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Old 10-27-2002, 03:27 PM   #1
K_Tile
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For those that are on there one or whomever has ideas, what methods have worked for you to find commercial work? I get occasional small commercial jobs through referrals. I live in Columbus, Ohio and there is tons of new construction going all over town. Taco Bell Express, Chipolte, Bob Evans, Donatos and tons of other restaurants utilizing tile throughout the design. Would I have to contact the GC of the project and get in through that avenue or would I try the corporate route to get on a list.

What about archictects and other interior design people? Would that be a good method to achieve work.

I like doing residential work but I want more publicly viewed jobs. I feel my work is to good just for one person to enjoy!!
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Old 10-27-2002, 04:04 PM   #2
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You have to get an "in" with the contractors in your area, that bid on this type of job. Don't forget, they'll expect you to have all sorts of liability insurance, workmans comp, and other expenses, even before you get a chance to bid these jobs. AND once you do, and you are successful, you will have to carry the material(money wise) for a long time...since you have to wait forever to get paid by these guys.
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Old 10-27-2002, 04:39 PM   #3
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I don't know about Ohio, but are you up against the union there?

Bri has it about right on the small commercial jobs. I don't do commercial anymore, but when I did, I NEVER furnished material. I know a lot of guys who have gotten sucked in, though.

If your work is that pretty, put a picture or two up on this site so the world can see it.
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Old 10-27-2002, 08:16 PM   #4
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Find out who is getting the lions share of commercial work in your area and aproach them as a subcontractor. Have referances handy.If its that busy,They can probobly use you to get a couple monkeys off thier back. Thats how you get in. Staying in is a whole nuther ballgame.Ya better be good or you wont last a week!!!!!!
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Old 10-27-2002, 11:08 PM   #5
Bud Cline
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Here's one way...

First of all subscribe to your area (regional) "Dodge Reports". This will talk of every commercial job in your area.

Dodge Reports are an official solicitation for contractors to provide contracting services.

Now your work won't likely be mentioned because it is peon work. BUT, You will know where to go to follow up and see who was awarded the major contract. Then it gets easier at that point. Contact those contractors and ask to bid yada yada yada.

Either they will make plans available for your perusal or you can go to a "Dodge Room" to view the plans. You must be able to understand the plans.

Get your act together and first find out which documents supercede which documents. There will be graphic plans and there will be written plans (specifications) for absolutely every job and there will be mistakes in both. Oh God the mistakes. So to cover your butt you have to know if the graphic plans or the written specs posess master control.

Do your tak-off, write your proposal, submit your proposal, and wait and see what happens.

Very time consuming.
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Old 10-28-2002, 05:14 AM   #6
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Very time consuming is an understatement .especially on something as involved as a hospital or school.you could spend 2-3 weeks doing the groundwork on a large project.And,if you get the job,you better have a line of credit for over 300,000 minimum.The problem comes in when you dont offer the whole package.Tile,carpet,vinyl etc. The guys that do will kill you every time.they have more numbers to play with!!!!!!!
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Old 10-28-2002, 12:46 PM   #7
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You don't bid the work direct to the project, this method keeps you informed as to who's doing what and you bid your work to the guy at the end of the Domino chain. This keeps your name in front of the majors though and after some time when you approach them directly they know who you are. Otherwise you will remain an annonymous installer under the name of the guy that isn't doing anything.

It keeps you fully abreast of what is goingon in your area.

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Old 10-28-2002, 05:34 PM   #8
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or you could find out who the architect for the project is and fax your bid directly to him? its one of those "i dont know but i've been told" deals. i have a hard enough time getting residential work, let alone big commercial.
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Old 10-28-2002, 06:49 PM   #9
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Must have a local contractor's trade association. Hang out with them, make friends, and bid some jobs. Do a great job for a couple and wait for the references to come in. Also hook up with architects and do the same thing. Go to buildings and make a note of the contractors that are working on jobs you would like. Get brochure with pictures of your best work. Send out brochures or do cold calls to those GC's.

Highest paying work for me are custom homes. Research and locate contractors that do these. Same drill, brochure, cold call, letter etc.
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Old 10-28-2002, 07:26 PM   #10
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Don't ever, ever, never give an unsolicited bid to an architect. The GCs will be after you like crazed hornets.

Dodge is too expensive in your area.

Try http://www.thebluebook.com for a list of GCs in your area. call, fax write request they add you to their bid list.

Pay attention to what everybody says above.

Not trying to put you down but if you have to ask this you may be technically ready but not ready in a business experience sort of way.
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Old 10-28-2002, 09:52 PM   #11
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I agree with Jim,never solicit an architect.GC's hate that.Aproach the GC's, introduce yourself and leave a card.I still say become a sub first for the guy getting the lions share of the commercial work.after a time,the GC's call you direct.especially if you are not a whiner,do your job quickly and efficiently and show up on time.Be ready to set alot of rocks though commercial work is tasking to say the least.not as fussy in many instances(not all) but you may have to put in a thousand feet of 12x12,s a day or 400 s/f of 6x6 with base.Or if you do a mcdonalds 3000 s/f of wall tile in and grouted in a week. (can ya handle it) ???
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Old 10-29-2002, 06:49 PM   #12
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On architects, you don't speak their language anyway. They don't understand the first thing about building. They only want to know how it's going to look.
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Old 10-29-2002, 07:09 PM   #13
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Flatfloor
Probably right! The only experience I have had on heavy commercial projects was on the opposite side of the ball, I was a city inspector! I donít find Dodge to be expensive the only problem I see is I have to be nominated by a senior member to be accepted. Looks like I will have to pull some strings from old classmates.

Todd
The biggest private commercial project I have laid was 8000sf of porcelain and 4000 sf of granite. Wasnít finished in a week but it wasnít fast track building either.

Bud
I appreciate the mention of Dodge. Currently there are two project bids open for ceramic tile work. Looks like I have to get on the ball and become a member.

Everyone else
I appreciate the comments and suggestions
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Old 10-29-2002, 09:46 PM   #14
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I donít find Dodge to be expensive the only problem I see is I have to be nominated by a senior member to be accepted. Looks like I will have to pull some strings from old classmates.


We talking about the same thing? You want Dodge Reports you call them, send them money they send reports.
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Old 10-30-2002, 04:07 PM   #15
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Flatfloor
In my area, you have to be a member of the Builders Exchange Organization. This org is for commercial companies and commercial bids. In order to view the plans you have to be a member of this organization. W/O a memebership you don't get into the Dodge Plan Room.

If their is something else or some other way. Please explain!

http://www.bx.org
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