Published on 10th March 2023
Bidding on construction jobs may seem daunting, but you can achieve success in the bidding process with helpful guidance.
It is believed that the chances of winning a construction bid rise when you submit the lowest yet most competitive bid. However, the lowest bidder doesn’t always win because factors other than cost are crucial to awarding the contract.
Although it is a common perception that the lowest bid earns the contract (in most cases), it is always in your best interest to add value to your bid instead of focusing on price alone.
Keep reading this post for the top 10 tips on bidding construction jobs.
The construction bidding process typically involves posting advertisements for soliciting bids or sending bid invitations, which include information on the scope of work, time of completion, prequalification details, etc.
Generally, the Invitation to Bid (ITB is also known as “Invitation for Bid” (IFB)) contains instructions on project-specific plans and specifications, which in turn provide necessary guidance to prepare and submit a bid proposal package.
After downloading the tender documents and reviewing the project based on various criteria, contractors or sub-contractors submit bids to the client or general contractor. Subsequently, the most competitive bid wins and is converted into a commitment.
In the context of construction bidding, a bid request (also known as a “request for proposal” (RFP)) is a call for pricing made by an individual or organization to get the best deal from multiple contractors for a project. Apart from a construction bid, bids can be requested for bonds and general services, such as landscaping and transportation.
Commonly, the bid request is part of an open bidding or closed bidding process. Whether the bid request is open or closed, bid opening is often done in public, wherein the names and prices of the bidders responding to a bid solicitation are publicly read and recorded.
Here are the top 10 tips to help you get closer to the winning bid in the construction industry:
Although there are several construction bidding websites to choose from, it is worth your time and investment to select the one that saves you time, money, and resources.
Blackridge Research & Consulting’s Global Project Tracker helps contractors, subcontractors, construction managers, EPC companies, and other construction professionals optimize their winning potential in various ways, such as:
It may not be possible to materialize every contract opportunity that comes your way. Turning down a job, if you need to, makes sense if the job you’re bidding on does not fit into your schedule or match your expertise.
Choosing your projects wisely instead of hastily committing to projects earns you respect and credibility in the long term.
It is always better to follow up with the project owner for detailed project information. If you have any doubts or questions on project delivery or project specifications, it is recommended to sort these out at the earliest to maximize your chances of winning the bid.
Bid instructions usually contain specifics of how the bid should be completed and submitted by the stated deadline.
Failure to comply with instructions to bidders may result in bid disqualification or rejection—this post shows you how to avoid 15 common construction bidding mistakes.
As construction management is a complex process, it is essential to utilize construction market data to mitigate risks, forecast project needs, and ensure favorable outcomes. For example, estimating data enables project estimators to better understand trends in bid wins and cost estimates.
Calculating construction job costs gives you a good idea of how much your bid should be, so you can avoid overbidding or underbidding the job.
Making successful bids also requires careful evaluation of subcontractors. Various types of subcontractors offer professional services, so you can identify and screen prospective subcontractors through your prequalification process.
Prequalifying subcontractors ensures that your estimates are based on available and qualified subcontractors.
Inaccurate takeoff often results in losing your bid on a construction project.
Consider investing in construction takeoff and estimating software for submitting complete, competitive, and profitable bids in less time. Such software is particularly helpful if yours is a small business with fewer employees than other construction businesses.
A professional bid is appealing and competitive, making you stand out from qualified applicants bidding on a coveted construction job.
However, creating a balanced bid that is not too low or pricey is a challenging task.
Therefore, you should work on your bid submission to make it as accurate and detailed as possible. You can include details, such as relevant company information, previous project history, and a cost estimate based on the bill of quantities and blueprints.
After submitting your bid, don’t rush the client to push a sale. The time to decide on the winning bid depends on the complexity and scale of the project.
Be prepared to answer any questions or make further requests. Being polite, precise, and professional without adding pressure gives you a potential advantage over others.
Casting a wider net for construction work helps, especially if you are new to the construction business.
Depending on your experience, resources, and skills, you can work on a variety of available construction projects once you gain access to qualified leads for your business.
You can find tips on how to get more construction project leads here.
Finding construction projects to bid on is essential in sustaining your business and demonstrating your expertise to potential clients.
If you are looking for the best bidding jobs in construction (residential, commercial, and others), contact us.
Our team is ready to help you discover the most comprehensive range of construction projects available for bidding.
A bid bond is a debt secured for a construction job or a similar bid-based selection process. It is a form of assurance, which provides a guarantee to the project owner that the winning bidder will complete the work under stated obligations on a project.
Furthermore, several public construction contracts necessitate securing contractors’ or subcontractors’ bids by providing bonds that offer legal and financial protection to the client.
The bid-hit ratio is a calculation that shows the rate at which a bidder successfully bids or proposes on projects.
For example, if a bidder bids on 5 jobs and wins 1, then the bid-hit ratio would be 5:1. It represents the number of winning bids or proposals out of every 10 submissions and indicates the effectiveness of the bidding strategy.
A bid proposal is a document that outlines key components, such as the client and contractor details, products or services, project scope, cost (or pricing), and time frame to complete a specific project.
A well-written bid proposal demonstrates a contractor’s or a construction company’s expertise and eligibility for a construction job.
A bid document consists of items, including the invitation to bid, bid forms, drawings, specifications, and addenda.
On the other hand, a contract document includes bond and insurance requirements, plans (or drawings), and building construction specifications (related to material, construction methods, warranty requirements, and workmanship).
While bid documents apply before signing the contract, contract documents apply after signing the contract agreement by the contractor and the owner.
Construction contracts vary according to a project’s specific needs. Some of the well-known types of construction contracts include:
As a construction contract is a legally binding agreement between the contractor and the owner, it is a necessary instrument to outline the scope of work, duration, duties, deliverables, risks, and legal rights applicable to both parties.
A construction estimator is responsible for estimating and calculating the overall costs of a new or existing construction project.
Construction estimators may work on a variety of architectural, civil engineering, electrical, mechanical, and structural construction projects.
For example, construction cost estimators estimate the amount of money, resources, and time required to complete a project on schedule and within budget.
A general contractor or GC (also known as the “main contractor” or “prime contractor”) oversees a construction project from start to finish—from providing all of the equipment, labor, and materials to hiring subcontractors and managing clients and vendors.
In short, a GC is responsible for the day-to-day oversight of a construction site and the overall coordination of a project.
Construction bidding software or bid management software automates the creation and submission of construction project proposals. Such software aids in analyzing a bid package by components, such as cost, estimated completion time, and subcontractor and labor specifications.
For example, you can use the Bid Express service to submit error-free bids from the comfort of your home or office.
On the other hand, construction estimating software automates the estimating process and increases profitability with accurate and competitive estimating of the quantities and cost of materials, equipment, and labor.
For example, you can use pre-built templates to create bids instead of filling out forms, which may make the process slow and prone to errors.
You can visit the official websites of construction bidding and estimating software companies to request a demo or learn more about the pricing options.
Bidding on government contracts requires a meticulous approach involving the following steps:
Blackridge Research & Consulting’s Global Project Tracker helps you identify commercial construction leads and get access to trusted insights and timely updates.
Schedule a demo to learn how to gain early knowledge of commercial construction projects (including private and public sector/public works projects), identify significant points of contact, and win more business with data-driven project intelligence.