Author Topic: $14,000 For Concrete!  (Read 5341 times)

dragoncar

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #50 on: July 19, 2017, 12:48:55 PM »
Most insurance adjusters require multiple quotes.  I wouldn't say three bids "originated" in the public sector.

Not true.
We've done numerous insurance projects that were simply negotiated.  My former firm is doing a $3 mil tornado damage repair presently.
If an insurance company is looking for bids and low price, we usually walk away, because there won't be enough money left in the job to do them a good job.

I did say most, and that's my experience as the insured.  Maybe you see something different in construction, but it does sound like it's happened to you before and you turn down the job.  Perhaps that affects the frequency with people approach you for bids.

As others mentioned, I don't think they necessarily go with the low bid.  But bids help understand the market.  If you're really so crabby about quotes, why don't you just charge for the time it takes you to write one?  Like, something reasonable.

Jon Bon

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #51 on: July 19, 2017, 12:57:57 PM »
I have had a lot of good experiences with posting gig ads on Craigslist.
I posted an ad for my dad. Had lots of people call me, go over it and give me quotes. The serious ones I called back, and they came out to look. Picked a guy and it went great.
Dad put in a patio that he uses to work on cars. 20'x40' 4"-6" deep. Framing and labor was $700. He bought the concrete. Used 11 yards. First 10 yds was $110/yd with mirco fibers? (might be micro balloons? Or something else added for strength) they needed one more yard so that was $110 plus a $100 short load fee.
3 guys got it done in less than a half day.
$2,010 Total.

Yes the average bid from a respectable guy is usually the way to go. The 'lowest is best' might be the cheapest off the bat and most expensive overall!

My issue is I cant even get multiple bids!

I have called about a dozen guys and 2 have come out and written up actual bids.

First guys was 14k
Second guy was 13k but totally missed a few large items that would have taken him well over 14k. So I did not even bother correcting him.
Third guy: felt legit but still waiting on for him to write up the estimate.

I found a guy on craigslist that said he was going to show up about six times but never did.

Posted to craigslist tonight and someone offered to come look at it.

I did not expect asking people to come take my money to be this hard!

BrandNewPapa

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #52 on: July 20, 2017, 10:56:29 AM »
I did not expect asking people to come take my money to be this hard!

I know how you feel. I recently contacted 3 electricians to do some work.

Left a message with one, they never called back.
Second guy answered, said he was in the middle of something and would call back in 15 minutes. Never did.
Third scheduled a time to come out for an estimate and never showed up.

Guess I'll just do it myself.

Spork

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #53 on: July 20, 2017, 02:55:14 PM »
I did not expect asking people to come take my money to be this hard!

I know how you feel. I recently contacted 3 electricians to do some work.

Left a message with one, they never called back.
Second guy answered, said he was in the middle of something and would call back in 15 minutes. Never did.
Third scheduled a time to come out for an estimate and never showed up.

Guess I'll just do it myself.

I've been there as well.  I'll always give anyone a second chance... but stand me up/don't call back a second time and I'm done with you. 

If this is during the bid time: this is awesome.  Either they're a flake or they're too busy with bigger jobs to deal with someone like me.  It's good to get that out of the way up front rather than be half into a job and be wondering when the hell they'll show up again.
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paddedhat

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #54 on: July 20, 2017, 05:35:34 PM »

I think s/he's alluding to the fact that Fishindude is a builder/contractor, and will push you towards the answer that is best for their profession (i.e. not wasting their theoretical time making bids that won't convert to sales).

True, I am a builder contractor and have purchased millions of dollars worth of subcontractor work.  Most home owners have no experience purchasing construction.
What I am suggesting is not "the answer that is best for their profession".    It's how you will get best response from a contractor, and how you will get a good job.

This business of shopping out contractors and going with the low bid, rarely works out favorably for the inexperienced buyer.  This is where the contractor horror stories usually originate from.
Have some trust, try to work with somebody, and let them make a few bucks in the deal.

The whole competitive bidding thing originated in the public sector where public entities are required by law to get competitive bids for projects in excess of XX dollars.  Joe Homeowner hears about these deals and thinks that's how he should buy his work.  The majority of large private corporations that buy construction day in and day out negotiate their contracts with contractors they trust and are familiar with.   If they do bid a job it will be a very short list of a couple highly qualified contractors.  Public entities in many areas have also seen the value in negotiating work rather than bidding and have raised the dollar threshold where bids are required, so they can negotiate the majority of their projects.

