The Bid Process

Many homebuilders will want to compete for the opportunity to construct your dream home. Analyzing the competition can be a daunting process, and we recommend you begin by finalizing most of the construction decisions before soliciting for bids. The more detailed plans you can offer builders, the more likely those companies can submit prices from a common understanding of the final product. Take a look at the following plan to ensure the process is a smooth, accurate one:

  • Submit Accurate Blueprints: The drawings submitted by your architect should be as complete as possible, with structural and engineering details resolved. Any provisions required to ensure that your prospective bidders will be including the same work should be provided.
  • Submit the Site and Grading Plan: Prospective bidders will need to assess the site’s conditions and specifications of any septic and potable water work. In most cases, it will be necessary to grant the bidders entry to the property to understand access and current conditions.
  • Submit Detailed Specifications: The more complete the specifications, the more uniform the approach to the project will be, and the ensuing bids will be more easily compared.

Bear in mind, it will not always be possible to make or foresee all decisions prior to soliciting bids on the project. In situations where the exact scope of work or materials are not yet known, it is common to use an "allowance" to ensure a reasonable amount of funding will be included to cover forthcoming choices. Allowances can be applied to labor, materials or both, and enable the homeowner and/or builder to budget a fixed amount toward work to be decided later, such as landscaping, flooring, etc. Once the work has been completed, the allowance will be reconciled, and any excess funds credited or shortages invoiced.

It’s true the bidding process can be tedious and time consuming. But allowing ample time for prospective builders to evaluate the request and develop a thorough proposal will make the process more efficient and accurate. You should expect builders to substantiate pricing with material quotes, subcontractor proposals and/or detailed in-house workups.

So how do we arrive at an accurate estimate?

First, Pilli Custom Homes uses a computerized estimating system with the ability to digitize drawings for “take-offs,” or the costs for certain sections or materials of the project, such as how many bricks are necessary to craft a driveway, for example.

Then, our team produces a detailed and itemized estimate to which the Project Manager, the accounting department, and under some contract arrangements, the homeowner, can refer throughout the course of the project. Most phases of the work are cross-checked by estimating the work in-house, and compared to bids solicited from subcontractors including companies providing masonry, concrete, roofing, siding, trim-work, flooring and site-work. This allows us to identify and correct discrepancies prior to moving forward. We also develop detailed material lists for phases of the work such as framing material, siding and interior & exterior trim.

Exclamation Communications, Inc.
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