when submitting bids to a general contractor

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by JML, Jan 30, 2003.

  1. JML

    JML LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    For those of you who receive plans/blueprints for a landscape job that a contractor sends you, what do you send them back? I give them a price but my current proposal set up I think is just unprofessional. I usually retype the plant list on the plans, give them a price for all of the plants on it, then add another few lines for mulch, topsoil, labor, watering etc. What else do you guys add? thanks
  2. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    We do it a bit different, We give them a unit price that includeds the labor to install.
  3. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    Bid submission format will vary according to the way the GC wants to see it. Also, a good bid spec will give details about planting methods and materials. Follow it or your bid will not line up with your competitors and the GC's bid staff may not have time or patience to read over your details to understand why.
  4. JML

    JML LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    Yes the bid spec is very detailed about planting methods, materials, etc... But I am not going to retype all there specs, otherwise my proposal would be 30+ pages. I am just mainly asking what your proposals say.. All mine really is a price with all the extras, plants, labor, mulch, etc.. But I feel that it looks very cheap and unprofessional. I just wanted to jazz it up and see what kind of advice you can provide. thanks
  5. dougaustreim

    dougaustreim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 488

    We do a lot of work for general contractors. We usually develop a total price for each bid specification. Our bids will show just a few line items for each section of the specs that we are bidding on. I am looking at one today that has three sections of specifications that we would be interested in. Lawn installation, irrigation, and landscape plantings, with an alternate to possibly add more parking which will require more landscaping etc.

    The bid will have four items, lawns, irrigation, plants, and the additional cost for the alternate. We will include a statement at the bottom of the page that references the spec. The estimators at these general contractors don't even know what most of those specs mean, they expect us to bid and install it as speced. They don't even want to be responsible for interpretations, once they award us the subcontract, questions on specs etc go directyl to the architect and or owner. They only thing not discussed with the arcitect is $ amounts for change orders, those amounts stay between us and the general.

    A one page bid should be more than sufficient.

    Austreim Landscaping
  6. Shuter

    Shuter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    I submit a proposal that includes plant materials, earthen materials, equipment and labor costs. All that is said is the address, work to be perfromed, and materials and plants to be used. then at the bottom is one price and I state that the bid includes all labor, materials, and disposal fees. I do not break down the prices as sometimes I may get a special deal on certain materials, which is not passed on to the customer, it goes back into the company.

    I also feel that the less info a competitor has on my business, the better off I am. I know that contractors share bids to get the best price.

    I also make sure that the price has a date on it (deadline). if it passes, the price may be higher.
  7. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 564

    What drives me nuts is when the blueprints line out everything to be done...soil amending, tree wrapping, supports stakes/wires, etc. So you set up your bid according to the specs. The winning bidder doesn't do a majority of the things called for in the specs but he did give the lowest price.

    Just seems kind of screwy to me.
  8. dougaustreim

    dougaustreim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 488

    The problem with adherence to specs is that normally the general contractor and the inspectors etc are not very knowledgable about landscape work. After all, the priority is usually the building or whatever the main project is.

    I to get really frustrated with other subs that bid lower and then cut corners, but if the owner or their architect let is pass, I don't know what you can do about it.

    Austreim Landscaping
  9. Mike Bradbury

    Mike Bradbury LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 492

    Do you mean you just want your document to look better?
    Are you using a computer program to put it together? They should have cusomization of forms so you can move columns or blocks around however you want. Add a logo or trademark, etc. If not, then just buy Quicken or Quickbooks.
  10. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    Make sure to reference the Plan Title, the date, and the REVISION date (or a note saying unrevised) in your bid. Sometimes these things have been revised a few times before they go out. An older set of plans can sometimes be given out accidentally or not. Make sure that the plans are stamped by the engineer of LA, so that the plan is documented somewhere other than the contractors office.

    This is an important CYA move.

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