[Question]How do I bid on jobs?

My step father and I started a roofing company two years ago, AAJ Roofing. However for those two years we have been doing jobs for other companies (sub-contractor). We want to move up and begin to get jobs on our own however we’re not sure where to go? Do we need to get some sort of license? Or go to a certain place to bid on upcoming jobs? Any help would be greatly appreciate it, thanks.

Bidding for jobs is a critical skill as a contractor. If your bids are unreasonably high, you won’t get any work, but if they are too low, you will lose money on every job, or at the very least not make as much as you should be making. Effective bidding requires a broad knowledge of market conditions, materials prices and the rates of your competitors.

First, getting to know the house is essential to getting your bid right. Learn to say no to jobs that will require too much commuting, difficult access or other troublesome situations such as extreme heat or cold, difficult materials and potentially hazardous situations. To be financially successful as a contractor, you need to be able to distinguish profitable jobs from money pits before you begin them.

Second, calculate the tangible costs of the job. Price the materials and add on 10 to 15 percent for waste and as a service charge for acquiring them. Some clients will obtain the materials themselves. This will cut into your profit margin, but shouldn’t eliminate a job from consideration.

Third, compare the work that is required on the job with jobs you have done in the past. This is where experience in your field is invaluable. When you are starting out, you will make poor bids on at least a few jobs and lose some money. Write this off as the cost of education, but be sure to learn from it. As you gain experience, you will become faster at what you do and able to more accurately predict how long various tasks will take you.

Forth, multiply your hourly rate by the number of hours you estimate the job will take you. Add on the cost of materials. Add a percentage to this total to cover overhead such as insurance, licensing, transportation and shop costs. Take a look at the final number from the customer’s point of view and ask yourself if it makes sense. If your instinct tells you to adjust it up or down, do it.

Lastly, present your bid. Don’t be tempted to send your bid in the mail or over email. Pitch your bids in person. Present the estimate to your potential client along with a schedule that lays out when the job will be completed.

You will need to check the licensing requirements for your State to determine what is required. Google “Your States Name” Contractor’s Licensing Requirements, or anything similar, and start digging in.

Are you looking at commercial or residential? Either way, the place to go to sell the jobs is to knock on the doors of the businesses or homes you are trying to sell to. Burn some shoe leather, knock doors and sell the jobs. Bootstrap yourselves up to where you can afford some advertising, website and SEO, Google Ad Words, etc.

Pricing by the square is the speediest approach to loose money. Hourly is the best and most secure way. That said I will sometimes when job costing, take the worker hours and the immediate and aberrant expenses of an occupation in addition to benefit and afterward isolate it by the square or square foot only for kicks. I giggle when individuals call me on the telephone and say “how much a square”. Each rooftop and detail is distinctive.

I see no reason whatsoever that you cannot accurately bid a job by the square. We bid every job by the square. You simply have to add additional labor and materials that are unique to that roof such as second story high charges, steep charges, account for additional waste, etc…