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Recently, I unsucessfully negotiated a 6-700K contract.

The project was a high end 6000 sq/ft home, 3 stories w/ basement garages, sloped lot w/ rock, in a very affluent part of town.
I really wanted my name on this one so after much consideration I proposed a cost plus deal of minimal percentage.
" Oh No thats too much"... "I have a builder friend who will build this house for 10 grand!"
At that moment I knew it was time for lunch and on to the other projects in my world. So I parted w/...
"Thats really a great deal and since you are good friends with this man you should let him do this project. I would love to build this home for you but, the
magnitude of involvement on a home like this is immense and I can not even come close to that fee. Thank you for meeting with me."

A week later/today my phone rings and its this customer again...
" J, could I ask a favor?"
"Sure, what can I do for you?"
"Will you write a letter to our bank saying you will build this house for 510K?"

I am not often at a loss for words but today I was... they must have thought my phone lost the signal cause I could hear "Hello, are you still there, J, Hello..."
I just went with it and hung up.

Just when you think youve seen all the tricks...
J
 

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last year lost 650k whole house remodel. top of line everything.took almost 40 hours to estimate.about halfway thru est called architect to see if customer wanted to scaleback to reduce cost. had feeling est was way over the budget.submited bid never heard back.drove by site this spring one year later looked like project was scaled back as i suggested.think architect steered customer to favorite contractor . i do not think i was highest bidder but will probally never know. also architect seemed to have atitude when i brought up this and other questions.as customer was out of state they handled bid process.going to charge est fee in future for project of this size.
 

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GenCo
You gotta love them, LOL.
Nitwits are born everyday, I too have taken great steps to insure a good bid, only to be undersold by some fly by.

But you really have to have balls to call you for a bank bid.

I have worked in a lot of elderly centers and housing, and they are the same type deal. They take the high bid to get funding and then go to the lower bid for the repairs.

But thats the way it happens...

BJD
 

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Its amazing how some people think we have nothing better to do than write up estimates for projects never to be had. I get several calls a year about estimates on homes the customer is thinking about buying.when i tell them there will be a fee {credited to project if we actually build it}for this they respond, but all contractors give free estimates!!not this one,i even had one wife write me a nasty e-mail.in this bussiness sometimes losing a bid is the better option,try to imagine what would have unfolded if you were successfull in bidding.
 

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also i try to stay away from cost plus t+M or other non fixed price types of contracts. people equate cost plus with less cost,if project goes over budget they blame you.to be fair we use allowances for fixtures,cabs,flooring,and appliances.but for the structure and systems we only give a fixed price bid.
 

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What a friggin joke, there's some strange folks out there with off the wall ideas...but I think I can one up ya for speechless. ;)

Years ago I was selling on of my old work trucks, guy shows up with his wife/girl/whatever she was and as they get out of their hoopty obviously they're the harley riding (read: dirty/scroungy) type, he's easily 350lbs and she's maybe 90lbs. He looks the truck all over and wants to know bottom dollar, so I tell him. He ponders for a minute, looks at his girl then looks at me and asks: "Is there anything she can do for you to get the price lowered?"

WTF???!!!! How are you supposed to answer to that LMAO!!! So here's this obese biker and his crack head chick staring at me waiting for an answer, now she's smiling like it's Christmas day and anxiously waiting to open presents...I got red faced of course and could only muster up, that's my bottom dollar, take it or leave it. At least he pulled out the wad and paid me johnny on the spot, but wow what a strange moment!!!
 

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genconj , just curious what part of the country does a $115 a square foot for a custom home not seem like a great deal.I realize spec prices vary greatly but true custom is expensive wherever you are.
 

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I was in one last year that was just under 1.8K per sq ft. It's an all time high for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I live in the S.E. and even here 115 sq is an awesome deal. Most of these homes are starting at much, much more.
Thanks for the advice about bidding cost plus, I thought if I went low and left some control w/ the owner, it would be a sure thing.
Guess it was more of a personal goal than a sound business choice.
 

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Itake the view that we as contractors create a value added product just the same as any other manufacturing industry. only difference is we make ours on a building lot not in factory.that said the only cost that realy matters is the cost to the end user the customer.problem with cost plus is it puts the contractor in the position of haveing to justify his costs, overhead and profit to the customer.
 

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In my P&V days, I would have done a letter showing a cost of $389,327 and a turnkey retail price $465,000 with CC to bank. Thrown in some 'loop holes' and 'outs' and watched the project turn into a smoking crater.
But the years have mellowed me.
 
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