Announcement From Tempest

As a reader of Oh, By The Way… our Tempest Company blog, I wanted to inform you that we have decided to close our business as of October 16th. It has been a remarkable 35 years, and I want to thank you for being a part of it.

We have worked on thousands of projects around the world with many wonderful people, and I am grateful for it all.attention const guy

Tempest is no longer available for projects. However, I will always be available to you for advice, questions or even just to talk about the industry. You can contact me through the comments section. – Justin

Oh, by the way… We will keep our blog in place, so please continue to use us as a resource and share with your colleagues.


Bidder Fatigue

Recently, I heard about a project that went out to bid and was over budget by 25%. The owners did not award the project and instead choose to redesign, and then re-bid. The second time, the bids came in and the project was still over budget. When an owner chooses to re-bid the project, they take a gamble.

construction worker photo_13311989Right now, from what I have heard around the country, it is not in the owners favor to re-bid a project! It is better to work with a reputable contractor to get the project to come in on budget. Contractors are more willing to work with owners, if they know they will receive the work at the end of the day. If you keep re-bidding the project, the contractors will not bid competitively, or they may not bid at all, because they are not sure if the project will even be awarded.

Tell me your thoughts on Re-bidding!

Are Free Estimates Ethical?

Something that a lot of contractors struggle with is the “free” estimate. At Tempest Company, we also have a big problem with the “free” estimate. I have talked about the “free” estimate before, but there is a twist to this discussion. We are going to talk about the ethics of the “free” estimate.

Let’s say that you were asked to prepare a “free” estimate for an upcoming project. Then you find out that the company you are preparing the estimate for is getting paid for their work. How do you handle this situation? Do you do nothing and just write it off as a cost of doing business? Send them a bill for your time? Or do you refuse to do the work? Are ethical lines being crossed or just the boundaries of professional courtesy? What are your thoughts?hand shake

Indirect Project Expenses

Let’s take a look at indirect project expenses. What are they and when should they be added to your estimate? The indirect project expenses, or indirects, are items needed to complete a project, but do not pertain to a specific item of work. For example, temporary power and water are needed to complete some projects and are outside of the direct scope of work for the project. Another example is toilet facilities. They are necessary for the project to be completed, but are not directly tied to a specific scope of work.

Most companies will have an indirect job cost spreadsheet that they fill out before bid day, so they can determine the appropriate amount to include for a specific project. When filling out the spreadsheet, they will be looking at the anticipated duration of the project, when the work will be performed, phasing, and special requirements in the specifications and project documents.

I do know of some contractors that just include a percentage of the direct cost for the indirect cost. That method can work in a pinch, but you really do want to be more precise, if you have the time.

As a rule of thumb, the prime contractors will carry most of the indirect costs But that does not mean that subcontractors should assume that the prime has included costs for indirect items that may be needed for their specific scope of work. All contractors need to look at what indirect expenses are required in their scope of work, and make sure they are covered either by the prime contractor, or in their bid.

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New Technology And The Construction Industry

Check out James Benham’s new blog. He takes a look at wearable technology and the applications it could have for the construction industry. What do you think? Is there room for this technology on the job site? Let me know your thoughts.question mark

Follow Us On Twitter

Our social media started with the idea that a blog would be a great way for our clients and other people to know what we were up to and it has been going strong for 6 years. Then we decided to add in LinkedIn to also get the word out about us. Twitter is our next step in our social media presence. You can follow us @tempestomaha. Our plan is to keep the followers up to date on our blogs, give short estimating related tips and spread the word about what is going on in the industry. As always you can find us on LinkedIn and you have already found our blog.twitter address

Competitive Advantage In Construction

I read an article about the pent up demand for power generation construction and how to prepare for it.

A lot of the items that they talk about are good for any contractor to know when preparing for work that has not been around for a while. Preparing for this particular type of work will give you a competitive advantage over the contractors that plan to do the work “the same way as before”.

Oh, by the way… Click here for more ways to achieve a competitive advantage in the construction industry.


Winning A Construction Project

I recommend you take a look at a white paper I came across the other day, “Contractors Have To Win Four Times To Win A Project.” It is written by Matt Stevens and Jennifer Day and featured in The Construction Contractor’s Digest.

One of the parts that resonated the most with me was something I find myself trying to articulate with my clients on an almost daily basis. “Contractors, who work hard to make projects come in on time and on budget, create a positive future for themselves.”

Oh, by the way… Give me a call if you want to discuss some of the many ways to keep on time and on budget. 1-888-334-3332. Or, you can look here and here.

Time And Money