Architect Firm at Natick, Framingham MA - Millhawlk

How to Bid Building a House Effectively 2023

How to Bid a House


The house-building process is very tough and choosing the best contractor for each trade, and the best architectural firm for your plans is essential to avoid any more serious issues that can be stuck in your field. Our portfolio as architects in Natick MA is extensive and shows how capable we are.

Regular construction has more than 10 trades related, with a permit process, paperwork management, main schedule, payroll, and budget control. The first step that you should take is to hire a skilled architect, and Millhawlk as an architects in Framingham MA can provide that for you.

To help you to make a more calm and smooth building house, are highly recommend making a bid process because that way you’ll delegate most part of your planning to capable contractors, and will assure the background of the company that you’re hiring.

The pricing provided by the contractors is based 100% on the drawings, they will need an efficient, detailed, and complete set of drawings, as architect in Newton MA, Millhawlk Design & Architecture can provide this to the GC and homeowners.

Understanding Bidding in House Building

What is a bid on a building or a house?

A bid process, a popular method of homeowners and GCs, involves multiple contractors submitting prices for the same project, and making competitive offers. The owner typically picks the lowest price.

Is there a difference between a bid and a proposal?

Yes. Generally, a proposal is a more individual process, and most of the time, the client requests one directly from the company and does not necessarily involve other competitors.

Why it is important to bid when building a house

Bid during the construction of a house is important to get more variety of prices and service quality. This process will guarantee a fair price for both ends (homeowner and contractor), and besides that, keep the local economy in movement.

The impact of bidding on the overall house-building project

During the contractor’s bid process of an overall project, they are essentially estimating the cost of materials, labor, schedule, and other topics – and this will significantly impact the planning of the construction.

Having this information on hand, the homeowner can make better planning of cost, logistics, and schedule of execution, and potentially this will make the customer save money and time.

The impact of bidding on the overall house-building project

How to Prepare for a House Building Bid

What should be included in a bid proposal?

A basic bid proposal should include the scope of work, schedule, and price. Has more paperwork involved in the process, but this makes part of the Bid Package, and we’ll dig deeper into this topic future.

What questions should you ask when preparing a bid?

Whit the right questions, you can make a more solid and confident bid, and have some crucial questions that the contractor needs to have answers, to make a more accurate proposal. See below some important questions:

  • What trades are involved in the contract?
  • Which documents does the company need to have to be eligible?
  • What is the scope of work?
  • Permit applications included in the contract?
  • What is the payment schedule?
  • Bid plans are the final plans for construction?
  • What are the safety procedures requested?
  • What are the terms and conditions?
  • What is the minimum manpower required?
  • What is the main execution schedule?
  • What are the terms for an occasional change of orders?

Establishing your house-building plans and goals

Setting boundaries for your plans and goals is indispensable. From day one, define very clearly your budget and schedule for each trade, individually. It’s important to take into consideration external issues (weather, holidays, lead time for materials, etc.) and add a gap for these in your planning.

Establish good communication with the field and inspectors to avoid irregularities.

Determining the budget for your house-building project

To make a budget plan, you need to have on top of your head the project area, material take-off, labor prices, equipment prices, material quotes, lead times, and timeline of execution with an estimated start and end date for each trade.

Researching and understanding the current house-building market

Understanding how the market flow is going in your area is essential to make a successful house-building. Here are a couple of tips to keep you posted:

  • Analysis of inflation in general
  • Interest rate
  • Workshops about the industry
  • Track market trends
  • Talk with experts
  • Online research
  • Analysis of how banks are reacting to the industry

Importance of thorough site analysis

Making a complete report of your lot will give you important information, that may will avoid future issues and, eventually, make you save money. Analysis of soil, setbacks, and weather exposure is the most important data that you should have to develop your project.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Bid Building a House

Gathering Necessary Documents

Description of documents required for a house building bid

For the owner, some documents and paperwork are indispensable, because that way, they can analyze the project and trade understanding coming from the contractor, and at the same time, make sure about the background of who you’re hiring to build the house.

Importance of each document

As was mentioned, these documents are used to track the background of the contractor and how able and skilled this company is, lets check a list of the necessary documents for bid and what they mean:

  • Bond letter: Will assure the contractor has a performance bonding facility in place and can secure bid bonds.
  • Certificate of Insurance or COI: This document will prove that your company has active insurance and how much is the coverage.
  • Workers’ compensation: Proves that your company provides the requested coverage to the employees who are injured or ill.
  • Company’s Business License: This document will prove that your company is legally approved to provide services in the jurisdiction.
  • Bid letter: This form will provide a summary of information about your company.
  • Letter of reference or portfolio: Provide information and contact for the past projects that your company has provided for others.

Finding Contractors to Bid

How to find and select potential contractors

The most indicated method today is to use certified portals that aggregate companies and to make part of these portals, the companies need to provide all the documentation listed above. Today, the most popular portals are Construction Connect and Building Connected.

These portals will spread your project and bid process to the subscribed certified companies and help you to make this process easy.

The role of contractor reviews and references

Are common sense that reviews and references, from past services provided by the contractor, are the best way to make sure about the quality and confidence that the bidder needs to have, before hiring a company.

Preparing the Bid Package

Contents of an effective bid package

Making a bid package can be challenging because you need to ask for the correct information, to make a good filter and, avoid any future problems. See below a list of contents for a bid package:

  • Introduction
  • Area take-off and pricing
  • Scope of work
  • Specifications (divide by trade)
  • Team information
  • Safety Manual
  • Schedule (divided by trade)
  • Bid Letter
  •  COI
  • Workers Compensation
  • Bond Letter
  • Company’s Business License
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Price per hour (for change orders)
  • Type of business (MBE or others)
  • References and Portfolio
  • Conclusion

How to tailor your bid package to attract suitable contractors

Setting good content for your pack will depend on what is the type of your construction. For example, in governmental constructions, more documentation is what is recommended, once this job will be Tax Exempt.

