Jim Klinger, concrete construction specialist The Voice Newsletter November 2021

Full disclosure: A pat on the back and a tip of the hat to Vince Bailey, who writes the “Estimators Edge” column that appears in the monthly AWCI (Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry) publication “Construction Dimensions”. In addition to offering estimating guidance, Bailey’s columns typically chronicle the various afflictions that can plague intrepid drywall “bidmeisters” who strive to forecast the future cost of work whilst relentlessly subjected to diamond-crushing upper management, industry, and now supply-chain pressures applied from every possible direction. Bailey’s wry sense of humor and sidelong glances at the life of a fellow construction industry estimator/project manager are greatly appreciated and widely circulated here among the ASCC Technical Division staff.

Assume for a moment that you are a concrete construction estimator. Like any competent, professional “bidmeister” your work product has been diligently prepared in accordance with the two main industry standards that govern your trade, namely ASTM E2516-11 “Standard Classification for Cost Estimate Classification System” and ASTM E2168-10 (16) “Standard Classification for Allowance, Contingency, and Reserve Sums in Building Construction Estimating”. You have scoured, devoured, and completely understand all the construction bid documents, completed your quantity survey, reviewed a preliminary project schedule, and priced the concrete scope according to your customary, proprietary format. Next…the real work begins…crafting the actual bid proposal package in the limited time available.

To prepare for this task, you have reviewed the relevant sections of ACI 301-20 and ACI 117-10; since those specifications can easily be (and often are) incorporated into concrete construction contracts with one simple sentence. More importantly, you have re-examined the priceless advice contained within the 44 ASCC Position Statements; crucial documents that are renowned for preventing red ink from infecting a concrete contractor’s monthly job cost reports. Armed with this information, you fill out the bid form, write the price proposal letter, and send it off to the customer with not a minute to spare…hoping all of the bases were covered. However…

Almost any veteran ASCC member will tell you that incomplete preparation of bid proposal qualifications (in other words inclusions, exclusions, assumptions, carve-outs and other strategic adjustments to weasel words in the construction documents) can undermine even the most precisely assembled estimate. There is nothing worse than walking away from a jobsite meeting after it has been demonstrated (usually in annoying fashion by others) that you are now the proud owner of a costly, unfunded scope of work due to an inadvertent error or omission in your own proposal language.
Here at the ASCC Technical Division we sometimes handle cases where fellow concrete contractors find themselves in an unfortunate financial situation related to insufficient proposal language. During the past year, we have been assembling a collection of sample bid proposals prepared by ASCC colleagues that contain examples of qualification language intended to avoid costly and unnecessary contractual booby-traps. Over the course of the next few months, we will share with you the best examples we have found that could be considered for possible inclusion in almost any concrete construction proposal. This month, we present typical exclusion and assumption items, limited to 25 of each flavor due to limited space. Of course, like with anything else, each line item must be considered on a case-by-case basis.

N.B.: One of the most beneficial features of our humble non-profit organization is that ASCC members actively and generously help other members to be the best concrete contractors we can be. In that respect, ASCC is wildly successful. With that in mind, your Technical Division would appreciate it if any members wish to share with us example bid proposals or other documents you have used to defuse booby-traps and/or time bombs that might be lurking somewhere in a contract due to an inadvertent error or omission. All such documents will be kept anonymous and confidential.

