Home Tips 6 Costly Bidding Mistakes all Contractors Make & How to Avoid Them

6 Costly Bidding Mistakes all Contractors Make & How to Avoid Them

Source: constructconnect.com

Construction companies heavily rely on bidding to keep the company afloat, get new projects and make money. With that in mind, it is easy to see just how competitive this process can become and how important it is to win these. According to Dallas Nugent Canada contractor – if you’re not good at bidding, you’re probably going to go out of business very quickly.

While it is true that you should fight to win the bids to help your business grow – you have to do it the right way. A contractor should never do whatever it takes to win a bid – that’s how mistakes happen. Unfortunately, not many realise this, so they end up making costly mistakes.

On that note, we’ve wanted to share with you some of the most common costly bidding mistakes all contractors make and tell you how you can avoid them. Let’s begin.

1. Rushing The Math

Source: project-management.info

Arguably, the biggest make a contractor can make, is to miscalculate the cost of the entire project. Sure, you do have to be quick in order to beat your competition and present your business plan to your client, but if you make even the slightest mistake while doing the math – you’ll be in a lot of problems.

The thing is, every aspect of the project is stacked on top of one another, which means even if your math is right on 9 out of 10 aspects, you still won’t have an accurate assessment of how much will it all cost or how much revenue will it bring in, which will mess up your bid in the first place. You may offer way too much or way too little – either way, you’ll be out of a project.

2. Not Picking Your Battles

If there is anything, an experienced contractor such as Dallas Nugent knows it’s to how to choose the right project to bid on. However, not everyone knows this. The point is not to bid on every single project available – this is not the game of numbers.

You should take your time when picking the projects you’re going to bid on. You have to do your research, do the math, and if it all seems to work out for you, only then should you enter the bidding war. Also, if it doesn’t seem to work for you – don’t do it. Move on from that project and wait for the next one.

The goal isn’t winning every bid and securing every project; the goal is to find just the right one and focus on it. If you win every single big, you’re going to have to juggle dozens of projects at the same time, and in that case, none of them will turn out to be good, and you’re going to ruin your reputation.

3. Not Utilising Tools At Your Disposal

Source: metrictheory.com

Even though you might be an expert at this thing, a helping hand should always be welcome. You shouldn’t try and take on the whole project all by yourself. We are well into the 21st century, which means we have a number of tools at our disposal for basically every single thing out there.

When it comes to bidding, the tool you should look into is https://www.sure-bid.com/. With a tool such as this one, you get access to a number of documents and loads of information that can prove to be very useful in the bidding process. A tool like this will pretty much automate the tedious part of the bidding process and make the whole thing a lot easier.

4. Messing Up The Measurements And The Takeoff

Another thing that can mess up your bid and throw off the whole project off course is failing to make accurate measurements and takeoffs. This is not something you want to do. This will also result in a bad cost estimate, which could result in making a bid that’s either too high or too low, and you don’t want that.

Fortunately, this is another area in which a tool like the one we previously mentioned can be of grave importance. Whichever way you want to approach this is up to you, but we would strongly advise that you take your time and make sure you don’t make any mistakes.

5. Not Seeing The Construction Site In Person

Source: irmi.com

Sometimes, a project can seem perfect on paper, and that might urge you to fight hard for it, only to finally realise not everything was as good as it seemed. That is why you should always visit the construction site before making a bid for it.

This will allow you to gain insight into the state and the conditions of the location, for instance, limited accessibility. This may not seem like a major disadvantage to an untrained eye, but according to Nugent, this will most certainly add to the cost of the overall project, and if you don’t account for it – it will most definitely cut into your profit.

Another thing you can do is visit the pre-bid meeting, where all of this and a lot more will be discussed between contractors. This is a unique opportunity for you to learn everything there is to know about a project, which would allow you to make just the perfect bid and avoid making a costly mistake.

6. Being Too Optimistic

You can make the perfect assessment on how long will it take to finish the job, but what you can’t factor in is the unexpected setback that’s going to push the deadline in the opposite direction. Because of that, you should always factor in some leeway and add some buffer time in your bids.

This will allow you to get the project done in time, but what it’ll also do is prevent you from losing money by forcing the laborers to work overtime. As you know, overtime can be as much as double the usual hourly rate, and an expense like that one can really dig a hole in your pocket.


There you have it. Those were only some of the many common mistakes contractors make when bidding, but we felt like those are the ones that could cost you the most. Hopefully, you’ve found this one helpful and won’t make any of the mistakes we’ve just mentioned.