How to Write a Construction or Contracting Proposal

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This video shows how to write a construction or contracting business proposal using Proposal Kit. Proposal Kit includes samples, templates, layouts and visual design themes for many different types of construction related proposals including home building, commercial, construction, residential, electrical, HVAC, roofing and other specialties. You can create business proposals, quotes, business plans, reports, studies, RFP responses and other business documents.

Read this related article: How to Write a Contractor or Construction Business Proposal

Proposal Pack HelpWatch this related video: How to Create an Editable Word Version of any Sample

Video Transcription
How to Write a Construction or Contracting Proposal

In this video we're going to illustrate how to create a construction related proposal document, report or so on with Proposal Kit. A construction related proposal can cover a wide range of situations that can be anything from commercial to residential. Specialty proposals for say electrical, HVAC, roofing and so on.

It can be used for full-blown construction projects, government RFP responses, small business proposals, small projects and so on, short quotes. So if you look on our website we have an article which talks about specifically how to do a contractor or a construction business proposal. This article will also have links to all the samples.

Now these are completed samples that are included in every one of our Proposal Packs so you can get an idea of how someone else wrote their specific proposal. And you can use these samples as guides. You can even create editable versions of these tagged with your own company.

Use the text in these completed samples as your starting point plus you can customize these layouts, use different design themes and so on. But you see the samples cover a wide variety of different kinds for contracting and construction proposals. Everything from woodworking, masonry, high efficiency, green type proposals, full custom home building and so on.

Also the article will have links off to the construction and contractor related design themes. So we have hundreds and hundreds of design themes for all different kinds of industries. So this article will link off to the ones that are most commonly used for construction, contracting and related proposals.

So a lot of times people will pick a design theme that matches their specific type of business or project. So if you're a roofer you might look at the roofing proposal design theme. If you're a painter you might look at one of the painter or decorator design themes.

If you're an electrician you might look at one of the electrical design themes and so on. Also you don't have to use a design theme that we've marked as specific to your kind of business. We have a plain looking design theme Proposal Pack for Any Business here.

And that is good for businesses who want more of a plain looking design where we haven't added custom graphics and logos such as for people who want to brand the documents to look like their own business using their own logo, using their colors and designs, using their own graphics and so on. So we're going to illustrate this video using our Construction #6 design theme. So whatever design theme you purchase is the one you're going to have available in the Wizard software.

So you don't get every single design theme. You pick one design theme that's the one you purchased and that design theme is what you'll see in the software. So we're going to illustrate this with our Construction #6 design theme.

And you'll see these are just an illustration of what the pages will look like in the Word document when done. It just has some general building style graphics in the background and a hardhat design logo and so on. Your logo can actually be used to replace these logos and using our full-blown Expert edition, our Professional version, you can actually swap out all of these background graphics that we've made with your own logo, your own graphics.

So you can swap out these background photos with your own, you can swap out our logos with your own and so on. You can change these color schemes to color schemes that match your own logo, your own website design and so on. So this is what the pages will look like when we generate Word documents for proposals in Construction #6.

Okay so we have our Wizard software running, we have Construction #6 design theme. And whenever you're going to create a proposal, a quote, a report, any kind of document you just click this Document Projects button. And you can give your project a title this is just for your own purposes.

And every time we create a document the Wizard is going to create a new folder and it's going to put all the documents, spreadsheets and so on into that folder for you. Now you'll see some buttons here - Pick Documents, Company Data, Client Data, Other Data, Multiple Choice. These are just ways of setting up your project with data that's going to get assembled into the document.

So Company Data and Client Data this is going to be name and address information for who's writing the proposal and who it is being written to. This will get merged into the document that gets built. Things like Other Data and Multiple Choice, those are more advanced features for setting up data that you can import into the document and there'll be other videos that go into that.

So Pick Documents is the important button. This is where we're going to select all the pages that are going to make up our construction or contracting proposal. So when you first go into the Pick Documents screen there's a number of tabs up here.

All these tabs are just different ways for you to get pages into your document. The first thing you'll see is some checkboxes. Now there's over two thousand chapters available.

The forty most common ones that are normally used are going to be on the first screen here. So Cover Letter, Title Page, Table of Contents and so on, Executive Summary or a Client Summary, your Company History, your Services, Products and so on. Those are common for most proposals so we put those up front for you to check off easily.

And you can get to all 2,000 plus by clicking this drop down and we can scroll down through all different kinds of businesses, different kinds of proposals and so on. So you can see we have pages of construction and contracting specific chapters. We can just go to that here.

You'll say maybe we need to talk about architectural issues or the suppliers or subcontractors, talk about the permits and licenses needed. If we need to do demolition on a project and so on. Are you going to recycle material.

