If you work in the construction industry, creating and submitting bids for projects is likely a large part of how you acquire jobs. Winning bids aren't always the ones that come in at the lowest price, either. A potential customer wants to see professionalism, clarity of plan, and feel confident that your construction team can do the job right. Whipping up a bid in MS Word or Excel is not likely to cut it.

Skynova's bid software can help you create a professional and complete construction project bid proposal in minutes. Not only will the bid be printable or exportable in multiple formats, including PDF, but it can also be sent easily via email, and customers can view a private URL, allowing them to accept or decline the bid easily.

And once the bidding process is complete, the accepted bid can be converted into an invoice, eliminating additional paperwork headaches and letting you focus more of your efforts on getting the job done. If you're in construction, check out the template we've made below just for your business:

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Bid #
Bid Date
Item Description Unit Price Quantity Amount
Delete Line
Delete Line
Amount Paid

How to Create a Construction Bid

Skynova's bid template makes construction estimating easy with a professional-looking bid proposal form without needing to spend hours on formatting or hiring a graphic artist to do the work for you. Simply follow the steps below, and you'll be on your way in no time.

  1. Enter Contact Information Associated With Your Business and Customer

    The first items to enter in the bid form is your company name and company address. It is important that the potential customer be able to quickly and easily identify who the bid came from. The last thing you want is your bid getting confused with junk mail or a spam email and being disregarded because the customer couldn't identify who sent it or what it was.

    Make sure your customer's complete name and address appear on the form, as well. This helps with record-keeping and keeping track of the prospective customer's contact information if you need to resend or reach out.

    If the construction bid form is sent electronically instead of by physical mail, you can leave the mailing address off in favor of email addresses. Consider adding phone numbers, as well, so both you and the prospective customer can contact each other easily should any questions arise during any part of the bidding process.

    As with all entries in the construction bid proposal form, be sure to check over names and addresses for errors. Errors can lead to an inability to make contact, and it looks unprofessional.

  2. Show Your Business Logo

    Many construction companies distinguish themselves by having a logo. This logo might adorn business cards, company vehicles, or stationary and serves as an easy way for customers to recognize the brand.

    If you would like to add your company's logo to the form template, Skynova's construction proposal template makes it easy to do so. Simply select "Logo" under the customization options at the top on the bid template page. You will then be able to upload an image file with your logo on it.

  3. Create and Enter a Bid Number

    A bid number uniquely identifies a particular bid. Assigning one is important for tracking and record-keeping purposes. Consider that you may create multiple bids for a single customer over time, for example. Having a different bid number assigned to each one makes it easy to specify which bid is being referenced when interacting with that customer.

    There are no rules for assigning bid numbers. You may choose to simply label your first bid as "#00001" and the second bid as "#00002" and so on, or you may wish to start the counting from a higher number to avoid the appearance of being new to the business. For example, you might label your first bid as "#1001" and count up from there.

    If you would also like to add a purchase order (P.O.) number to the bid, you can do so by selecting "P.O. #" from the customization options menu at the top of the bid template page.

  4. Enter a Bid Date

    The next field to fill out in the bid form is the bid date. This entry is pretty self-explanatory, and for most general contractor proposals, it is the date the bid is created. However, if the bid will be sent to the potential customer on a later date, or if there is a specific bid deadline date, those dates may be used instead. Whichever date you choose to enter, it is best practice to be consistent with this choice across all bids created.

  5. Compute the Cost of Materials and Add to an Itemized List

    One of the most important parts of creating a contractor bid is accurately determining a cost estimate for all supplies and materials that will be needed. Each item should be labeled clearly with the correct price and quantity.

    When entering the description of a material, consider that the prospective customer needs to tell what it is, so using a code or model number only is not advisable. Consider including a brand name if relevant and dimensions for added specificity.

    For example, instead of just writing "concrete mix," it is better to put "Quikrete 5000 commercial grade concrete mix, 50 lb." You might even consider adding a model or SKU number if it would be helpful for your record-keeping.

    In the unit price field, enter the estimated cost of a single item, then in the quantity field, enter the number of that item you expect to need. The total amount will automatically populate in the amount field.

    Once you have entered all materials that you expect to use during the construction process, double-check the list for errors or omissions.

  6. Compute and Add All Labor Costs

    How you enter labor costs may vary, depending on the type of job or the construction contract you anticipate entering with the customer. If you are charging a single flat fee for labor, you can enter a statement to that effect in the description field, enter the total amount as the unit price, and set the quantity to "1."

    You may alternatively charge a fixed hourly rate or even different hourly rates for different types of jobs, depending on the scope of work involved. For each hourly labor charge, enter an appropriate description, the hourly rate in the unit price field, and the estimated number of hours in the quantity field.

  7. Include Any Discounts You Are Offering the Customer

    Offering discounts can be a great way to attract customers. Whether you are offering a new customer discount, referral discount, loyalty discount, or any other type, be sure to include it in the itemized list.

    Briefly describe the discount and enter the discount amount in the unit price field and the quantity (probably "1") in the quantity field. By selecting "Discount" from the item menu, this quantity will be subtracted from the total instead of added.

  8. Add Important Notes or Additional Information

    The "Note" section is your opportunity to summarize, clarify, or add additional information to the bid form. For example, you may wish to include an estimated work schedule or project timeline so that the customer can get a sense of how long you expect the construction project to take.

    You may also want to clarify any items in the list that might be ambiguous or for which it might not be clear why they are needed. Other details, such as whether the project is contingent on permits or how long the quoted bid price is good for, are also important.

    The note section is a place where you can add a personal touch or closing remarks, as well. Tell the prospective customer that you look forward to the opportunity to work with them, consider adding the names and contact information of the project managers, and so on.

Additional Tips for Construction Bids

As you begin the planning process for creating your bid, check out the tips below to make sure you don't forget anything.

  • Check on Subcontractor Pricing

    Depending on the construction project's scope, you may need to bring on subcontractors as part of the process. Don't guess what rates these contractors will charge. Do the legwork and call around for both the pricing and availability of subcontractors who specialize in the relevant areas needed.

  • Do the Math Twice

    The last thing you want is an egregious math error leaving your bid wildly inaccurate, and you have to draft a change order. It's a good idea to check all calculations for materials and hours twice. You might even consider having another person run the numbers and compare results.

  • Ask for Clarification and Take Measurements

    If you start generating a bid with incomplete information, the inaccuracies can pile up quickly. Don't be afraid of contacting the prospective customer for additional details about what they are expecting and looking for. If possible, visit the site and take direct measurements so that you can get a better sense of how much material will be needed.

  • Verify Applicable Building Codes and Check If Permits Are Needed

    Never overlook the step of checking local building codes for anything that falls under the scope of the proposed job. This can affect which materials you may need to plan on purchasing. For certain projects, permits may be needed, and you should discuss the process of getting the right permits with the customer along with associated costs and possible delays involved as a result.

Get Started Creating Free Construction Bids With Skynova

Skynova is here to help you create professional bids in no time. Our bid proposal template is easily modifiable and adaptable to your specific needs and can be sent to customers easily and efficiently.

Check out Skynova's additional offerings, as well, including construction estimate templates, business proposal templates, and software products, which allow you to easily generate expense and financial reports. Let Skynova get your paperwork on the right foot today.

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