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1. Offers a detailed estimate. Each task of the project needs to have a labor and material breakdown. This helps easily calculate credits or debits should the scope of work be reduced or enlarged. 2. Gives you a detailed (and realistic) schedule. Within the schedule, the contractor should show instances when he'll need your approval of samples before he can proceed. This helps you avoid a scenario where your job stops because you're on vacation. The schedule also needs to take into account any building holidays when your contractor will not be allowed to work. 3. Notifies the neighbors. The contractor should slip a letter under your neighbors doors that states the length of the project and includes his contact information should they have any questions. Many buildings have form letters for this purpose. 4. Provides on-site staff contact information. You'll want the phone number of the site supervisor in case you cannot reach the contractor directly. 5. Commits to having a supervisor always on site. I recently was hired to perform work in a Park Avenue apartment after the client fired the previous firm because they did not have a fulltime supervisor. As a result, the workers were caught smoking in the apartment. Though insurance companies and buildings don't require it, having a full-time supervisor is often the difference between a low- cost contractor and a more expensive professional contractor. Tradespeople who work without a supervisor may do lower quality work. Plus, a supervisor can stay on top of smaller things, like making sure workers use a service bathroom in the building basement rather than yours; that they don't sit on your white couch with their dirty pants, and that they're protecting existing conditions adequately. 6. Gets approval of the managing agent. No work can be performed in your apartment before your managing agent gives his/her approval. Your super may think he can give authorization, but if your building has a managing agent, he/she needs to authorize all work, including painting. This is done to protect you, as managing agents will confirm that your contractor has the necessary insurances and licenses. 7. Nails down all any necessary work permits. The New York City Department of Buildings mandates that you must obtain a work permit for almost any type of demolition work. If you get caught working without a permit, expect a minimum $5,000 fine and the potential shut down of your job for months. 8. Meets with the super. The super needs to explain to your contractor the house rules to make sure he knows what he has to do in order not to upset your neighbors or building management.

9. Disconnects or covers all smoke alarms before each day of work. Plaster or sheetrock dust can easily set off a smoke alarm, potentially triggering a visit from the fire department. 10. Protects all existing conditions. Contractors are notorious for damaging items in your home. Make sure your contractor protects your floors with a rigid board (paper will not prevent a dropped tool from damaging your floors) and completely seals the area where he is working to prevent dust from going everywhere.

Tip Sheet on the Bidding Process

Awarding a construction contract using the bid process is based primarily on cost. Program directors and members of the program's facilities planning team can use this resource in their bidding process. Quality of work, references, and the ability to complete on time and within budget play a significant role in awarding a construction contract. This tip sheet provides pointers for conducting a successful bidding process, as well as rating criteria for selecting contract professionals. Prior to hiring a contractor, a bid package and process must be developed. Minimum package requirements include:

Advertisement for Bid Form (or solicit selected contractors, using pre-qualifying criteria) Bid Forms Instructions to Bidders Form, including the method for award of contract (e.g., to the lowest bid or the lowest base bid in combination with alternates) Bid Bond Form (5 percent bid security) Contract Form Performance and Payment Bond form (100 percent) Contractor's Application for Payment Construction Contract General Conditions and Supplemental Conditions Equal Employment Opportunity (construction contracts exceeding $10,000) Bonding and Insurance Requirements Construction Contract Completion Time and Closeout Documents necessary for Substantial Completion Current Wage Determination rates according to the Davis-Bacon Act. To find out more about the Davis-Bacon Act go to the law and other related

compliance issues Tips for a Successful Process When hiring professional services, a program should develop a set of questions important to the program and the project as a basis of the proposal. Each professional, firm, or entity must provide detailed answers. Sample questions:

Are you licensed? Describe your previous experience working for this agency/program. Describe your previous experience designing and constructing Head Start or early educational facilities. Have you a certificate or specialized training in Head Start or early educational facilities design and construction? Describe your design team that will work on this specific project, including degree type, individual experience, and years with the firm, certificates or specialized training in Head Start design and construction, and number of projects currently in process. List all current projects and projects for last 3 years. Provide contact names, phone numbers, dates of completion, budget, and the number of approved construction change orders. 2. Develop rating criteria by giving different possible top weights for the questions. The rating criteria are the opportunity to establish priorities and to hire the type of professional that best fits the project and the agency. Question weights vary according to what is considered the most important qualifications of the professional, firm, or entity. For example:

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a licensed local architect may be worth 15 points previous experience working with the agency may be worth 20 points experience designing and constructing other Head Start or early education facilities may be worth 25 points having a certificate or formal training in the design and construction of Head Start or early education facilities may be worth 30 points the qualifications of the design team, their experience, and their knowledge may be worth 35 points. Previous experience may be the most important factor to the agency and may be worth 40 points.

