GC Taking a long time to get an estimate

6 Replies

hey all, I am working with a few different general contractors and trying to get bids. I just had a quick question..why is it that getting contractors to send bids is such a long process? (Besides the fact I'm probably talking with some unqualified contractor)

I was able to to the estimation myself and get the same numbers as they did the same day. But it's taking one of my contractors almost 2 weeks to return an estimate! 

From a GC perspective why does it take this long? Anyone else have these issues? Is this a huge red flag when finding a GC? 

Other than the long timeline for the est. I have known and trusted this GC for a little while..but maybe the project is over their head..

Could be all of the things you listed as your suspicions. One thing is for sure the good contractors are good at their business and are able to return estimates quickly, however being good at their business they charge accordingly, if you're bottom feeding for lowest prices you're likely not dealing with the better contractors in your area and the actions you're dealing with are typical for the quality of those contractors.

option A) - contractor too busy to take this job, find another one.

option B) - contractor not excited about the profitability of the job, has many other better jobs lined up before yours, therefore see option A to deal with this issue.

option C) - putting together a number can be a lot of work, in fact if you were responsible for binding yourself to a number for a large amount of labour and material, you'd be sure to put some time into it.  So, see option A for why it is taking so long.  If already busy he may be working long days on jobs actually putting money in his pocket, rather than spending long office hours bidding on a job he may not get.

Strategy to deal with this:

1.  put together a really good list of materials and specs, so detailed in fact he doesn't need to do so much leg work to get a number back to you.

2.  go visit him and get a sense of how busy he is at some other site he is working on.  If he is looking like his capability is maxed out, find someone else because you can be sure your job won't get the attention it warrants.

@Heath Thomas Jr finding good reliable contractors can be a constant fight. I work really hard to show them I value their time and make pricing the job as easy as possible. I will even create "as is" and "as built" plans when the renovation requires it. I also pay very fast (weekly in most cases). I get most materials delivered so they don't have to leave the site, etc. On other matters I am tougher then some. The contractor signs a Independent Contractor Agreement, lien waivers, and needs to be licensed and insured (including workers comp.).

Originally posted by @Heath Thomas Jr :

hey all, I am working with a few different general contractors and trying to get bids. I just had a quick question..why is it that getting contractors to send bids is such a long process? (Besides the fact I'm probably talking with some unqualified contractor)

I was able to to the estimation myself and get the same numbers as they did the same day. But it's taking one of my contractors almost 2 weeks to return an estimate! 

From a GC perspective why does it take this long? Anyone else have these issues? Is this a huge red flag when finding a GC? 

Other than the long timeline for the est. I have known and trusted this GC for a little while..but maybe the project is over their head..

I've been going through the same issue for several weeks now. I've had about 1/2 dozen contractors claim to go out to look at a property within 1 to 3 days and when I follow-up a week later(giving them additional time to do what they said they'd do) its just another excuse why they couldn't make it. If they can't do a small job then a big job is certainly out. I could rant on about it but that won't get the job done. Keep searching. 

Kudos,

Mary

@Heath Thomas Jr It could be any number of things but the bottom line is: they don't seem very interested in the job so just find someone else. 

If you are experiencing this regularly with numerous contractors than perhaps you're doing something wrong.  You may be coming across as unserious, or unclear on what you want, etc.  That's something to consider.