Advertising for Bids

Opportunities for Building Designers Post 11 of 20

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While you are preparing to establish yourself in the field of total design, you might consider whether there are services you could perform for your clients in your own right after the design stage and without the need for additional members of your team.

Some of you have already been involved in the process of bid-letting and construction inspection, but many building designers have not, and this section will deal with a few of the possible areas for building designer service after the drawings are complete.

Advertising for bids

When the designer assumes the task of adverting for and handling the bids for the construction of a project they have designed (this warrants an extra fee) there are several methods of approach:

Stock photo of a brick holding down some floor plans. There are also a few tools in the shot. These tools are used for Advertising for Bids.

Selected bidders:

In this approach, the only bidders permitted are those selected by the designer.

This approach is most often used when the quality of construction or type of project is such that specialized experience is needed and the designer does not want to expose the client to potential inexperienced builders.

The list of bidders should be carefully prepared, and bidders should be comparable in qualifications.

In this approach, a simple telephone call is generally enough to advise the selected bidders that you want a bid.

Bidding time can be mutually agreed upon, but it is essential that bids be opened at a particular time and place (it is not critical that the bidders be allowed to attend the bid opening, except under certain circumstances).

It is not always essential that the project is awarded to the lowest bid; however, if your bidders were carefully selected, anyone on your list should be able to give you quality work.

Open bidding:

In this approach, any licensed contractor can bid on the job, and it may be to your client’s advantage to have as many bidders as possible.

To advise potential bidders, you can submit plans and specifications to any of the various bidding depositories, plan rooms, or builder’s exchanges.

Once the bids are in and analyzed ( for example, did they all bid the entire job, are there any substitutes spelled out, or bonds not posted), the designer should secure any needed information about the lowest bidder to ensure financial responsibility and reputation for complete the job on time and without unexpected “extras.”

Unless you stated explicitly to the contractor in your invitation that they will reserve the right to not award to the lowest bidder or any of the bidders.

Generally, this data can best be secured from previous clients of the builder. When the designer is satisfied as to who should receive the job, he should then so advise the owner.

Except in unusual circumstances, the contract is awarded by the owner through signing construction contracts with the builder.

General contract:

Sections one and two above discussed who can bid on the work.

Under a general contact, as the name implies, the bid would cover all aspects of the work shown in the construction documents (drawings, specifications, and contracts.)

Most projects are constructed under a general contract and items to be furnished outside of the contract are noted on the drawings as “NIC or Not in Contract.”

A general contract places the coordinating responsibility on the general contractor to get the various crews on the job at the right time so that work progresses in an orderly manner.

Forms are available for executing a general contract, or an attorney can draw one up.

A designer should never attempt to write a contract, no matter how much he knows construction.

However, the designer should always examine the contract and should be sure of the meaning and possibilities inherent in every phrase to help protect his client.

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