Today, the competition is stronger than ever in the construction industry. You need to have an understanding that the quality you are expecting and the cost you are willing to pay are typically not on the same path.
The decision to move forward with your construction project, is one of the most important and life changing events that you will ever do.
So with that being said -
Without proper knowledge and an understanding when requesting bids, you must be ready and willing to know that you will receive numbers that are all over the place and truly will never know what the true number is for the work that you are expecting. It is best stated that when requesting bids that they all be similar (Apples to Apples)
Here are some items that you should consider and or already have in place when requesting bids. These guidelines are supported by both the State Contractors Board and the Department of Consumer Affairs:
Have a complete set of plans
- If possible an approved set that is RTI (Ready To Issue) permits. Incomplete plans will have a negative effect on the final numbers. When we say complete, we mean as much information as possible on every page. Leave nothing to the imagination - If you don't do this then be ready to pay more down the road as the project progresses
- Make sure that you have done your homework when you are ready to hire the GC (General Contractor)
This is the second most important choice with regard to your project. The first is your choice for your architect. It is very important that you are comfortable with them. Make sure they listen to you and are reliable, that their abilities to act in and on your best interest are what you are looking for. Make sure that you can reach them when needed and that they are not over burdened with too many other projects at the same time. Any mistakes at this point can have a negative effect on your project
- Be open to suggestions from "YOUR TEAM"
Remember that they are there to assist you and for the most part have already acted on similar applications. They are there to assist you in getting what you want or as close as possible within your budget
- Do your level best to make all decisions prior to the start of the project
The more you have decided on, the easier the project will go. If something does arise during construction, then make sure you deal with it timely before moving on. Delays will only have negative repercussions
- Have several pre construction meetings scheduled
These meetings should be with your architect, your structural engineer, your interior designer if you have one and of course with the general contractor prior to moving forward with the project to answer any questions a head of time. A clear path is easier to follow, than just heading out blindly into the unknown as no plans are perfect
- Have a "projected" budget in place
Allow for any discoveries and or changes to the plans. (This is typically a percentage of between 10% - 20% over and above the projected cost to construct)
- Have a "WISH LIST"
This applies to all items of a finish details such as cabinetry, appliances, floor and counter materials, lighting, etc. This will assist everyone in getting you closer to what you would like to see as the finished project
- Have a "Standard of the Finish Quality"
This applies to the quality of the workmanship that you are expecting. This should apply starting at the rough stages, as they will have an effect on the finish applications. You should also be made aware of industry standards and how they apply as well
- Have a Time Frame (Schedule)
- Understand when you want to start and expect to finish your project. Be sure to allow for delays caused by changes to the plans, discoveries, weather, custom ordered finishes, etc. What are the days and hours of construction operations, and how will weather and holidays will be dealt with