Negative Communication Can Be the Most Positive

Saying No Is Hard, But Often the Best Answer

Just Say NO was an anti-drug advertising campaign from the 1980s. This campaign was aimed at discouraging children from engaging in illegal drug use by offering various ways to say no. Saying no is hard to do in all sorts of situations not just drugs.

We need to initiate a “Just Say NO” campaign for other things to.

“No” is one of the first words we learn. Two-year-olds are famous for saying “no”. They use this word more than any other. It’s an easy word to say and at two, they’ve heard it as much or more than most. These toddlers are on to something; it’s okay to say NO!

As we mature, we are looking for acceptance and inclusion. One of the ways to avoid being left out is to say yes to everything. I think this is where the problem with saying “no” starts.

Not only is “no” one of the first words we learn, it’s also one of the first words we forget.

As adults we continue to want to be accepted and continue saying yes. This week one of the things on my mastermind accountability list is: Say no to at least one thing that I would normally say yes to. As I thought more about this, I realized I had written about this several times. Here is an excerpt from a post I wrote late in 2019 discussing this topic of saying “no”.


We can’t DO everything.

Our natural desire to help others is a big driving force behind too many yes’s. There are so many people with so many needs. A servant’s heart leads us to over promise. This can be controlled, but it requires intentional actions. Especially in business, we don’t want to say no to any potential opportunity. Too many yes’s is not a good way to treat customers. Trying to be everything to everybody isn’t a good business plan.

The big question is how do I know what to say yes to?

This is definitely a big question and one that’s hard to answer. As we begin to approach the end of 2019, I’m beginning to think about 2020 and all the things I want to do. As I think through the list it becomes clear that clarity is needed.

Focusing on the right yes’s is going to be my goal for 2020. After all, 2020 is perfect vision. It isn’t going to be easy, but it can be done. It will require a clear plan of what the highest priorities are and removing things from the list that don’t qualify.


Here we are, half way through the year and I don’t feel that I’ve done a very good job of being clear on my yes’s and saying no. I can’t change the past only the future. The process of growing and improving is a never ending one and we will never be perfect at it this side of heaven.

I can either quit trying or keep working at getting better.

A few weeks ago, in one of our mastermind meetings Ray Edwards said something that I’ve heard several times before but sums this up well.

“You can do ANYTHING you want; you just can’t do EVERYTHING you want.”

What am I going to say “NO” to this week?

What are you going to say “NO” to this week?

Share your “NOs” in the comments below.

What is it About Proposals That Construction Companies Don’t Like?

That’s Okay…I Think They Want to Know Too

Last week I wrote about making construction proposals better. I shared some of the problems caused when communication with customers isn’t clear. As a business owner you are the professional and it’s your responsibility to provide clear communication.

A professional is one who is engaged in or suitable for a specific profession; is engaged in a given activity as a source of livelihood or career; having or showing great skill, an expert.

If you’re in the business of construction and aren’t providing your customers with a clear description of the work you are going to do, including an accurate and set price, then you are operating as an amateur. Someone who engages in an occupation on an unpaid basis; someone who is incompetent or inept at a particular activity.

A professional takes their occupation more seriously than an amateur.


If a construction company strives to be professional, why would they not provide their customers with a thorough and accurate proposal? I think there are four main reasons for this.

Don’t have enough time – It takes more time to prepare a detailed written proposal than scratching out a few numbers quickly. People in the construction industry are already so busy they struggle to keep up. Having limited time to get the physical work done, it’s hard to spend any preparing proposals. The problem is, without an accurate proposal that communicates clearly, the chances of losing money increases.

Spending the time in the beginning will pay dividends in the end.

Don’t like doing paperwork – I started doing construction because I loved to build, to see something that I built with my own hands. This is how most people in construction feel. They learned the trade and like it. The problem is that no one ever taught them business operations. Doing paperwork doesn’t feel like construction. They don’t get the same rewarding feeling as they do from building something.

Without accurate paperwork building becomes a hobby.

No one ever taught me – It’s hard to know how to do something if you’ve never been shown how. When you learned your trade, you didn’t start out knowing how. You learned it over time with someone showing you or through trial and error. Either way the learning process took time. The important thing to remember is, the more tips and tricks you were shown the quicker you learned. Aren’t you glad that someone taught you the trade?

