Browsing Topic: General Contractor

Further delay in contractor tender

May 9th, 2007

We’ll be waiting a little bit longer to get the most important question about this project answered: what will it cost? More than anything else, this will inform us about our ability to actually proceed with the build.

Unfortunately, at this time of the year everyone involved in the building trade is insanely busy, so it’s been difficult for the general contractors to get numbers from their trades & suppliers.

As such, the date for return of the bids has been moved to May 20th.  You might think it would have been worthwhile to start the bidding process earlier, but there is then an added problem for
the general-contractor: what if prices change between the time the bid is submitted, and the time the work is ready to be done.

Quotes are often only good for 30 days but because of our timeline with the committee of adjustments (when the documents were initially drawn up) we had to ask that they be good for 60 days. With luck, perhaps we’ll have actually broken grown by June 19 after all.

Posted by Colin

Detailed plans tendered

April 27th, 2007

We received the detailed plans from Joanne (the architect) on Thursday along with a 40 (or so) page document. The document includes the tender to the contractors that describes the obligations of all parties to each other, and details about what materials will be used. I’m only about half-way through the document at the moment and have been jotting down many questions for the architects.

There are two contractors making formal bids for this project and each picked up two copies of the plans and 2 copies of the tender documents. According to the documents they must return their bid by May 10.

Posted by Colin


April 9th, 2007

Oh phooey. I thought we were going to be getting quotes from the contractors today, but alas today is not THE day.

This is my own fault though: I completely failed to read the part of the schedule provided by our architect where this was detailed (I mostly paid attention to the things we had to do). The detailed plans are, in fact, just being prepared by the architect now and will go out to the contractors this week.

We’ll also be trying to talk to the builder references this next week and visit their work sites.

Posted by Colin

Project Tendered!

March 26th, 2007

Of our four candidate contractors, we have decided to proceed with two of them to the bidding stage. The architect has provided each contractor with a detailed set of plans and they will take the next two weeks to review those plans and come up with a fixed cost for construction.

This is probably going to be the most critical juncture in the entire project. The numbers returned by the contractors will tell us definitively (for the first time) if building this house is financially possible for us.

Posted by Colin

Four Builders Interviewed

March 13th, 2007

We finished interviewing 4 prospective builders/general-contractors today.

These were just preliminary interviews to allow us to meet each other and give them a first look at the building plans, find out what their qualifications were, check their availability for the build dates, etc.

Alex (one of our architects) had developed a list of questions he thought were relevant and we were free to add our own, of course. Alex intentionally did not provide detailed blueprints to the builders at this stage as it seems only fair to only ask people to invest time costing our project if we feel there is a good chance we could move ahead with them as the builder.

Unfortunately all were really great folks who would be fine to work with. This will make it very difficult to proceed to the next step of selecting only 1 or 2 builders to ask for a more in-depth estimate of the cost and time-line required for the project.

We need to consult with Joanne McCallum (the lead architect on our project) before we get to the next stage, and this won’t happen until early late next week.

Posted by Colin

Find a Contractor with Handy Canadian

February 8th, 2007

I stumbled across the Handy Canadian web site today, which appears to be a great way to find contractors to bid on your building project.

What’s great about this service is that it saves people’s time all around: Instead of telling every contractor about your project one at a time you can just post it once, let them form their opinion of it, and bid. The contractor saves time too: they can post all sorts of information about their background, the type of work they do, provide their references, etc. so you can get comfortable with who is bidding on your project.

Since the service is free for those proposing the projects, and you are under no obligation by posting your project there, there is really little reason not to do so.

I could be wrong, but I also find it more likely that contractors who choose to use a service like Handy Canadian that puts their company’s details in the spotlight, are probably far less likely to be of the fly-by-night ilk Mike Holmes has warned you about.

We’ll follow-up on this post to share our experiences with the service.

Posted by Colin