How to Put Together a Proposal for a General Contracting Company


Do you need a proposal to advertise your construction or home improvement company to a client? Don’t worry about it. It need not be a scary or complicated procedure. Every proposal for a service firm should do the same things: introduce the company, showcase the services, detail the costs, and persuade the client that you are the best option. You can save time on proposal writing by consulting examples and using templates developed for that purpose.

A proposal’s structure is quite the same regardless of whether you’re discussing plumbing services, bidding on a construction project, advertising house painting services, quoting an HVAC installation, pitching your idea for a redesign, or requesting capital to launch or grow a contractor firm. The fundamental outline looks like this: Start with an introduction and a summary of the client’s demands; then, go into detail about the services you offer and the fees associated with them; and lastly, finish by outlining your background, experience, and qualifications.

Include specifics about your company’s services and track record related to the client’s project if you’re a contractor. If you’re a painter, you might want to detail the paints, stains, and tools you typically use; if you’re a remodeler, you might want to include descriptions and photos of similar projects you’ve completed; and if you’re a general contractor, you should detail the experience and training of company personnel, safety records, bonding, insurance, etc.

Remember that a proposal’s ultimate goal is to win over potential customers and their business. You need to show that you can provide the services clients require. A price list or quote is no replacement for a well-thought-out proposal.

It’s essential to tailor proposals to each potential customer. This necessitates research into the client to develop a proposal specifically for them. If there are multiple bids on a project, sending an identical sales letter to every potential client is not a good idea. Customers are likelier to follow a plan if it specifically addresses their needs.

Therefore, let’s resume the preceding sequence. The cover letter and title page should be first in your proposal. In the cover letter, you should briefly introduce yourself and include your business’s contact details. Title pages typically contain the name of the proposal being presented (e.g., “Proposal to Construct the New Technical Institute Science Building,” “Proposal to Remodel the Munson Kitchen,” or “Proposal to Install Your New HVAC System”).

Include further sections detailing the client’s requirements after this introductory paragraph. Writing a summary to introduce the detail pages may be necessary if you are presenting a proposal for a complex project. This section is typically called the “Executive Summary” in business proposals. A Client Summary is the preferred term for a less formal but complex proposal. This overview, along with the subsequent pages of detail, is where you can show that you’ve taken the time to learn about the client’s needs, wants, and constraints. In this paragraph, you should focus on the customer.

Now it’s time to sell yourself. After introducing yourself and your target audience, move on to detailing the services you’re providing. These sections can be broken down into more particular pages that define the products and services you can offer and explain the associated pricing, as well as more general sections with headings like Services Provided, Features, Benefits, and Services Cost Summary.

The number of pages and focus areas of your proposal will vary based on the nature of your firm.

A general contractor’s proposal should at least cover the basics, such as the services rendered, a cost summary or estimate, the work order, and proof of insurance and bonding. Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, the specifics of what you include will be determined by things like the project’s scale and the client’s specific requirements.

Pages like Permits and Licenses, Certifications, Specifications, and Standards Compliance could be helpful for a business that provides plumbing, HVAC, or electrical services.

Topics for Materials, Preparation, Products, and Warranty are common for home improvement businesses like flooring and painting installers.

A disaster or accident recovery specialist firm may use additional themes like Recovery, Repairs, Disposal, and Environmental (for hazardous waste management).

Statement of Work, Permits and Licenses, Inspection, Certifications, Insurance, Architecture, Renovation, Installation Schedule, Blueprints, and so on may all be necessary for a home or business remodeling project.

The Master Plan, Site Planning, Preparation, Location Analysis, Impact Statement, Project Management, Timeline, Community, Subcontracts, Scheduling, Materials, Construction, and so on may all need to be addressed in a large-scale construction project.

Specialty subjects, including Concepts, Blueprints, Architecture, Environmental, Specifications, Alternatives, Special Needs (for planning handicap access), and Samples, may be used if an architectural design were undertaken.

The Installation Schedule, Specifications, Equipment, Standards Compliance, and Hardware and Software might all be valuable additions for a network cabling installer or another specialized contractor.

Include sections on your funding request, services offered, products, company operations, balance sheet, income projection, sources of funding, uses of funding, personnel, legal structure, and any other topics required by the lender, as well as a competitive analysis of the industry, market and audience, marketing plan, insurance, liability, timeline, and funding request.

Include a summary of your company’s background, mission, services, clients, and references in the final portion of your proposal. In this area, you need to show the client why they should hire you to provide the required services or products.

Those are the fundamentals of proposal structure and composition. However, you still have some work to do. After you’ve written your thoughts, it’s time to make your proposal look good. Add some color and style by using your company’s logo, using colored page borders, and including intriguing fonts and custom bullets. It’s essential to keep your professional aesthetic in mind when you make these choices.

Proofread and spell-check every page of your proposal before submitting it. Since it’s easy to miss problems in your work, having someone else do a final proofread of the proposal is always recommended.

Once satisfied with the proposal, you can send it to the client by printing it or saving it as a PDF. Your relationship with the potential client should determine your delivery mode. While PDF files may be easily emailed to clients, a printed, signed, and delivered proposal can show that you care about the client’s business and are prepared to go the extra mile.

Accordingly, the specifics of a contractor proposal will vary significantly from one business and one proposed project to the next. The specifics of the bids submitted by various companies will vary. All these suggestions, however, will look and read the same.

Using a proposal kit can help you get started quickly by providing you with pre-designed templates, easy-to-follow instructions, and several content recommendations. A package will also include numerous examples of contractor company proposals that you can use as templates for your own.

For over ten years, Ian Lauder has advised startups and independent contractors on proposal and contract writing. => Visit for advice on how to write a legal contract or business proposal.

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