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Bidding on welding jobs, And building a competitive Bid

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  • Bidding on welding jobs, And building a competitive Bid

    Whats the best way to bid a welding project, production stuff I'm ok on cause ill do a competitive price compared to similar products in the off road market. But I have been getting request's to do some custom work and not sure how to bid the work. How do other people compose their bids. Any advice and ideas? The current project I've had a request to build is two wheel chair ramps roughly 40" wide, 36" long, and the rise is 2-1/2 rise over the total run. Thanks fellow welders

  • #2
    Originally posted by 5150 OffRoad View Post
    Whats the best way to bid a welding project, production stuff I'm ok on cause ill do a competitive price compared to similar products in the off road market. But I have been getting request's to do some custom work and not sure how to bid the work. How do other people compose their bids. Any advice and ideas? The current project I've had a request to build is two wheel chair ramps roughly 40" wide, 36" long, and the rise is 2-1/2 rise over the total run. Thanks fellow welders
    the safest way to do it is on an hourly basis, plus materials......... many times small one off jobs will take as much time to estimate as to do....
    .

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    • #3
      Bidding on welding jobs, And building a competitive Bid

      Amen to that, it's like 33.33% bidding 33.33% doing the job and 33.33% billing and chasing the $$$
      call your metal supplier get material prices, guesstimate your time x your shop rate and add 33% for profit and incidentals
      Kevin

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      • #4
        thats a toughy, be carefull on bidding things of quantity, many a guy has lost their shirts with this kind of job, you are anxious to get the job and under estimate the time it takes, some customers know this and will take advantage of the little guy. I have been doing this for years and still find my self under bidding the job, not so much by knowing how long to do the welding but the weld prepping and clean up after, any thing over 3/16" i weld prep and when the project is done I go over the whole thing to make sure there are no meat hooks on it, sounds simple enough but that kind of stuff can add up the hours. the majority of customers want it done cheaply, then if you present them with a decent job but needs grinding and might have a little distortion,, they will always expect that to be done with the cheap price, i had one guy that i built this thing for, he said, i dont care what it looks like but i want it straight, him not understanding the process of working with steel, and the time it takes. the best thing to do is educate the customer as to what you will be doing, step by step, (with in reason),and give him an idea of what is involved, then when he gets an estimate from the other guy that is much lower, it will give him some thing to think about, is cheaper better? hope this helps

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        • #5
          when your starting out sometimes for large quantity items some times you have to make one or two to figure out how long it takes to make each one. then figure your pricing from there.


          All it takes is one miscalculation to break you when your talking about a couple hundred parts when your just getting off the ground.

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          • #6
            Attention to detail is important.

            A 2 1/2 (?) rise in 36" could be little rise or it could be quite a bit.

            Did you really mean 40" wide ramp, 36' long with 2 1/2' rise?

            If that's the case, and you figure 36" of ramp, it's a pretty good bet you're going to lose your azz.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dualie View Post
              when your starting out sometimes for large quantity items some times you have to make one or two to figure out how long it takes to make each one. then figure your pricing from there.


              All it takes is one miscalculation to break you when your talking about a couple hundred parts when your just getting off the ground.
              He's not asking about Production- he has that part covered.

              He is asking about One Offs/Custom fabrication/installation and the example he gave was the Wheel Chair Ramps he has been asked to bid on.

              Assuming there is an ADA compliant drawing and all he has to do is build it to the drawing... How would you bid it?

              If he has to research all of the Codes for his first Ramp build I doubt he will make any money but it may be lead to more jobs.
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              • #8
                Ah should have taken time to read the original post. some times you have to price the material then figure your overhead, then pay yourself an hourly wage.

                Overhead includes everything from the cost of your contractors bond, to the monthly phone bill and everything in between including consumables.

                You will loose some money trying to be the new guy thats hungry but thats life. you gotta take your licks and move on. You can however loose even more money not knowing your local codes so i HIGHLY recommend studying up on those first. Even with an engineered drawing its still YOUR responsibility that it gets built to code.

                there is repetitive quantity's in something like a wheel chair ramp. the cross members and skip welding them could lead to a large miss calculation

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