At a minimum, a contractor bid includes contact information for the contractor, the date of the bid submission, customer name, address and company, section for project description, listing of itemized costs, listing of final cost, legal notice outlining the nature of the bid, and contractor signature.
In addition, contractor bids may include additional information such as date for submission of plans, architect name, approximate construction start date, approximate construction end date, list of possible alternatives, list of work not included in the bid, expected payment schedule and extended legal descriptions. Hloom.com offers 11 free templates for bidding contracts, and AtYourBusiness.com offers a more detailed example of a contractor bid.
A contractor must understand the marketplace and place a competitive bid to be successful. Online services such as AngiesList.com offer extensive listings for many local contractors and encourage buyers to get at least three bids for any project. The Houston Chronicle suggests that contractors refuse projects requiring excessive commuting, extreme weather, difficult materials or hazardous situations.
The website HouseLogic.com offers a number of tips for private parties looking to hire contractors. First, ask for an itemized bid and determine whether the bid is an estimate or a fixed price. Second, find out the material suppliers and the experience level of the contractor. Finally, ask to meet the foreman of the project. Often contractors simply work on the bidding process, but the project foreman will ultimately do the work.