Bidding a nationally known restauraunt.

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by drsogr, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,275

    A construction company for a nationally known restauraunt sent me a bid package. I have done residential and small businesses. This would be twice the size of anything that I have ever done. Looking through the specs it looks like it may be over my head. Imagine that. Anyway, in my former job...I did some project management, I read blueprints and specs all of the time. So I feel I could handle this job.

    There are some issues though.

    Some of the plants listed...I have never heard of least that variety. I am going to go talk to john deere landscape about that today.

    They sent me info on irrigation and landscaping, but only discussed landscaping. So I am not for sure if they want a bid on irrigation as well. Should I call them and ask...I plan on writing some questions and calling about a few things all at once.

    On jobs like this do they require a firm bid? There are many things in the notes that may have to be done, like adjusting ph, tilling of dirt down and so on. How do I bid for the unknowns?

    How do I bid on a job like this period? There are several of the same things, so I could use auguers and the such to make it faster. Should I discount them for this? I was planning on just bidding it like I would a normal job. Figuring the money saved on some things....would be spend on all of the extra headaches? Am I right on this?

    Thanks guys for any help you can give.
  2. Stuttering Stan

    Stuttering Stan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    Sounds like you need to personally meet face-to-face with the company to clarify your questions before bidding. You need to know exactly what you are responsible for.
  3. cwlawley

    cwlawley LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    Yes, I would try and meet face to face with them. If not, at least a phone call. Don't bid on something that you don't understand completely. YOu could lose the job or worese, get screwd in the end.
  4. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,275

    The company taking the bids is in a different state. I went and talked to the only wholesale supplier around here....john deere landscapes and they didn't seem like they would be able to get some of these odd plants. I thought about getting some ideas from nurseries....but chances are I would be getting some high prices, which would make my bid high.

    I am starting to think this bid is over my head.
  5. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    lot of times if you talk to them and tell them about the plants in question and make a suggestion on a different plant at the same price , they will go for that.
  6. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    Big commercial bids generally go to companies that usually do big commercial bids. Not necessarily because they are better, but because they know the game.

    Part of the game is the nature of working around other people's schedules and having the knowledge and experience to do it along with the equipment and man power to get in at the last minute and wrap it up. The general is going to be looking for that and already know guys who he knows can do the job.

    The second part of the game is the bidding. Experienced commercial contractors win their bids by going over the contract like Johnny Cocharan going over the O.J. Simpson case. They look for any info that is left out which is so obviously necessary that it gets skipped over on the plan or in the spec's. They know they'll be doing it, but they don't add in the price for it (but you will). Then after they win the contract and it comes up in the construction, they point it to the designer and tell them it is not in the contract, but feel it needs to be done (knowing full well it should be done) and will have to write up a change order (cha-ching). In the end, they'll get way more than you bid for it, but will get it by being the low bidder.

    You most likely won't get the contract. If you don't have extra time on your hands, don't bother working on the estimate. You'll only serve to make the shark's bid look better as a low bid.
  7. start2finish

    start2finish LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 497

    alga, great point aboutthe intentional change order.
    how about this, note the changes on the initial bid and list a line item for the additional work. take this trick out of the game, this is assuming that it would be noticed.
  8. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,275

    Well I talked to a friend of mine that runs an irrigation company. He deals with this stuff constantly. He gave me a lot of pointers, and made me feel much more comfortable. Chances are, I won't be the lowest bidder on this job. Chances are...I won't get the job. I am going to put in a bid I can get a feel for the process.

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