Bid Proposal Qualifications: Sample Exclusion Items

1.    All costs associated with crack repairs of any kind.
2.    All costs associated with any concrete testing and inspection.
3.    All costs associated with test cylinder curing boxes, handling of cylinders.
4.    All costs associated with concrete testing shown in IBC Table 1705.3.
5.    Supply of anchor bolts, embed plates, misc. metals to be set in concrete.
6.    Survey control. Assume provided by others twice at each floor level.
7.    All costs associated with toilet facilities, dumpsters, parking, temporary electric power.
8.    All costs associated with testing for flatness, levelness, F-numbers.
9.    Clean up of trash and debris generated by others.
10.    Site dewatering, geotechnical dewatering, nuisance dewatering, rainwater removal.
11.    MEP coordination drawings, MEP penetration coordination, MEP coordination meetings, MEP BIM meetings, MEP coordination virtual meetings.
12.    MEP or other trade penetrations not clearly dimensioned on structural drawings.
13.    Lime treatment, lean concrete, soil backfill or other unsuitable soil remediation.
14.    All work outside the main building footprint.
15.    Fall protection, safety covers over penetrations at metal decks.
16.    Fall protection at elevated formed slabs after shoring has been stripped.
17.    Welding of reinforcing steel, couplers not shown on structural drawings.
18.    Surveys, as-builts of metal decks and supporting substrate.
19.    Demolition, hazardous material remediation, rock excavation.
20.    Curbs not shown on architectural or structural drawings.
21.    Edge forms, pour stops, blockouts at metal deck slabs.
22.    Shoring of metal decks, extra concrete due to deck deflection on pour day.
23.    Clean-up of all concrete leakage through vented or unvented metal decks.
24.    All costs associated with post-installed anchors, drilled-in anchors.
25.    Winterization of jobsite access ways, vehicle tire wash stations.

Bid Proposal Qualifications: Sample Assumption Items

1.    Building pad is prepared to include all elevation changes, slopes and contours within plus or minus 1/10 foot from design subgrade. Pad grading to be professionally certified prior to turnover.
2.    All floors are surveyed by others for top of slab finish quality. Test reports to be transmitted to us within 72 hours of concrete placement.
3.    Assume normal work hours, 8-hour days, Monday through Friday. No OT or holidays.
4.    Assume all embedded items are furnished by others, complete with approved setting drawings and templates for each column location consistent with the level of setting tolerance accuracy expected. Templates to be 1/8 inch steel, minimum.
5.    Assume progress payments shall be made on a monthly basis and will be payable 30 days from submission of monthly progress billing. This proposal does not recognize nor agree to any
“pay when paid” terms.
6.    Assume safe access to metal decks is furnished and maintained by others.
7.    Assume all access to the work (e.g. permits, street closures, encroachments, concrete pump/readymix truck access, removal of power lines, etc.) is provided in a timely manner by others.
8.    Assume we cooperate with the test agency regarding concrete sampling. We assume all curing boxes, temporary water and electrical power, protection (sheds) and all cylinder handling and initial curing is by others. We assume we have no links in the test specimen chain of custody.
9.    We assume we own “protection” of the work until the end of the curing period defined by and consistent with ACI 301.
10.    We assume the Owner is carrying an allowance for crack repairs, if needed.
11.    We assume the Owner is carrying an allowance for floor grinding or floor filling (e.g. Ardex or similar) to make slabs compatible with follow-on flooring.
12.    We assume readymix batch-to-placement time is 120 minutes, not 90 minutes.
13.    We assume our scope is structural concrete only as shown in the architectural and structural drawings. We assume any and all concrete shown on MEP, Civil, Site, Landscape, etc. drawings is furnished and installed by others.
14.    We assume our wall and column forms can be removed next day after placement.
15.    We assume our approved shop drawings constitute adequate “as-builts”. We assume posting of project RFIs, bulletins, etc. is to be by others.
16.    We assume adequate space for our trailer and supporting Conex box is provided by others, along with electrical power.
17.    We assume adequate temporary task lighting is provided and maintained below formed and stripped floors by others.
18.    We assume all-weather access to the work is provided by others.
19.    We assume all trade coordination is by others.
20.    We assume all furnish and install of sleeves, boxes, inserts, etc. required by other trades is by others.
21.    We assume adequate electrical power for small tools and vibrators is provided at each framed and finished floor level within mutually agreed upon distance from the work.
22.    We assume we get the opportunity to review steel embed and baseplate shop drawings for bolt hole sizes, nailer holes, grout vent provisions, etc. prior to fabrication.
23.    We assume all curing is by spray-on curing compound only. We are carrying no extra cost for wet-cure nor extra time on the schedule for wet-cure.
24.    We assume shoring and lagging is placed 2 inches maximum “out” and zero inches “in”.
All shoring and lagging as-built surveys are to be by others.
25.    We assume all exposed nails, staples, etc. placed by other trades are removed and patched from slab and beam soffits by others.

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