In every area of life, we are all looking for ways to save money, cut costs, and squeeze out every penny when it comes to our budget. No matter if it’s a trip to the grocery store, buying a car, or looking to repurpose an abandoned warehouse for something new, we all want the best quality at the best price possible. There are situations where the best price isn’t necessarily the lowest, but knowing the difference will give you the confidence you need to make an informed decision.
This is especially true when it comes to metal fabrication. Although there may not be coupons or weekly ads to compare prices, when you begin getting the bids for a job, it becomes a heavy task to sift through the facts and figures to try to ensure you are hiring the right fabricator or welder for the job. Every job has many different factors that have to be considered, but typically the bid’s total dollar amount is one of the most things you can look at.
When you are getting ready to request bids on an upcoming project, here are a few tips that can help keep estimates low and lead times short. Keep in mind, these are suggestions and you can alter each of them to fit your specifications and needs at any particular time.
Provide shop-ready drawings.
By providing your own drawings, you can eliminate the engineering process that many fabrication companies spend additional money on while forming their estimated bid.
Provide a completion date.
Every fabrication company has a different workload based on multiple factors. This means that your desired delivery date will impact their bid price and ability to fit the project into their schedule.
Provide addresses and contacts.
It is not uncommon for fabricators to do a majority of the work on-site, which can help shorten lead times considerably. By having this information upfront, you allow each metal shop to determine a closer estimate of their costs based on the specifications of the job site.
Provide load specifications if possible.
These include specs for tension, environmental loads, equipment limitations or restrictions, or even equipment cut sheets. This can provide them with valuable information on how they will be pricing your bid and if they will need to custom order anything.
Provide engineering drawings
Provide engineering drawings or basic arrangement drawings if possible. Once again, these small things allow estimators to have a clearer picture of the project in its entirety. That enables them to provide a more realistic bid total. Plus, their bid total won’t need to include costs related to this prep work.
Provide any plans and profiles available.
To reiterate for the third time, the more information you can provide prior to getting the bid, the more realistic and accurate that bid will be.
If you are ever in doubt about what you should provide, always err on the side of too much. Communication is key to more precise bids and the more detail you include, the closer to a factual total you will end up with. As an interested customer, the more information you can provide upfront, the better.
Another thing it is important to remember when you are considering a fabrication job is that if you need to make any major changes to these pre-stated specifications AFTER a job begins, it can extend the completion date out beyond the deadline and tack on extra costs that weren’t accounted for in the contingency figures. By being prepared in advance and knowing what you want from the start, your metal fabricator can actually get to work and complete the project as efficiently as possible.
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