from page 1 - The FW Dodge Report and plan rooms)
How to use FW Dodge and other plan rooms
You go to the plan
room and do your take-off(s) for the project(s)
you want to submit a bid on, then you go back
to your office, put together your
official proposal form, and then fax and/or email it
out to all of the general contractors who are
looking for subcontractor bids for
Some plan rooms have joined the Internet age and you can actually access their blueprints online!
And, if you have a blueprint printer, you can even print full-size copies of the blueprints.
Other ways of obtaining drawings and plans
General Contractor's Plan Rooms
general contractors will have their own plan rooms.
A general contractor's
plan room is generally at his construction
office. He provides his plan room to give
subcontractors an additional option for viewing
increasing the amount of subcontractor
bids he receives for any particular project (which
odds of submitting the winning bid among
general contractor bids).
Another possiblity is to call a contractor
in your area, introduce yourself, and ask him
if there are any plan rooms in the area (hint:
call a contractor who works in a different field
If you don't want to go to the GC's office, call and ask
if they'll send you a copy of your
of the plans. Sometimes they will fax or email them to you (first
make shrunken copies and then number the copies so that
you can piece them back together), sometimes they will
mail or courier the plans to you, and sometimes they
will refuse and instead invite you to their office to do your takeoff.
The main problem with this method is if there is a change to the project before it goes to bid and the general contractor and/or architect doesn't notify you of the change then you could end up with a bid that is too low and win the project, sign the contract, and then find out that there were changes made before the bid was accepted.
On the flip side, there could be changes made that reduce the cost of the project and your price is too high and you lose the bid.
option (although not always viable) is to contact architects
and ask them if they know of any plan rooms
in the area. Also ask them if they will pass on to you
the names of general contractors who will be bidding on any
projects that the architect might be drawing up plans for.
Beware though that architects often do not want to be
contacted and are not shy about telling you this when and
Protect yourself whether using stand-alone plan rooms and/or General Contractor's plan rooms
Include the date and page numbers of the plans you used to do your takeoff and put together your bid
Always include the date of the plans and the page numbers you got your information from when putting your bid to paper. The unlimited usage proposal forms / bid forms that I sell have a space for the date of the plans and the page numbers.
By including the date and page numbers, everyone knows which set of plans you worked off of and whether or not you were able to incorporate any changes into your bid.
Then if you win the project, always insist that the date of the plans and the page numbers that correspond to your portion of the project be included in the contract, and then check it to make sure it's the same plan date and page numbers as you used to put together your bid.
Hint: always read the entire contract before signing it, you'd be surprised what you might be agreeing to without realizing it if you don't read it first!
How to find plan rooms
In today's day and age it should be easy to locate many plan rooms
Search online for plan rooms.
Look in your local yellow
pages under Contractors or Blueprints or Plan Rooms to see if you can
find a construction plan room in your area.
As mentioned further above, you can contact Architects and ask them about plan rooms but again beware, Architects often don't like to be contacted by subcontractors (that has been our experience as well as other contractors that we have spoken with).
And, again as mentioned further above, call a contractor or two in your area that is/are in a different trade than you are, or even a supplier or two.
If you want to do work outside of your area (in today's day and age contractors are having to go way out of their local areas to find and do work) then follow the steps above to find plan rooms in the areas where you want to do work.
Please note that I am not
associated with FW Dodge
I hope this article has been helpful! We have a great many more construction articles and tutorials to help you with your contracting business.
Thank you and have a great
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