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The construction industry has long relied on the same methods for advertising and landing jobs. Word-of-mouth, billboards, vehicle lettering, and job site banners are favorites among the most established contractors. But for a new contractor — or an established contractor that wants to grow faster — those old methods won’t do. Today’s growing contractors are utilizing the technology of construction bidding software and websites. But what is a construction bidding website — and which are the best ones? This guide has those answers. 

What are construction bidding websites?

A construction bidding website is a site that contractors can navigate through to find potential projects. Project owners, businesses, government agencies, and other entities with a project on the horizon can submit requests for proposals, and the contractor can submit theirs for consideration.

Generally speaking, construction bidding websites require the bidding contractor to sign up for access, and it does sometimes require a fee. Once their application is approved, the contractor will have access to bid requests of all kinds, from general projects to specialized skills. They’ll be able to search certain keywords, narrow projects down to a particular location, or search all of the listings.

The bid requests will have detailed information about the project, including the location, the project value, a rough scope of work, and any other data the contractor might need to submit a bid. There will also be a method of contacting the project owner with further requests for information, should the listing not be as clear as the contractor would like.

Construction bidding websites also enable the project owner to reach out to contractors and submit requests for proposals. 

Contractors can usually use their own construction bidding software to work up a bid and submit it to the contact person. As bids are submitted, users can sometimes see who else is bidding.

Key construction contractor bidding sites

There are a lot of websites dedicated to construction bidding, and they vary in size, reliability, and project availability. Instead of wasting time on sites that don’t generate a return, check out the following construction bidding websites.

BidClerk

BidClerk is one of the largest and most popular construction bidding websites, with over 400,000 projects being submitted each year. It’s also somewhat of the gold standard in user interface — the search function, metrics, criteria, and mobile function are more advanced and user-friendly than other websites.

The site is open for a wide range of projects, including private, commercial, industrial, and educational projects, among others. Valuations can range from very small to projects valued in the multi-millions.  The project owner simply submits a project to the system and lets the bids roll in. 

As a website open to private property owners and home improvement contracts, there can be a learning curve. Some users don’t have any experience in the industry, leading to confusion about the project listing and unrealistic expectations.

BidClerk is rather hush-hush about its membership costs. But it appears that annual membership is around $500, with monthly memberships costing around $50 each month.

Construction Bid Source

Construction Bid Source is one of the oldest bidding platforms around, getting its start in 1992. While initially California-focused, it’s now nationwide and offers contractors a free basic membership. Contractors can search for projects, advertise their company on a project, and receive email alerts about their bids. 

Beyond the basic membership, Construction Bid Source offers a standard plan for $39.95 per month, which offers better access to contact info and bid documents. Also, Construction Bid Source helps contractors post Disadvantaged Business Enterprise solicitations for $35 per ad. For unlimited DBE ads, contractors should check into the annual membership for $349 per month.

iSqFt

For subcontractors, iSqFt might prove to be one of the best construction bidding websites. This site was designed specifically to put subs in contact with general contractors. The GCs have the ability to send RFPs or invitations for bids to subcontractors, and subs can bid on projects that the GCs post.

Because iSqFt utilizes a network of over 1,500 general contractors, it gives subcontractors more exposure and provides them with more project opportunities. The iSqFt platform costs general contractors $49 a month, but the cost for subcontractors isn’t readily available online.

ConstructionWire

ConstructionWire is a construction bidding website that puts contractors and subs in contact with over 500,000 project owners. Most of these project owners are for private commercial projects where the project value exceeds $500,000. 

When using ConstructionWire, users have access to three main databases, including projects, companies, and people. Potential bidders can search for a certain project or project type. They might also look for projects posted by particular companies, but they can also find the people behind those companies, as well as their business contact information. And, since CosntructionWire vets each job to ensure it’s valid and accurate, there’s less wasted time on your end.

Membership costs $250 a month, allowing access for up to three users and 500 downloads per month. 

Dodge Construction Central

Among other things, Dodge Construction Central is a construction bidding website and source for leads and bids. According to the company website, Dodge Construction Central sees itself as a suite of research, planning, and bidding tools. It also claims to add or update 6,500 jobs every day, with 22,000 new bidding opportunities each month.

Beyond submitting actual bids, Dodge users have access to information like who else is bidding, who the planholders are, and advanced notice to public projects. There are also other benefits to joining Dodge Construction Central, such as industry-related news, research, and reviews.

To find out how much Dodge Construction Central costs, you’ll have to schedule a demo and crunch the numbers with a rep. 

GovernmentBids.com

One look at the GovernmentBids website and you’ll know that this site has been around a while. But, despite looking like a government website, it’s a private site that helps construction contractors and subs bid on public projects (though other industries will find bidding opportunities, as well).

Users can search GovernmentBids.com’s database of over 35,000 projects, narrowing the search by keyword or region. It’s also possible to set up daily email alerts for new projects.

Membership to local projects within your state is $44 per month, while access to federal and local projects is $73 per month. For advanced access to projects before they open for bidding, the fee is $87 each month and includes state and federal projects. There is also a $131 per month membership that allows you to see the winning bid amount and bidder.

BidNet

For another source of government bidding opportunities, check out BidNet.com. This construction bidding website gives contractors access to federal, state, and local governments across the country. Like other government-focused sites, BidNet allows members access to prospective projects before the bidding opens.

Like other government-focused construction bidding websites, BidNet will send contractors daily bid alerts. You’ll need a membership for this feature, and membership appears to cost around $90 each year — but pricing information isn’t readily available without signing up for a demo with a sales rep.

FAQs about construction bidding websites

How do construction bidding websites work?

The reason construction bidding websites exist is to streamline the bidding process. Project owners can submit projects and requests for proposals through the site. Contractors who are members of the site are able to log in, search for projects within their areas of expertise and location, and submit bids according to the details. These sites also provide the contractor with a direct line of communication with the project owner to ask questions and build a rapport: something that isn’t always possible with traditional bidding methods.

How should I choose a construction bidding website?

There are a lot of websites for bidding on construction projects, and choosing the right one can feel like it’s hit or miss. First, check reviews to ensure you know what other contractors are saying. Second, make sure the bidding website handles plenty of projects within your specialty. Third, most construction bidding websites offer demos, so sit through a few before deciding which one is right for you.

How much do construction bidding websites cost?

Most construction bidding websites tend to keep their pricing under wraps, preferring to discuss fees after holding a demonstration of the bidding platform. However, most sites have a choice between a monthly fee and an annual fee, with the annual fee costing less in the long run. Fees tend to start around $40 to $50 a month, with annual fees costing a few hundred dollars, depending on the site.

What is the best construction bidding website?

BidClerk, Construction Bid Source, ConstructionWire, and Dodge Construction are widely considered the best construction bidding websites. But which site is best for you depends on several factors, such as the fees, the types of projects you prefer, and the features you plan to use.