reviewing bids

ellenandcoFebruary 20, 2013

Well, we have 2 of our bids, still waiting on the 3rd. Met with one GC and our architect last night to go over their bid. The bids are in line with our expectations. It's exciting to be one step closer to starting this house.

Here are some observations for anyone interested. I welcome your thoughts/advice/words of wisdom.

-bids are within 5% of each other, and could easily be brought in line if we adjust for various cost saving measures each took or didn't take.

-Many of the subcontractors are in common across the bids.

-both GCs included their profit as a line item in the bid (8%). I had thought that would be a mystery number.

-it took an extra week (3wks vs 2wks) to get the bids in. I guess 4 weeks for the one still out.

-We went line by line through the categories on the bids and discussed how to save and where to spend. For example
Pex vs copper,
different brand windows (impact rated so expensive no matter which we choose!),
pre-wire for generator but install later,
rough in the outdoor kitchen but install separately,
making sure the kitchen doors and drawers are as I specified,
options to save money on brick and stone,
flex vs sheet metal ducting etc.

I'm not committing to any of these changes yet, but they are examples of the discussions we had. There will be even more detailed discussions with whomever is awarded the job.

Things we've done right:

-Taking the time to make every decision that can be made at this point. I would rather take time to do it now than in the stressful building phase. We picked out everything from carpeting to appliances to brick to cabinet style. I want an accurate bid, not a list of allowances.

-Opting for both construction management and bidding oversight from our architect.

-Pick GCs to bid based on home owner recommendations as well as our architect's experience. We consulted our town's inspector for his advice, as well. He's been quite valuable and very willing to help.

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Well done!

You've probably noticed that many problems posted on the forum come from folks not doing one or more of the things listed as things you did right.

Good luck going forward, keep posting updates.

This post was edited by dadereni on Wed, Feb 20, 13 at 17:56

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 5:48PM
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Use flex duct cautiously. It can be effective at the end of metal duct runs but for long runs it can reduce overall air flow especially at bends and might require a more powerful fan.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 10:20PM
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Thanks Renovator8. That's precisely what the GC said.

dadereni, I've read enough here to know that I'm sure we'll have our share of problems...I just hope to minimize them!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 10:31PM
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ellenandco, we are trying to do exactly what you are doing about making all our product selections before bids are sent out. It takes a while to do it, but we have found it brings in more accurate bids. We are also trying to rid ourselves of allowances.

We sent out for preliminary bids in the fall. We went through all the bids line for line when they returned. We also found that it took closer to 4 weeks to get everything back versus the 2 weeks we had requested.

We've been updating our specification document in the last couple of months in preparation for our actual bid going out hopefully later this year. We put our present home on the market next month. As soon as we get an offer, bids on the new place will go out.

Please keep us updated. I've found such great advice on these forums and like to learn from others. Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 7:14AM
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