If you need to talk about that in a proposal and we can just scroll through all three pages of construction specific chapters. Now once you get past the industry specific chapters if we're doing projects or someone we can go and look at project specific chapters. If you're doing grants, just a short quote or so on.

If you need to talk about chapters specific to your company, maybe your references, past projects, things like that. You just come down here and we have them grouped by chapters related to your specific company. Now a lot of people want to get started a little quicker with a premade set of chapters or looking at a sample.

So there's 200 samples here just like we mentioned earlier that we have links off on the website to the ones that are specific to construction. See here we have Commercial Contracting Office Remodel. So that's an actual sample.

Contractor Home Remodel, Custom Home Building. And we can search for a specific sample. So if we want to find a roofing example.

Now these samples are just what one specific company or person wrote for themselves so you're obviously going to do things differently for your own. But you can use these as a starting point. So you can see there's a Roofing Contractor Sample and so on.

Now if we want to get even more layouts we have this Quick Start tab with hundreds of pre-made layouts of chapters. Let's just search for construction and this will narrow that list of hundreds of layouts down to ones that have been tagged specifically related to construction or contracting. So let's say we're doing an office renovation proposal.

Let's just pick that as our starting point and once we highlight any one of these it's going to tell us here the list of chapters that are going to make up that layout. And we can import that into our project and you'll see 14 chapters. So out of that library of 2,000 plus chapters we've immediately got a list of 14 that have been pre-selected for an office remodel type proposal.

And you can see that list of chapters here. Now say if you want to add additional chapters such as there's some things you need to talk about that aren't in this list then you can just go over to Add Templates or Search by Name and add additional chapters. We can go into the construction and contracting page.

Let's say if we want to add a chapter just for the materials that we're gonna be using or add a list of suppliers. Whenever you've checked off chapters you can always look at your list here so you can see it went from 14 to 16 when we added suppliers and materials. Let's say we want to move this chapter.

We can move chapters around. We can reorder the chapters. So if we don't need to add an Impact Statement we can just remove that.

So now we've kind of customized the list of chapters for this specific proposal and when we're done we just click Ok Use Selected Templates. We're back in our project screen and you can fill in the Company Data and you can fill in the Client Data. Whatever you're putting in those screens will get merged into the document when it gets built.

We're just going to leave our defaults in there for now. And when we're all done we click Ok Save Project. And now we'll wait for the Wizard to build our Word document.

Okay now the Wizards generated that proposal layout. We'll open that up take a look at it. And see we didn't actually fill in the Client Data screen so if you had that data would get merged in these tags here.

Here's the proposal using our Construction #6 design theme. You can see the Table of Contents, all the body pages, the Materials, the Suppliers pages that we custom added. As you scroll down you'll see the document here.

The document is ready for you to edit now. Our website URL here that's just because our data was in the Company Data. That would actually be yours or whatever you entered into the Company Data screen.

And using the Expert Edition you can actually do all your calculations for these financial pages, cost summary, budgets and so on in Excel and have the Excel spreadsheet auto-update the Word document. So with the Novice Edition you just have static pages that you would fill in manually and same with all the scheduling pages. The Expert Edition will actually have scheduling spreadsheets you can fill in and it will auto update any schedule pages.

And then the proposal is going to end with the Back Page. Again, all this data is merged from whatever you put in the Company Data screen. So now you just make your edits in Word and when you're done you can click Save as PDF.

You can upload the document, email it, print it and deliver it out however you need. Now in the Expert Edition there are additional things we can do. We can add an invoice into the project after we've created the proposal.

We can add customer letters, checklists, if you have the Contract Packs installed you can add contracts from the contractors collection of contracts. So for example let's just say after the project we were going to come back and add an invoice for the client. We can just click Add Invoice.

Okay now the invoice templates been added into our project. So you can see it here. Now we just open that.

It's just another Word document. Again this is a static page you just fill in with your invoice details. Now this is the Novice Edition so it's a static page.

However use the Expert Edition of our software there will be a spreadsheet that will be linked into the invoice. So you'll do your calculations in Excel and it will auto update into this invoice. And if you use the same spreadsheet linked into your Word document you'll have one spreadsheet that will auto-update both the proposal and the invoice.

And you'll see the invoice has the Construction #6 design theme. We're going to illustrate a second proposal using the Expert Edition and we'll show the Excel spreadsheets working as well. So we're going to illustrate the next proposal with our Electrical #4 design theme.

And note only the design themes you've purchased will be selectable in the list. So this is assuming an electrical company has probably bought the Electrical #4 design theme and they're going to create their proposals with that. So just like before we're going to go into Document Projects.

