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View Full Version : A tale of two bids or why the low one?


FIMCO-MEISTER
05-27-2012, 10:32 AM
We had the most bizarre sewage problem. The sewage line was blocked by roots and us and a neighbor with a big empty building share this sewer line. For a year now sewage has been backing up into this building and started coming out the window. Finally somebody over there noticed and basically it was 2' high in sewage. So the plumber came out and managed to drill about a 2" hole through the rotts and it came blasting out. The mess is cleaned up now but I needed to get bids on replacing 90' of sewage line. The guy who cleaned up the mess (I was really impressed with the job they did as well) came in at 4100. Another company with a very good reputation came in at 6550.00. Pretty big difference. Little surprising because the high bidder will be out there to replace a sidewalk so this could just be an add on to his other job.

Going with the lower bid but I'll be watching him like a hawk. He says it's a one day job. 91' of 6" sewer line plus a double clean out. Gravel fill as well.

Duekster
05-27-2012, 10:40 AM
Maybe one has more experiance than the other so he has better equipment and understanding to bid tighter.

SSmith
05-27-2012, 10:43 AM
Who's hungry? lol

The low bidder may be more efficient or may just be a hack. Watch him closely.

FIMCO-MEISTER
05-27-2012, 11:00 AM
Both been at it awhile. Small town so word of mouth spreads fast and both had good reputations. I think s.smith hit it. Who's hungrier? I sat down and figured the material costs so I know both bids cover that part. At 4100 he'll make money but that is a pretty signicant difference for the same material same job. After cleaning up the sewage mess I was leaning towards wanting him to do it as reward for dealing with that Gawd awful mess. He could have come in at 6000 and still gotten the job.

Duekster
05-27-2012, 11:29 AM
I have a client that had a sewer line replaced. It was less than 4K.
House lower than the road, likely a 90 foot run.

Connection likely close to 15 feet deep. I doubt he followed OSHA open trench but could have? Heck of a job for the money. He had the right equipment, older beat up F 250s and a dump pulling the excavtor.

Me, I would have bid 10K LOL.

1idejim
05-27-2012, 11:30 AM
that's too much money left on the table not to ask for other bids....$2450?

you also have to think of this pete, just because the other contractor is on-site doesn't mean he doesn't have mobilization costs.

what type of pipe are each figuring? you are saying gravel but i know that the pipe must be sand-beded and sand is expensive.

you're below frost line at the bldg, (2-3') so the connection to the lat at the main will require some shoring (you are liable as the owners agent)

who's pulling the permit?

small town? could ths be that you have a septic system? lots of questions pete :)

i always fear the low bid

Mike Leary
05-27-2012, 11:30 AM
After cleaning up the sewage mess I was leaning towards wanting him to do it as reward for dealing with that Gawd awful mess. He could have come in at 6000 and still gotten the job.

I think you've answered your own question. :clapping:

1idejim
05-27-2012, 01:17 PM
it has been my experience with large bid spreads (so you can take this as an opine) that i throw out the high and the low bids, i look closely at the middle of the board and ask why are these bids so close and the others so far out?

time to check the materials (the contractor may be using a different but equal product) where the supporting materials are coming from (transite mix and bedding materials, safety, execution of work) some contractors have sources that make their jobs more profitable.

one contractor may be using sched 40 pvc (rated dwv) at a lower cost than abs or c-6/900 pipe. you get the drift, apples and apples is what i look for. good luck with your project pete :)

Mike Leary
05-27-2012, 01:46 PM
Did I miss something? I assumed there was a spec call-out for parts & installation. :dizzy:

FIMCO-MEISTER
05-27-2012, 03:25 PM
I tracked the sewer line so they know exactly where I want them to hookup. I specified a double clean out to be installed at the point of connection. The pipe needs to be 6' deep. Already have a pretty good grade from the building to the manhole tie in. Pipe 6" SDR 35. They both have bedding material, packing, and excess haul off in their bids. lower bid guy will be doing the excavating himself. my plumber said he's the best digger in town. I think the higher bid guy doesn't get too involved in the actual doing of the work. Justs sends his guys out. Options for bidders is limited here. Probably could have found more bidders but needed to move fast because a new sidewalk is going in crossways to the sewer line path and I want to get this done before the sidewalk gets put in.

One more thing I didn't mention. The higher bid guys father in law is on the board and while reviewing the bids he said he would go with the lower bid. Frankly everybody on the board was breathing a sigh of relief. They thought it would be over 10,000 and a special assessment would need to be done. I take some credit for that because i did the preliminary work so there was no mystery involved in doing the job. I'll take pics.

Duekster
05-27-2012, 03:55 PM
I could have got that job for 10K if it were not for the low ballers. :laugh:

Sounds confirmed low big guy has the equipment and experience to do the dig.