Hire the best guy, not the cheap guy.
[/quote]

The whole world of low bidding is interesting. I had a neighbor who told me he was a construction cost estimator for a large contractor based in NYC.  As I got to know him better, he revealed that his job is actually more disaster preventing than estimating. His company gets a lot of large general contractor agreements with public institutions and the financial industry. He estimates the scope of work for the subcontracts, to develop an estimate as to where the number will be, when the work is let out to bid. He then takes all the bids and works with the low outliers to get them to see the error of their ways, and retract their bids. It may be a math error, it may be inexperience, or it may be a desperate contractor who needs to keep cash flowing, and knows that they will lose money doing the work, but it's a hail Mary pass to keep the doors open. By the time he is done, the job is awarded to a legitimate low bidder, who has enough in the job for it to be a success for all parties.

Doing ten grand worth of concrete at home isn't a lot different in some ways. There are low bidders out there that are going to screw you. They may do it unintentionally and without malice, or they might of intended to screw you before they even took your first call, but it happens. When it comes to the OPs situation, I wouldn't even think of taking a low bid without references and looking at a few recently completed jobs.

BCBiker

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #55 on: July 23, 2017, 05:29:19 PM »

I think s/he's alluding to the fact that Fishindude is a builder/contractor, and will push you towards the answer that is best for their profession (i.e. not wasting their theoretical time making bids that won't convert to sales).

True, I am a builder contractor and have purchased millions of dollars worth of subcontractor work.  Most home owners have no experience purchasing construction.
What I am suggesting is not "the answer that is best for their profession".    It's how you will get best response from a contractor, and how you will get a good job.

This business of shopping out contractors and going with the low bid, rarely works out favorably for the inexperienced buyer.  This is where the contractor horror stories usually originate from.
Have some trust, try to work with somebody, and let them make a few bucks in the deal.

The whole competitive bidding thing originated in the public sector where public entities are required by law to get competitive bids for projects in excess of XX dollars.  Joe Homeowner hears about these deals and thinks that's how he should buy his work.  The majority of large private corporations that buy construction day in and day out negotiate their contracts with contractors they trust and are familiar with.   If they do bid a job it will be a very short list of a couple highly qualified contractors.  Public entities in many areas have also seen the value in negotiating work rather than bidding and have raised the dollar threshold where bids are required, so they can negotiate the majority of their projects.

Hire the best guy, not the cheap guy.

The whole world of low bidding is interesting. I had a neighbor who told me he was a construction cost estimator for a large contractor based in NYC.  As I got to know him better, he revealed that his job is actually more disaster preventing than estimating. His company gets a lot of large general contractor agreements with public institutions and the financial industry. He estimates the scope of work for the subcontracts, to develop an estimate as to where the number will be, when the work is let out to bid. He then takes all the bids and works with the low outliers to get them to see the error of their ways, and retract their bids. It may be a math error, it may be inexperience, or it may be a desperate contractor who needs to keep cash flowing, and knows that they will lose money doing the work, but it's a hail Mary pass to keep the doors open. By the time he is done, the job is awarded to a legitimate low bidder, who has enough in the job for it to be a success for all parties.

Doing ten grand worth of concrete at home isn't a lot different in some ways. There are low bidders out there that are going to screw you. They may do it unintentionally and without malice, or they might of intended to screw you before they even took your first call, but it happens. When it comes to the OPs situation, I wouldn't even think of taking a low bid without references and looking at a few recently completed jobs.
[/quote]

I appreciate that thought out response. I was half joking and wasn't sure anyone was a contractor giving advice.  The advice of just simply paying what one person bids seemed bad to me, especially when the gut feeling of the OP was that the bid was too high. One of the reasons I like to do the majority of work myself is that some times it is easier to do the work that to get hustled by people who are too busy to deal with you or who are truly attempting to take advantage of you. 

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ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #56 on: July 30, 2017, 05:05:05 AM »
My wife got our ugly, useless back patio fixed up for under $200.

...She bought a floor model bench swing with canopy that the babies like to be rocked on, and now we don't notice how jacked up the concrete is.

skeeder

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #57 on: August 02, 2017, 06:22:29 AM »
At one point in time (before we sold the house) we were looking at paving a small section of our back patio.  The patio, came flush to our driveway, which was an absolute mess. 

To redo the driveway and the patio came to $6,700.  This included breaking up the existing and hauling it away.  Local guy, super friendly, walked us through why he didn't feel like he could just pour the patio and walk away since it would be cracked in a few years because of the driveway's current state of affairs. 

They took payment plans too if I recall.

