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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For a plan I am moving off the boards, one for which part of the roof can be either stickframed or trussed, I took three quotes for the package, all three were from lumberyards, because none of the truss plants sell direct here.

As can be seen, a scissors arrangement with 25'4" span, 12 pitch on top, 7 pitch on bottom, is broken for transport and has a cap. The other, a monotruss with half the span, is done as one part.

Seven (7) required of the scissors/cap set, and six (6) of the monos.

Price quotes, delivered but with sales tax to be added, were $1250, $1775, and $2750.

Quite a spread, eh? Quotes all look pretty much apples to apples. Drawings, member sizes, loads, reactions, etc., all same.
 

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I'd go with the cheapest one that had the engineers stamp of approval on it and I could trust to build a quality product and deliver it on time.
 

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I priced a thermatru door through a couple of different resources and was quite surprised to find my local hometown source was around $1100 and the national chain building supply source was $2600...same specs exactly. If the $1250 package is identical to the other two, why would you spend more?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Of course I would buy at the best price, if all things are equal. BTW, all three come from plants that provide state-PE-sealed drawings.

Here is a followup question. Should a property owner do the same, i.e., buy at best price, when being quoted exactly the same scope from three qualified professional remodeling contractors?
 

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Of course I would buy at the best price, if all things are equal. BTW, all three come from plants that provide state-PE-sealed drawings.

Here is a followup question. Should a property owner do the same, i.e., buy at best price, when being quoted exactly the same scope from three qualified professional remodeling contractors?
Buying a truss or other commodity is not the same as hiring a contractor, even with very exact specs, no two contractors will do the exact same job.
 

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Of course I would buy at the best price, if all things are equal. BTW, all three come from plants that provide state-PE-sealed drawings.

Here is a followup question. Should a property owner do the same, i.e., buy at best price, when being quoted exactly the same scope from three qualified professional remodeling contractors?
If the end result is the same then I would hire the cheapest one of the 3. I wouldn't take for granted that the job was done right no matter how little or how much I paid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Since I am the OP, and the one who hijacked this thread and turned it into something else, I don't feel too guilty about following the hijack.

I will ask those of you who are actually responsible and professional remodeling contractors this question.

Property owner (PO) has a solid old house, built in the 1920s, everything in it done quite well. The scope of work you have been invited to bid upon is a complete gut and redo of an upstairs bath, a small room about 6 feet by 9 feet.

PO has engaged a well-respected interior designer (WRID) to manage the RFQ process, and she, the WRID, has brought you in, and two others, to produce lump-sum firm-price proposals for the work.

The drawings are very clear and very complete, the specs are, too, and the materials and equipment are all listed out with product numbers, colors, everything. Everything is chosen, everything clear. There will be tile work and stone work, and the WRID has sample boards of everything, even detail samples to show how things are to go like listelli layout, cope returns, etc.

You produce your proposal, and a few days later are called in to review it face to face, whereupon you are told you offered the low bid, and you are asked to start work per the promise you made in your bid, "four weeks after notification and receipt of deposit check."

They show you the deposit check made out to you, and before handing it to you, say, "By the way, your price was half of that of the high bidder, and quite lower than the one in the middle. We are very pleased to be getting you as our contractor."

Are you going to do the same job for this PO and their WRID as those other contractors?
 

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What do you mean "same job"? Its tough to say how one contractor would handle a project compared to another. If both contractors end with the same quality on the finished project it doesn't mean they both went about the steps to get there. Look at all the threads about sheathing walls on the ground versus standing up (not hijacking, simply making a point). If it was me I would do the same quality work I have always done if not better. I always try to find faster and better ways to accomplish tasks I've done before. I would be satisfied that I got job and let my work speak for itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I understand quite well that no two contractors will go about the work in exactly the same way. Sequence, schedule, methods, all can differ. But those end results, with the quality standards well-defined with samples from that well-respected interior designer, will be right on. And it is the end result that counts.

I should have asked, "will your end result, in both fit and finish, and in quality of construction, match or exceed that of those others who bid much higher than you?"
 

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That does seem like an extreme price difference. We have 3 truss manufacturers near us. One of which I refuse to use under any circumstances. While they all use the same wood and gussets, The programs they use for engineering can be quite different. The assembly can also vary as well. Around here generally the lumber yards have a preferred supplier. I never bother to check price difference, although if it seemed out of line I would certainly ask.
 

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We are repeatedly underbid by our competitor....same scenario as you have laid out.....the difference that is initially hard to express to clients and is the key to our reputation, is we rarely go over our bid and we PRIDE ourselves in always being finished when we promise.

The community I work in is small and gated, we hear time and time again how our competitor never stays in budget and rarely finishes on time, and we have customers thank us continually saying they were happy they chose our company and how their neighbor used X and regret it (more than not). yet year after year people go with his lower bids.

Keep to your bid, if lower, great, stick to it and you'll be set.
 

