A business proposal typically contains company history and information about similar past projects, a detailed project timeline including phases, comprehensive budget estimates, terms and conditions, and a signature page. Having a premade general contractor proposal template makes it easy to capture necessary information rather than starting over from scratch with each new bid.
Managing customer proposals can be tedious. However, a CRM like Salesforce Essentials, designed for small businesses, offers tools like a proposal section where you can embed collaborative documents inside a record. There’s also a visual timeline for each project and lead, keeping everything in one place. Sign up for a free trial today, no credit card required.
We’ve generated a list of nine contractor proposal forms you can use today.
1. Comprehensive General Contractor Proposal Template
Format: PDF or online
Best for: Contractors who want a comprehensive proposal for clients who need a very specific details
This general contractor proposal template is customizable and comprehensive, making it a good choice for larger projects that require a lot of background and history. You can download the template and complete it in a different program, or fill it out online with PandaDoc’s software and track customer opens and clicks. The main fields include company background, certifications, past projects, an estimated timeline, project costs, and signature fields.
2. Restaurant General Contractor Proposal Template
Format: Google Docs, MS Word, Pages
Best for: General contractors who build new restaurants
Cost: $8 to $23 per month for access to over 50,000 templates and documents
This template is suitable for those specializing in building restaurants. It includes sections for background, available equipment, restaurant layout, kitchen appliances needed, key people in charge of the project, and a statement of work. Furthermore, for a low monthly cost of $8 to $23 per month (depending on how many downloads you may use in the future), you can have access to over 50,000 templates, documents, and designs.
3. Modern General Contractor Proposal Template
Format: Online or PDF
Best for: General contractors who want a crisp, modern template with an online payment option
Cost: $19 to $45 dollars per user, per month, depending on how many active proposals you need at a time
This is an online general contractor proposal solution that offers sleek templates that showcase your brand. It has customizable sections such as portfolio, project summary and schedule, and online signatures, and allows customers to pay online through Stripe to help you close deals faster. Proposify also has integrations with many other applications and CRMs general contractors may use, such as Salesforce, Slack, Google Drive, Basecamp, and QuickBooks.
For example, you can connect Proposify with Salesforce to automatically import contacts, attach proposals to opportunities within the pipeline, and export won proposals as PDFs, streamlining your sales process in one place. Sign up for a Salesforce free trial today.
4. Excel-ready General Contractor Proposal Template
Best for: Small businesses wanting a simple proposal template in spreadsheet format
This is a simple, free general contractor proposal template you can use over and over again. Simply download, plug in your logo, and fill out the details of your project. It also has fields for terms and conditions, payment terms, contact details, and a signature line. Furthermore, TemplateLab offers a variety of free templates for nearly any small business project.
5. Online General Contractor Proposal Template
Format: Excel, OpenOffice, Google Docs
Best for: Small businesses that want a simple online proposal template that is easy to use
Cost: $8 to $15 per user, per month
SignNow offers a variety of online, fillable templates for general contractors. It has fields for contact information, the job name and location, pricing for materials and labor, and a signature line for both the general contractor and the customer. Once you fill it out online, you can email it straight to the customer through SignNow and you’ll get a notification once it’s been signed.
6. Mobile General Contractor Proposal Template
Format: Tablets, mobile phones
Best for: General contractors who need to make proposals on the go
Cost: $18 to $30 per user, per month
Goformz offers an intuitive proposal solution for small businesses with smart forms that automate calculations, real-time reporting to gain insights on your proposal status, and the ability to capture site photos, maps, sketches, and signatures. It also integrates with many other software applications small businesses use, such as Zapier, Dropbox, OneDrive, and QuickBooks.
7. Self-guided General Contractor Proposal Template
Best for: General contractors who want to answer questions that generate a proposal
Cost: $7.99 per month
This is a user-friendly tool that makes it easy for general contractors to create proposals in a self-guided, online process. LawDepot asks you several questions about project details, payment terms, late fees, and more. Once you’ve answered all the questions, it automatically generates a proposal you can download. This helpful template could also help simplify your quoting process when paired with a construction-specific CRM.
8. Customizable General Contractor Proposal Template
Format: Word, PDF
Best for: General contractors who have a database of vendors
Cost: One-time cost of $199
FormDocs allows you to make customizable proposals with vendor data you already have in your database, so you can automatically fill in fields such as parts, codes, and descriptions. You can also insert photos, drawings, and other documents without having to send additional attachments. Additionally, customers can e-sign proposals on a tablet or mobile phone.
9. General Contractor Proposal Template for Bulk Printing
Format: Physical printed documents
Best for: General contractors who need physical copies of proposals to use in the field
Cost: $102.72 for 250 copies
Source: PCS Business Forms
If you’re on the go, need to handwrite proposals in the field, and need a professional-looking template, this is a solid choice. With PCS Business Forms, you simply go to their website, plug in your company name and contact information, and they will send you a print-ready proof for your approval before printing and mailing your proposal templates.
How to Create Your Own General Contractor Proposal Template
While there are plenty of online and downloadable general contractor proposal templates available online, sometimes you need to craft your own for your specific use case. Creating your own template doesn’t have to be cumbersome no matter what software you use—but you do need to remember to include key elements such as company background information, customer information, and a project timeline.
