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#158225 - 04/13/06 04:36 PM Contract?  
festus  Offline
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 40
fairfax Va USA
Home builder is building a 3000 sq ft home, and asked me to give him a price. I have a set of plans and the home is large. Never having bid on a project before, I really have nothing to go by but a price of 2.25-2.50 per sq foot, to build it to code and everything else a t&m price. My problem is that I don't have the capital to lay out for the material at this time. I really don't want to go into home building as it is too cut-throat and demanding, but one home at a time would seem to be manageable , and I wouldn't be jeopardizing my service oriented business.
I explained my lack of experience in contracting to the h.o., and he asked me to bid anyway.
What should I do to ensure that I don't get ripped off? I am not out to make a killing, I just want to ensure that I get my hourly rate, and reimbursed for materials? Any advice would surely be appreciated.

Business, Office, Estimating, Legal:

#158226 - 04/13/06 04:50 PM Re: Contract?  
Tiger  Offline
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 706
Crystal Lake, IL USA
How would you feel if you worked three weeks out of the next four and had a material invoice due with no check from the builder? Does this sound like something you want to low-bid for?

(Just my jaded opinion)


#158227 - 04/13/06 04:54 PM Re: Contract?  
mahlere  Offline
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 507
New Jersey
Honestly, do you have a contractor friend who can do this house with you?

One who has the credit with the supply houses to get the material? Experience doing these installs?

You'd be surprised at how much this will affect your service business. This house will take you 2-3 times longer than you figure.

If you want to do it on your own. Go to your local supply house and talk to them about credit. Get ready to work 18 hour days for about 2 months. 8-10 on this house, the rest on your service customers (if you let them down, they will do somewhere else)

Get a sizable deposit before your start the project (1/3-1/2) this will give you some working capital.

Bust your ass.

#158228 - 04/13/06 06:02 PM Re: Contract?  
festus  Offline
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 40
fairfax Va USA
I'm getting cold feet already. I wouldn't consider taking a job on like this without a contract gone over by my lawyer, that I don't have anyway, and considerable up front money from the homeowner. I also got advice while working for a contractor in the past who reminded me of all the times he had been ripped off. Best to leave this one alone, I guess. How do I tell the homeowner that it is too much responsibility and risk for me to handle without sounding like a wimp?

#158229 - 04/13/06 06:16 PM Re: Contract?  
Tiger  Offline
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 706
Crystal Lake, IL USA
Don't sweat it. They weren't going to have you do the job. They just wanted your bid to talk the regular EC out of some money.


#158230 - 04/13/06 06:17 PM Re: Contract?  
Dnkldorf  Offline
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,064
nowhere usa
Talk to your local inspectors, they are great for this type of thing. They may know the builder, know his track record, and may know other trades who have done work for him before.
And it's free...

Capital? Look into business credit lines from your bank, use what you need and pay it off...

Don't start pulling wires in walls until the plumber is completely done, same with HVAC. Same with the framers, otherwise you may be installing and uninstalling/moving wires because of them, make sure this is known to the builder first.....


#158231 - 04/13/06 07:41 PM Re: Contract?  
Redsy  Offline
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,056
Bucks County PA
"one home at a time would seem to be manageable"

It never happens that way! There will be 4 due at once and then none at all for some (unpredictable)amount of time.

"I just want to ensure that I get my hourly

Not happening, unless your hourly rate is $15-$25.00.

OH, OH,... and don't forget to take your heart medication!!!

[This message has been edited by Redsy (edited 04-13-2006).]

#158232 - 04/13/06 09:24 PM Re: Contract?  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
Didn't we just have a thread about business plans?

If home building is not part of your plan...that is, if that's not what you are set up to do, then turn it down. You can't be all things to all folks, so don't even try.

#158233 - 04/14/06 05:18 PM Re: Contract?  
Active 1  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 687
Grayslake IL, USA
If you can't afford the risk then don't take the job. If it's not you area of what you do then it is better to pass.

Kinda sounds like you don't know how much time or materials it will take you. Without that your dead in the water on bidding.

Maybe it would help you more if you figured the number of days it would take x what your days labor is. Plus material, waste, warenty, MU, etc.

Don't just copy what the other guy is charging. Maybe the HO trusts your work and is willing to pay much more then $2 for your services?

#158234 - 04/14/06 06:08 PM Re: Contract?  
mahlere  Offline
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 507
New Jersey

do you use a factoring company? or does your regular bank to it for you?

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