I'll create a new project this time. We're going to leave the Excel Dynamic Links enabled because we're going to illustrate an Expert level feature with Excel spreadsheets. And last time I went into the Quick Start and picked a layout.

This time we're going to go into the View Samples because we do have an electrical contractor sample. We can just scroll down alphabetically or use the Search button. So we have an Electrical Contractor Sample proposal.

We're just going to import the content. Now this one happens to be a short proposal. Your average proposals are five to ten pages but you can create documents any number of pages you need.

The Novice Edition will limit you to a 10-page document which will cover most people. But if you have complex high-dollar projects, you know you need more than 10 pages, government RFP responses you should get the Expert Edition. If you need the more advanced features for more complex documents.

So now you can see we have these five pages selected. We'll click OK and when we're on the sample screen when you select a sample and import it's automatically going to check this box. So the actual text of the sample is going to get imported into the document automatically.

All right now we've filled in the Company Data screen with some fictional information here. We'll fill in the Client Data screen. Ok, now I filled in the Client Data screen with the name and address information of the person we are writing the proposal to.

Now that we've got our documents picked the Company Data filled in, Client Data filled in. We are creating a Quote - short quote. This time we have Excel spreadsheets enabled assuming we're using the Expert Edition.

And now we're going to save the project and this will build a short quote document and link it into an Excel spreadsheet for the Cost Summary. Okay, now we've generated this short quote and you'll see in the Calculator Spreadsheets tab there is a calculator that's been created. And you can edit the stock calculators.

This one just has some default information in it from the sample but you could add your own line items, your own prices, your own tax calculations and so on. And you can completely customize these spreadsheets. Using the Expert Edition you can actually use your own complete custom spreadsheets.

These will have some basic line items calculations and so on you can use for total, subtotals, deposits and so on. Now the document itself since we've linked it to an actual spreadsheet whenever we open it Word will ask us if we want to update. Since we didn't actually change any values in the spreadsheet itself just click No.

And you can see since we actually filled in the Company Data and Client Data fields that information was merged into the proposal. And you'll see the actual sample content has been pulled in and actually tagged with the name of our fictional company. So you'll see the samples can actually be tailored by our software to be using your information within the body of the sample text.

So this gets you much closer to a finished document you can finish hand editing yourself. You can see the title we gave the project has been put in. We're using a Quote graphic instead of the Proposal graphic.

You can see the accompanying Client Data it's been merged into the front Title Page. And you can see the data from the spreadsheet line-items and costs are directed linked. So if you click these you can see it highlights the entire piece of data.

That means these are linked items so as we change the spreadsheet the Cost Summary will actually auto update. So let's say we change the price of one of these line items, change from two to three thousand. You can see this just changed and you can see the totals have been updated.

Now if your spreadsheet doesn't auto update into the document while you have them both open because it kind of depends on how old your versions of Word and Excel are. The newest versions of everything usually auto update pretty quick automatically. Older versions sometimes you have to manually click an Update Link field.

It's easier to just make your changes in the spreadsheet then save the spreadsheet with the document closed. Then open the document, click Yes when it asks you to auto update, and everything will auto update right away. There you can see our short quote.

Now we'll do the same thing, we'll add an invoice into this project and you'll see this invoice gets automatically linked into the same spreadsheet. Okay, now the invoice has been added to the project and you'll see the invoice now is linked directly into the same spreadsheet. So as you change the spreadsheet it'll auto update both the proposal and the invoice.

Another thing we can do with the Expert Edition is we can add a letter or checklist. Let's say we want to send a customer thank-you letter we can just add that to the project. Okay, now it's added the letter.

I can open that up and you'll see it merges in the client and company data. And you can customize our stock templates, make your own letters, your own custom versions of all these. Since this is a contracting proposal and the Expert Edition will have our General Contractors Contract Pack.

Using the Expert Edition we could add a contract document. So say we want to have the clients sign off on an acceptance of the project we can add a contract acceptance sign-off form. Okay, now I've added that contract to the project.

You'll see it applied the Electrical #4 design theme to the contract and the color scheme and so on. This is just a general-purpose project sign-off document. There's lots of different contracts in there that you might find use for.

For dealing with subcontractors, contractors, employees, problem clients, project sign offs and so on, milestones. And that is how you create any number of contractor or construction related proposals, quotes and so on using many different design themes and many different pre-made layouts.

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Create winning business proposals & contracts with minimal effort and cost. Downloadable proposal software, proposal templates, legal contracts and sample proposals.
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Proposal Kit

Create winning business proposals & contracts with minimal effort and cost. Proposal software, proposal templates, legal contracts and sample proposals.