Dos Osos Timber Works - Timber Framing California

Dos Osos Timber Works, Inc. Construction Production


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The first myth we wish to dispel is the infamous “contractors” discount. This used to be a substantial part of the homebuilding industry, today it only exists in part to those whom volume is close to State or Federal institutional spending.

Many sub-contractors are forced to purchase their basic materials at the “Big Box” retailers because they’re cheaper than their usually reliable and consistent supply houses. Most “home owners” can get supplies very close to, or exactly the same, as most small and mid-size construction operations pay.

With the extensive computer driven inventory pricing common to all retail and wholesale operations a quote for materials is usually only valid for a few days at best. Established Contractors willing or able to produce the original invoices charged them are being as fair as possible.

Think of the “Catch of the Day” at a good seafood restaurant. it is usually “market price”.

Construction Companies do not make their entire incomes or even careers on a single project. If they are, “worth their salt” they are constantly, “working themselves out of a job”. If the company has been in existence for a while and has a level track record they have developed a process that works for them.

Competitive bids are only as good as the specifics of the project. The less detail, the larger margin for costly errors and inaccurate bids.

Skill levels of qualified craftsmen (and women) that produce the same product, in the same geographic area will always be within a few dollars of each other due to the “costs of living” common to all of us.

A good barometer for comparing Construction Companies, ironically, should not be only by previous projects and interviews of those clients, (nobody in their right mind will include a problem client) but interviews with the sub-contractors chosen to work on the projects.

Did they get paid on time? Were they worked with or feel worked? The whole is only as good as the sum of it’s parts. Most trades people are like ”Labador Retrivers” just throw the ball for me and I’m happy to bring it back.. They are also in a better position to be candid about the different organizations they work with. Remember they do generate all of their income from one contracting organization.

Clients should pay for the organization of their project, (at a minimum). Did past projects flow from one phase to another smoothly?, if they did, the contractor is respected among their own peer group and can count on that to provide accurate scheduling through the construction process.

Sub-Contractor’s give the better running organizations priority because it’s the “Bread and Butter” part of their annual incomes. Clients should be paying for, in part, the respect the local industry has in their chosen contractor.

It is well advised to look on the process of the building of a “personal project” as a short term marriage . It has at best, all the elation and shortcomings of such an agreement . It is good to remember that as soon as one party to the agreement does not care to continue the arrangement (or contract in this case) is best to pursue that separation for the good of the project ( and personal sanity).


Dos Osos Timberworks has set up three types of contracts that we feel cover the categories the majority of our projects fall into.

Fixed price structure. Cost determined from approved plans and material specifications provided. Where finish material specifications are not provided, allowances for those areas will be substituted. Any and all change orders or deviations from the approved plans must be in writing before commencement. Any additional costs incurred with change orders will be in addition to the original contract price. Draws on the contract price will be set prior to commencement of the project.

This type of proposal is best suited for projects whose overall value does not exceed $100,000.00 and all projects which Dos Osos Timberworks, Inc. is a sub-contractor.

Time and Materials. Estimated costs determined from approved plans and material specifications provided. All sub-contractor’s bids from approved plans are included as part of the contractual agreements. Billings are the Ist and the 15th and include overhead and management percentages. All labor outside of sub-contractors invoices are documented with job-site “time keeping” devices and become part of each billing. All original invoices from sub-contractor’s and material providers are provided with each billing. Parties to this form of construction contract equally share the risks of the projects unknowns.

This type of proposal is best suited for extensive renovation or remodel projects where exact labor and material costs necessary for the projects completion are impossible to pre-determine. For expenditures up to $750,000.00

Construction Management Services. Essentially similar to the basic time and material contract outlined in Process” B”. A fixed fee of some form (monthly or weekly) is determined for overhead and management costs.

This proposal is reserved for projects which estimated costs will be greater than $750.000.00. Overhead and management percentages will be negotiated (reduced) according to the overall scope of the project.

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