It’s never to late to learn something new.

This is the way we’ve always done it – The older we get, the less we like change and contractors are among the worst. You’ve figured out something that works, or at least seems to, why change. Just because what you’re currently doing seems to work…it doesn’t mean that there isn’t something better. If you hadn’t gone through the process of falling down and getting up, falling down and getting up, you would still be crawling.

Aren’t you glad you tried something different?

What if I told you –  

  • The time you spend doing proposals will provide you peace of mind and more consistent revenue.
  • You don’t have to do paperwork if you hate it.
  • I can teach you how to do proposals just like you learned your trade.
  • Change is the only way you will stop crawling.

Doing proposals before you’re ready feels like trying to run a marathon when all you know is how to crawl.

Communicating clearly through proposals is the act of a professional. If you want to learn how to do professional proposals, check out our Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal.

If you have other reasons that you or someone you know doesn’t do proposals, let us know in the comments below.

How to Make a Construction Proposal Better

The First Thing is to Figure Out What You’re Doing Wrong

As a building contractor that has been involved in construction for over forty years a common topic of conversation, as you might have guessed is…construction. When talking with people who had construction projects done (not my customers) one of the more common remarks is “That was the worst experience of my life.” This is not the way a construction experience should be.

The experience of building a dream project should be one of the best!

When digging into their feelings deeper the problems almost always came down to these issues.

  • Misunderstandings due to poor or no communication
  • Blindsided by cost overruns or hidden costs
  • The completed project wasn’t what they wanted or expected
  • Didn’t understand construction terminology
  • Poor quality workmanship and materials
  • Cluttered and unorganized job site
  • Left hanging part way through an unfinished project
  • Lack of scheduling or poor time management

As a construction professional you should read these posts to give you the customer’s perspective:

            How to Prevent Your Construction Projects from Falling Apart

            There’s a High Cost to No Communication

            What Should be Included in a Contractor’s Communication

            Lack of Quality, Honesty and Integrity

As building contractors we have a responsibility to do everything in our power to prevent these situations from happening.

As a contractor you might say, “But customers are so hard to deal with. They expect so much and want it done cheap. They’re so demanding.” My response to you is, “Then why are you in this business?” You’re the professional. You choose this.

If you don’t love what you’re doing, then you haven’t found your vocation.

This is not to say that there won’t be difficulties in construction sometimes, but my experiences have been completely different. It comes down to a few simple things that when done well make the experience pleasurable for both the customer and the contractor.

The majority of the problems between construction companies and customers come down to poor communication. These issues can be minimized with thorough and accurate proposals. When I started in business, I had no idea how to do proposals, so I did like most…I guessed.

Doing accurate proposals that communicate clearly, doesn’t have to be a roll of the dice.

So, if you’re pricing construction projects like I did when I began. Maybe you could use some help and I would love to help you with this. So that I can know where you could use help the most, I need answers to some questions.

As a building contractor –

  • Have you ever had issues with customer’s, if so what were they?
  • Did these issues involve poor communication?
  • Do you currently do proposals, estimates, time and material or just guess?
  • What is your biggest issue when pricing construction projects?
  • How do you determine the cost of labor and material?
  • How do you determine overhead and profit?
  • How do you communicate the work to be done with sub-contractors and/or employees?
  • What would make your process better?

Here’s a link to these questions if you would go there and answer these questions it will be helpful to us so that we can help you. Or you can answer them in the comments below.

Let us help you to communicate clearer, be more profitable and reduce your stress with a Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal.

Can Communicating Too Much, Be Too Much?

For those of you who know me or know somebody that knows me. You know that I talk a little…okay…maybe I talk a lot.

When I was in grade school my Mom went to a parent/teacher conference. The teacher asked my Mom if I was forced to be quit at home. My mother said no and asked why. The teacher replied that she thought maybe I wasn’t allowed to talk at home and that was why I talked so much at school. Mom responded, “He talks all the time at home too.” I’ve realized over the years that this is a part of who I am. This doesn’t mean that I’m not continually working to rein in my talking. I also realize it’s part of how God made me and there are benefits as well.

Being able to communicate well is key to good relationships.

