Introduction:

A construction proposal provides specific details about what you are promising to deliver for a construction project.

It’s a written offer from the construction worker to the owner to perform the work and to furnish all labor, materials, equipment and/or services for the prices and terms quoted by the construction worker. 

If you win the work, the construction project will refer back to the proposal, so you need to be specific about what you will do and what you won't do for the costs included. 

If you don't include enough detail, then you put yourself at risk from the “I assumed you were also going to do X, Y and Z?” or even worse “ I thought that was included" backlash.

Use this 'Construction Proposal Template' checklist, alongside the proposal document you plan to submit, to ensure you are including enough detail around the work you will carry out, the materials you will use, your expected payment schedules, and estimated costs.  

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Enter your company details

Enter your company details in the fields below. 

Enter proposal reviewer details

Enter details about the person/company who will be reviewing your proposal in the fields below. 

Pre-Proposal Tasks:

Study the RFP criteria

Upload the request for proposal guidelines, study them carefully, and list out the key RFP requirements in the field below.

They may specify evaluation criteria and allocate a certain number of points to specific sections or components. 

Missing or incomplete items often result in outright rejection or at least a lower score, which will limit your chances of success. 

If there are many new requirements, in addition to those included in this checklist, consider updating this checklist with each requirement as a new task.

Read this to find out how. 

Define the problem/need

Think about the purpose of your proposal.

Answer the following questions to get your thoughts together so you can begin writing your proposal with some clear direction. 

Establish if any licenses or permits are needed

List the licenses or permits that you might need to acquire before the work is started.

Make sure you make the proposal reviewer aware of any permits or licenses that they might need to acquire before the work is started. 

Plan your proposal

Proposals are often organized into distinct sections. These sections can have different titles depending on the guidelines specified by the organization, but they frequently serve the same purposes.

Review the guidelines to see if they have specified a structure to follow.

If they have asked you to follow a specific structure, make sure you have a plan for each section they have requested.

If they haven’t specified a structure, list out what you might include in the following sections:

Choose a title

Your proposal title needs to be catchy, descriptive, informative and pre-dispose the reader favorably towards the proposal.

Brainstorm potential title ideas and record them below.

Run each title option through the below criteria and choose the final title by selecting the title which best meets the criteria. 

Record your final title in the field below. 

  • 1
    Is it concise?
  • 2
    Is it descriptive?
  • 3
    Is it informative?
  • 4
    Is it catchy?
  • 5
    Does it predispose the reader, favorably, towards the proposal?

Add this to your proposal document cover sheet 

Writing the Proposal:

Write your introduction

Your introduction should state exactly why you're sending the proposal and why your solution is the best for the prospective client.

After reading your introduction, even if they don't read the full proposal, the prospect should have a clear idea of how you can help them. This is where you should present the case for why you are the right company for the job, and give the reader the key message of the proposal.

Focus on the conclusions you want the reader to reach after reading it.

This is what you planned to include in your introduction: {{form.Introduction}}

Write your company overview

Your company overview should include vital details about your company. It should describe the vision and direction of the company so the reviewer can develop an accurate impression of who you are.

This is what you planned to include in the company overview: {{form.Company_Overview}}

As a guide, make sure the company overview section in your proposal document answers the following questions: 

  • 1
    Where are you located?
  • 2
    How large is the company?
  • 3
    What do you specialize in as a construction company?
  • 4
    What do you hope to accomplish as a company?

Write your need/problem statement

This section provides you with the opportunity to show the reviewer that you have a clear understanding of their needs.

Develop a clear, concise description of the situation in the need/problem statement section of your proposal document.

You must convince the proposal reviewer that what you can offer in terms of construction services are essential.

This is what you planned to include in this section: {{form.Problem/Need_Statement}}

Define the scope of work

In the scope of work section of your proposal document, describe the scope of the construction project.

What will you build for the client, based on the RFP and the goals of their company?  

Be very specific about what you intend to do. This protects you from the “I assumed you were also going to do X, Y and Z?” or even worse “ I thought that was included.

