Originally Posted by TNTSERVICES
There isn't anything special or traditional about estimating. You have overhead that needs to be covered, you have payroll that needs to be covered, you have growth that needs to be covered, and you have profit that needs to be made. How it is any different? Either you can cover those items or you: go bankrupt, have angry employees (or go hungry yourself), don't plan on buying anything new or to make your job better or more profitable, or you don't like to save for a rainy day or your later years.
I don't see why P&P guys think that their profession is special and the normal rules of business don't apply. It seems to me that there are better ways to make money, but you would rather take what someone gives you and complain about the pay and their expectations you will forever be miserable.
You do not have a clue. For over 15 years I worked for commercial GCs, Drywall contractors and Framing contractors. I have managed entire companies and estimated thousands of commercial construction projects and managed hundreds of them. My projects ranged from a few hundred dollars to over eight million dollars.
While the same rules apply as far as OH&P. P&P is a different animal altogether. One of the big differences is the volume and the deadlines.
Picture having 50 jobs awarded to you on the same day and all of them have to be completed within a week. You have to provide hundreds of pictures documenting all phases of the work from the start to the finish.
The pictures have to be date stamped and uploaded in a specific format by a specific deadline or they are rejected and you do not get paid or you are fined for late submissions.
Then someone who has no clue as to what your job entails reviews the pictures and cuts your price when they feel the pictures do not justify the costs.
Any jobs that are not completed on time result in either a back charge or refusal to pay.
Since you agreed to cover all work in a specific territory when you decline a job they hire someone else to do it and if it costs more than the price you bid, or the price they estimated you would have bid if you did not bid it, you are charged the difference.
There is little you can do about the back charges because it is taken from your next draw and if you complain too much, or lien a property, they will never ever give you work again, which sounds fine until you realize that you are going to be without any work until you find a new customer to replace them and if you do not find someone fast your competition will be doing a trashout on your house.
P&P is a special kind of business. The simple fact is that most regular contractors could not handle this type of work because it does not follow the rules of traditional work or business. It has its own rules. It is chaotic.
In traditional contracting you know about most jobs weeks or months in advance of starting them and you have an organized schedule to follow that orchestrates the order of the work and keeps the project flowing.
In P&P it is about as close to complete chaos as you can get and still have a plan. Almost every decision is reactionary because you have little or no time to plan.
How would your jobs run if every day you showed up at the office and had to check your emails and fax machine to see what you and your crew was going to be doing that day and for the next few days?
At most you usually only get a few days to plan and proceed with a project.
P&P operates on a seven day schedule and there is no overtime, ever. Period. Charge overtime if you want, you just won't get the work.
I find it comical when the regular contractors stray outside their areas of expertise and offer sarcastic or, at least from the perspective of a P&P Contractor, just plain stupid comments or advice.