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Have Trowel, Do travel
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909 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I seem to be confused as many of you's seem to look down on this subject,
maybe it's called differently than what i intend, so i will explain how it works here.
you get on the list to bid on government jobs(i am currently working in a small country) there are only 2 categories that you can apply, doing street works, or general construction jobs.
the bigger your company(number of employees), the bigger the jobs.
I am 1 so i can bid jobs up to a value of $75'000.00.
When the works come up they send you a bid form with everything that needs to be done, with the prices for each work already given.
which are calculate as "going prices" for each work to be done.
All that is needed to be done is give your percentage of how much your going to do the job for less,
If their estimate for redoing a roof comes to $35000.00.
You write the percentage your willing to "LOWBALL" that price.
i lost the last bid for a similar job with an 18.5% discount. the winners had a 24.75% discount.

Trust me hacks not only will be stopped by the inspectors, but will be sued by the government and don't work no more.

so QUALITY CRAFTSMANSHIP, at a good price

there is no easy way out
 

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General Contractor
Joined
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8,080 Posts
I seem to be confused as many of you's seem to look down on this subject,
maybe it's called differently than what i intend, so i will explain how it works here.
you get on the list to bid on government jobs(i am currently working in a small country) there are only 2 categories that you can apply, doing street works, or general construction jobs.
the bigger your company(number of employees), the bigger the jobs.
I am 1 so i can bid jobs up to a value of $75'000.00.
When the works come up they send you a bid form with everything that needs to be done, with the prices for each work already given.
which are calculate as "going prices" for each work to be done.
All that is needed to be done is give your percentage of how much your going to do the job for less,
If their estimate for redoing a roof comes to $35000.00.
You write the percentage your willing to "LOWBALL" that price.
i lost the last bid for a similar job with an 18.5% discount. the winners had a 24.75% discount.

Trust me hacks not only will be stopped by the inspectors, but will be sued by the government and don't work no more.

so QUALITY CRAFTSMANSHIP, at a good price

there is no easy way out
What is there to be confused about? You lost a bid, it happens all the time. What ever this guy is doing for, he can do it for less.
It don't make him a hack (especially on Gov jobs) they will back charge for any small delay,etc.
He is working for less profit, but he is making more money in the long run, because his production turn-around time is much better and he can do it faster and do more jobs.
I know some guys in some cases, they do it for lower rates just to keep busy, and like you said the bigger the company is, and the rates they perform, smaller guys cannot compete.
 

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Kowboy
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2,460 Posts
What is there to be confused about? You lost a bid, it happens all the time. What ever this guy is doing for, he can do it for less.
It don't make him a hack (especially on Gov jobs) they will back charge for any small delay,etc.
He is working for less profit, but he is making more money in the long run, because his production turn-around time is much better and he can do it faster and do more jobs.
I know some guys in some cases, they do it for lower rates just to keep busy, and like you said the bigger the company is, and the rates they perform, smaller guys cannot compete.
You're making some huge assumptions. "...he can do it for less." Really? How do you know he understands his costs? If he doesn't understand his costs, he will not only not be "making more money in the long run", but will be digging his inevitable financial grave more quickly and deeply.

How can one work "...just to keep busy"? If taking money out of your left pocket and putting it in your right makes you rich, I'd be a millionaire.

If you understand your costs, you do not want to bid against people who are on their way out of business.
 

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General Contractor
Joined
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8,080 Posts
You're making some huge assumptions. "...he can do it for less." Really? How do you know he understands his costs? If he doesn't understand his costs, he will not only not be "making more money in the long run", but will be digging his inevitable financial grave more quickly and deeply.

How can one work "...just to keep busy"? If taking money out of your left pocket and putting it in your right makes you rich, I'd be a millionaire.

If you understand your costs, you do not want to bid against people who are on their way out of business.
I'm not making assumptions, I know this for a fact and I was making an example a larger outfit vs. a smaller outfit.

If a smaller outfit does the work lets say a 5m dollar state job, he needs to make x amount of money to survive. You have a larger outfit who can handle 2-3 state jobs at the same time and complete the work faster, they can do it for less and be making more then the other guy who does 1 job.

As to keep the guys busy, its a figure a speech. Sometimes they do this small jobs in between, for a very small profit... Let's say the weather is not permitting them to do something on the bigger job and they can do something else in one day, they will send a crew to bang this out and they will charge a very reasonable rate that not many can compete.
 

