Under bid large roof please help


#1

i under bid a large roof by $12,000 what should i do ? with the extra shingle cost and labor cost i will not make a dime or it will cost me money> the guy is a semi friend of the family and i wanted to give him a good price but nw its costing me money and time. any thoughts


#2

Fess up, tell him why. Circumstances beyond your control, and go with it. If he is un-cooperative then he ain’t that good a friend so don’t do the work.


#3

hey well good luck see many customers go with the lowest price but you know whut being that he is a friend of the family u might be able to talk to him and tell im that the prices of shingles have gone up and u know say all kinds a shit that us contractors know how to say when it comes to selling a job and who knows u might get him to go with ur price … bow if he is one of those customers that go haywire then u might as well kiss ur bid goodbye cause i mean u cant end up puting money out of ur own pocket cause if that happens then there is no use in being a independent contractor but hey give it a try it might be ok good luck…


#4

If the person you gave a bid to is a friend ask to see the other estimate. Compare the two and see why you are so low.

Almost every job I lost this year was due to being the highest bidder.

For example just the other day a home owner called asking about my bid price. I told him $11K for the house roof and $4K for the garage roof. He said he had another bid to do the garage at $2,700. I told him my prices were rock bottom ($325 per square) and he should go with the other bidder. The guy bid the garage at $200 knowing the home owner wanted laminate shingles!!!


#5

Last year a boned a 50 year roof, somewhere i made a math error and well was 8 square short. Only one of the year. AT any rate i let the customer know what was wrong and after speaking with them honestly i found out they went with me because of me not price, so with that they gave me half the difference of the lost and we parted ways. Funny thing being honest got me 3 more roofs in the next week on his street. Very nice people and great coffee. Just be honest it goes along way!


#6

problem is i already started the job> i will have to talk to him but i hope he dosesnt think i am trying to scam him. And one more point he is a lawyer, but seems to be a nice guy


#7

Great words of wisdom from “gtp” But 12k Wow??? somethings not right, I’d just be honest and joke about it, show him all the figures if he’s a nice guy and sees your sincere you may be able to work it out. If he turns nasty and you’ve already seen some of the money then you may be obligated. Chances are though if he got other quotes then he already knows whats coming next.


#8

What was the cause of the error?


#9

I will say this i was off i think 1400 total. I got 1000 from them. If your off 12k i think you need to pay more attention. I did not know you have already started it. My question how on earth can you be off 12k on a home??? Thats a ton of money to miss in the estimate. Im intreged to know what you missed. Just be honest and what i did is i showed the customer the orginal sheet from the estimate and worked it from there. Then he can see what you did wrong and if he is a real nice guy he will work with you but 12k i dont think he will. Thats just to much money.


#10

Right…something just aint adding up here, sensing there’s more to this story??
If I’am looking at this right you say underbid by 12k yet you’ll break even or a little money out of pocket, man I’d love to make 12k profit per job??


#11

yeah…unless this job is a couple hundred square…where and how are you off $12000?


#12

Do tell…


#13

maybe he meant 1,200 $?


#14

the job sold for 24075.00 and im putting on CT PRESIDENTAL TL shingle i was off by (embrasassed to say 23 square ) its a very large house biggest in the area. i should have bid the job at $35000.00 so i guess im off by over 10 grand i big f up. I had to spend 6,000.00 more on material. i feel like shit and a real dumb ass its the first time ive messed up a bid i have always been dead on, if not over a bid on the square so i must not have taken my time. were almost done and it looks great but i wish i would have made the money i expected to make. he went away until tuesday so when he gets back ill talk to him and let eveyone know what happens


#15

need a good tape measure?


#16

how many square was it? what was the detail work? pitch, dormers,layers, new plywood, etc…?


#17

I hate to say it, but you don’t deserve to make the money you expected. What about the contractors who bid the job correctly and lost it because you were low?

This should be a lesson many of us have learned. We make mistakes and eat them a couple of times a year.

Even with the numbers you quoted with you should break even. Lesson learned and move on.


#18

yea thanks roof boss. First mistake like this ever i will still make about 2800 if he doesnt help me out so not a total loss i earn about 130,000.00 a year so ill just make it up on the next one. like i said it was my all my fault.


#19

In almost 10 years in the business, we’ve never approached a customer for more money.

If we made a mistake on our part, we ate it. That has happened a few times, even to the tune of several thousand dollars LOSS. And when I say loss, I don’t mean unseen potential profit. I mean, it cost several thousand dollars out of our pockets to finish the job.

We bid a job and the owner signs a contract… they will get their roof for the agreed price, payable on completion.

If we asked for more money halfway through, it would cost us our integrity, make us look like fools, and breech our contract.

The good news is: this can be prevented. MEASURE, don’t GUESS roof areas. A guess is not an estimate. It is exactly that… a guess. On large, high dollar jobs, make a scale drawing based on field measurements to take-off quantities (area, rakes, valleys, gutters, etc.) and double, triple, quadruple check them until they all add up consistently.

Second, maintain a close relationship with your local distributor. You will be told of materials price increases months in advance. Maintain a current price list and confirm prices IN WRITING before bidding a large job!

Third, if you lose profit, this is not a big deal. It is a lesson in why everyone else bids higger. It isn’t “taking a beating” until you pay out of pocket.

Finally, if this guy is a lawyer, don’t even let him know you screwed up. If you do, your work will be put under a microscope, and he may even consider it a breech and have another guy finish it up, on your dime.

If you ask for more money, it reflects badly on the whole industry. The hardest part about maintaining a good reputation in this industry is distancing yourself from events like this. You really should “take one for the team.”


#20

I highly disagree bodybagger. My assumption of Matt is that he is under the age of thirty.

If you have two contractor come to measure your house… One is 25 and in work clothes, the other is 50 and in a polo shirt. Assuming they are both good at what they do. Would you not think that the 50 year old knows more and is less likely to make a mistake?

Maybe the HO is pretty sure Matt made a mistake on his bid, and knows what may be coming…

If Matt tells the HO about the mistake, he still learns his lesson, is out less money (Which can lead to less pay for his workers, less quality work to makeup time, both which lead to bad things for the roofing industry) but he also gain invaluable experience in dealing with HO’s and sticky situations.

How the difference gets settled is on the two parties. But if the HO would be willing to split the difference or more, Matt would be a fool not to mention it. If he is that far under the other bids, don’t you think his work is going to be under the microscope?