3. If price is included as an evaluation factor and there is a request for cost information, it may be used as a screening factor to pre-select or screen out applicants that have a high cost per hour fee. 4. The next step is to develop an evaluation panel consisting of three to five people. Each

person will read, grade, and rank each proposal. Each member of the panel should have a professional understanding of the project and the construction industry and knowledge of what it takes for such a project to be successful and some members should not be affiliated with the agency or the project. 5. Total the scores and ensure that all applicants are given the same opportunity to score the maximum points available. In the criteria mentioned above (item 2), the total is 165 points. A scale of 100 or 200 points may be developed. The most important factor is that all the applicants are given the same opportunity and that no applicant is given special treatment. 6. After scoring, average the grades for each proposal to produce a final score and place the top proposals in priority order. 7. The negotiation process begins after the proposals are opened, read, and graded according to the weighted criteria. The top three to five proposals are notified that they are selected as finalists and will be contacted by phone for an appointment and presentation. Presentations are optional but recommended. They give everyone an opportunity to meet the people they will be working with, establish a person-to-person relationship, and personalize the proposals. After all the presentations have been made, a final score is tallied. The top firm is then notified of its selection to negotiate a contract. 8. The cost of professional services can vary greatly-from an hourly rate to a total cost based upon meeting specifically measured goals and objectives. However the contract is set up, the federal government requires a Firm Fixed Price Contract. An hourly rate should be included as an addendum in the event additional work is requested during the course of the project. Bid Award Awarding a construction contract using the bid process is based primarily on cost. However, cost may not be the only factor in awarding a construction or renovation contract. Quality of work, references, the ability to complete on time and within budget, and bonding are other factors that could play a role in awarding a construction contract. A construction contract does not have to be given to the lowest bidder. It must, however, be awarded to the lowest and best bidder. If the lowest bidder is not awarded the contract, it is very important that a detailed explanation is provided to the funding agency and that documentation be filed with the agency's council for any legal challenges that may be brought against the agency/program. The architect and/or project manager play a key role in documenting the reasons for awarding a contract to the lowest best bidder rather than the lowest bidder.

Punch list
A punch list is a list of tasks that need to completed to satisfy the terms of a construction contract. Such lists may be included in the contract itself, but more commonly, they are generated in the final phases of construction, as people walk around the site and note down any issues and deficiencies that need to be

resolved. They are very useful for project management, whether people are dealing with a contractor or doing the work themselves, because it's easy to miss small details which can be problematic later. The term punch list is a reference to the fact that people used to punch a hole in the paper next to tasks which had been completed. Today, these lists may be managed as simple written checklists, or even in electronic form. Electronic ones are very convenient because they can be distributed to many people and may be updated instantly, allowing everyone to see progress. This can be especially important when multiple contractors need to address the same issue.

As built
As-built drawings are the final set of drawings produced at the completion of a construction project. They include all the changes that have been made to the original construction drawings, including notes, modifications, and any other information that the builder decides should be included. While the original drawings are typically produced using computer-aided design (CAD) software, the as-built drawings usually contain handwritten notes, sketches, and changes. To understand how as-built drawings are created, it is helpful to understand the process of developing construction drawings. The owner or developer of a project will hire an architect or engineer to design the proposed building. These design professionals will use the owner's ideas and requirements to create construction drawings for the project. Once the owner has approved these plans, they are submitted to the local permitting agency to obtain building permits. This final set of plans is often known as the "permit set" or "100 percent construction drawings." As the builder begins work on the project, he will use the construction drawings to lay out walls, install ductwork, run electrical wiring, and construct the remainder of the building. During this process he may run across unforeseen conditions that require items to be installed differently than they are shown on the plans. For simple changes, he will often simply work the problem out himself and note the changes on his set of building plans. With more significant problems, however, the builder must contact the architect or owner for direction The builder will typically send an explanation of the issue in the form of a Request for Information (RFI). When the architect or owner responds, he or she may send a sketch, a full drawing, or simply a written directive. The builder will make use this response to address the problem, and will also include the changes on his as-built drawings. Throughout the project, the owner may also issue other formal change requests to the construction documents. The builder will also include these changes on the as-built drawings as a record of the owner's requests. On larger projects, all major contractors and subcontractors may maintain their own set of as-built drawings. This allows the electrician, plumber, drywall contractor, and other professionals to make changes without holding up the job to track down a single set of plans. At the end of the project, all sets of as-builts are combined into a single comprehensive set for delivery to the project owner. Most construction contracts include a requirement for as-built drawings, but it is good practice to provide these plans even when they are not required.

As-built drawings serve several important functions. They can inform the owner of locations for wiring, plumbing, and other hidden components to make repairs and maintenance easier. They are also helpful for future renovations, and can be used as a base when creating remodeling plans at a later date. The local government or permitting agency may also require a copy of the as-builts to show locations of sprinkler pipes, fire alarms, and other safety devices

Change orders In project management, a change order is a component of the change management process whereby changes in the Scope of Work agreed to by the Owner, Contractor and Architect/Engineer are implemented. A change order is work that is added to or deleted from the original scope of work of a contract, which alters the original contract amount and/or completion date. A change order may fork a new project to handle significant changes to the current project.[1] Change orders are common to most projects, and very common with large projects. After the original scope (or contract) is formed, complete with the total price to be paid and the specific work to be completed, a client may decide that the original plans do not best represent his definition for the finished project. Accordingly, the client will suggest an alternate approach. Common causes for change orders to be created are:

The project's work was incorrectly estimated The customer or project team discovers obstacles or possible efficiencies that require them to deviate from the original plan The customer or project team are inefficient or incapable of completing their required deliverables within budget, and additional money, time, or resources must be added to the project During the course of the project, additional features or options are perceived and requested. The contractor looks for work items to add to the original scope of work at a later time in order to achieve the lowest possible base bid price, but then add work items and fee back on once the contractor has been hired for the work. This is an exploitative practice.

A project manager then typically generates a change order that describes the new work to be done (or not done in some cases), and the price to be paid for this new work. Once this change order is submitted and approved it generally serves to alter the original contract such that the change order now becomes part of the contract