Tips to Writing a Better Bid for a Construction Request for Proposal

Tips to Writing a Better Bid for a Construction Request for Proposal

Writing bids for a construction request for proposal can be long and tedious. Each bid is unique and requires a new set of takeoffs and measurements. But writing a great bid will increase the work your company does and can become easier with time. Here are some tips to write a better bid for a construction request for proposal.

construction request for proposal
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1. Project Overview

The first part of a construction request for proposal is the project overview. This is a brief description which should explain what they want to happen and address the key pain points. If a building is being retrofitted then the pain points, or what must happen, would be related to that. The main point is that it is brief and crystal clear.


The project overview is the first place estimators look when viewing a construction request for proposal. This is how they know whether or not the project will be a good fit for your company. When starting your bid, it’s important to make it clear that you thoroughly understand the work outlined in the rest of the document.


2. Location

The next section of a construction request for proposal will include many of the important details and descriptions. The first part of that section should be the location and its details. It’s impossible for people to write bids if they don’t know anything about the location.


When writing a bid, it’s important for the estimators to list the location and notes. While the location notes in the request for proposal are useful, the estimators should have their own location notes. Because it’s difficult to know the true challenges of the location without visiting it first. Site visits unearth excellent details to address in your bid.


3. Detailed Project Description

The next important part of a construction request for proposal will include a detailed project description. This should have the size, purpose, features, and any other details that will make or break a project. The owner or person preparing the request for proposal will include detailed images and drawings here.  Without images and drawings, it’s difficult for subcontractors to create an accurate bid.


For estimators, it’s important to go through all the documents because sometimes they are extremely usefully and detailed. For example, the documents usually detail the measurements, like if it is in feet or yards. They can also explain the scale or might require bidders to not scale just in case.


4. Dates

Almost as important as the location is the key dates. Whoever prepares the request for proposal has to include the start and end dates, or at least when the start date is planned. In construction, the true end date isn’t always the actual end date. But subcontractors and contractors must know how flexible the dates are to effectively bid.


Knowing whether or not the start and end date are subject to change is extraordinarily important for subcontractors. This is how estimators and project managers plan out their schedules, determine whether people need to be hired, and ensure equipment will be ready.


5. Pricing

For project owners and construction request for proposal creators, pricing is important. But how subcontractors figure out price is determined by the work needed, supplies, crew, equipment costs and other factors. To get a better bid, it’s important to list any specific requests or specific items.


When owners list requested items or very specific items it gives subcontractors the ability to give specific pricing. This allows estimators to give better estimates, as well as set a better budget. It also helps reduce change orders, since any specifics are worked out at the beginning.


6. Requirements

There must be a requirements section in a construction request for proposal. If an owner would prefer specific qualifications, references, past experience and more, it must be set forth in the request for proposal. If that isn’t listed, companies will not know whether or not they qualify for the project.


It’s crucial to always check the requirements before preparing a bid. Sometimes the project requirements will disqualify companies instantly. Which is why it’s so important to read the entire request for proposal before preparing a bid. This can easily highlight your company and set you ahead of others.


Bid writing is tedious, but it is crucial for bring revenue to your company. Knowing which elements will be in most requests for proposals can help increase the work that the company does. It also increases the ease with which estimators will be able to create bid documents.