I’ve been a residential remodeling contractor for almost 8 years now, having worked in the industry most of my life (my mom was a GC). I run a small operation and have done mostly kitchens, baths, and repairs mostly. I can do all the subtrades, but do not do roofing, concrete (foundations), excavations, and most siding. Besides that, I do most things. (I will sub out a trade if I can find someone less expensive to do the work). Last year, I completed a $80,000 mastersuite addition, and subbed out only the roof and the hardwood. The job came out fantastic, and I’m truly proud of the work. SO, last week I got plans for a much larger addition. The architect who did the plans on last year’s mastersuite, gave me the plans to a job that entails taking off the roof of a ranch, raising the first floor walls to ten feet, adding a second story that features ten foot walls, a turret, a three car garage, etc. I can do all facets of construction, especially since the majority of the roof is trusses. I have several other friends who own similar two/three man companies, and I can get all of them to pitch in. Here’s my fear: getting the job on a flat bid, and not figuring in for everything. Since the architect is a friend of mine, he told me the competing bids are just north of $350,000! The most I’ve ever done in a year is $145,000! So here’s what I was thinking: Go to the owners and tell them I’m interested more in learning to do such a massive project, and less about making a complete killing. Instead of doing a stipulated sum, how about doing cost plus?
I know I’m going to get dogged by most of you experienced guys, but I’d love to make the leap to a larger job. I was somewhat intimidated by the mastersuite, and I did make few mistakes, but I still profited close to $30,000!
Is it smart to be HONEST with the customer, show her the completed mastersuite, and make less, but get the experience to do a great job on future big jobs that I’ll have the experience to do?
I know at some point I’m supposed to put down my tools and just organize crews, maybe this could be the first step in that direction.
I’m 37, and I love building, but at some point, I want to have a business that makes good money. I can play with my tools on my own houses.
Feel free to tell me what you guys think….