For “simple” buildings, the requirement level can be lowest but is highly recommended to have requested at least the COI, Company’s Business License, Workers Compensation, Safety Manual, and references.

Analyzing Contractor Bids

The factors to consider when analyzing contractor bids

Cost, references, paperwork of eligibility, schedule, and skilled labor are indispensable requirements for analyzing the received bids.

How to compare bids effectively

You need to make a checklist if the package received accomplishes all the requirements listed in the bid package.

Selecting a Contractor

What to consider when selecting a contractor

Checking the paperwork background to make sure all information provided is legitimate. Another aspect to take into consideration is if the price is realistic for the contractor to complete the job. Also, check if the company typically hires diversity and gives support to their employees.

How to negotiate and finalize the contract

When the contractor accomplishes all the aspects of the bid package, paperwork, and cost, it’s time to negotiate. Having your own quotes for materials, machines, and labor will help you to play with the numbers. At the end of the day, a fair price to both ends is what is recommended.

Bid building a house with Millhawlk

All these requirements are nothing without a qualified, detailed, and complete set of drawings for the project. Areas, prices, materials, schedule, and all the other factors are based on these plans. Basically, a not complete project can impact all the prices.

With our extensive portfolio, Millhawlk Design & Architecture firm can provide all necessary projects, dividing by trades, and adding as much information as possible. We have a 100% of understanding how important an accurate package of projects for the bid process is.

5/5 - (1 vote)
Civil engineer since 2018, CSL license holder, and partner at Millhawlk Projects.
Danielle Inacio


We're glad to hear your opinion.

So, at first, I was on the hunt for some architects in Natick to help me design my new sunroom. After poking around a bit, I found Millhawlk and after certain back and forth, I hired them. They did a pretty good job with the drawings and the permit stuff. Now, i'm enjoying the summer with the best part of my house, my brand new sunroom!
Paulinho da vila
Paulinho da vila
If you're looking for architects in Natick, we highly recommend Millhawlk Design & Architecture. We were looking for plans for new construction and were struggling to find a team that could help us bring our vision to life. That's when we found Millhawlk. They were amazing from start to finish. They listened to our ideas and worked with us to create a design that exceeded our expectations. They were always responsive, organized, and timely. We couldn't be happier with the end result! As contractors, we are very happy with the support during the construction, the architect was on the field at least once per week, which avoided a lot of problems on the execution. They deserve each of this 5-star review!
Anne Peacer
Anne Peacer
We had an amazing experience working with Millhawlk Design & Architecture. When we were searching for architects in Natick, we were impressed with their portfolio and decided to give them a try for a new construction drawings project. We're so glad we did! They were responsive, organized, and collaborative throughout the entire process. They listened to our ideas and worked with us to create a design that was perfect for our home. We highly recommend Millhawlk to anyone looking for architects in Natick!
Mônica Furbino
Mônica Furbino
I used the Architectural House Design services of Millhawlk in the Newton, MA area and it was a great success! The team was extremely helpful and competent, delivering the project within the stipulated time frame. What a beautiful design! I highly recommend them! Thank you!
Rafael Paranaguá
Rafael Paranaguá
We were looking for an architecture firm to do our plans for new construction, and with a recommendation of a friend who had a great experience with Millhawlk's services, we hired them. Their customer service was incredible, they followed and accomplish the scheduled for the project and also, the permit process was super smooth. They supervised the execution from beginning to end to ensure that our contractor was correctly following the project. Even with one or two divergences between the projected x the executed, the solutions came quickly and did not stuck the job site. I strongly recommend, 5 stars without a doubt!
Andrea Krause
Andrea Krause
Early this year I hired Millhawlk to turn a commercial area into an office/material storage/break metal business in Framingham MA. Was a very dedicated permit process and the floor plans were tricky as well, but their customer services and experience make our waaaaay life easy! The permit was approved with only a quick revision, which surprised us! If you are looking for a company that cares about your needs, hire this company!
Luiz Augusto
Luiz Augusto
I hired Millhawlk Projects to make a full set of drawings to a exterior deck in late 2019 at Fall River, MA, their support was awesome, the design process was very helpful, we had no clue about flooring deck, and then they brought a couple samples and explained how each deck works, same for samples, and at the end of the day, we chose Trex, and since there, no problems with the decking. About the design, they potentiated our ideas and the area for the deck. Regarding the permit process, was a very smooth application process, they take care of all the paperwork, inspections and back and forth with the town. We highly recommend their services!
Loryn Carvalho
Loryn Carvalho
I had a very good experience with Millhawlk Projects. They delivered everything we agreed on our contract . Very trustful and professional. I definitely recommend this company.
Louis H Costa
Louis H Costa
For the longest time, I've wanted to remove my steel gate and replace it with a brick fence going all around my front yard. To say the least, Millhawlk Projects is phenomenal! From the moment I first reached out with the job inquiry, and throughout the entire process, this company's staff always responded promptly and always with detailed answers for every question. The staff came across as highly professional, extremely reliable, and always showed up on time. The staff were very professional and reliable. I was impressed with their attention to detail - everything from the way they conducted themselves to their equipment was top-notch. Overall, I would highly recommend Millhawlk Projects, and I will definitely be calling them again in the future with any other projects.
Thomas Lee Brown
Thomas Lee Brown



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