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Old 05-14-2012, 02:02 PM   #1
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Estimate confusion


I am having a half-bath rough plumbed to be ready for drywall. I already have the sewage ejection pump. So what i need is the hot and cold tied in, pump hooked up, and venting. Like I said it is a half bath.

Confusion is: My estimates range from 560.00 to 2620.00

And a few in between.

My guess is that the high estimates are from plumbers who really dont need the work but figure If I am stupid enough to pay for it then that will get them out there.

Any suggestions?????

Thanks.

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Old 05-14-2012, 03:34 PM   #2
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Estimate confusion


First off, you need to be very clear on the difference between an ESTIMATE and a BID. An estimate is just that, an educated opinion of probable cost. An estimate is NOT a bid. A bid is a commitment to perform specific work at a specific price. There are various forms of bid, including lump sum, time and materials, unit rate, cost plus profit, and several other less common arrangements.

You probably want to compare one BID to another BID. In order to get an actual bid, you first need to define the scope of work. This is a lot harder than it sounds, since you need to carefully and unambiguously describe exactly what it is you want done, the time frame, the materials to be used, any constraints (for example you cannot work after 5PM), and how you want to handle unanticipated conditions (often called differing site conditions). You need to put this document together before you solicit bids, else you are likely to get wildly varying bids that have different scopes of work, making it impossible to compare one to another.

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Old 05-14-2012, 03:40 PM   #3
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Estimate confusion


Yea, what he said. Seriously, it sounds like the prices aren't all using the same scope of work.
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:48 PM   #4
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Estimate confusion


I'm sorry I should have been more clear. They were all bids. Each plumber came to the house, took pictures and measurements then discussed with me what I wanted done. Then within the next day or so I would get a phone call saying "I can do it for x amount", which included materials and labor.
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:10 PM   #5
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Estimate confusion


Quote:
Originally Posted by fax6202 View Post
...then discussed with me what I wanted done.
This is NOT a basis for a bid.
It is however a basis for a nightmare.

You need to be able to tell THEM what you want installed and how.
In detail and in compliance with local codes.

Each of those prices you received may have been correct for what THEY intend to furnish and install... but with that large a variance in price they surely are not going to be the same job.

Look for phrases like these:
Excavate floor with disposal and clean up...
Provide pipe and fittings for new fixtures tied into existing drain and vent lines...
inspection, permit, trench cover...
Concrete, framing, electrical, finish material, fixtures by others...

Last edited by TarheelTerp; 05-14-2012 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:19 PM   #6
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Estimate confusion


i appreciate the input guys, but I guess I am a little confused. This is a very simple job, not for me; but for a plumber. Like I said before all that has to be done is hot and cold which runs right above the bathroom needs to be tied in. Vanity/Ejection Pit needs to be vented which is also right above the bathroom. And the main sewage line is also right beside the bathroom. I already bought the pump they just need to run some pipe and hook up the pump. I already framed the bathroom. And I am not asking them to set the fixtures after the drywall is complete. Two plumbers that have come by have said " this is a very straight forward job and will take half a day". Now I understand that what may be simple to one may not be to the next. The 2k in price difference is ridiculous. all are licensed plumbers.
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:53 PM   #7
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Did you get any references from them? How about references from people you know who have used them in the past?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fax6202 View Post
My guess is that the high estimates are from plumbers who really dont need the work but figure If I am stupid enough to pay for it then that will get them out there.
Or the posibility is that the lowball bids are from guys who are pimping out the trade trying to grab any work they can. Is the scope of work the same for all bids?
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danpik View Post
Did you get any references from them? How about references from people you know who have used them in the past?



Or the posibility is that the lowball bids are from guys who are pimping out the trade trying to grab any work they can. Is the scope of work the same for all bids?
I did get a reference from two of the gentlemen. One was at 560.00, the other 1850.00. And yes, the scope of work is the same.

I guess what I am asking is anyone who does this for a living, what is a ballpark figure on what it would cost?
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fax6202 View Post
I did get a reference from two of the gentlemen. One was at 560.00, the other 1850.00. And yes, the scope of work is the same.

I guess what I am asking is anyone who does this for a living, what is a ballpark figure on what it would cost?
Somewhere in between.
Like Daniel said, you need to be very specific on every aspect/scope of the job. write it all down, resubmit it to the plumbers and ask if any of them want to adjust their numbers to cover your written scope just in case they missed something. Don't mention other bid amounts to the plumbers. Now they're all on the same page and the numbers should tighten up some
I have done a lot of plan & spec work over the years and have seen bids vary only a couple percent on million dollar mech. projects. We were all bidding apples to apples- no grey areas. It basically boiled down to profit margin

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Last edited by TheEplumber; 05-14-2012 at 11:57 PM.
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