Communication is not just what we say, write, draw or even an expression or gesture we use. Communication is also what we hear or see. Hearing is a critical part of good communication. Quite often we forget that we need to listen to what our customers want or to hear the different idea that a team member has. We need to remember communication is a two-way process. I think this is why God gave us two ears, two eyes and only one mouth. He knew that the receiving part was twice as hard as the giving part. If we don’t communicate well, we can’t expect to have beneficial and productive relationships.

We all perceive things differently.

When figuring the price of a new home it can be difficult to know some specifics until after construction has started, i.e. the distance from electric meter to the house. These unknowns can be covered by allowances. Several years ago, while in the early stages of building a new home, we had included a 50’ allowance for running the electrical entrance from the pole to the house. As we were staking out for the house location on the property the customer pointed out that it was going to be 150’ from the electric pole to the house. He asked if that WAS GOING TO BE A PROBLEM. My partner responded. NO, IT WOULDN’T TO BE A PROBLEM. The construction continued and everything was fine…until the final billing. When we gave the customer the final bill with the additional cost for the extra 100’ he was angry. As we worked through this, it was clear what had happened. When the customer asked the question, what he really asked was, IS IT GOING TO COST MORE? When my partner responded what he was really saying was, PHYSICALLY IT CAN BE DONE. Being clear when we communicate is hard, but important.

If we say something once, then saying it 10 times is better.

Saying things enough without saying them too many times is a difficult balance. It’s better to over communicate rather than not communicate enough. This takes longer but can minimize if not eliminate misunderstandings later. This is the main reason that I have developed the Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal system that I use. It comes from years of attending the school of hard knocks. This system will give contractors and customers clarity about what the project includes

If there is going to be a misunderstanding, I don’t want it to be because of something that I didn’t communicate.

It’s Time for the First Meeting

And John’s Not Sure He Can Squeeze It In

It’s Friday and John’s in his normal state of overwhelm. He’s supposed to be meeting with Gene tomorrow afternoon to go over the Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal system and he doesn’t know how he can fit it in.

There are still so many things that need to be done.

“Maybe we can reschedule,” thinks John, I’ll just give Gene a call and see about moving the meeting back a week. “Okay, that’s enough.” John says to himself. “The whole purpose for this meeting is to change things, so that I don’t have to feel this overwhelmed.”

I’m tired of always feeling out of control.

John pulls up in front of the XYZ Construction Company office and admires the building. As he gets the pizza out of the truck and goes up to the front door he thinks, “I sure hope I can have a place like this someday.” As he walks through the door Gene greets him with a solid handshake and a grin as he says, “I wasn’t sure that you would make it.”

“I wasn’t sure either.”, John says with a smile. “I came really close to calling yesterday, to see about rescheduling. “I’m glad you didn’t.”, replies Gene. “You’ve taken the hardest in a series of hard steps.”

“The first step is the hardest. It requires a change of thinking and direction.”

“Bring the pizza and let’s go into the conference room.” As they make their way into the spacious comfortable room John thinks back on when they used to have their weekly production meetings in this very room. Looking back, he realizes how much he had taken what Gene has accomplished for granted.

Gene hands John a plate and they both get some pizza. “There’s water and soda in the fridge like always.”, says Gene, “Help yourself.” As they set down and start eating Gene asks John, “Why did you go into construction and start your own company?”

“Why do you do what you do?”

John sat there for a while chewing his pizza at the same time chewing on this question. “Why was he doing this?” He had asked this question a lot, but it was usually a question of frustration, not really looking for an answer.

After what seemed like an eternity, John answered, “I really don’t know. I suppose that seeing what you had accomplished, I wanted the same thing.”

“That’s the same answer I would have given when I started XYZ Construction.”, agrees Gene. “It wasn’t until I realized that to have a successful and profitable business, one that I was running rather than it running me, I needed to make some changes. One of those was to answer this question.”

“The WHY is more important than the HOW. Maybe your why is to make a lot of money, the enjoyment of building, the control that comes with owning your own company, something completely different or a combination of things.”

“Do you love what you do? In your current situation, do you even like it?”

Now John has another unanswered question to ponder. “Does he like what he does. Life sure was easier when he worked for Gene. What is it that prompted him to go into business?”

