I started meeting with contractors this week to get bids on the rehab work for the Corn House. While I was originally only going to get three bids, I screwed up and overbooked and am now on the hook to get about 5 bids on this job (a couple GCs didn’t call me back soon enough, so I contacted others, then the first ones called me back). On the bright side, since I haven’t worked with any of these GCs before, the extra face-time with them will help me to get an idea of the type of people/companies I’ll be working with and be able to make a more informed decision on my first (and subsequent) projects.
In preparation for walking through the house with contractors to get bids, I created a “Scope of Work” document that lists all the work I expect to be done on this project. That provides a reference for the GCs when they leave and have questions, and always gives me peace of mind that my requirements were adequately communicated. In the interest of sharing everything I’m doing, here is a copy of the Scope of Work I put together for the Corn House.
As for my GC meetings, I’ve met with all five of them over the past few days. The level of detail and professionalism really ran the gamut for these guys — one threw out an estimate after 5 minutes of chatting, one spent an hour after the walk-through taking measurements, one brought a project manager who would ultimately be managing my project, and all of them seemed very interested in forming “long term” relationships with me; I guess the fact that I plan to do a lot of these is very attractive when these guys are seeing major slow-down in their businesses. I imagine each will have their own way of doing proposals (e.g., including materials cost vs. not including materials costs), and I’m looking forward to getting the bids back.
I have a feeling that many of the bids are going to be higher than I expected, mostly do to the fact that most of the GCs I spoke with run companies with a lot of overhead (licensing, insurance, vehicles, employee costs, etc). Of course, these overheads costs mean that they take their jobs seriously, and I’d rather pay a little more to know that everyone on the site is insured, the company is licensed, and no corners are being cut. That said, if all the bids come in way higher than I expected, it may create a situation where I can’t profitably resell this house. I guess I’ll have to wait and see…most of the GCs said they’d have bids to me by early next week.