We are going to build a home and have selected 4-5 contractors to bid our project. I have plans to give all the contractors, what else should I include as part of the package? We will have an instruction letter detailing some of our wishes….WHAT ELSE GUYS??
notes, specs, and detail drawings?
Who is responsible for power, water, permits, landscaping, furniture, curtains, appliances?
Have you even chosen appliances yet?
I'm not sure what you mean by plans...some are detailed and some folks consider a scetch on a napkin a set of plans.
Have you asked these five builders if they are interested in bidding yet? How did they make your short list?
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Have you discussed your project with any of these contractors? Do they all have an interest in bidding it?
Do GCs in your area competitively bid residential projects, at lump sum pricing?
For someone to do it right, your package of drawings would need to include all the following, and the drawings would have to be site-specific, i.e., house designed to work on your lot, engineered to your local conditions of soil bearing, roof loading, local building codes, etc:
Site plan, showing clearing area, grading, final elevations, driveway, paving, house location, utility trenching, etc.
Foundation plan, sections, and details
Structural plans for each floor system, and roofs
Fully dimensioned floor plans
Fully annotated elevations, calling out all exterior details and materials
Complete schedules for all exterior doors and windows, and interior doors
All required wall sections and details
House sections as required to depict structural relationships, floor heights, etc.
Stair sections and details
Interior elevations showing all cabinetry and built ins
Interior elevations to show any special trim schemes
Details of typical trim arrangements
Lighting and electrical plans, including fixture schedule
Room finish schedule
Some kind of mechanical plan, showing equipment location, chase locations, vent runs, fans, etc.
And that is the drawings requirements. Here is what the specifications should include, at a minimum:
Material specs for framing, fastening, any special seismic situations, etc.
Plumbing specs, and a schedule of all plumbingware
Thermal and moisture protection (insulation, sealing, vapor barriers, flashing, etc.)
Specs for flooring, roofing, wallboard, wall finish, painting, caulking, etc., etc.
If you have all this and have qualified your bidders as being interested, competent, and qualified, you are probably OK.
But if what you have is a set of plans purchased out of a book or from a website, you still have a lot of work to do either yourself, or with a good local architect or qualified residential designer, and maybe a landscape architect.
The typical purchased planset will leave all builders just scratching their heads. They will either have to put a lot of extra work into the bid, asking questions of you in order to develop all the info that would be in a package as described above, or else they will take the more typical approach, which would be to eyeball it, square foot it, tell you an approximate figure, and insist that you work with them on a cost-plus basis.