We have discussed in prior posts some methods for identifying the best commercial contractor for your project. What happens if you have found a couple of potential construction firms or contractor that fit your qualifications, and after talking to them both in person feel confident that either one would make a great partner? A good next step is to request an itemized construction proposal.
Itemizing construction proposals sets the cost basis
An itemized construction proposal details costs for planning, materials, and labor. Since exact quantities are not likely to be known at the outset, the costs will be based on estimates, but should be a reasonable reflection of what will actually be needed to complete the project. Reading through an itemized construction proposal provides a buyer information on the type, and quality, of materials used across different aspects of a project.
If you are in the process of comparing two competitive bids, be sure to look at costs and quantities estimated for core materials such as wood or steel. If there is a vast difference in the two estimates, determine the source for those differences. Perhaps one contractor is offering a better discount due to the overall amount of bulk goods they buy from their supplier. Differences in costs also often signal a difference in quality, so be sure to review any questions with both potential firms or general contractors. If someone is proposing a higher quality material, understand what additional benefits are offered, and determine if the benefits justify the costs.
Explore the extras
In addition to providing the cost for the basic construction, itemizing the construction proposal will also identify areas of savings as well as areas where you might want something a little extra. Perhaps you are building an office and want to provide an extra perk to your employees such as a workout center, or more natural lighting throughout the building. If you have chosen to utilize the design build process, review and discuss these ideas with the commercial construction contractor to see what fits best from both a design as well as cost perspective.
By providing upfront detailed estimated costs, the contractor and buyer can negotiate the types of materials used, estimated quantities, and use this information to set and control costs. A good itemized bid will include expiration dates for quotes. These expiration dates are intended as deadlines for ordering materials to keep a project working on schedule, helping to keep your project on time and in budget.
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