Mention the steps in the process, materials used, model and spec numbers, colors, etc. Describe in great detail the work to be performed.

This is what you planned to include in this section: {{form.Scope_of_Work}}

To make sure your scope of work is detailed, clear, concise and customized to the client's needs, answer the following questions before you write up the solution section in your proposal document: 

Confirm the budget

Provide a breakdown of all direct and indirect costs involved in the construction project in the budget section of your proposal.

Include costs that directly relate to the project including production, materials, and labour costs.

Include indirect costs that are not directly identified with the project benefits, including facilities use, insurance, and travel costs. 

This is what you planned to include in this section: {{form.Budget}}

Establish the time schedule for payments

Use the information established in task 14 to split the project into key project sprints.

Each sprint should be clearly identified in terms of what the client should expect to receive, when they will receive it, how much it will cost the client, and when the payment for this sprint/deliverable is expected.  

This is what you planned to include in this section: {{form.Time_Schedule_for_Payments}}

Use the below as a framework to help you create this section in your proposal document.

Include your experience

In your proposal document, be sure to include relevant qualifications, awards, case studies, client testimonials, and information from previous construction projects to showcase your experience, demonstrate why they can trust you to deliver, and prove why you're the best choice.

This is what you planned to include in this section: {{form.Experience}}

Clarify your warranty terms

Your warranty is a guarantee against defects in workmanship and materials used during the construction process and is a summary of what you and the client are agreeing to if they accept your proposal.

Make sure you go into specific detail about the project timeline, pricing, and payment schedules.

Upload your warranty below and make sure you send them to the legal team before adding them to the proposal.

Include a key CTA

Figure out the appropriate call to action for that particular client and project, and end your proposal with it.

As an example, you could state your desire to take the conversation further. Or request an eSignature to initiate the project.

Pre-Submission Tasks:

Check the aesthetics

Read through your proposal and check for the following aesthetic/formatting errors: 

  • 1
    Is there a title page with all the necessary information describing this document?
  • 2
    Does the organization of the proposal enhance the content and make it easy to find/avoid types of information?
  • 3
    Are the margins consistent?
  • 4
    Is pagination accurate?
  • 5
    Did you use a consistent type-style?
  • 6
    Did you use sign-posting and color coding where appropriate?
  • 7
    Have you used visual aids such as charts, tables, diagrams where appropriate?

Check the structure

Read through your proposal and check it follows the EXACT structure stated in the guidelines.

If the guidelines do not specify a structure to follow, make check your proposal has the following sections at least: 

  • Title page
  • Table of contents
  • Introduction
  • Problem/need statement 
  • Scope of work
  • Budget
  • Time schedule for payments 
  • Experience
  • Warranty
  • Key CTA

Check the language

Read through your proposal again and answer the following questions to make sure your proposal is informative and interesting to read: 

  • 1
    Is the language uncluttered and concise?
  • 2
    Have you avoided using technical terms and jargon wherever possible?
  • 3
    Do you use objective language?
  • 4
    Have you avoided subjective terms?
  • 5
    Is the tone friendly but informative?
  • 6
    Is it written in a storytelling style?

Send your proposal to a "cold reader" to review

Upload the first draft of your finished proposal document and send it to a "cold reader" to review. Give them a copy of the proposal guidelines/requirements, but little other information.

Ask them to read the proposal quickly (as this is how the proposal reviewer is likely to view your proposal) and ask them to answer the following two questions: 

  • Do they understand it?
  • Does it make sense?

Implement their feedback

Update your proposal document and record the feedback you have received for future proposals.

Check the proposal against the RFP

Read the proposal through for the final time and double-check it is aligned with the RFP guidelines.

Here are the key RFP requirements: {{form.List_Key_RFP_Requirements}}

Once you're satisfied, upload the final proposal document, ready for internal approval. 

Send for internal approval

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Check the proposal against the RFP
    Will be submitted

Submit the proposal

Submit your proposal in-line with any requirements. 

{{form.Final_Proposal}}

Sources:

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