We prepared a multiple prime estimate last week. In a multiple prime bid, each discipline (HVAC, plumbing, etc.) is given a contract which makes you responsible to the owner or owners representative, instead of a general contractor. The general contractor is eliminated. The best feature of this arraingement may be that the general contractor can not hold up your payments. For those of you not familiar with multiple prime bids, the differences important to an estimator are as follows:
- You can not exclude or qualify anything.
- You need to include allowances for items you may normally exclude, such as painting and patching related to your work.
- Temporary power will need to be provided for your work at a minimum.
- You will need to use the bid form provided in the bid documents. This includes filling out and signing all of the other documents that are required, such as subcontractor listings and minority bidder requirements.
- You may need to do types of work you are not used to, such as chain link fencing and masonry walls. You can subcontract this work, but you can not exclude it. If it is in your scope, you must include it in your bid.
It is very important to read all of the bid documents related to your contract. There may be documents such as a bid invitation, instructions to bidders, scope statements and specific instructions for each bid package (discipline). These documents define your responsibilities, and often define scope items for your bid package such as temporary power and access panels.
Although prime bids require more paperwork, many contractors find them attractive because a general contractor is not involved.