Following on from the last blog

I’m so aware that the idea sometimes of receiving a pile of paperwork with some plans requesting a price can be really daunting…. And I’ll always remember the very sound advice from my tutor when I was learning. How do you eat an elephant?? One bite at a time! That’s why I thought it was high time I walked through my experiences in the commercial tendering process with you, once you know all the tricks and tips the challenge of pricing a commercial tender yourself will be hopefully less stressful.


So we have received the info, set up the job, used our highlighters, and gone through and also highlighted the clauses that are relevant to us in the tender docs….. all things for us to check back on later as we are finalizing. The next job is to run through the specification.

a watchful eye on subbies

It may seem bizarre to be looking over a specification for all trades when you are going to be having your sub-contractors price theirs themselves, right? I get it. BUT there are often items hidden in other trades specs that you need to be aware of, or make allowances for. A few good examples;


Electrical….. if this is working within an existing building, then often there is chasing in concrete required to run cabling to a new part, or as part of a reconfiguration. I was talking to a sparky recently and I was reading a spec for him and asked him if he was going to do that chasing. His answer was ‘no way’ and my response? Well, you are if you don’t tag it out!!!!


The specification for a tender makes up a part of the contract document, it is just as important to read thoroughly as the plans are. If there are carpentry works that show up in other trades, like blocking for services or concrete chasing, then you need to either allow for them or tag them. If you aren’t sure if your subbie will allow for them (sometimes they do) then you need to highlight them to check so you can be sure one way or the other. Remember; tendering is all about clarifying what’s in the box, and what’s out of the box, we don’t want any grey areas.

NTT - Notice to Tenders

The carpentry trade is generally the main part of what needs to be measured, it is a good idea to run through that and double check it against the details in the plans. If something comes up that makes you scratch your head because it doesn’t make sense, or you think an omission has been made, then you need to make sure you clarify with the architect. They will issue a Notice To Tenderers (NTT) with a clear instruction, and that NTT will be sent to all tenderers to keep them on the same page (how great would THAT be in residential pricing?!?). Make sure you hold onto all of the NTTs as they come through and forward them on to subbies if you need to. You will need to refer to these documents and confirm their receipt in your tender letter.


The next blog wades through how to manage receiving the sub-contractors quotes. Oddly enough, sub-contractors tend to have their own way of presenting their quotes that can present some challenges!

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