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What attributes do general contractors look for in subs? What things can subs do to add value to them in the eyes of the GC? If several subs are bidding to provide the same items, what other factors do GC's look at besides money? If a sub is higher than the other subs, what would make you choose them over the cheaper subs?
 

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I'm not looking for anything to do with price or being cheap. I'm looking for factors that make particular subs more appealing even if there are not the cheapest. Sometimes you get what you pay for when you go with the cheapest.
 

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Quality of work, their time line to complete the job, and last would be price
For the majority of GC's, I would call BS on this, at least getting your foot in the door. Once you're in and have done a few jobs price becomes less of a factor as long as the GC has the ability to sell their higher price to the customer.

I only work for a handful of GC's and as far as I know they don't shop my price. I think most established GC's probably do the same, they have a core group of subs they like to work with. About the only way in is for them to have trouble with their existing sub or offer a substantially lower price.
 

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TxElectrician said:
For the majority of GC's, I would call BS on this, at least getting your foot in the door. Once you're in and have done a few jobs price becomes less of a factor as long as the GC has the ability to sell their higher price to the customer.
He asked what I look for in a sub, so I told him. The best electrician I have found that's licensed in my city is at least 25% cheaper then every other one. He keeps his overhead low, his son is his only employee, but if his work sucked I wouldn't hire him.
 

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I am with Jesse, as long as the price is close to what I have been paying, or is something I can sell. No circumstances will I hire someone who does poor quality work (more than once) and they definitely have to be able to do the work when it will be available, or I atleast have to be able to move the project. But if the sub is 20% higher than two other subs who have good reps, never going to work. 10% higher and have a superb reputation maybe.

Price is a factor, just not the only factor.
 

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I would go for quality, time of completion and all that too. Unfortunately, that is not the case with a lot of the guys around here. I have seen a GC hire a "sub" with no registration or insurance and send him out to work on a job without ever actually even meeting him. He found the guy on craigslist and the guy didn't know a damn thing about what he was doing.
 

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He asked what I look for in a sub, so I told him. The best electrician I have found that's licensed in my city is at least 25% cheaper then every other one. He keeps his overhead low, his son is his only employee, but if his work sucked I wouldn't hire him.
If you've never hired him, never had seen his work, and he came in 10% higher than your other bids, what could he do to make you want to hire him, or me? How much effort would you exert in checking his qualifications and references? Or would you go with one of the other lower bids if the scope was the same?
 

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TxElectrician said:
If you've never hired him, never had seen his work, and he came in 10% higher than your other bids, what could he do to make you want to hire him, or me? How much effort would you exert in checking his qualifications and references? Or would you go with one of the other lower bids if the scope was the same?
He was highly recommended from other contractors I know, and here the list of licensed guys is small. Maybe 20 so I've only ever used other electricians a few times. Paid more and wasn't has happy with the work. Like I said even if he was 5 or 10% more I would have gave him a shot because of his reputation among other tradesmen
 

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With contractors, just taking low bid and not checking them out before hand is bad mistake. I know painters who bill out for 22.50 an hour...... now it would be great if that guy did good work. But that's not the reality.

When picking a new trade contractor, I ask other builders and go look at some of their work (if it is that kind of trade) and find 2 , sometimes 3 that have like reputations and quality (around here for some trades that's not easy) and let them bid a project.

I never show the other bids to the other bidders. I don't ask for a lower price, and I call and let them know if they didn't get it. After I establish my new sub, I use his numbers for my bids. Unless I think he is getting outrageous.

Now normally, 2 or like subs will be within earshot of each other, but like JLS said, some are quite a bit lower. If they have like reps, I am taking the lower guy.

It's the nature of business.

What I don't do is go look for the cheapest guy. That is rarely a good plan.
 
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I'm currently looking for a new plumber. My old one didn't work out, he also did my hvac, but the hvac was easily replaced. I hate doing this :laughing:

Another thing is you. An look a guy in the eyes and shake his hand and tell a lot about him :laughing:
 

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Another thing to, I hardly ever bid against other contractors. I think only once this year and a few times last year. So I don't have to sharpen my pencil. I tell customers all the time they will be able to find someone cheaper.
I wish i could pull that off :thumbsup:

Never bid a commercial project that didn't have other bidders. Rarely bid an addition or whole house that isn't against others.

I ask who the other bidders are, but primarily I have to read whether or not the client UNDERSTANDS value. If they do, I will risk being in earshot of other reputable contractors. If they get bids from side job joe, I wasn'tever going to get that job.

What I don't do is lower my price or beat down the trades prices to try and win low bid work. When I say low bid, I mean against Joe Bob and his "boy" .

Most new house bids I refer to other builders. I'm either not a good enough salesman or that market has shifted a lot in the last 4 years.
 

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Jaws said:
I wish i could pull that off :thumbsup: Never bid a commercial project that didn't have other bidders. Rarely bid an addition or whole house that isn't against others. I ask who the other bidders are, but primarily I have to read whether or not the client UNDERSTANDS value. If they do, I will risk being in earshot of other reputable contractors. If they get bids from side job joe, I wasn'tever going to get that job. What I don't do is lower my price or beat down the trades prices to try and win low bid work. When I say low bid, I mean against Joe Bob and his "boy" . Most new house bids I refer to other builders. I'm either not a good enough salesman or that market has shifted a lot in the last 4 years.
I lost that commercial job because I wouldn't drop my pricing, and I wanted that sucker.
 
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