1idejim
05-28-2012, 10:45 AM
I tracked the sewer line so they know exactly where I want them to hookup. I specified a double clean out to be installed at the point of connection. The pipe needs to be 6' deep. Already have a pretty good grade from the building to the manhole tie in. Pipe 6" SDR 35. They both have bedding material, packing, and excess haul off in their bids. lower bid guy will be doing the excavating himself. my plumber said he's the best digger in town. I think the higher bid guy doesn't get too involved in the actual doing of the work. Justs sends his guys out. Options for bidders is limited here. Probably could have found more bidders but needed to move fast because a new sidewalk is going in crossways to the sewer line path and I want to get this done before the sidewalk gets put in.

One more thing I didn't mention. The higher bid guys father in law is on the board and while reviewing the bids he said he would go with the lower bid. Frankly everybody on the board was breathing a sigh of relief. They thought it would be over 10,000 and a special assessment would need to be done. I take some credit for that because i did the preliminary work so there was no mystery involved in doing the job. I'll take pics.

looking forward to the pics, like to see their trench box.

the only issues i have with most excavators is their backfill practices, compaction says it all. i spend as much time backfilling and compacting as i do digging. i see too many failures caused by speedsters (my cousins included) that don't focus on backfill.

is the SDR glued or gasketed pipe? glued will help prevent root intrusion for a longer period of time. i use sdr instead of drainfield pipe in leach fields (at a higher cost) and abs from bldg. to tank or mainline as a rule but mostly for 4" lines.

best of luck on the project pete :)

1idejim
05-31-2012, 06:59 PM
hey pete-o, what's the skinny on the sewer line replacement? i figured we'd see pics by now. :)

Sprinkus
05-31-2012, 08:06 PM
Yup, nuthin' better than pics of poo and pee. :laugh:

1idejim
05-31-2012, 08:53 PM
Yup, nuthin' better than pics of poo and pee. :laugh:

could be pictures of you and me
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FIMCO-MEISTER
05-31-2012, 08:57 PM
Starts in a week or so. Waiting on easement stuff. I'll post a pic of my contractors toys. I like this guy already.
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Mike Leary
05-31-2012, 09:02 PM
Which guy did you take?

FIMCO-MEISTER
05-31-2012, 09:21 PM
Low bid guy
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CAPT Stream Rotar
05-31-2012, 09:35 PM
We all know how much Pike loves the low ballers.

Mike Leary
05-31-2012, 09:37 PM
Low bid guy

That was the the guy you liked, right?

Sprinkus
05-31-2012, 10:03 PM
Might find a few of these "pee rocks" when it gets dug up. This fragment popped out of me the other day. :cry:

CAPT Stream Rotar
05-31-2012, 10:10 PM
dude you passed that through you know?

Sprinkus
05-31-2012, 10:15 PM
Yup, luckily it didn't get stuck! :laugh:

FIMCO-MEISTER
06-01-2012, 07:43 AM
http://campl.us/keYRsEezvK8

Low bid guy has these in his office. The green one is a 1913 Indian.
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Sprinkus
06-01-2012, 08:12 AM
Is that a lunch box on the green one?

FIMCO-MEISTER
06-01-2012, 11:09 AM
Probably tools. The little lever on the side is how you pump oil into it.

On the other two you see a separate tank for the oil and it feeds through and ends up in the crankcase. Every hour or so of using it you need to pull over and empty the crankcase out.

1idejim
06-01-2012, 12:45 PM
Green motorcycles are bad luck bad as throwing your hat on the bed or eating chicken before a rodeo
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txirrigation
06-01-2012, 12:58 PM
Maybe one has more experiance than the other so he has better equipment and understanding to bid tighter.

My Sister had the same problem, except a 80' run. Plumber came in at around 6.5k/3days, this is when she called me about to pass out. I told her I would do it at cost for her, it took 6 guys 4 hours from cones out to cones in. My total cost to her was around 2.5k 6yrds sand/4yrds gravel, 6"pipe, and 38"deep.

1idejim
06-01-2012, 06:18 PM
QUOTE=txirrigation;4430693]My Sister had the same problem, except a 80' run. Plumber came in at around 6.5k/3days, this is when she called me about to pass out. I told her I would do it at cost for her, it took 6 guys 4 hours from cones out to cones in. My total cost to her was around 2.5k 6yrds sand/4yrds gravel, 6"pipe, and 38"deep.[/QUOTE]

apples to apples tx. the plumber had the correct lic and wasn't related to your sister. you don't do jobs at cost do you?

the magic number with excavation is 47. go figure :waving:

Duekster
06-01-2012, 07:36 PM
Risk =Cost but many times experiance can over come risk.

Darryl G
06-14-2012, 09:01 AM
I have a client that had a sewer line replaced. It was less than 4K.
House lower than the road, likely a 90 foot run.