Gene interrupted John’s thinking, “John you probably won’t get the full answer to these questions today and we’ve already been discussing this for a couple of hours. I would suggest that you take some time to think about these and dig down deep to find the answers.”

“The answer to these questions are the foundation you will build your business on.”

“Before we run out of time today, let’s move on to the topic you came for, Building a Better Proposal. Just like the why question for your business, you should answer the why question about proposals.”

“Why do we need to do proposals?

“John, there is a huge gap between the construction industry and customers. The biggest portion of this gap is poor communication. Even when attempting to communicate clearly it can go badly. Let me give you an example.”

“Several years ago, when meeting with a customer early in the process of building a new home. The customer pointed out that the distance from the electric meter to the house was more than the 50’ allowance, as per the agreement. He asked if this was a problem. He was told it wasn’t a problem. Guess what…”

“It was a problem.”

“The problem didn’t surface until later when the customer was billed for the additional 100’. After some research, the communication breakdown was uncovered. The customer asked, “if it was a problem”. What he really was asking was…”is it going to cost more?”.”

“The response ‘in reality’ was, “It’s no problem to dig the additional 100’, but it will cost you more.” Neither party intended nor expected this to be a problem. It was a simple matter of misunderstanding…a lack of communication.”

The bulk of the communication responsibility is the contractor’s, we are the professionals after all.

“As we wrap up today John, I would recommend that we schedule some time weekly to work through the proposal system. I know that you don’t feel like you can spare the time, but I would point out that if you want things to be different it is going to require you to do some things different.”

John thought about this for a few minutes, “I get excited about the possibilities for my future every time we talk about this. Let’s do it. How does next Saturday, same time and same place work for you?

“If I don’t commit to doing something different, nothing will change.”

Gene got a big smile and remembered when he had made this same decision. He was encouraged about John’s future and excited to be a part of it. “Remember when you called me a few weeks back and how frustrated you were? And then in the next call we discussed the possibilities for your future? Think on these things and your why as you study the pages from today. When we get together next week, I want to hear about your why and we’ll go deeper into the Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal system.

“As you go through them write down any questions you have, and we’ll discuss them next week.”

(or send them to me in the comments below)

What is “Construction Clarity” and How Do I Find It?

Lack of Understanding is a Sure Way to Ruin a Construction Dream

It was Saturday morning and Jane was cutting some cloth for the dress she was making for her niece, when there was a knock at the door. She was surprised to find her friend and neighbor Connie when she answered it.

Connie said, “I was just out for a walk and thought I would stop by to see how things were going.” Jane had just made a pot of coffee, so she invited Connie in for a cup and a visit.

She offered Connie a chair at the table as she moved the material out of the way. As she brought the coffee to the table she said, “I sure wish I had a better place to do my sewing. The way it is now, I do my measuring, cutting and pinning here at the dining table. Then I carry it all downstairs to the sewing machine.”

“It sure would be nice if I had a separate room here on the main floor where I could do it all. For years I’ve dreamed of having a sewing room added onto the house. I just don’t have a clue where to even start. Hey, you had a room added on a few years ago, maybe I should get your contactor’s info and check into it?”

“Oh”, Connie said, “I don’t know if having a room built on is such a good idea. That construction project was the worst experience of my life!”

“What do you mean,” asked Jane. “Like you”, said Connie, “We had this dream project in mind…it turned out to be a nightmare. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. The contractor we hired was the brother-in-law of someone my husband works with. I just wish we’d never done it.”

“What happened that made it so bad?”, Jane asked. Then Connie started in, “You name it, if it could go wrong, it did. We were excited when we first met with the contractor and discussed our ideas. We had this vision of our beautiful new master bathroom. Shortly after that the problems began.”

“It started with waiting and waiting to get a price. Then the price we got was a simple few sentence description with a price and it seemed kind of high. My husband I talked it over, we really want this new bathroom, so we decided to go ahead. Then the real problems started.”

“There was little to no communication from the contractor, we never knew when or if he was going to be there working. We never knew what we were being billed for. He would ask us questions using terminology that we didn’t understand. There were tools and construction material scattered everywhere throughout the project. Sometimes he was gone for weeks and nothing was done. His last bill pushed the project over our planned budget by 30%”, he said “it was the additional work we had him do.”

“The worst part of the whole thing…the finished project wasn’t anything like what our dream had been.

