Getting Bids

Shandy Heil, Skinner, Patricia  |  1/3/2007 9:20:43 AM

Bids for a project should be based on bid documents that you prepare. The bid document should be a complete description of your project and can developed based on conversations you have with potential contractors.

Your sources of recommended contractors can help you clarify and organize your ideas into the following preliminary specifications:

  • Draw rough floor plans to scale (1/4”=1’ or ½”=1’) on graph paper. Include details of walls and ceilings showing the placement of electrical outlets, switches, lighting fixtures, closets, built-ins, appliances, doors and windows. Indicate measurements.
  • List the appliances, fixtures and cabinets with brand names, model numbers and color codes.
  • List brand names and grades, when applicable, for all building materials (paint, finishes, flooring, windows, doors, roofing, siding, plumbing, wall coverings, insulation).
  • Specify any other details such as special construction techniques, trim, steps, etc.

The bid document is needed in order for you to obtain bids from contractors, but preparing it will help you clarify design and cost as well as avoid misunderstandings and disappointing surprises. Also it is a good investment of time to browse through home centers, building supply stores, lumberyards and supply catalogues when selection materials, appliances, colors, and other aspects of the specification process.

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