1. Industry
Send to a Friend via Email

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Bidding Commercial Construction Projects


Construction crew looking over blue prints
Jetta Productions/Iconica/Getty Images

How to Bid Commercial Projects

Many people interested in the construction industry asks , how to bid construction. There is no set way on how to bid construction; but coming up with the most accurate cost estimate and developing the lowest bid is a tried and true method.

The construction bid process is the process in which a general contractor (and, in some cases, the architect), is selected to work on a construction project. In some cases, the only thing that matters in the construction bid process is presenting the lowest price to the owner; in other cases, the contractor's qualifications are as important, if not more important, than having the lowest dollar amount.

How to Bid Construction Projects

Knowing how to bid construction jobs makes the difference between success and bankruptcy for a construction contractor. If a contractor does not know how to bid construction jobs, they will have no chance at ever turning a profit.

In today's marketplace, the best way on how to bid construction jobs is to allow a capable estimator with years of experience work with a computer program to come up with the best (and lowest) possible cost. Construction bid software can be purchased by a general contractor and installed on their computers, or, increasingly, it can be web-based. Construction bid software can be very general, covering the entire project, or it can be highly specific, depending on the contractor's needs. There are programs aimed at certain segments of the construction industry, from residential, general or heavy construction. There are programs for carpentry estimating; conceptual estimating; concrete estimating and insurance claims estimating, as well as any miscellaneous estimating work that needs to be done. To enhance the online construction bid, there are software programs specializing in plumbing, piping and HVAC, as well as repair and remodeling tasks.

The benefits of construction bid software are substantial. Using software programs that develop budgets and establish cost baselines, general contractors are able to keep track of the financial status on a daily or hourly basis as opposed to, far less frequently, when the work was being done by an employee. All budgetary information is stored in one location and is easily accessed, contrary to when it was manually placed in separate files. The likelihood of errors is also far less than it would be if the computations were done by hand. Having people and machines that know how to bid construction projects will be a major step in ensuring commercial success.

Construction Bid Proposal

A construction bid proposal is the basis on which many construction companies are hired to serve as the primary contractor on a project. Without a construction bid proposal, there would be no way to establish the overall cost of a project, which would throw the project and the contractor-client relationship into chaos.

In the traditional method of selecting a contractor, an architectural firm is hired by the property owner to develop a design for the building or project. Once that design is completed and approved by the client, the architect then puts the design out for construction contract bids. While the architect may want to know more information about a contractor than their price, the bottom line is the primary reason for the selection of most contractors. In some cases, the bid is the only thing that is presented and the lowest bid gets the project.

There are plenty of ways to judge a construction bid proposal, beyond the simple baseline price. With the design-bid construction method, construction bid proposals cover more than just the price to build. The design-build method combines the architect and contractor as a unified team, where they present not only their price to build the project, but their architectural design as well. A design-build construction bid proposal includes an all-inclusive price, including the cost of design and construction. Design-build supporters believe this method is not only more efficient, but leads to lower costs as well.

  1. About.com
  2. Industry
  3. Construction
  4. Construction Management
  5. Bidding Commercial Construction Projects

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.