Connection likely close to 15 feet deep. I doubt he followed OSHA open trench but could have? Heck of a job for the money. He had the right equipment, older beat up F 250s and a dump pulling the excavtor.

Me, I would have bid 10K LOL.

If he was working alone he doesn't have to follow OSHA anything. OSHA has so jurisdiction over solo owner/operators/sole proprietors.

1idejim
06-14-2012, 11:26 AM
If he was working alone he doesn't have to follow OSHA anything. OSHA has so jurisdiction over solo owner/operators/sole proprietors.

that's only true if the property is owned directly by the owner operator.
OSHA regs become involved when you install a lateral for example. you are involved whth the purveyor's property and all work performed on their property is governed by big bro
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Duekster
06-14-2012, 07:41 PM
If he was working alone he doesn't have to follow OSHA anything. OSHA has so jurisdiction over solo owner/operators/sole proprietors.

He was not nor did I indicated he was.

Darryl G
06-14-2012, 08:07 PM
that's only true if the property is owned directly by the owner operator.
OSHA regs become involved when you install a lateral for example. you are involved whth the purveyor's property and all work performed on their property is governed by big bro
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That's not my undertanding unless there is some other jurisdiction that specifies that OSHA regulations must be followed. OSHA protects employees. Their regulations are pretty muddy though and leave plenty of room for interpretation. It's best to just follow their regulations when in doubt.

1idejim
06-20-2012, 01:03 PM
hey pete-o, what's the skinny on the sewer line replacement? i figured we'd see pics by now. :)

inquiring minds want to know :)

FIMCO-MEISTER
06-20-2012, 01:44 PM
Well the pipe is there but hasn't started yet. 6"SDR 35
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1idejim
06-20-2012, 06:33 PM
Well the pipe is there but hasn't started yet. 6"SDR 35
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i was under the impression this was a time sensitive job due to concrete placement and the concrete concrete contractor was onsite and pvshing.
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1idejim
06-20-2012, 06:47 PM
That's not my undertanding unless there is some other jurisdiction that specifies that OSHA regulations must be followed. OSHA protects employees. Their regulations are pretty muddy though and leave plenty of room for interpretation. It's best to just follow their regulations when in doubt.

the way it was explained to me (by 2 city inspectors and a police officer) is that all properties unless owned by the person performing the work fall under the jurisdiction of health and safety so no matter which way you turn 47 inches is the magic number. that's why graves are dug 47 inches deep.
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C Jovingo Landscaping
06-20-2012, 07:05 PM
If he was working alone he doesn't have to follow OSHA anything. OSHA has so jurisdiction over solo owner/operators/sole proprietors.

Your are correct about owners not having to follow OSHA regs but he must protect his employees. I just got 10hr OSHA certification card for my regular job & my boss (owner) can walk on construction site without hardhat or operate boom lift without harness, etc, but the post said older F250s (plural) & dump truck. Sounds like employees involved.
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1idejim
06-27-2012, 08:20 PM
how's the project coming pete?

FIMCO-MEISTER
06-27-2012, 08:35 PM
It got done and I have some images. Grade A job by my book. Even used a remote control compactor. All done in one day. I told the contractor he was 2500 less than the other bid and he said normally they are 200-400 apart. He was shocked at how high the other bid was. Went over his entire bid process on the job with me. Still came out with 2,000 when done. Not bad for a days work.
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1idejim
06-27-2012, 08:37 PM
right on pete, can't wait for the pics:)

Duekster
06-27-2012, 09:52 PM
It got done and I have some images. Grade A job by my book. Even used a remote control compactor. All done in one day. I told the contractor he was 2500 less than the other bid and he said normally they are 200-400 apart. He was shocked at how high the other bid was. Went over his entire bid process on the job with me. Still came out with 2,000 when done. Not bad for a days work.
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Since you are sharing maybe you can post the break down too. :cool2:

1idejim
06-27-2012, 10:57 PM
Since you are sharing maybe you can post the break down too. :cool2:

you never ask how many cows or how much land a man owns. bids should remain private between the owner and the winning contractor.
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irritation
06-27-2012, 11:36 PM
you never ask how many cows or how much land a man owns. bids should remain private between the owner and the winning contractor.
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Can I free graze?

http://camerainthesun.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/OR-1.jpg

FIMCO-MEISTER
06-28-2012, 03:07 PM
In the interest of time here you go.



You'll have to copy and paste. I've got tired head and don't feel like loading pics.

FIMCO-MEISTER
06-28-2012, 03:21 PM
Well Carp let me try anew.

Try this one (https://picasaweb.google.com/peterjbh/LastImport02?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCK_YraPLpZbbXg&feat=directlink)

Duekster
06-28-2012, 05:20 PM
you never ask how many cows or how much land a man owns. bids should remain private between the owner and the winning contractor.
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Sure enough Jim. He kind of opened that door a little however other wise I would never think of such a thing