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Understanding My Contractors Proposal

Aren’t All Proposals the Same…. No

Over the years that we’ve been in business our own dental office tenant improvement proposal has made many changes, in looks and in content, so imagine how different proposals can look from one company to another.

There are very few “requirements” by State governing laws of items that must be included in a proposal, but there are basic things for a client to look for:

Company Name, Address and License Number

Scope of Work, location of work to be listed


Exclusions to the Scope of Work

While everyone’s eyes go immediately to the price the most important part of the proposal is the Scope of Work and additionally the exclusions to the Scope of Work.  These details are the only way you can truly compare apples to apples when requesting proposals from multiple general contractors.

The cheapest is not always the cheapest.  For example, you’ve found an experienced contractor who has worked in dental for over ten years, their proposal is $25,000 more than the contractor who has not done or only done a few dental offices during his career.

  • Plumbing in a dental office isn’t your average running of hot and cold water lines, the piping is more labor intensive than soldering lines and also requires additional certifications by the plumber in order to qualify to run medical grade plumbing.
  • Electrical lines also need medical grade material used in patient rooms. This material has additional costs to it and isn’t always factored into pricing when not using an experienced dental office contractor.
  • HVAC – dental offices require more tonnage for AC units than your average commercial office. Often what appears to be adequate to a contractor is not adequate for a dental office.

These three things alone are normally covered items in our proposal, but might not be in someone else’s proposal easily increasing our price.  Does that mean you don’t have to do these things?  You definitely have to do the plumbing and electrical or you won’t pass your rough-in inspections.  This will equate to a change order and often a delay in the timing of your project if the contractor isn’t adding the requirements until inspection time.  HVAC, the proper tonnage is important, who wants the dentist sweating while they are working?  Adding tonnage after the fact can be extremely costly.

We have learned a lot during the years we’ve put in building dental offices and we love to share our knowledge, contact us if you have questions about a proposal!