← Back to Blog

Architectural request for proposals - How to submit winning bids

minute read
Try and customize our pre-made proposal template for architects for free here.
Try and customize our pre-made proposal template for architects for free here.
Try it free
Updated on:
December 12, 2022
December 12, 2022
Try and customize our pre-made proposal template for architects for free here.
Discover Bonsai all-in-one business management software.

An organization issues an architect request for proposal (RFP) to find the best company to supply architectural services. In other words, a RFP is a request for a contractor to provide information related to the proposal for a construction contract. This form has a series of specifications and questions which is effectively a questionnaire outlining an architectural project.

This article will cover how to write a proposal for architectural services so you can land more clients.

Note: If you want to submit request for proposals today, try Bonsai's free templates. Our architect proposal template has all the key details to customize so you can land more business. Claim your 7-day free trial here.

How Do You Write An Architectural Proposal?

An RFP seeks proposals from qualified firms or architectural services for a particular job. You can write an architect proposal by hand or customize a template on a document. Later in the article, we'll review what to include in an architectural services proposal. However, we'll go over the best (and fastest) way to start sending service requests.

Bonsai's FREE Proposal Template For Architectural Services

Hands down, Bonsai is the best way to create proposals to send to potential companies. Our proposal templates are professionally designed, easy to edit, has a complete structure and best of all--cost nothing to use.

Whether you are an interior design architect, builder, or construction contractor, Bonsai has proposal templates for each role. Our software also has templates for invoices, contracts, and more is easy to set up. It takes the whole headache away from the proposal process.

Here's what information our templates include.

What should be included in a request for proposal?

Although there are many distinct parts to an RFP, three stand out in terms of value and time savings: identifying your needs, choosing your communication plan, and developing the assessment criteria.

RFPs include all the relevant information like:

Background information and successful past projects

Here you'll include stats about your firm i.e. number of staff, registered architects on your team, honors and rewards, etc). Focus on the benefits your architectural services can deliver for building the project amongst your competitors.

Detailed description /scope of work for the project.

Typically include references, a statement of conflict of interest, a brief overview of the projects, due date, and services to be performed. the architectural services scope of work includes planning and designing of buildings and spaces, as well as managing construction contracts on behalf of clients. These two are connected but separate activities that make up architectural services.

Keep it simple. Don't go so in-depth where your clients get confused or lost. Make it easy to understand so the clients know what they will be getting.

Breakdown of requirements

Write down the specific requirements about preferred systems, resources, tools, building materials, or products and how your firm meets them. A requirements for architecture is used to structure and arrange requirements so that they are elegant, stable, usable, and adaptable to changes.

The due date for completion

Project deadline along with explicit dates and milestones (the contracts also discuss the date for when the client can move in). Here's an example of an architect project schedule you can use to reference.


RFPs gives questions you would like the answers to from potential vendors or materials to submit. Here are some examples of questions that would be in this section:

  • What's the issue?
  • What are your project goals, and do they line up with the objectives of your business?
  • What are your specifications?
  • What does the project's scope entail?
  • Does the new solution work with the current systems?
  • What is your spending limit?
  • What is your schedule?

Contemplating these questions and answering them in your proposal will make it more helpful to the client to make their decision with whom to work with.

Architecture firms or consultants costs

Pricing, fees or cost of the architectural services. Break down the cost of materials. Some architect consultants bill by the hour, typically between $125 and $250. Less frequently, architects may also bill by the square foot, or between $2 and $10.

Typically, between 5 and 20 percent of the project's overall cost goes toward the architect's fees. Be transparent and state an itemized list of your services.

Why you are an architect subject-matter master

Unique qualifications in the proposal. Having differentiated services is key to landing more projects with new clients. If you state in your proposal who you are more qualified than your competitors, you'll set yourself up for success.

Don't respond to request for proposals for the sake of applying. Make sure your firm or team of consultants matches the necessary requirements and can deliver on the project. Be honest and focus on if you can deliver on the services. Imagine landing big projects and not being able to deliver or complete the job. It would look bad on your business and essentially hurt your reputation.

Request For Qualified Firms (RQF)

When a company receives proposals from architecture companies looking to win new jobs, it may feel overwhelming. A request for qualified firms can help businesses narrow down their options. An RQF is a document that asks potential consultants or firms to detail their background, past projects, and experience providing a specific good or service.

The purpose of the document is to provide minimum qualifications before submitting proposals or bids. This also allows clients tor remove organizations or consultants who do not meet their list of conditions so they can make the final selection.

Most small firms partner with ther businesses for their proposals if they do not meet the minimum qualifications or requirements. Smalls companies do not have the bandwidth to take on most projects alone.

Bonsai's All-In-One Proposal Software

Manage all your proposals in one place with Bonsai. Our software can let you track winning proposals and templates so you can reuse them in the future. On top of making the proposal process easier, you'll get access to our full suite of online tools such as:

Recommended reading: Read how to improve your business development for architects with our software.

Ultimately, our software does all the work for you. Creating proposals take time and money, but Bonsai can alleviate these pains. A potential client will be impressed with your professional-looking documents and this will give you a leg up on the competition.

Wrapping Up Architecture RFPs

RFPs and RFQs simplify, and standardize the information collected from interested firms. These two documents create an oppuritnity for a potential client to connect individually with architectural companies and consutlants.

This allows clients to quickly see who is best fit for projects. if you want to show off your services in a request for proposals from clients, try Bonsai. Our templates make it easy to communicate or highlight what makes your firm different for a bid. Simply customize our pre-made template to create a winning proposal. Claim your 7-day free trial here.

Try and customize our pre-made proposal template for architects for free here.
Related Articles