“The key to our success with writing proposals is to make sure we know who will be reading them. For example, if the proposal is going to a large corporation, or has many layers of approvals necessary, we typically include an executive summary that quickly covers the basics: our scope of services and any exclusions, the anticipated project schedule, our proposed project team and their expertise, and a preliminary billing schedule to help the client understand the cash flow requirements of the project.
“We then include a detailed project breakdown by construction divisions and may include copies of actual subcontractor proposals to help clarify what we are planning to deliver. We also make sure that the entire proposal is clear and easily understandable, and not filled with industry jargon.”
– Scott Truehl, Executive Vice President, Friede & Associates
Below are nine details you should typically include in a general contractor proposal template:
- A cover letter: Include your logo, who the logo is being prepared for, who it has been prepared by, and the date.
- Your company contact information: Include your company name, appropriate contacts, physical address, email address, and telephone number.
- Company background information: This may not be required for smaller jobs, but if you’re making a proposal for a comprehensive project, include company background information such as when you were established, what licenses and certifications you have, details about your contractors, and an overview of similar past projects you’ve completed.
- The customer’s information: Include a client name (or business name), customer ID, phone number, address, and email address.
- Project materials and labor: List out all the materials that will be needed for the project with dollar amounts, along with estimated billable labor hours.
- Project timeline: Create a project timeline of project phases and when each stage is estimated to be completed.
- Total cost: Include the sum of all the services and labor described in the project and include tax and any discounts.
- Terms and conditions: Spell out any terms and conditions related to the proposal, such as billing procedures and delivery time frames.
- Signature line: Include a signature line and date for both yourself and the client to show everyone is in agreement on the terms and expectations set forth in the proposal.
“We use manually created templates and have a detailed quote template already created for each major service that we do. Each quote includes a detailed description of the client’s renovation project, with each step properly detailed and outlined. Every item we plan to work on has the amount of time it will take to complete and its price. The template also includes product allowances for each of their fixtures and finishes, with square footage amounts showing for each. Of course, this gets adjusted for each client before the quote is given.
“Having such a detailed and organized template allows our clients to see and understand how we got to the price that we are quoting them. We feel this builds a more trustworthy relationship right off the bat.”
– Keith Melanson, Project Manager, RenosGroup
Pro tip: Don’t send out a proposal and let it linger. Once you deliver a proposal, set up a time to follow up to discuss any next steps involved and answer questions the customer may have. Using a CRM like Salesforce Essentials can help you set automatic follow-up reminders for each opportunity so you always know when you should reach out next.
Tips for Making Your General Contractor Proposal Stand Out
Many companies ask for proposals from several general contractors before deciding who partner with on a project. As a result, there is always some risk that your proposal might be ignored or overlooked if it appears unprofessional or less than complete.
Make your proposal stand out with these tips:
- Consider what format your prospect prefers: Some companies like physical copies of proposals and some people prefer a paper-free process. Ask the prospect upfront what type of proposal works best.
- Limit the length of your proposal: While you want to include all the relevant information the prospect needs, they don’t need to get bogged down reading a proposal that has several pages of terms and conditions or a super-lengthy company background for an hour. They should be able to read it in five to eight minutes.
- Make your proposal aesthetically pleasing: Don’t be afraid to use some color and feature your logo. People gravitate towards things that look nice, so make sure your proposal is polished.
- Check your grammar: Nothing says unprofessional like misspelled words or poor grammar. Double-check your proposal before you send it, or even better, have someone else edit it for you—an extra set of eyes is always a good idea.
- Have a clear, realistic timeline: It’s easy to say you can get a project done in a few weeks, but hiccups always occur along the way. Build in extra time to keep the project on track before you start so you don’t make promises you can’t keep.
- Attach a case study or two: If you have them, these can highlight some of the best work you’ve done and offer proof you can create the business results your prospects desire.
- Weave in brand guidelines: It’s about more than just your logo—it’s your fonts, graphics, and tone of voice too. While marketing agencies typically have set brand guidelines, it’s something not all general contractors typically think of. Learn more about creating a brand identity.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a general contractor proposal?
A general contractor proposal is a document prepared by someone who owns a residential or commercial construction company. It describes the scope of services to be provided to a potential customer to build something like a new residence, restaurant, building, or an addition to a current property.
Can general contractor proposals change in price?
Yes. Sometimes construction projects take more or less time and resources than expected. Make this clear in your proposal, and practice frequent communication with your client to document any agreed-upon changes in price before beginning additional work.
How can I make my general contractor proposal form stand out?
When businesses are looking to hire a general contractor, potential customers ask for proposals from several general contractors. Make yours stand out by using a modern template, including company history, showcasing past projects, customer testimonials if you have them, and proposing competitive—but fair—pricing.
The Bottom Line: Contractor Proposal Forms
General contractors communicate with clients to understand their needs as well as manage subcontractors who do the physical construction work. General contractors wear a lot of hats, so it’s key to have proposals that clearly communicate timelines, budgets, and project expectations to win new deals with clients. Review the proposal templates outlined in this article and pick a solution that works best for your general contracting business.
While you can create a new proposal template for every customer and store them in a separate place, it’s more efficient to incorporate them into your CRM. For example, Salesforce has a visual timeline of leads, which also includes “Proposal” sections, where you can embed collaborative documents, spreadsheets, and slides inside Salesforce records, so every part of a deal or case lives in one place. Sign up for a free Salesforce trial today.