How to deal with general contractors in bid stage?

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Posted by: from Windsor
7/12/2011 at 1:02:59 PM

Recently, I have secured a fund to renovate a professional office in a mall. Since I am isolated from the community for a quite while, I knew no one who involve contractors. So I mainly search them from yellow book and online resources. When I made several calls and brought them on the site, I had no idea how well they do. In other word, I am not able to distinguish them. The writing cannot explain fully here.

My question is how many contractors I should see considering I am a newbie?

How do I deal with contractors in a bid stage? Is it considered as an offense to ask business number and references in a bid stage because it is commercial site?

When I ask if insured, they all answer yes. How do I verify them if they don't give me the evidence? In what stage, I should ask them to give me those evidence?

It takes me a long time to consider those things and feel bothered.

I hope someone here come to share experiences of dealing with contractors

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Date/Time7/12/2011 at 5:24:19 PM

Hi Pidy! You shouldn't be afraid to ask for proof of insurance. Any contractor that is not willing to produce those documents and their business number I would not deal with. Feel free to ask questions after all you are going to be paying these contractors so you need to know if they have your best interests in mind. Hope this helps.

Brent Smith

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Pidy in Windsor
Date/Time7/12/2011 at 11:49:08 PM

Hi Brent

Thank you for sharing your experience with me. It is really encouraging. The job is valued

beteeen 25K to 35K at least. It takes at most 2 months to be done. I saw several general contracts. only one show his interest. The others didnt even bother to call me back.

I worry that I have to end up with begging them to do job for me and pay them a fat bonus.

Is it common sense that general contractors show like that?

Thank you

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Date/Time7/16/2011 at 9:40:08 AM

Hi Pidy,

You have excellent questions for the contractors and none of them should have trouble answering them. They can give you insurance letters, WCB clearance letters and references. A general rule is to get at least 3 prices for each scope of work. This will give you a good idea of the market value. Make sure you have the same conversation with all of them so that they all price the same thing. Make sure you take the time to call references and review the quotes for inclusions and exclusions. They can be sneaky. You can also request that they have a bond in place if the scope is expensive enough. If you aren't familiar with the process then you should consult a construction management company.

Good luck.


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