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  #11  
Old 12-04-2011, 07:17 PM
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KrayzKajun KrayzKajun is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtscaper View Post
heed the above wisdom
Agreed.
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  #12  
Old 12-04-2011, 07:22 PM
nepatsfan nepatsfan is offline
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I wouldn't worry too much. He could bid 3 grand on the job and he wouldn't get it after a short conversation with the GC. No one is going to screw up that kind of project unless it's the big dig.
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  #13  
Old 12-04-2011, 08:00 PM
AintNoFun AintNoFun is online now
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Originally Posted by nepatsfan View Post
I wouldn't worry too much. He could bid 3 grand on the job and he wouldn't get it after a short conversation with the GC. No one is going to screw up that kind of project unless it's the big dig.
you'd be surprised what GCs will let people do.. if they think they can get 50 grand worth of free work outta him before they throw him off the job they'll do it in a minute!
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  #14  
Old 12-05-2011, 12:01 PM
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PROCUT1 PROCUT1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AintNoFun View Post
you'd be surprised what GCs will let people do.. if they think they can get 50 grand worth of free work outta him before they throw him off the job they'll do it in a minute!
Agreed.

Like someone said. Most large GCs are not stupid. They may be difficult, they may be strategic, they may squeeze the snot out of you, but on their end, theyre not stupid.

Something doesnt smell good if they are soliciting a bid from someone that doesnt have the first clue what they are doing.

Either they already know who is doing the job and just need another bid to satisfy the paperwork.

or

They are going to hold your hand through the project and soak you for all the free labor they can get.

or

They dont know you dont know what you are doing but will find out soon enough


I am the first one to dive in on a huge project way over my head. By that I mean something that is big, complicated, exceeds my current capacity, but a field that I know, and it just requires me to make a plan to pull it off.

With my little operation I would bid a sealcoating job to seal the entire US Interstate system, if it came across my desk.

But its a field I know. I would have to go to the ends of the earth to do a job like that.

What you are talking about, you dont even have a basic knowledge of the types of tasks you are bidding on. Youre dealing with infrastructure, underground utilities, inspections, codes, warranties.

You dont have to do the entire job yourself, you can even sub most of it out, but you need to have a basic understanding to know what you are talking about.

Not having that, I would pass on the job, or see if it can be broken up allowing you to bid on the parts of the job that you do know about.

Ive done this with really big jobs before myself. Where sealcoating is a portion of a major paving, excavating, drainage, type project.

Ive had the GC separate out the areas I specialize in and award me the work.
Ive also stayed in touch on the project and contacted the contractor that was awarded the job, and got the work that way.

But I wouldnt bid the whole project not knowing what i was talking about.

Youre bidding on building a house and asking whether or not you will need a hammer.
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  #15  
Old 12-06-2011, 12:09 AM
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alexschultz1 alexschultz1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AintNoFun View Post
you'd be surprised what GCs will let people do.. if they think they can get 50 grand worth of free work outta him before they throw him off the job they'll do it in a minute!
yeah, im one of the gullible dumbasses who got screwed over like this because i took on something way over my head. I like to challenge myself with different aspects of the business however when it comes to projects where i am way out of my boundaries i step away.

You wouldn't install a foundation for a house just because you can play with concrete would you? This project needs someone with years of experience on it. However!! if the project has enough room for a large profit margin you can always factor in an engineer to be on site during the project to oversee everything. Also it would be smart to bring in some help to estimate the project out.

MAKE SURE YOU OUTLINE EVERYTHING TO BE DONE ON THE ESTIMATE!!
--example: - the drainage on section d-3 (blueprint grid) is to include 30 hours work, 45 yards fill dirt, 100 feet 12" concrete pipe... blahblahblah.. state how much everything will cost, per man hour ext... if a job is underbid you need to do a change of work order form, never do anything without a signature saying its ok to add the work. On large projects i have a time keeper and my employees have to punch in every time they start working and punch out every time they leave the job site. Go to office max and get a storage clipboard, a couple of manila folders, and all the carbon copies for organizing projects. You would do yourself a favor by replacing your spot on the labor force with someone else and then you stand around and take notes all day and make sure everything is running smoothly.

good luck
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  #16  
Old 12-12-2011, 09:39 PM
LR3 LR3 is offline
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Originally Posted by thunderthud View Post
I don't know a fraction of what you're bidding and it frightens me.

Sewer pipe is laid with a laser. Do you have one? Experience running one? You need to set the slope correctly or the entire system is screwed. You can set it by transit, but even that is tricky.

Drainage, you gloss over the trench. A 6 foot deep trench needs to either be shored or be sloped back at the appropriate angle. Are you a laborer capable of setting shoring and setting pipe while the operator is above you? Ground level isn't an answer, it is subgrade, finish grade, some other grade?

How deep are the cuts actually? 6 foot deep in one part could be 20 feet deep in another.

What are the conditions under the site? Is there ledge? Do you have a contract with Maine Drilling and Blasting? Do you have a hammer or access to a hammer on short notice?

How are you bedding the pipe? I usually use a loader. In tight spots I have to use a bedding box. Do you have one or access to one? Did you estimate how much bedding you'll actually need on site and how you're getting it all there?

You mention catch basins. When I hear that, and think how big are the structures? On my commercial building sites I set structures with a R924 Liebherr zero swing and it struggles with some of them, sometimes I have to use a R944 which is a vastly larger machine requiring a oversize lowbed move. If you get in over your head with this, you will lose your shirt with just one machine move.

In another thread I said I only sub out two things, I was wrong I sub three: Paving being the third. You hire pros to do asphalt work. There is a talent to doing it right. Patching, I'll do. Curb to curb is always the same guy.

Oh yeah, curbing. Is there curbing? Have you ever set curbing? There is another dance between man and machine that takes experience to do it quickly and correctly.

If you're asking questions like this, you've probably never done this kind of site work. But you simply cannot get big commercial work with no experience doing it. You will get run over.

You can, however, look for smaller work like foundations and sidewalks to get your foot in the door. Once you've done a lateral sewer connection, then you've got some sewer experience. Go take the Presby EnviroSeptic class and get certified to do that system. They'll teach you some great basics you can put to use.

At this point you need knowledge, not work that will swamp you. I never like telling someone you can't do it. But for your own security, you can't do it. At best you'll do amateur work and the GC will seize your bond, at worst you're being used as another bid in the packet to drive down prices.

Impressive reply. Great read. And sound advice.
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