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Super Moderator
Joined
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28,847 Posts
I seem to be confused as many of you's seem to look down on this subject,
maybe it's called differently than what i intend, so i will explain how it works here.
you get on the list to bid on government jobs(i am currently working in a small country) there are only 2 categories that you can apply, doing street works, or general construction jobs.
the bigger your company(number of employees), the bigger the jobs.
I am 1 so i can bid jobs up to a value of $75'000.00.
When the works come up they send you a bid form with everything that needs to be done, with the prices for each work already given.
which are calculate as "going prices" for each work to be done.
All that is needed to be done is give your percentage of how much your going to do the job for less,
If their estimate for redoing a roof comes to $35000.00.
You write the percentage your willing to "LOWBALL" that price.
i lost the last bid for a similar job with an 18.5% discount. the winners had a 24.75% discount.

Trust me hacks not only will be stopped by the inspectors, but will be sued by the government and don't work no more.

so QUALITY CRAFTSMANSHIP, at a good price

there is no easy way out
Yall cant work direct for homeowners?
 

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Registered
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2,104 Posts
This site has so many interpretations of the value given to each job and where pricing matters.

OP was on the other track last night going after high charging contractors as being just "con" not "contractor".

Lets's say Contractor one has enough experience and enough love in his trade to do a very quality job, yet is still relatively young and can work faster and possibly longer than predecessors (Contractor 2). Contractor 1 is actively seeking to build a reputation, portfolio, client list and gaining work is the only way it seems is to be aggressive in his pricing. His perspective is right for him, he can charge accordingly this as this is his perspective.


Contractor 2 has earned his reputation already, has the love of the trade and provides a quality job as well. He does not need to be aggressive in pricing his work, he has already built a client list as well as earned reputation, built his portfolio, and has a long list of happy clients. Based on his experience in operating his business he knows where his pricing has to be.


Neither is wrong, both envious of the other. This is no new scenario, this is the way it is, has been and always will be.


With all this being said, this site and the moderators strict rules of not talking actual prices is ridiculous, at least to me. For those actively seeking to be Contractor 2 and are still Contractor 1 seek and should find the answers here. For the life of me I cannot see the negative impact on talking price, even if it is limited to sub contractor piece rate because this is how it is in the real world, Contractors work of numbers and per whatever is always what it is based on.

Location, location dictates price of course.

Common sense tells us complexity adds to it as well.


There are numerous avenues online to produce pricing but I don't know how many can actually be accurate as the Professional Contractors (both 1 & 2) here on Contractor Talk.


Lower pricing does not guarantee lower quality of work just as higher pricing does not not guarantee a higher quality of work.
 

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Registered
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541 Posts
You and the guy you lost the bid to are presumably competing on an equal playing field. I don't know how strict the regulations are in San Marino, but presumably anyone who is awarded that job will be well qualified to do the work, insured, permitted, and using legitimate employees. What people around here get upset about is when they are bidding against guys who have lower costs because they not paying insurance or permit fees or are using undocumented workers at a fraction of the cost. Those kind of bogus contractors are able to lowball bids for less than even a legitimate contractor's costs, and it creates an unfair business situation for those who play by the rules. In your case, as long as everybody involved is operating in a legal and fair manner, I don't see that it's a bad thing.
 

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Have Trowel, Do travel
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909 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·

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Have Trowel, Do travel
Joined
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909 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
this thread i started not to cry about losing a bid,
i was just going after those who seem to think that being expensive automatically means they have higher standards and better quality.
bull
i have lost many jobs, and have won.

i am in the construction business
 

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Super Moderator
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24,787 Posts
My recollection of lowball bidding is that a price is given where the Contractor has no intentions of completing the job at the given price.

To make up for the low bid there is Change Order after Change order until the job is completed, every last cent has been rung out of the job or the Contractor is run off.

Brunothedog you are just competitively bidding to see who will cut their own throat the deepest.
 

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Accidental Painter
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2,292 Posts
Yes, in an even playing field where all contractors are legit you can do that. That's commercial/government work.

But in the residential world it completely the opposite.

I paint apartments at a cuthroat price, however when i step into the residential world I can charge 5 times as much and still be cheap. It's wacky but true.
 

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Have Trowel, Do travel
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909 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My recollection of lowball bidding is that a price is given where the Contractor has no intentions of completing the job at the given price.

To make up for the low bid there is Change Order after Change order until the job is completed, every last cent has been rung out of the job or the Contractor is run off.

Brunothedog you are just competitively bidding to see who will cut their own throat the deepest.
I actually make pretty good money on those jobs.
I agree that many don't bid no more and are half bleed to death.
This business isn't only about the work.
It's 60% organization.
And you gotta be keen on what your bidding on.
I love it
 

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Registered
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2,891 Posts
Very seldom could anybody offer a discount to an architects estimate around here. The number is usually way low. I love learning how things are done in other countries.