Jane sat there for a few minutes with a puzzled look on her face. Then she looked up at Connie, “Wow, I never knew. Maybe you’re right. Maybe my sewing situation as it is, isn’t so bad after all.”

A few days later Jane went to a book club meeting at Lucy’s house. When she pulled up in the drive, she noticed the new addition to Lucy’s house. Jane immediately started feeling bad about what Lucy had to go through.

After Lucy invited her in, Jane said, “I’m sorry that you had to go through this terrible construction ordeal.” Lucy asked her what she was talking about. Jane replied, “I was visiting with a neighbor Saturday and she told me how terrible construction projects are.”

With a puzzled look on her face Lucy said,

“I’m not sure what hers was like, but this has been the best experience of my life!”

“It’s like watching my dream turn into reality. Would you like to see it?”, Lucy asked. “Sure,” said Jane. They went into the addition and Jane was amazed. From the outside she assumed it was finished, inside she could see that it wasn’t.

Jane asked, “I assume the construction crew has taken a break between processes and haven’t been here for a while?” “Why would you assume that?”, asked Lucy. Because, Jane said, “According to Connie, builder’s leave everything scattered around, and everything is clean and organized here.” Lucy said, “No, the crew was here today, and they’ll be back again tomorrow. It’s been like this every day.”

Now Jane was really confused. What was the difference between these two projects? Maybe this one would still turn out to be a bad experience before it’s finished.

“Who’s doing your project?”, asked Jane. Lucy answered, “Gene with XYZ Construction. He’s been great to work with.” Then Jane had an idea and thinking out loud, “I’ve been thinking about adding on a sewing room. Would you be willing to visit with me more about Gene and your project?”

“Sure”, answered Lucy, “They’re scheduled to be done in a few weeks. Let’s set a date and we can meet here. That will give you a chance to see the finished project.”

Jane was looking forward to meeting with Lucy and finding out more about Gene and XYZ Construction.

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Little boy sitting on the ground surrounded by the question, "Why?"

 

 

 

 

If We Could Just Get Adults to Be More Curious Like Young People

 

 

Nine months ago, I met with a fine group of Scouts on a job site to answer their questions about construction and business. If adults would ask more questions like this…there would be less confusion between customer and contractor.


Too often as adults we don’t ask questions for fear that we will appear dumb. It’s like we think we should know everything about everything. As I answered their questions, I thought…


If more people asked questions like these , more dream projects would be a dream come true.


Here’s the questions they asked:

  • How much does building a new house cost?
  • How much wood does a new house take?
  • How long does it take to build a new house?
  • How many permits do you need to build a new house?
  • Do you build specially for earthquakes?
  • What equipment do you use most often?
  • How do you dig a foundation?
  • Did you go to college? Trade school?
  • What schooling do you need?
  • What made you want to start your business?
  • What was the first thing you built?
  • What was your first job ever?
  • How much steel goes into a house?
  • Have you ever built a tiny house?
  • Where are the dangerous places in a construction site?
  • Do you do more commercial or residential work?
  • Do you prefer/use more manual or electrical equipment?
  • Do you do more renovations or new building projects?
  • Have you ever broken a hard hat?
  • How often do injuries happen?
  • Do you hire out the electrical/plumbing or does the owner?

 


I thought I should share the answers to their questions with you. Due to the length of the list, I will it break down in future posts by category. Maybe these will inspire more questions to be asked. At the very least you will have these answers.


Check back next week to see the answers.


Communication is the biggest problem for construction customers and contractors. That’s why I have written extensively about it in the past. Here are links to some of those posts:

 

 

If you or someone you know have a construction question, please post it in the comments below and I will answer it too.

 

The Conclusion of The Construction Proposal Is the Contract

Two men in suits shaking hands

 

 

 

Putting A Period at The End of The Proposal Communication

 

The discussion of “Building a Better Proposal” began with the problems that arise from poor communication. We talked about this being the responsibility of the contractor and some of the reasons this is a problem.


Over the last several weeks we laid out the “Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal” going over the different parts of the system, an explanation of the system, gathering of information, writing a scope of work, putting a price to the project and finally how to put all of the pieces together into a proposal ready to present to the customer.

 

Once you have a signed Proposal, conclude with a Contract.

