs oranges bidding.

What strength concrete was bid, rebar/type, base prep, poured thickness, all reasons to have specs.

Is the other guy properly licensed & insured to work in right of way?

You gave it your best shot....time to move on.

Maybe you'll get the job in a year or so to finish it or tear it all out to do it right...:thumbsup:
 

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Head Light Bulb Changer
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The guy at 7k is going to pour it at 2" with minimal/no prep, no steel, and it will fail in a couple of years. Briefly explain the difference in quality to your 'friend' and don't lose ANY sleep over it. He can do what he wants and will get what he pays for.
 

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Briefly explain the difference in quality to your 'friend' and don't lose ANY sleep over it. He can do what he wants and will get what he pays for.
I wouldn't even explain. I would (and have in the past) told people, "WOW, that's a great price, jump on it!" and move on. I have friends that are builders, and I don't give them any special pricing, unless it's for their own home.
 

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Bidding sucks. Especially when you're not handed any scope or specs. Why don't you start selling instead? At least you have a fighting chance.
 

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Hair Splitter
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I'm guessing there are no specs on the job.

Without specs, even for simple residential work, opens the door to apples vs oranges bidding.

What strength concrete was bid, rebar/type, base prep, poured thickness, all reasons to have specs.

Is the other guy properly licensed & insured to work in right of way?

You gave it your best shot....time to move on.

Maybe you'll get the job in a year or so to finish it or tear it all out to do it right...:thumbsup:
Spot on.
 

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Love me some Concrete
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
BrentD, actually the other guy bid it first. Wanted it done last fall but I was too busy and weather didnt cooperate. I was busy big time right out the gate this spring so she called him apparently.

For some reason I feel the need to look at finished!
 

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I have run up against the same thing. One guy I know bids concrete cheaper than anybody. He does decent quality work, but he only takes cash. He doesn't have insurance, and by 2 - 3:00 he will be at the bar. He pays his help in cash also.

Another competitor beat my bid by exactly half. I was working nearby. They had 3 guys, a skid loader, dump truck. I figured it up and they pulled in $10 per man, per hour, that's gross.

I would like to think these guys will eventually break themselves, but there is always another one behind them. Usually a guy that retired from somewhere, getting a pension, and has now decided he has the skills to be a contractor.

Stick with your bid and walk away. They can do that job, for that amount because they are not paying something. Whether it is insurance, concrete bill, truck payment. It will catch up to them. Or, as I put above, they are getting additional income from another source. (Spouse maybe)
 

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Love me some Concrete
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Really? The moisture gets sucked out of the pour as it dries and weakens it because it cures at a different rate than the top. If you put a barrier down it helps to slow the curing process and makes it a more consistent pour. Not only that but then the concrete once it's dry doesn't constantly wick moisture up into it and also that can weaken the structure.
 

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Punching above his weight
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I ran into a situation earlier this year that had the same elements as this one.

One of my wife's coworkers and friends asked me to price a basement for them. I gave them a fair number and cut out whatever costs I could as part of the friendship pricing.
They came back and told me that they had gotten other quotes that, exactly like your situation, where less than my material costs.
I politely explained to them that this was not an apples to apples situation, exactly like griz said, and told them to make sure going forward that their GC adheres to what he's promised you. I gave them a few pointers on what to look out for and what to specifically make sure he includes, told them no hard feelings, and excused myself from the bidding war. Even coming down a dollar wouldn't have been worth it to me, and it wouldn't be worth it to you with this driveway. You're playing a rigged game. Get out. You won't look good no matter what you do.

Remain friendly, and wait on the callback, again, exactly like griz said.
 

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President
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i learned this a long time ago while its good for food for thought...

I looked at a job last spring, looked to me like the wax ring on the toilet above the living room was leaking. I told them they need to fix the leak before i can fix the ceiling.

gave them my price. a couple days later they left a messege said they found someone else that would do it for almost HALF my price, and they felt that I had lied to them about the leak :eek:

so of course i jumped on this. I called them and asked for clarification, simply put, the other guy told them, that the leak doesnt really need to be fixed before the patch, because he will apply a special primer that will prevent the damage from occurring to the patched area :laughing:

I actually laughed on the phone, told, her, fix your toilet before you waste your money on the repair. she hung up on me... :laughing:

jump ahead to about a month ago... same lady calls, so i go over... she is dumbfounded, the area she had repaired by Mr Cheapo, literally hit the floor :laughing:

did you fix the leak?

'no the guy said this wouldnt happen'

fix the leak. then call me. :laughing:

long story short i got more for the job this time around, AND pound out his 'special primer consisted of an empty paint bucket above the cieling to collect the water :laughing:
 
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