In the event that a standard bidding form is not offered, construction companies submit their own bids which often include contact information, date of submission, itemized cost estimates, relevant construction dates, final cost, payment structure, liability information and signatures. Simple projects for small sums can often be outlined in a single page of text, but complex projects may require many different forms and significant research.
In addition to the bid price, experience and timeliness are the major factors in determining the winner of competitive bidding. Construction bids can be presented as fixed amounts or as cost plus bids, where the company offers to do the work for a certain amount of profit above reimbursed costs.
In order to initiate the bidding process, buyers will solicit bids from local construction companies with some basic details about the project. The websites BidClerk.com and ConstructionWire.com offer updated online databases of new construction project listings seeking contractors, and the website GSA.gov offers a listing of government projects open for bidding. Once a bid is selected, the buyer and construction company form a contract. Generally the bid itself is a legally enforceable contract once accepted. In the event of a disagreement, courts will determine whether the bid was presented as a negotiable proposal or a final offer.