A large part of Preconstruction is the development of project budgets and final pricing. Rather than the usual two-stage estimating process most contractors utilize, we propose utilization of a three-stage estimating / pricing process, as follows:

We will prepare detailed budget estimates continuously during the conceptual and schematic design process to assist you in critical decisions on the scope of the project. All elements of the project will be evaluated for function, quality, and cost during this phase.

Budgets will be updated on an ongoing basis as the project develops, and value engineering will be provided at all estimate stages of the project. A unique “budget tracker” system will be used to keep all team members updated on pricing and options. Design review process meetings will be held on a regular basis, as desired, with the owner and design team, to ensure clear and concise communication between all team members.

Our affiliated civil design company, Design Services, allows us to do many things on the front end that other General Contractors can’t do. These include site investigations, using our proprietary format, which helps us evaluate the developability and cost-effectiveness of sites from many different aspects, and allows us to explore the permitting process and timelines. We are also able to provide preliminary civil design, optimized to minimize costs in enough detail for subcontractor bidding at an early stage in the project and give a Guaranteed Maximum Price. We can then either finalize civil design (a nominal fee is charged) through this company or work with your civil engineer to finalize a design consistent with budgets. This company maintains $2 million in E&O insurance.

Once the budget estimate confirms parameters that work for your program, the architect will complete schematic or design development drawings to allow us to bid on the project to get firm prices. This will establish a guaranteed maximum price that will allow you to define your scope so you can proceed with confidence through final document completion. The time required to properly bid a project of this magnitude is 3 – 4 weeks for both the initial guaranteed maximum price and the final contract price.

Throughout the estimating and cost control process, there will be transparency, with full disclosure of bids and pricing and you will be allowed to participate at the level you desire. We will welcome your input on bidders, as well, if you have preferences.

Detailed material and labor takeoffs will be made during the estimating phase of the project so that we are able to understand comprehensively the scope of the various portions of the project. Because of the complexity of evaluating bids off of schematic drawings, spreadsheets are developed using checklists to ensure comprehensiveness in evaluating quotations. Our bid/estimate books are broken down by Construction Standards Institute cost codes with bids filed in the appropriate place for easy reference and tabulation. We will strive diligently to obtain the best combination of quality and cost and will operate with complete integrity and professionalism.

When the construction documents are completed, we will re-bid the project with all of the variables confirmed to give you a final fixed contract price. This final contract price won’t exceed the previous guaranteed maximum price unless scope additions are made to the project by the owner. 100% of any savings achieved from the guaranteed maximum price are returned to the client,

A great deal of research will be performed to evaluate the most competitive and capable contractors for the project. The Douglas Company builds regionally and is focused on the multi-family and senior housing market segments, we are able to draw regionally and nationally, if desired, to get the most capable, yet cost-effective resources. Yet we also work very hard on the local contractor network for each of our projects to involve local community members and assure the best prices. Proper pre-qualification is important prior to the bidding process and our goals will be to determine which contractors are properly suited to the project from many aspects, including the size of the company, technical competence, quality of workmanship, financial capability, and integrity.

In addition, we will be attempting to create excitement in the contracting community to generate the most competitive prices and to recruit those contractors that we feel will be most competitive at this type of work. We will advertise for bidding through F. W. Dodge, CMD, and other industry sources. We post the drawings online to provide easy access for material vendors and subcontractors.

Our construction specialists are involved in the preconstruction process, particularly with constructability analysis, durability verification, and prequalification of bidders. In addition, a detailed review of the drawings occurs prior to the construction on every project to limit change orders and assure a smooth construction process, delivering on our brand promise of Peace of Mind.