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Old 06-02-2016, 09:42 AM   #1
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Specifics when receiving bids for remodel


Morning all... Not really a DIY questions, but hoping you all have some experience with this. I'm doing a kitchen/living/dining room remodel and have a set of plans I am going to use for bids. I wanted to know how specific I should ask for a breakdown/bid? ie. Demo/Electric/etc. vs. just one number. I am planning on having my own person for the cabinets and also the flooring, which is why I want a breakdown. Any advice?
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Old 06-02-2016, 10:02 AM   #2
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Re: Specifics when receiving bids for remodel


There are some difficulties when you separate the remodel from the cabinets when things don't fit who is responsible. My guess is that would fall back to the general contractor, you. So you need to have all of the plans in hand and measure everything, twice.

Define who will pull what permits and handle what inspections. This can also be complicated by splitting responsibilities. Direct wire appliances and final plumbing come after cabinets are installed.

Ask for the detail you want, if they refuse you will need to re-evaluate. Specify that they will need to submit a certificate of insurance covering all employees and all subs. If they sub out the electrical and he falls off of a ladder and breaks his back you don't want to be responsible. Or if his electrical work burns down the house is he insured? Review insurance needs with your home owners insurance agency.

Specify you will want start and completion dates. And what will the payment schedule be. If they insist on excessive deposit or prepayments, red flag, but that money (or some of it) needs to be held in escrow. Upon completion and final inspection by you the balance would be released less a reasonable amount for a short period of time to address items you did not see. No money held back then no reason for him/her to return.

Check references.

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Old 06-02-2016, 10:13 AM   #3
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Re: Specifics when receiving bids for remodel


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Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
There are some difficulties when you separate the remodel from the cabinets when things don't fit who is responsible. My guess is that would fall back to the general contractor, you. So you need to have all of the plans in hand and measure everything, twice.

Define who will pull what permits and handle what inspections. This can also be complicated by splitting responsibilities. Direct wire appliances and final plumbing come after cabinets are installed.

Ask for the detail you want, if they refuse you will need to re-evaluate. Specify that they will need to submit a certificate of insurance covering all employees and all subs. If they sub out the electrical and he falls off of a ladder and breaks his back you don't want to be responsible. Or if his electrical work burns down the house is he insured? Review insurance needs with your home owners insurance agency.

Specify you will want start and completion dates. And what will the payment schedule be. If they insist on excessive deposit or prepayments, red flag, but that money (or some of it) needs to be held in escrow. Upon completion and final inspection by you the balance would be released less a reasonable amount for a short period of time to address items you did not see. No money held back then no reason for him/her to return.

Check references.

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Bud
Thank you! I'm still debating whether or not to GC the entire job OR I become the GC... I know the pros/cons just tough decision.

Another question - It was recommended that I pull the permits now, even while getting GC bids, to save on time once I decide on a GC or tradesman, THEN transfer the permit to their name/company. This would save probably 3-4 weeks while I'm getting bids and deciding what to do. Any downside to doing this? As long as I can transfer the permit, should be an issue right?
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Old 06-02-2016, 10:41 AM   #4
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Re: Specifics when receiving bids for remodel


Maybe a small town advantage but never had long delays for permits. If you are going through planning board review for a non-conforming project, then months need to be allowed, but that is the approval stage not the permit stage.

Others here may be familiar with the pros and cons of who pulls the permits, but things like electrical and plumbing can require a license number. Check your local office for lead times and their thoughts.

As a note, it is always good to keep the local code office in the loop as they do have control.

Create a flow chart for the project with each step in order of what needs to be done and when. If the remodeler is not an electrician, then will he sub that out or you. Electrical is a 3 step process, rough-in for wires, return for receptacles switches and lights, and then final appliance hook up. Where the electrical inspections fall needs to be determined.

We don't have specifics on your home, but issues like lead paint and asbestos need to be considered if present. Also, in some jurisdictions, a remodel triggers the upgrade of all areas involved to current standards. Just reconnecting the plumbing and electrical to where they were before may not meet current codes.

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Old 06-03-2016, 07:41 PM   #5
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Re: Specifics when receiving bids for remodel


I wouldnt focus so much on a break down of the costs as much as making sure the scope of work for every bid is the same and as bud has said make sure you have who is responsible for what in writing. So scope of work and responsibility are more important than the break down. Be as specific as possible.
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Old 06-23-2016, 08:55 PM   #6
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Re: Specifics when receiving bids for remodel


I have been a remodeling contractor for 40+ years. The major problem in today's market are homeowners who watch DIY and HGTV and fantasize that they are capable of being their own GC when they don't know the answers to basic questions. I am not writing this to be snotty or condescending. All jobs need a central brain that can co-ordinate subs, timing, know code issues, know what to demo and most importantly what to not demo, how to do a job efficiently, the list is endless. Really, would you hire someone to remodel your kitchen who has never done a kitchen before? I wouldn't, why would you? Good luck with your project. Please report back to this space when you are done and tell everyone how it worked out.
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Old 06-24-2016, 12:29 PM   #7
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Re: Specifics when receiving bids for remodel


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Originally Posted by RickMacKay View Post
I have been a remodeling contractor for 40+ years. The major problem in today's market are homeowners who watch DIY and HGTV and fantasize that they are capable of being their own GC when they don't know the answers to basic questions. I am not writing this to be snotty or condescending. All jobs need a central brain that can co-ordinate subs, timing, know code issues, know what to demo and most importantly what to not demo, how to do a job efficiently, the list is endless. Really, would you hire someone to remodel your kitchen who has never done a kitchen before? I wouldn't, why would you? Good luck with your project. Please report back to this space when you are done and tell everyone how it worked out.
Very good points RickMacKay. The original poster should read your post at least 3 or 4 times. I charge extra when the owner of a restaurant tells me he will be his own GC. Without fail, the job takes longer, cost more and just is not as pleasant a job when an unexperienced person acts as there own GC.
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Old 06-29-2016, 05:13 PM   #8
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Re: Specifics when receiving bids for remodel


OTOH, my post in building and construction borders on the analogy of a pilot asking a passenger for flight courses given prevailing wind directions. The GC know there was a ceiling height issue below the 2nd story of new addition, yet the matched floor level to the bottom of a sloped floor. The 15 ft joist span had to be centered on 12" because there wasn't room for a bigger joist. Now I don't know if this is a contractor, design, of field best practices issue but had I done it myself, it wouldn't be mucked up by multiple 'pros'.
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