Building proposals and scope of work

When we create a scope of work we aim to cover all aspects of the job. This is how we create our proposal numbers. This way you can compare quotes apples to apples

IF and it’s a big IF the other contractors give you a likewise detailed proposal. Quite often they don’t, they just give you a price and general statement like:  To repair and rehab deck – $5,000.

We break down our scope of work into stages or steps for specific areas to complete. We list everything we will be addressing. We list materials and colors if we have them in advance. We give as comprehensive a list as possible so there are no surprises. Quite frequently we give allowances for big ticket items like shower doors, fixtures and the like so you have a good idea of the complete cost. This way they don’t show up later as an extra. Once a project starts our bookkeeping keeps track of allowances and actual costs with adjustments made during the project so we all know where we are in relation to the proposal $. We can discuss it at anytime and if it’s gets lopsided we will reach out to you immediately.

We also usually list assumptions like; the existing heat system can handle the new area, there is no underlying mold or termite damage. It’s anything we assume will be one way so if it turns out to not be true we will address it as an extra to the original proposal. Sometimes we only find issues after we start demolition. Almost all of the home improvement shows have some kind of unwanted surprise. In our reality it doesn’t happen very often. But when it does we address it immediately and discuss options to save money and time.

We also spell out the payment schedule. We usually break it down into a payment a week but we tie it into a specific completed step. IE; $5,000 due with signed contract, $7,000 Demo complete materials on site. $5,000 Framing complete with sheathing. $3,000 Windows set $5,000 Siding and roof complete, $2,500 Drywall installed etc…  This way there isn’t confusion about what we are expecting or what you are getting. If we need to special order windows or siding we might ask for a larger deposit to order them. Or smaller jobs might be 1/2 to start and 1/2 when complete. We do all of this to make it less awkward for everyone because money can be a  touchy subject if it’s not clear.

Material prices are changing all of the time. We prefer to get a material quote from a vendor before we write up a proposal. We also have to include a disclaimer that our prices are usually only good for 60 days. If we have a proposal out that is older than 60 days we will confirm the prices if the customer decides to hire us.We then discuss the potential change in price. Sometimes we get caught under pricing the material and if it’s our error we will usually just eat it. Or offer to split it with the homeowner if we are talking about a considerable amount. So when people ask us for a quick proposal we can get caught pricing it too low to actually get it done.

There is no such thing as a set number for a specific job for us. Every job is different. We figured out a ball park of $170-200 per square foot for new construction to give a basic guideline for dreamers. But to create an accurate proposal it takes 2-3 weeks of studying the blueprints to create a scope of work. Discussions with the architect, engineer and homeowner to clarify the plans. Making material lists and pricing them out with vendors. Calculation of the manpower needed and estimate of days/hours to complete each step. Getting the plans to the electricians, plumbers, masons, tile guy etc… Site visits for any or all of them. Getting the proposals back from the sub-contractors. Investigations into the specific town building requirements for the permits. Then writing it all up into a 1-2 page scope of work with prices. Breaking it down into a payment schedule and including exceptions, assumptions and lists of things the owner will be responsible for completing.

We take giving very through and accurate proposals for work very seriously. We spend 5-25 hours working on them. Unpaid hours if we don’t get the job. So please keep that in mind when you ask for a proposal for a job. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns and please drop us a quick email if you have decided not to hire us. After spending so much time thinking about your home improvement project we are very interested to hear your decision. Also if you aren’t choosing us we would like to know.

Thank you for the bid opportunity!




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