Tips to Improve Your Construction Bids


by Paul Wheaton
June 6, 2024

Read Time: Less than 3 Mins
Last Modified: June 11, 2024

The accuracy of your bid is crucial to not only winning the job but also determining expected costs and forecasting your profitability. The bid includes the quantities and prices collected in the takeoff and the estimate so precise information is necessary from the start.

Collecting and organizing this data can be time-consuming and difficult. To make your job easier, we’ve outlined some tips to help you build better bids to win jobs and maximize your profits.

1. Review Project Guidelines

The ultimate success of a bid hinges on knowing exactly what the project owner is expecting before creating your proposal. A few things to keep in mind are:

  • Price: In some situations, an owner may have a specific price in mind, and it’s important to make sure you can deliver the project within their budget while still maintaining your desired profit margin.
  • Materials: The type of materials the owner wants on the job, your ability to source them and the cost of them are crucial considerations when building a winning bid.
  • Timeline: Review your project workload to determine if you can complete this project within the owner’s expected timeline.

Understanding these requirements will help you and your team decide if this opportunity is right for you. If it is, you can use the knowledge you’ve gathered to shape your takeoff and estimate and meaningfully justify costs within your bid.

2. Use Construction Estimating Software for Fast, Accurate Bidding

Construction estimating software, sometimes referred to as construction bidding software, automates calculations to provide pinpoint accuracy when creating your estimates. Some construction estimating software also offers support for digital, on-screen takeoff, meaning you can upload your project blueprint and draw exact point-to-point measurements to determine the exact amount of material needed.

Some estimating software — like McCormick — can also track change orders and automatically update your estimating information to accurately represent these adjustments.

3. Research Trade-Specific Suppliers

Trade-specific suppliers have the widest selection of materials tailored to the job you’re bidding. You can easily determine the quality of materials the supplier is offering and compare it to the quality and pricing offered by other trade-specific suppliers. Additionally, a trade-specific supplier is better equipped to answer your questions about the materials to help you make the best choice.

4. Keep Estimates and Takeoff in a Centralized Location

One of the largest challenges of building winning bids is maintaining accurate records and a large aspect of that involves having access to the most recent version of an estimate. One common way to ensure you’re accessing the right information is by storing it in one digital location, like in a construction estimating software. You can also update your information throughout the bidding process and easily access the most up-to-date version of your bid within a digital dashboard.


5. Reevaluate Your Bidding Process

You should always be looking for ways to improve your bids to gain a competitive advantage. It’s crucial that you review past won and lost bids, evaluate your current material suppliers and research construction estimating software to help you determine areas of improvement. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be well on your way to the path to better construction bidding.

And if you’re ready to enhance your bidding capabilities, check out McCormick! The nation’s leader in estimating and digital takeoff software for MEP contractors.

Share Article

Make Your Inbox Smarter
Keep on current news in the construction industry. Subscribe to free eNews!