 

 

 

 


The Contract completes the Proposal process and covers things beyond construction. Things like funding, additional documents, property boundaries, time within which the project will be started and terms and conditions.

  • Construction Funds – This isn’t something that is relevant to every project but will be to some. If it is, the information would be included in this section of the contract.

 

  • Description of the Work – A complete and full Scope of Work could be included here but not needed if the customer has been presented a Proposal. If so then a brief description of the project can be inserted and a reference to the specific Proposal and any other additional documentation, i.e. blueprints, drawings, spec sheets, governing body documents, etc.

 

  • Property Lines – This is another category that isn’t relevant to every project but certainly can be. If working inside of city limits, normally there are set back requirements and easements, this makes it critical to know where the property boundaries are or to have a licensed surveyor make this determination.

 

  • Payment – Like the description of work above, this should be in the Proposal. If no Proposal was given to the customer, then this should be specified here. If a Proposal was given repeat it again here.

 

  • Time for the Completion of Work – The duration of the work from start to finish is typically expressed in the Proposal. Due to the varying number of Proposals prepared and presented to customers, there’s no way of knowing what order they will be signed and returned. With the Proposal being signed and returned prior to the preparation of the Contract, the start date of the project can be determined and specified here.

 

  • Terms and Conditions – An in-depth explanation of specifications, descriptions, expectations, insurance, warranty, media permissions, etc. These will be specific to your company, type of work and location.


I would recommend that to have a legal expert or attorney review your Proposal and Contract templates as well as any other agreement document to make sure they meet your specific needs.


 

We’ve now gone through the process of meeting with a customer all the way to getting a signed Contract. Now it’s time to do the “construction” part of the project.

 


Communication will be needed in this part too.


Just because you have a signed Proposal and Contract don’t think the communication is done. In most construction project changes occur. These changes need to be treated like separate, sub-projects of the original with Change Orders.


This is a topic of discussion for a different day and one that we’ll have in the future.


If you know anyone in a construction trade or related industry that you think would benefit from learning the “Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal” share a link to this Weekly Solution or the to the Solution Building website. 

 

 

Don’t forget to check back in the next couple of weeks for the upcoming announcement.

 

How To Price A Construction Project Proposal

Now It’s Time to Give the Project A Dollar Amount

 

The next step in the “Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal” is to determine the price for the project. We’ve talked a lot about the importance of communication to provide a clear description of the work to be performed. Now we’ll go through the process of determining consistent and accurate prices.


Poor communication will cause heartache, poor pricing will cost you money.


We’ve gathered the necessary information and prepared the Scope of Work so let’s put some numbers to the project.


 

Here we’ll combine the next two steps in the process; determining what pricing is needed for each specific construction tasks to be performed and quantities pertaining to each.

 

 

STEP 3 – PRICING THE PROJECT


This process uses two different Excel spreadsheets:


The Worksheet
An Excel spreadsheet with all the construction sections and tasks listed out with optional overhead and profit markup formulas inserted in the appropriate locations.

The Data Base
An Excel spreadsheet with prices for material and labor for a wide variety of specific construction tasks.


Based on the descriptions on the Bid Sheet, content from the Data Base will be copied and pasted into the correlating cells on the Worksheet.

EXAMPLE PROJECT:


Using Jane Smith’s Scope of Work for her laundry/sewing room addition we’ll determine the right information that needs to be copied from the Data Base and pasted to the Worksheet. Reference the Smith, Scope of Work here


Questions need to be answered like:


Which tasks need to be inserted into the Worksheet? Many of the tasks have options; which to use, will depend on the specifics of the project.


For example; How is the excavation, trenching and landscaping going to be done…with a skid loader, mini excavator, by hand or a combination?

Smith, Addition – Scope of Work, Sitework Section:

 

Data Base:
Copy pertinent cells to be pasted to the worksheet. (highlighted cells)

 

Smith Addition – Worksheet, Sitework Section:
Paste copied cells in worksheet template. (highlighted cells)

 


More questions that need to be answered:
Is the footing going to be formed with wood or poured in the ditch without any forms?