We might learn a thing or two. Sometimes I think there has to be a better way.
 

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Super Moderator
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28,847 Posts
No reason to work more for less is my thinking.
 
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Have Trowel, Do travel
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909 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
No reason to work more for less is my thinking.
I really understand that statement,
but, with the BIG 20yr boom that finished for all a few years back,
the thinking was "No Reason to not to work less for more"
There are a lot of lazy contractors, sub- contractors, and so on down the line.
Bidding with them is fun, I make a goooood paycheck, I can easily be 30% less than them, and make more money than them,
Not because I'm gods gift to the trowel and hammer, because they are lazy, and forgot how to move ass.
Recently i was a few months in Michigan, I have family and friends in the business, I did a lot on job visits to these 5 hundred grand houses done by "custom builders"
And i could not believe the shaddy craftsmanship,
5 different builders i met.
i think hacks would of done a better job, he-he
or maybe working in other countries gives me a better assessment to Quality work.
 

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Super Moderator
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28,847 Posts
I really understand that statement,
but, with the BIG 20yr boom that finished for all a few years back,
the thinking was "No Reason to not to work less for more"
There are a lot of lazy contractors, sub- contractors, and so on down the line.
Bidding with them is fun, I make a goooood paycheck, I can easily be 30% less than them, and make more money than them,
Not because I'm gods gift to the trowel and hammer, because they are lazy, and forgot how to move ass.
Recently i was a few months in Michigan, I have family and friends in the business, I did a lot on job visits to these 5 hundred grand houses done by "custom builders"
And i could not believe the shaddy craftsmanship,
5 different builders i met.
i think hacks would of done a better job, he-he
or maybe working in other countries gives me a better assessment to Quality work.
I will agree there a lot of shoddy contractors, and a lot of lazy ones. In my experience the lazy ones dont last.

These are huge margins your discussing. 30%? That would suck to find out I won a job by 30%.
 
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Have Trowel, Do travel
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909 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
its not a lot,
I will explain, "oh, the lazy ones don't last but they go down kickin' n' screemin'"
10 days ago i run into a general contractor that i have done brick for at the yard.
he comes up to me all pissy face and is mad as hell, ( I out bid him on a restructuring job
by 22 k.
Now, he is one of the better builders in our area and has a work-force of about 26 men.

here over the last 20yrs. as in America, their has been a boom like never before in history.
especially there was an incredible profit margin per sq. meter.
depending, it would cost you as a builder around 1300 Euro to build, and they were selling for triple that amount.

anyways, that builder had 5 partners, 2 in the office and the others running the crews

they never touched a hammer, or any kinda tool. and their crews are good at whatever work they did, but were slow as molasses.

Now, the builder still has 5 on the payroll that do nothing as advancing the job.
and their workers are still slow.

you get where I'm going with this.

Their prices for all of them to make a buck are astronomical

I was not "lying" when i replied to another thread that my X partners house he's building that there was Soooo much difference in price.

Todays ecomony is for the strong, hard working craftsman, there's money to be made,
and many are getting pulled into that fixed price bullpoopy,
 

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Super Moderator
Joined
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28,847 Posts
its not a lot,
I will explain, "oh, the lazy ones don't last but they go down kickin' n' screemin'"
10 days ago i run into a general contractor that i have done brick for at the yard.
he comes up to me all pissy face and is mad as hell, ( I out bid him on a restructuring job
by 22 k.
Now, he is one of the better builders in our area and has a work-force of about 26 men.

here over the last 20yrs. as in America, their has been a boom like never before in history.
especially there was an incredible profit margin per sq. meter.
depending, it would cost you as a builder around 1300 Euro to build, and they were selling for triple that amount.

anyways, that builder had 5 partners, 2 in the office and the others running the crews

they never touched a hammer, or any kinda tool. and their crews are good at whatever work they did, but were slow as molasses.

Now, the builder still has 5 on the payroll that do nothing as advancing the job.
and their workers are still slow.

you get where I'm going with this.

Their prices for all of them to make a buck are astronomical

I was not "lying" when i replied to another thread that my X partners house he's building that there was Soooo much difference in price.

Todays ecomony is for the strong, hard working craftsman, there's money to be made,
and many are getting pulled into that fixed price bullpoopy,
Fixed price BS? You mean fixed cost bid as opposed to a cost plus or T and M?
 
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