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UpNorth a little background: We have not "bid" a project since 9-15-05. Prior to that time we were never the low bidder or for that matter the middle bidder. But because I'm interested in where you're going with this - I'll Play!

The question you posted in post 8: Would indicate that knowing I'm the low bidder somehow justifies doing a lesser job. I would think that even if I'm the low bidder, I'm getting what I want (asked for) in exchange for my services. Unless you believe that being the low bidder means I got less than what I wanted and I should somehow justify delivering less. Seems like a circle jerk to me.

The question you pose in post 10, is different and unless there was a parallel universe we will never know if the "Fit and Finish" was the same - better - worse. Likewise we would not know if the time frame, customer experience, sub-contractor performance, material selection, etc. were the same better or worse.

Can you tell us where your going with this? I'm really curious. :blink:
 

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As others have said, if all was the same I would use the lower bid. That is unless I had some other reason not to use them such as a prior bad experience.

They show you the deposit check made out to you, and before handing it to you, say, "By the way, your price was half of that of the high bidder, and quite lower than the one in the middle. We are very pleased to be getting you as our contractor."

Are you going to do the same job for this PO and their WRID as those other contractors?
Yes, the quality of the job I do does not change if I find out that I am the low bid. I would definitley double check myself and hope I did not make any mistakes.

Bill
 

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Regardless of how well something is spec'd there will always be a difference in the quality, reliability, capability and financial stability of contractors and their subs. As a consumer these are the intangibles that need to be fished out before biting on a low quote. As a contractor this is what you need to communicate so that the buyer understands that three different contractors will not all yield identical results. What good is a low bid if the work looks bad, never gets done or if the subs file liens? Same thing applies for truss manufacturers. I would not necessarily have gone with the low quote. Can I count on all 3 to deliver on time, communicate well and be free of errors/defects? Of course by know I know who I can count on and wouldn't have asked for a quote from a truss company I was concerned about so it would probably come down to schedule and price..

If I was told I was 1/2 price of the others I'd do the job happily and to the best of my ability.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just like there are contractors and there are contractors, and no two will execute a complex job the same way, along that same line of thinking, there are property owners, who, along with their hired professionals, the architects and interior designers, can so well define a scope and expected level of finish, and manage the process of the work's execution, much better and more clearly than other property owners, so that for them, and yes, they in fact do put these kinds of jobs out for competitive bidding, the end result is the same, regardless of the contractor.

Look, I know that there are contractors who do really excellent and unique work, and they get hired by property owners to do work using exactly those details and finishes and designs as seen in that showcase job the contractor took the client to see. I'm not talking about that here. I'm talking about work that is hard-specced to the nines, and they are not asking you to do what you did on that job across town, they are requiring you to do what they have spelled out.

And they are asking you to propose it firm-price lump-sum. It is a free country and you have every right to walk away. But there are those that will comply, and bid it, and someone will do it.

No two owners are alike, and no two contractors are alike. Just as there are those contractors who prefer to do work in a referral-only design-build mode, comfortably operating and declining bid work, there are plenty of very professional and successful contractors who enjoy the challenges of doing highly-specified competitively-bid projects, each one of them offering a unique and new challenge.

I get a chuckle out of residential building pros who repeatedly want to say that an owner just cannot possibly get the same job from guy A versus guy B. Maybe I am wrong, but I always think I am hearing a subtext there, and it is this: "if that owner gets me to do the job, and not him, he'll be getting a far better level of quality, fit, and finish, and I'll finish it quicker than the other guy."

And then they'll step right up and advise me, "yeah, buy that truss package from the low-priced source."
 

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There are differences in contractors.

I framed in Syracuse for 15 years. I have seen every shortcut and possible dangerous practise by other framing companies.

I also know for a fact that I worked for the High priced outfit. Of course we offered to frame houses up to 3000 sq ft in 5 days or less. Custom houses. This was an advantage to builders that borrow money to build, less interest carrying cost.

As far as your question about the difference in costs between truss manufactorors, there are differences. You were told about how different truss companies use different programs, some of which are extreemly hard to install.

If your low cost comes from Watertown I wouldn't use it!:thumbsup:
 

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Huh?....it's your Job to decide which products to use that aren't specifically specified to achieve the final product demanded....due diligence....

Why you're cheaper is entirely your business....that's your sales pitch, the same as any truss company you use....

your posts are very cryptic.....

If the HOer, designer, architect are determining your specs than the bid is dependant on how efficient and how much it costs you to do the work.

I'm Lost.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
None of our local lumberyards, that I know of, have ever dealt trusses made in a plant near or in Watertown. Our US suppliers that I know of are in Riparius, Waddington, and Plattsburgh. There are many plants up in Quebec, and that is where the better pricing comes from, most often. I've been in two of the shops there out along the 20 autoroute NE of Montreal, and they are quite advanced in terms of systems, and computer-driven machinery.
 
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