 

Smith, Addition – Scope of Work, Foundation Section:

 

Data Base:
Copy pertinent cells to be pasted to the worksheet. (highlighted cells)

 

Smith Addition – Worksheet, Foundation Section:

Paste copied cells in worksheet template. (highlighted cells)

 

 

After the pertinent information from the Data Base has been placed on the Worksheet it’s time to fill in the specific quantities. This will then provide the prices for the work to be done.

 


STEP 4 – QUANTITIES

On the Worksheet you will fill in the quantity needed to do the work on that line item. This may be lineal feet, square feet, square yards, cubic feet, cubic yards or numbers of pieces. Once this is completed you will now have prices for the Proposal.

 

Notice the highlighted cells in this spreadsheet. These are adjustments made due to the attributes of specific tasks on specific projects. In the case of this project the small size and location of the work in the back yard require some additional work and therefore additional cost.


I know this is a lot of content and information but it’s not as scary as it appears at first glance. The question that you need to ask yourself…


Do I want to be intentional at serving the customer’s needs at a profit or just guess and take a chance?

 


The next step is to bring all the pieces together in a thorough and accurate proposal that will give the customer a clear picture of what they’re getting and how much it’s going to cost. Check back next week for this part of the process.

 

 

How To Price A Construction Project Proposal

Now It’s Time to Give the Project A Dollar Amount

 

The next step in the “Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal” is to determine the price for the project. We’ve talked a lot about the importance of communication to provide a clear description of the work to be performed. Now we’ll go through the process of determining consistent and accurate prices.


Poor communication will cause heartache, poor pricing will cost you money.


We’ve gathered the necessary information and prepared the Scope of Work so let’s put some numbers to the project.


Best Price

 

Here we’ll combine the next two steps in the process; determining what pricing is needed for each specific construction tasks to be performed and quantities pertaining to each.

 

 

STEP 3 – PRICING THE PROJECT


This process uses two different Excel spreadsheets:


The Worksheet
An Excel spreadsheet with all the construction sections and tasks listed out with optional overhead and profit markup formulas inserted in the appropriate locations.

The Data Base
An Excel spreadsheet with prices for material and labor for a wide variety of specific construction tasks.


Based on the descriptions on the Bid Sheet, content from the Data Base will be copied and pasted into the correlating cells on the Worksheet.

EXAMPLE PROJECT:


Using Jane Smith’s Scope of Work for her laundry/sewing room addition we’ll determine the right information that needs to be copied from the Data Base and pasted to the Worksheet. Reference the Smith, Scope of Work here


Questions need to be answered like:


Which tasks need to be inserted into the Worksheet? Many of the tasks have options; which to use, will depend on the specifics of the project.


For example; How is the excavation, trenching and landscaping going to be done…with a skid loader, mini excavator, by hand or a combination?

Smith, Addition – Scope of Work, Sitework Section:

 

Data Base:
Copy pertinent cells to be pasted to the worksheet. (highlighted cells)

 

Smith Addition – Worksheet, Sitework Section:
Paste copied cells in worksheet template. (highlighted cells)

 


More questions that need to be answered:
Is the footing going to be formed with wood or poured in the ditch without any forms?

 

Smith, Addition – Scope of Work, Foundation Section:

 

Data Base:
Copy pertinent cells to be pasted to the worksheet. (highlighted cells)

 

Smith Addition – Worksheet, Foundation Section:

Paste copied cells in worksheet template. (highlighted cells)

 

 

After the pertinent information from the Data Base has been placed on the Worksheet it’s time to fill in the specific quantities. This will then provide the prices for the work to be done.

 


STEP 4 – QUANTITIES

On the Worksheet you will fill in the quantity needed to do the work on that line item. This may be lineal feet, square feet, square yards, cubic feet, cubic yards or numbers of pieces. Once this is completed you will now have prices for the Proposal.

 

Notice the highlighted cells in this spreadsheet. These are adjustments made due to the attributes of specific tasks on specific projects. In the case of this project the small size and location of the work in the back yard require some additional work and therefore additional cost.


I know this is a lot of content and information but it’s not as scary as it appears at first glance. The question that you need to ask yourself…


Do I want to be intentional at serving the customer’s needs at a profit or just guess and take a chance?

 


The next step is to bring all the pieces together in a thorough and accurate proposal that will give the customer a clear picture of what they’re getting and how much it’s going to cost. Check back next week for this part of the process.