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Submitting Bids Better

10 Tips for Submitting Better Bids

Construct Connect

Putting together a winning bid proposal, or even a competitive one, takes knowledge and skill. It’s a bit more complicated than just putting some numbers together and hoping for the best. Good bid preparation requires a lot of time and effort and involves everything from reading and fully understanding the plans and specifications to accurately estimating costs for labor, materials and equipment. Making even the smallest mistake can mean the difference between submitting a winning bid and missing out on a coveted and profitable project. We’ve put together our top 10 tips for submitting better bids.

- Select the Right Projects to Bid

- Visit the Site and Attend Prebid Meetings 

- Seek Clarification

- Perform Accurate Takeoffs and Measurements

- Avoid Arithmetic Errors

- Evaluate Subcontractors & Subcontractor Pricing

- Identify and Manage Risks

- Labor Costs

- Materials and Equipment Costs

- Incomplete Bid Forms and Documents


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The Construction Act

Construction lien and holdback rules

construction lien is a charge or security on a property that can be registered on title to the property by anyone who has supplied services or materials to improve the property.

holdback is a requirement that all owners, contractors and subcontractors withhold 10% of the cost of the services or materials they supply on a project. This helps to make sure that there is enough money to satisfy any lien claims that may come up.

Amendments to the construction lien and holdback rules and related regulatory changes came into force on July 1, 2018. You can find a chart describing some of the key changes here.

Some of the key changes include:

  • Language in the legislation has been clarified to better reflect large-scale, public projects that have multiple owners.
  • Contractors and subcontractors have 60 days to register a lien and 90 days to start a court action.
  • Contractors and subcontractors must follow specific bookkeeping rules to protect subcontractors in the event of bankruptcy.
  • Public sector owners, such as the Crown, municipalities and broader public sector organizations, are required to have a surety bond on public contracts above a prescribed amount, and alternative financing and procurement arrangements (AFPs) are subject to a minimum coverage limit. to protect subcontractors and workers if the general contractor files for bankruptcy.
  • Condominium unit owners can remove liens from their unit that are related to improvements to the common elements, such as corridors, lobbies, the garage and the roof.
  • Project owners and other payers are required to pay contractors and subcontractors holdbacks once the timeline to file liens has passed. This helps contractors and subcontractors plan, accept contracts for new work and have more certainty about when the holdback will be paid.

Prompt payment

  • Construction laws
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New Construction Act

 Daily Commercial News – October 26, 2018

 Renewed optimism under new Construction Act and here’s why

 On July 1, 2018, the first part of Ontario’s new Construction Act came into effect. The Construction Act is the most wide-ranging change of rules in the construction industry in Ontario since 1983. These broad changes are going to have a major impact on our industry.

Under the new prompt payment rules, the industry can expect to see a much faster flow funds from             project owners all the way down to sub-trades and suppliers. This will lead to fewer hung receivables      and better cash flow across the industry as a whole.   When future disputes do arise between parties, the new adjudication rules should also provide a faster and clearer path towards resolution. Sureties are also required to be much more responsive when dealing with performance and labour and material payment bond claims. The overall intention is to keep projects and the flow of funds moving forward and to provide a fairer marketplace for all parties. While we cannot focus on all of the changes, there are a few key ones that are important to understand for all subcontractors.

Prompt Payment — Improving the Flow of Contract Funds

Under the new prompt payment rules, which will come into effect on Oct. 1, 2019, an owner must pay a             contractor within 28 days of receiving a ‘proper invoice’, unless the owner delivers a notice of non-payment in             the prescribed form within 14 days. This is a significant improvement from the past, when sub-trades were often    forced to wait up to 90 days or even longer for payments.

A ‘proper invoice’ must:

    • describe the services or materials supplied;
    • the period during which they were supplied; and
    • the authority under which they were supplied.

A contractor who receives full payment from an owner must

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The Construction Change Order Manifesto

We can all agree the construction change order process is very slow. When a change request comes in from an owner or general contractor, most times contractors start work and incur the costs and don’t receive revenue until much later during the project or sometimes not at all.

How do we fix this? It starts with a review of your contract. This is the Construction Change Order Manifesto.

As a contractor, I should… 

  • Check my contract provisions for the change request process including authorization and specific terms about timelines for responses to change requests.

If there is nothing in the contract about change requests, I should…

  • Set a goal to memorialize a process including timelines for response at the start of a project. The wording will include what all parties will work towards. This will get memorialized in minutes of meeting or correspondence.

Almost all construction contracts in Canada state that the contractor must have a signed change order before billing and commencing work. It’s extremely rare to bill for change order work prior to issuance of the change order.



As a contractor, I should… 

  • Provide written notice upon the change arising.

In the written notice, I should…

  • Explain why the change was not part of my original contractual scope.
  • Refer to drawings, specifications or contract wordings. This is where clear scope is key.
  • Promptly provide detailed quotes for the work.



4 important items to include in the quote process

  1. An expiry date on all quotations.
  2. Use a standard corporate form and log to follow up if you hear nothing back.
  3. Include any extension of time required, if applicable.
  4. An agreement when the work is required and confirmation to proceed before you execute or warn parties when site conditions are changing and authority to proceed
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Costly Bidding Mistakes

13 Costly Bidding Mistakes & How to Avoid Them - November 16, 2016 - Kendall Jones

The Morning Blueprint by Construct Connect

Putting together a winning bid proposal is a lot more complicated than putting some numbers together and hoping for the best. Good bid preparation requires a lot of time and effort that involves everything from reading and fully understanding the plans and specifications to accurately estimating costs for labor, materials and equipment. Making even the smallest mistake can mean the difference between having a winning bid proposal and missing out on a coveted project.

- Bidding the Wrong Projects

- Incomplete Bid Forms and Documents

- Inaccurate Takeoffs

- Failing to Visit the Job Site

- Failure to Seek Clarification

- 2+2= Wrong

- Not Evaluating Equipment Needs

- Not Qualifying Subcontractors

- Labour Implications

- Not Factoring in Overtime

- Misunderstanding Material Requirements

- Rushed Bids

- Overlooking Risks

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