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When you are a contractor, the proposal you present to a potential client can be the difference between hiring you or going with another provider. When you want to bid on a siding job, there are a few things you want to be sure to include as well as some general protocol you should follow to increase your chances of getting the job.
There are standard contractor bid proposal forms that can be purchased from office supply stores and home improvement stores, including Office Depot, Staples, Home Depot and Lowe's.
How to Bid on a Vinyl Siding Job
After you’re approached by a potential client to bid on a siding job, there are a few initial steps you must take. You should always follow up quickly when you are contacted for a job. Failing to do so may mean a client reaches out to other contractors and no longer needs your services. It also shows that you are interested in the work and attentive to clients.
During your initial follow up, schedule an appointment with the potential client where you can see the location of the proposed work. It’s very important to set an appointment that you can attend and that you show up at the designated time. This goes a long way to landing a siding job.
The meeting gives you a chance to introduce yourself to the potential client and make a good first impression. It also gives you a chance to see the scope of the job and take any measurements that you’ll need to provide an accurate bid. Take the time you need during the meeting to get everything you need to create your proposal, including a conversation with the client to find out the exact needs. Once you get everything you need, follow up quickly with your siding job proposal.
What to Include in Your Proposal
Putting together a siding job proposal is generally straightforward, especially if you’ve seen the location of the potential work. No matter the project, you should always include the following in a bid for a siding job:
- The name and contact information for the person receiving the bid, including the address of where the work will be done.
- A detailed description of the work that will be done, including the exact type of siding (with the colors, brand and model numbers), measurements and a description of the building.
- A description of materials that will be purchased to complete the siding job.
- A statement that you will get any needed permits and inspections for the job.
- Whether you will remove existing siding before installing the vinyl siding or just replace any rotten wood.
- A timeline for the work to be done, including a start date and estimated completion date.
- The payment terms, which are often 50 percent down with the balance due upon completion. However, the way you organize your payment terms is up to you.
- The date on which the bid for a siding job expires and the stated costs are no longer valid.
You may choose to include even more information depending on the job. There are templates online that you can use when creating a siding job bid.
Following up on a Siding Job Bid
Once you submit a proposal with the siding job costs, you aren’t done. Unless you get an immediate yes to your proposal, you’ll need to follow up with the potential client. The right type of follow up takes some tact, as you don’t want to be pushy or overbearing.
After submitting your proposal for siding job costs, give the client a few days to review it before following up. You can choose to follow up with a phone call or an email depending on your preference. You may need to follow up a few times before getting an answer. Give the client a chance to ask any follow-up questions she may have before moving forward with the project.
If cost is an issue, you may want to consider negotiating the siding job costs in order to land the job. The first siding job costs you present aren’t always the ones that end up in the final bid.
Always Be Prepared
Contractors need to have an excellent understanding of the building trade to properly prepare a bid. The current cost of materials must also be checked, as these can fluctuate. A contractor could lose money on a job if he does not correctly estimate his costs.
After a few times of preparing bids for siding jobs, you’ll be more comfortable with the process and more confident in gaining clients.
Leslie Bloom is a Los Angeles native who has worked everywhere from new start-ups to established corporate settings. In addition to years of business and management experience, she has more than 20 years of experience writing for a variety of online and print publications. She holds degrees in both journalism and law.