Basics in GC Quote

Old 01-23-06, 08:13 PM
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Basics in GC Quote

We just received a quote from a GC for placing a new modular (not manufactured - IRC/UBC, not HUD) home on our new property. The utilities are already on site - well, septic, electric, fiber - so we would need the foundation (crawl space), trenching for plumbing/septic/propane, and hookups. The house is a 32 x 48 ranch, the land is level. We expected the quote to be in the neighborhood of $15-$20k. The quote is $28+k. Of that, $3500 is for the GC's fee, as well as another $500 for his insurance. Already we are wondering why we should pay his insurance fee, but that aside, considering that everything is pretty much right at the home site, the numbers seem high to us, and I guess I'm wondering if we're correct to begin seeking our own subs.

I understand the wisdom of having the GC to oversee the project, but for example I can't figure out why the excavation for the crawl space would be $2400, why trenching (a pretty short distance) and laying plumbing would be $1500 and then connecting the water, septic and propane to the house is another $2500 - as well as an additional $750 for propane line hookup. I spoke to our current propane provider this week, and they said they would charge me $200 including delivery of the tank. We plan to get quotes from the other propane companies in the area as well. We are led to believe that we are free to engage our own subs as long as they are licensed and their work passes inspection.

Any words of wisdom?


We are in Southern Colorado, BTW
Old 01-27-06, 11:28 AM
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Words of wisdom are very simple. Get at least 3 bids!

When this is all said and done you can get individual bids from LICENSED subcontractors but ensure that you have all the information they will need.

If need be, contact your local city hall for GC's that do regular work in the area. They may not specifically say call that guy or this one but some names would be helpful.

I can't tell if the overall price is high for your area but what you are descibing will take some doing and coordination in scheduling.

Extra note: It's strange that the GC would include a visable fee for himself and insurance. Is he trying to describe how much things cost to you in order to justify the reasons for the high price or just trying to get more money into his pocket? All the more reason to get more bids.

Hope this helps!

Last edited by Doug Aleshire; 01-27-06 at 11:45 AM. Reason: Extra Note
Old 02-05-06, 10:47 AM
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I agree with doug that you should get at least 3 quotes. Your contractor was honest and showed his line item for insurance and his profit. Any job a contractor has to do has risk and for that risk he must be paid a proift. It is what keeps his lights on and his phone working. When you go to any store there is mark up built in to the price for these items and nonone thinks anything of it. In construction we must show where the money is going. On a $28,000 bid there is a minimum of 12-15% a contractor needs to make to pay for his profit and overhead above and beyond his wages which would be $4200 to cover profit and insurance. Which is exactly what he gave you $3700 profit plus $500 for insurance.

His quote may be higher than you expected but how did you arrive at that cost? The cost of construction is rising so fast hear in Calif. due to materials and wages going up that the price we would quote for the same job goes up 10% or more in just a one month time period. Sticker shock is our biggest obstical these days. Three bids will at least let you know what the construction rates are in your area. I would make sure that whoever you hire has insurance and bonds to protect you and your project.

good luck.

Brian Garrison

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