Deciding whether to Tender - with free checklist

Putting together a construction tender is expensive, it takes time and resources to pull together all of the information that is requested in RFPs and RFQs. Templates and boiler plate text are great for standard sections, but most tender documents ask for site and bid specific responses that mean you have to consult multiple people, and sometimes create bespoke schedules or procedures.

Avoid committing time and effort responding to unsuitable tenders by using this checklist! When you are using it think about your specific industry and the current market conditions. Jump straight to the download
checklist for deciding whether to tender for a construction project
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Contents of the checklist

Is it suitable work?

  • Is this what we do?
  • Does this fit into our strategic plan?
  • Does this fit with our current workload, in the contracts department and estimating?
  • Do we have the financial and human resources to complete the work?

Check on working capital

  • Is there enough working capital available to fund the contract?
  • What is the forecasted effect on the company's financial resources?
  • Typically, the working capital needed for a 500,000 project will be around 15 to 20% of the monetary value at the peak funding months.

Do we have resources available?

  • Do we have the management personnel required for example, contract managers quantity surveyors, planning engineers?
  • Do we have the site management resources required? For example, Foreman, site engineer's, site agents.
  • Do we all will we have the labour and plant available if we win the contract?
  • Will our subcontractors be available at the time is required to fulfil the tender?
  • Do we have enough time to develop and submit the tender?

Site location

  • Will the site location pose any logistical problems?
  • Is the site within a reasonable distance of our facilities?
  • Does the site location require any specialist equipment or knowledge? For example, contaminated area, urban area.

Type of work and effort involved

  • What is the financial value of the project?
  • Is the contract of a suitable size for us to undertake?
  • What impact will there be on the business if we fail to make our predicted margin?
  • Could this work because any liquidity problems for us?
  • Have we done this type of work in the past how did we perform?

Subcontracting checks

  • What will we need to subcontract? What is the value of that work?
  • Will the number of subcontractors we need to manage be reasonable?
  • Will we get a reasonable markup?
  • What liability risks do we have from subcontractor claims?
  • What liabilities may we face as a result of poor work by subcontractors?


  • How many other contractors have been invited to tender?
  • Which contractors are on the tender list?
  • What are our chances of beating the competition?
  • Can we ascertain our competitors through our material suppliers or through specialist subcontractors listed in the contract documents?

Terms and conditions

  • What type of contract will be used?
  • Are there any non-standard amendments?
  • What is the rate of liquidated and ascertained damages?
  • Is there any contractor design element?
  • What is the defects liability period?
  • What are the insurance requirements?
  • Is retention applicable?
  • Is a bond required to be provided by the contractor?
  • What are the terms and conditions of payment? For example, fix cost or time and material, milestone payment?
  • Does the tender conform with the recommendations of the NJ CC code of procedure for selective tendering?

Tender documentation checks

  • What quantity risk is placed on the contractor?
  • What potential is there for contractual risk in the documentation?
  • How accurate and professional is the tender document?
  • Overall what potential is there for claims based on the tender documentation?
  • If the tender documentation is poor what problems could arise?

Client checks

  • Who is the client?
  • Have we worked with the architect, engineer, quantity surveyor?
  • Have we had any problems with these companies or people in the past?
  • What is the financial viability of the client?
  • Any concerns in industry, local or national press?
  • Should a contingency factor be allowed for this client?

Market checks

  • Does any government policy affect this tender?
  • Is there any pending legislation relevant to this tender?
  • What are the general market conditions in relation to this tender and the availability of work?
  • What is the current level of bank interest rates?
  • What is the current borrowing facility?
  • What is the economic outlook in the local and wider economy?

Download this tender decision checklist

Word download - Construction Tender Checklist (Word .docx)

Word download - Construction Tender Checklist (Word .doc)

OpenDocument Text download - Construction Tender Checklist (.odt)

PDF download - Construction Tender Checklist (PDF)

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