How to Read a Commercial GC Bid and What to Look For

As a project owner, evaluating commercial construction bids from competing general contractors can be one of the first real looks you get into type of GC you will be working with. Their project bid gives you a strong glimpse into the type of communicator they will be and the kind of work (and associated costs) they deem necessary in order to achieve your goals.


Contractor bids will vary widely, and this can be unsettling. It puts the onus on you as a project owner to sift through the differences and similarities among the bids and sort out the responsible bidders from the dreamers and the low-ballers. As you evaluate GC bids for your commercial project in South Florida, here are some important things to look for:


  • Details on costs – Price is always an important factor when evaluating bids (though it should never be the sole factor). You want the price quoted to be an accurate reflection of what the contractor truly believes it will take to meet the scope of work set forth in the project documents. The more specific the bid is in terms of project details and price, the greater the likelihood they understand your requirements and what it will take to do the job.


  • Line items and qualification statements – GCs are competing to win the bid, and sometimes in order to submit a competitive, yet accurate proposal, qualification statements are required.


A qualification statement calls to the project owner’s attention a potential flaw or omission in the existing design plans and offers the construction solution to remedy it. For example, if the project owner doesn’t have a geotechnical report and wants to construct a deep swimming pool in South Florida, we would respond with a qualification statement that says we have not included de-watering in the estimate. The qualification statement would call out additional requirements to do the job as proposed. These additional requirements are not included in the bid, but they alert the project owner to important factors they will need to consider as they evaluate their project and the other bids they receive.


  • Credentials and references – Choosing the right GC can make or break your project, so you want to do your due diligence in terms of vetting the contracting team your hire. Review also who they use for subcontractors.


As you review bids, never hesitate to follow up with questions or partner with an owner’s representative to help you make informed and knowledgeable decisions about your project. For help understanding a GC bid or to ask any of your other South Florida commercial build questions, contact our team at Seacoast Construction.


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