What's the purpose?
So, you know why I am telling you all of this, right? Yep, it’s because there will be nuggets within this formal process of tendering that you can use even if you are pricing a bathroom renovation….. It may seem a bit long winded at times, but the entire set up is designed to make life easier when the job is running and be clear about what is black and what is white.
During the process of receiving our sub-contractor pricing, we are also measuring and pricing the carpentry works. Sometimes there would be HEAPS, sometimes there wouldn’t, and it felt more like a project management job! Running through the plans, it was ALWAYS a process of measuring the item and applying a labour constant to it. This made sure the labour was correct right the way through. My software was sorted into each trade as it was described in the contract documents and the specification, that way I could write little reminder notes in them…. ‘Don’t forget to allow for blocking to services!’.
As I measured an item on the plans, I would strike them through, working slowly from the start of the drawings to the end. By the time I got to the details, I would generally already have measured most of them, and it was always useful to double check here and pick up on those last few bits and pieces. It was always best practice to start with the largest items, and then make my way to the smallest. Every time I knew something was done, I would strike it through on the plans.
Once this part of the process was complete, it was time to sit back and look at the job as a whole. Did that feel like the right amount of carpentry hours? Did I need to make any adjustments up or down? How much of a pain was the architect? Was site time likely to be gobbled up by a client visit every single day, or would we be left to just get on with it? How was my team going? Were we bringing in labour hire to do this work because we were busy? Well, I’d probably need a bit of a ‘slush fund’ of hours overrun if that was the case…. You get the idea. THIS is the arty farty bit of tendering, making the price your own.
The final flourish was adding in my subcontractor pricing, completing my P&G (Preliminaries and General, or Onsite Overheads) and then deciding what margin I was adding. If I was declaring it, then I would declare a lower margin and hide a bit of extra fat throughout the job to make sure our target of margin was going to be achieved one way or the other…. Its all about perception.
I’d finish up my tender letter, keeping it nice and tidy with our total offer at the top of the page (if you ever need an example of this let us know). My tags and clarifications would include all of ours and our sub-contractors. This would be submitted on time (there was generally no wiggle room!) alongside our trade summary… and boom, job done.
Hopefully this little journey we have taken regarding formal tendering has been useful…. Like I said, I truly believe that parts of this process just make for good practice, irrelevant off the size of job you are pricing, or even if you are a sub-contractor rather than a main contractor.
And if its all a bit much, let us geeks look after the process for you!