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.