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Formatting Proposals for Customers

Taking the first step Paul. You got eggs. And no, you are not wordy. Leading the charge like that is good for the industry.


  • Paul Rohrs
    Paul Rohrs Member Posts: 357
    \"Come to the Table\"

    I spend quite a bit of time taking a blue-print, creating an accurate heat-loss, putting my material list on a spreadsheet, putting on mark-up, profit, and labor, then putting it all together in proposal form for my customer.

    I think my proposals are pretty well detailed with what I include, what I don’t include, and it usually finishes with the proposed “Base Bid” and then followed with options, usually in the form of Indirect for DHW, or a zone of radiant floor heating in the garage.

    I gain a lot from you Wallies in terms of piping, wiring, and control. It seems like I am constantly refining for a better finished product for my home-owner. The mechanics of doing the above mentioned paper work are not monotonous to me, it’s just a part of what needs to be done to sell a job.

    I would be willing to post my proposal on a few conditions.

    A. It will not be a current project out for bid

    B. It will have ALL names and prices “X’d” out

    C. It will not be in “Word” or any other form that can be altered. (PDF format)

    I think it would be a valuable tool to post these on “The Wall” in that I think we can all “Glean” parts or pieces of text or format to make each of our proposals better. This business is about "Landing" jobs, and if we can write a better proposal than our competition, it might just be the difference that sets us apart.

    If anyone would be interested, I will start the ball rolling by posting my spreadsheet and corresponding proposals in PDF format.

    Again, my main market is low-temp, radiant floor heating in new construction. I’m certain that if your market is boiler replacement, service, or other, we would still have items that would overlap and there would still be a benefit from participating.

    The up-side for me is that my market is relatively small and there are no local competitors that will see how my proposals are structured. (Not to say that my proposals don’t eventually hit the desk’s of others)

    Let me know what all of you think. If you are interested, I would be more that willing to convert “Word” documents to PDF so that they cannot be altered.

    You can include your company name and info or not, it can be “Joe-Bob’s Radiant Heat & Salad Bar” or Jane Doe’s Boiler Repair”, or of course your actual company name. It is still advertising I suppose.

    I am out of the office for the night, but it will give people time to produce a proposal they would want to post.

    If you all think this is a terrible idea, I will not be offended.




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  • Empire_2
    Empire_2 Member Posts: 2,343
    Always looking to see other formats

    Just saying That I could care less what my prices (vs) your prices are, but I know you have to protect yourself. Very nice of you to show what you are apparently proud of. As far as format??? I can operate a magnahelic, but dont know what the He~double toothpicks you are talking about.

    Thanks Mike T. Empire Mechanical Co.
  • Brad White_38
    Brad White_38 Member Posts: 40
    I think that is very generous, Paul.

    Coming from the engineering side (preparation of what now, contract documents, right?) the notion of spelling out details in writing has a universal appeal. Spending too much time answering RFI's and other non-productive work as it is, this can only help and stimulate a discussion of what makes the Best Practice. Keep you out of trouble and the best part, how you the contractor shall be paid. Had a few threads on THAT subject of late, have we not?

    My $0.02,

  • Paul Rohrs
    Paul Rohrs Member Posts: 357

    I was hoping for an open forum where all would be welcome to post their respective proposals or bids. I was offering to start only as a catalyst for others.

    Am I being to "wordy" again?



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  • [Deleted User]
    My last proposal...

    was 8 pages long. I'm afraid some people might fall asleep reading it...:-)

    But nonetheless, for the good will to the industry, I'd be willing to pitch in.

  • Paul Rohrs_4
    Paul Rohrs_4 Member Posts: 466
    Here are some small examples

    The spread sheet is the work-horse for me. I can plug in cost and quantity and it will all subtotal for me in the different categories.

    If it is a commercial job, I can take the profit, product markup, and add for incidentals by setting an appropriate percentage of material cost. I also use the MISC column to figure the necessary hours for the job, add for additional copper fittings, insulation, wiring for the job if an outside source is needed, etc.

    This spreadsheet does not coordinate with the proposal. The proposal is a 2-page document that would be typical for me for a small residential radiant floor heat job.

    Sometimes, the proposals get lengthy, but I think the Homeowner or GC can sort thru them with clarity.

    Again, these are just templates to build on. I am thinking most of you will have more questions about the spreadsheet than the proposal, so fire away.



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This discussion has been closed.