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How do I write a construction proposal?

Skip writing one manually and try Bonsai's free proposal template. Personalize and customize the: details about how you'l accomplish the project, signature, research, estimated costs, etc.

What is a proposal form in construction?

A proposal for construction work is akin to a bid to win business. It outlines the work to be done, cost of raw materials, timeline and quotes from suppliers. Bonsai's free template can help you send professional proposals that checks all the boxes for what should be included.

What's the importance of a proposal?

You can determine if a project is a good fit, whether the client's expectations are reasonable, and manageable via a construction proposal. If they aren't, your proposal gives you the chance to present the client with a workable alternative.

As an independent contractor, one of the most effective sales tools for your construction company is your proposals. Bidding on a construction project can be demanding; from doing the proper research, meeting with clients, and making precise quotes, to sending and following up on your proposal. It can really take up a lot of your time, and this is all before you even start working on the project.

So how can you make this process more efficient? Well, many professionals in the industry keep proposal templates at hand to speed-up the proposal creation process and ensure no important elements are ever missed. But you don't want to sacrifice quality for efficiency. Which is why to help you create a professional and bulletproof construction proposal template, we'll go over some of the essential information you must make sure to cover.

Note: Bonsai offers you a wide range of free templates to help you create client-winning construction proposals. All of our templates are legally vetted and verified by thousands of professionals in the industry. Get yours today!

Essential Elements of Construction Proposal Templates

When creating your own construction proposal template, there are a few guidelines you must follow. This is a business proposal, so you want to write the construction proposal in a professional way, and at the same time, making sure all information you include doesn't put you or your company at risk of loss (this can be considered a legally binding document). Consider including the following essential elements.

Contact Information

The first section of your construction proposal template is to identify all the parties involved and provide all relevant contact information. This includes the project name, full names of all parties, addresses, locations and dates. Remember to provide your own details as well.

For a more professional proposal template, add your branding elements such as your company logo, registered trademarks, website and even mention any certifications or specialized licenses you may have.

Scope of Work

Next, include a section to outline the scope of work (SOW), which is the core of your project proposal. You want to describe the building work you will be doing as part of the project providing specifics on the activities, deliverables, and phases. Make sure to include all materials, supplies, tools, and labor that will be needed and even a construction plan if you can provide one.

Take note of the certifications needed for the job, as well as the details on an annual inspection and insurance. Keep in mind, if any information is incomplete or incorrect, disagreements may arise later on in the project, and this could also have legal ramifications.

Estimated Costs & Payment terms

The third component of your construction proposal template is to provide an administrative or cost breakout. Here you should include an itemized list of the costs of the materials, tools and labor specified in the previous section, and outline how you expect the client to pay you for the work completed. You may define clear instructions as far as specific payment dates, or agree to receive payment after certain deadlines are met.

Another important element to highlight is the allowances you will need for any subcontracted work. This can include excavations, plumbing, electrical installations, etc. It is expected that the allowance amount quoted will not be 100% accurate, as there will be a subcontractor evaluation once the proposal is accepted to adjust the figures.

Project Schedule

Ideally, and when possible, you should include a project timeline to specify the start and end dates of the construction work. You can also mention any dates for equipment and material deliveries. Additionally include any other relevant dates, such as approvals, inspections, and permitting, as well as milestones like when one phase concludes and another begins.

This clarifies to the project owner how you plan to link dependent tasks, avoid bottlenecks, reach milestones, and offers a great guideline to track project progress.

Exclusions and Clarifications

Your construction proposal template must include a section to outline any exclusions from the scope of work, which are usually unforeseen or incidental costs at the construction site (unsafe wiring, structural problems, etc...). You must describe the work performed by other parties, like subcontractors and other tradespeople as well as any warranties that go beyond the parameters of your contract.

Exclusions should be as detailed as possible so that it is obvious what you will and will not be held accountable (and your warranty will not cover) for example materials provided by third parties, permit fees, and any work that directly relates to yours but is to be handled by other trades.

Alternatives (Optional)

If the project specifications are somewhat vague or you have the impression the project owner would be receptive to suggestions, you can include an 'alternatives' section to your proposal template. This means you would explain how adding or removing particular services may affect the total cost, as well as using more/less expensive materials. Basically, provide an alternative proposal with an adjusted price so your client can choose the one that best fits their needs. This is a great strategy that some construction companies use to increase the chances of getting the job.

Signature

Finally, you need a dedicated signature section where the project owner can accept your proposal. This can serve as a legally binding contract or the basis for a written agreement between the parties outlining the terms and conditions they have agreed upon (try Bonsai's free construction contract template) It's also a great place to include an expiration date for the construction proposal if applicable.

This is a basic construction proposal structure, but of course you can add extra information as you see fit. Check out our full article on how to write your own proposal for more useful tips.

Use Our Free Construction Proposal Template

If you don't have time, or are still not sure how to go about structuring your own template, you're not alone. Luckily, Bonsai offers fully-customizable free contractor proposal templates specifically created for small business owners in the construction industry. Using a pre-designed template is an efficient way to instantly create your construction bid and maintain consistency when dealing with a potential client.

Bonsai allows you to easily send the proposal form online and receive a notification when your client accepts and signs the document. Additionally, using our full range of administrative tools you can handle the entire project including end-to-end paperwork, time tracking, funds management and much more. We help you save time so you can focus on your passion, not your paperwork. Start your 14-day free trial and see for yourself!

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