Alena’s Intern Experience–Pre-Bids and Take-Offs

I cannot believe that I’m already over halfway done with my internship for this summer! I have experienced so many new things in these few weeks. I had the opportunity of attending a pre-bid meeting for a project that we will be bidding on in the next couple of months. On the job site last summer, I attended pre-bid meetings from a buyout standpoint that were run by Alberici, so it was interesting to attend a pre-bid that was run by the owner. I found the owner’s pre-bid to be much more formal with rules and procedures and it was interesting to see how the engineer and owner pointed out issues that may arise during the project. These issues are important things to keep in mind when we are putting together our bid for submittal. After the pre-bid meeting, the owner held a diversity fair. This gave minority-owned businesses the chance to come and talk to all of the prime contractors who will be bidding the job. I got to meet quite a few people and learned about companies that I hadn’t been previously aware of, plus there were cookies!

In addition to attending the pre-bid, I have been calling sub-contractors to make sure that they have received our invitations to bid. An invitation to bid gets sent to any contractor that we feel might be interested in bidding on a project that we are putting together a price for. We want to make sure that all companies have the option of submitting a bid to us. When bid day gets closer, we collect all of the bids that the sub-contractors submitted and pick the best one for each scope of work. An important thing that I have learned is that we have to make sure that all scopes or work are covered before we submit the bid. We don’t want to leave anything out on accident!

Another aspect of estimating that I have been exposed to is quantity take-off. I have begun using a program called PlanSwift that allows us to import drawings and then “draw” over them. The lines and marks that we make can be a linear dimension, an area, or even a volume. These marks and lines are then put together into a report by name and we can easily calculate the amount for each. I find this really interesting because it is a completely different way to look at and analyze drawings and also it makes doing take-off much easier!

I’m so excited for my final four weeks here and I can’t wait to see what more I learn!