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Beyond Price and Quality: Part Three

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Since our inception in 2004, Wolfgang Commercial Painters has been involved in over three thousand construction tenders. Many of the projects were tendered effectively and some were not.  Projects that are tendered ineffectively start off on the wrong and inevitably go over budget. Here are the “classic mistakes” that we have seen repeated over and over:
1. No job walk:
Contractors are met on site to review the project individually (if at all) as opposed to a group walkthrough. Resulting in a scheduling nightmare for the property manager or building owner and scope confusion.
2. Jobs tendered to late in the season:
You will get your best price if you tender a project in the winter. Tender in late spring or summer and you will pay more.
3. No deadline set for submission:Contractors are left to submit their proposal at leisure. Drags out the tender process. Jobs end up being awarded in peak season when capacity is lower and in the end the jobs take too long.
If you are about to tender a construction project avoid the aforementioned mistakes and you are well on your way to a successful project!
More to come . . .

Beyond Price and Quality: Part 2

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One of the keys to a successful construction project is setting the correct expectations with your contractor.

With potential employees you set expectations during the job interview and with potential contractors you set expectations during job tender.  Get your service expectations on the table early and you will avoid a lot of conflict with your contractor down the road.

Here are three key expectations to set during the tendering (bidding) process:

Submittal dates for tender closing
Set a firm deadline for contractors to submit their quote. By doing, you will avoid having chasing down the contractors for their proposal. Two weeks is ample time for a contractor to prepare his bid and submit. If a firm misses the deadline, eliminate them from the process

Deadline for start and finish
Construction projects are notorious for dragging on and on. Nip this one in the bud, by giving your contractors a deadline for starting and finishing the job. Discuss the deadlines with your contractors during the tender process and settle on a realistic timeframe. If a contractor can’t make the deadline don’t hire them.

Your unique requirements
Do you have specific tenant concerns that your contractor needs to be aware of? Does your contractor need to coordinate with other trades on your site? Do you have specific work schedules or security procedures that need to be followed? What ever your specific needs are, table them during the tendering process to avoid frustration down the road.

Set the right expectations early in the process and you are well on your way to hiring the right contractor for your job and in the end, a successful construction project.

More to come . . .

Beyond Price and Quality: Part 1

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We hold a series of Lunch and Learns designed around helping our customers save time and money when dealing with contractors. Over the next series of blog posts, I’m going to share some of the content we provide.

One of the keys to tendering a project successfully is to eliminate the construction firms that cannot deliver on your needs. How do you do that? How do you rank contractors before they have done the job?

Here are three “Red Flags” that can help you separate the good from bad:

  1. If contractor calls with multiple questions after the job walk, they do not communicate well and they will have a hard time meeting your specific needs.
  2. If they can’t bid accordingly and submit their proposal “off” scope they are not organized enough to handle your project professionally.
  3. If the start and finish dates seem unrealistic, they probably are. You probably are dealing with a contractor that tends to over promise and miss on service commitments.

Don’t take these mistakes lightly. The submittal process is the easiest part of a construction project. If your potential contractor can’t listen and seems to be over promising, eliminate him or her from the process. By doing so, you will save some serious headaches down the road.
More to come . . .

If the weather keeps going like this we will be painting exteriors in no time! Make sure to get your quote requests in early to get the best price for your business or strata.

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Happy 2015! Remember to get your request for large summer painting projects in sooner rather than later. You are going to get a better price if you do it now rather than waiting until the busy season!

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