Design Build Proposal Template

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Design Build Proposal Template

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Preparing a design-build proposal requires close collaboration between the designer and the contractor and a lot of communication with the project owner. In these types of projects, the majority of the responsibilities and risks fall under the contractor, so it is important that after all the research and preparation, a solid and well-designed bid proposal is presented to the client.

Writing great construction proposals is vital to the success of builder companies, and while you want to put as much attention and detail as possible, there is a way to make this process more efficient. By creating a simple construction proposal template, you can get a head start and quickly fill in the project specifics. To ensure you don't miss any important elements, let's review the information you must cover on your template.

Note: Bonsai offers you the best construction proposal templates and multiple administrative tools to help you take your construction business to the next level. Check out our invoicing, tax, and accounting software to see why we are the go-to option for professionals in all industries. Start your 14-day free trial today!

Essential Elements of a Design Build Proposal Template

Design-construction proposals must be as accurate as possible so your prospective client can clearly understand what to expect during the construction process. Remember this can also be a legally binding contract, so any mistakes or omissions can result in disputes or legal ramifications.

To create a perfect construction proposal template, ensure you never miss the following essential elements.

Cover Letter

Always start your design-build proposal template with a cover page covering the problem statement and your vision on how to solve the problem. The cover letter should also explain the benefits of your proposal and the positive changes you aim to bring with your project (also known as deliverables). This is the first impression your potential client will get, so it's essential you make it as detailed and compelling as possible.

Contact Information

The first section of a construction proposal template is to identify all parties involved in the construction project (designer, builder and owner). Include the full names, addresses, email, phone numbers and any other relevant contact information you might have. You may also use this section to add your company logo, registered trademarks or other branding elements that can make your proposal look more professional.

Scope of Work

Next, your design/construction proposal must outline the scope of work, which is a detailed description of the work that will be done during the project. You must provide all the specifics regarding deliverables, tasks, and phases, including all necessary tools, supplies and labor for the construction work. This section can also include a design drawing and construction plan to help paint a better picture to the prospective client.

Construction Project Timeline

The description of the design-build project schedule should include the anticipated start and completion date of the project as a whole. Then, specify the key elements and stages as they will be developed within the timeline. Explain when each design and construction phase should be completed, preferably by providing a visual reference such as a chart which will also be helpful once the project is ongoing to track the progress.

Estimated Costs

In this section, you must provide great detail of the future costs so your clients know exactly how much they will pay and what that money will be buying. Make sure you cover all costs of materials, labor, equipment rental, subcontracting (also known as allowances), zoning fees, etc. Don't forget this estimated cost should already include your profit margin, so make the necessary adjustments, be specific and thorough.

You can also include a 'success criteria' section to establish goals for the construction project and how the previously mentioned expenses will help achieve them. This will help your client visualize even more where their money will be going.

Payment Terms For The Construction Project

Outlining the terms of payment in your construction proposal will help you maintain a steady cash flow while the project is on-going. You must specify the amount that will be required as a deposit and establish when the following payments will be made. This can either be a specific date, or agree to collect payments every time certain phases are completed (make sure to specify the phases). You can also include a clause with an agreement on how payments for supplemental expenses or unanticipated problems will be made.


Include a section on your design-construction proposal template to specify all of the items and tasks that are outside for your scope of work, and mention any warranties that may go beyond the parameters of the contract. This is to help you limit your liability in the case any subcontracted work is faulty or the client asks for something that was not stated in the scope of work.


It's a good idea to provide your clients with more than one option, as this can increase your chances of landing the project. If you think the potential client will be receptive to suggestions, present an alternative showing what you could do with more expensive/cheaper materials, adjusting the costs to help the owner make a better decision. You can include as many options as you see fit, but keep in mind too many might make it confusing for the client.

Call to Action

Finally, close your construction proposal with the 'next steps' to follow if the client decides to hire you for the project. Include clear instructions on contacting you for any clarifications and accepting the proposal either with an online signature or any other preferred method.

Use Our Free Construction Proposal Template

To help you save time and reduce errors in your document, use Bonsai's free construction proposal template which you can fully customize to fit your business needs and create professional construction proposals. All of our templates have been legally reviewed by top lawyers and thousands of freelancers in the construction industry, so you can be sure you and your company will stay protected.

Bonsai also helps you keep track of all proposals you send online by sending you a notification when your clients receive and accept your project proposal. Plus, they can sign for it directly within the document, which helps you streamline many of the formalities and get the ball rolling as soon as possible. Get your free proposal templates today!

Design Build Proposal Template
Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about this template.

What's the best proposal template for design-build jobs?

The best proposal template for design-build jobs is the one provided by Bonsai. Bonsai's proposal software lets you customize and send off proposals to potential new clients seamlessly.

Is there a free bidding template for design-build work?

Yes! Bonsai's free pre-made proposal templates are a great option to send proposals for new design-work jobs. Just sign up, edit, personalize and send it of.

Does Google Docs have a free template?

Google Docs has proposal templates but Bonsai's software may be easier to use. Just sign up to get access to our ready-to-edit templates and start sending more proposals today.