Just adding my experience.  The garage isn't worth messing around.  Once that is done you really don't want that giving you issues.
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Jon Bon

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #58 on: August 06, 2017, 12:37:19 PM »
I have had a lot of good experiences with posting gig ads on Craigslist.
I posted an ad for my dad. Had lots of people call me, go over it and give me quotes. The serious ones I called back, and they came out to look. Picked a guy and it went great.
Dad put in a patio that he uses to work on cars. 20'x40' 4"-6" deep. Framing and labor was $700. He bought the concrete. Used 11 yards. First 10 yds was $110/yd with mirco fibers? (might be micro balloons? Or something else added for strength) they needed one more yard so that was $110 plus a $100 short load fee.
3 guys got it done in less than a half day.
$2,010 Total.

So I found a guy on CL, well I found several, but I found one that I liked and has agreed to to do the work. He is going to bring a crew, place, and finish the concrete for $2,000. I will probably pay him a little extra to make sure the forms are 100% correct.

So to review (if anyone cares :)

Original bid was for $7,200 turn key.

This bid will be $2,000 in labor and $1,000 in concrete. I will be doing lots of the hauling away of the old concrete, laying of the forms, grading and site prep. So all in I should be able to have all my sidewalks for $4,000. Which is close to half of what I was originally  quoted. This is going to be a ton of work, I am sure I am going to sweat a lot, as well as probably hurt myself in the process. I think it will be well work saving $3,000!
« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 12:39:17 PM by Jon Bon »

BCBiker

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #59 on: August 11, 2017, 06:06:04 PM »
I have had a lot of good experiences with posting gig ads on Craigslist.
I posted an ad for my dad. Had lots of people call me, go over it and give me quotes. The serious ones I called back, and they came out to look. Picked a guy and it went great.
Dad put in a patio that he uses to work on cars. 20'x40' 4"-6" deep. Framing and labor was $700. He bought the concrete. Used 11 yards. First 10 yds was $110/yd with mirco fibers? (might be micro balloons? Or something else added for strength) they needed one more yard so that was $110 plus a $100 short load fee.
3 guys got it done in less than a half day.
$2,010 Total.

So I found a guy on CL, well I found several, but I found one that I liked and has agreed to to do the work. He is going to bring a crew, place, and finish the concrete for $2,000. I will probably pay him a little extra to make sure the forms are 100% correct.

So to review (if anyone cares :)

Original bid was for $7,200 turn key.

This bid will be $2,000 in labor and $1,000 in concrete. I will be doing lots of the hauling away of the old concrete, laying of the forms, grading and site prep. So all in I should be able to have all my sidewalks for $4,000. Which is close to half of what I was originally  quoted. This is going to be a ton of work, I am sure I am going to sweat a lot, as well as probably hurt myself in the process. I think it will be well work saving $3,000!

Nice! congrats!
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GuitarBrian

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #60 on: August 12, 2017, 11:30:23 AM »
I have had a lot of good experiences with posting gig ads on Craigslist.
I posted an ad for my dad. Had lots of people call me, go over it and give me quotes. The serious ones I called back, and they came out to look. Picked a guy and it went great.
Dad put in a patio that he uses to work on cars. 20'x40' 4"-6" deep. Framing and labor was $700. He bought the concrete. Used 11 yards. First 10 yds was $110/yd with mirco fibers? (might be micro balloons? Or something else added for strength) they needed one more yard so that was $110 plus a $100 short load fee.
3 guys got it done in less than a half day.
$2,010 Total.

So I found a guy on CL, well I found several, but I found one that I liked and has agreed to to do the work. He is going to bring a crew, place, and finish the concrete for $2,000. I will probably pay him a little extra to make sure the forms are 100% correct.

So to review (if anyone cares :)

Original bid was for $7,200 turn key.

This bid will be $2,000 in labor and $1,000 in concrete. I will be doing lots of the hauling away of the old concrete, laying of the forms, grading and site prep. So all in I should be able to have all my sidewalks for $4,000. Which is close to half of what I was originally  quoted. This is going to be a ton of work, I am sure I am going to sweat a lot, as well as probably hurt myself in the process. I think it will be well work saving $3,000!

Was this for the same project as the original $14,000 quote?

GuitarBrian

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Re: $14,000 For Concrete!
« Reply #61 on: August 12, 2017, 04:24:38 PM »
I forgot the most important thing. This goes for hiring anyone, not just this project.

Don't pay until the work is completed.

If it is a multiday project, I sometimes make one exception, and pay partial - labor only - at the end of the day, for work completed. This allows the guy to pay his workers for that day.

Don't let anyone get ahead, where they owe you work. Do not pay anything in advance.

Think about this, when you get a new job, they don't pay in advance, they wait 2 weeks.

Pay in cash. Have exact bills and being extra for additions and tips.

If you follow this, you will not run into the nightmare situation... A disagreement arises and the contractor leaves without finishing. He owes you work, and you're stuck... After days you end up trying again with a new guy, and the process repeats..

Stay ahead. Don't pay in advance.