Estimating and Bidding Time

The Issue: How much time from the issue of bidding documents should be allowed for bid preparation?


Bid preparation is a function of the number of sets of bid documents issued, availability of digital documents, the efficiency with which they are dispersed, the completeness and complexity of the documents, the complexity of the bid form, and the complexity of the project.

Simple projects (usually of lesser value, for example, under $1,000,000) with simple bid forms, complete documents, and which involve only bidders in a small geographic area do not require estimating periods as long as more complex projects with more complex bid documents, a wider geographic appeal, or incomplete documents.

Regardless of the size, and complexity, it is essential that construction documents are complete when they are issued. Issuing complete construction documents for bidding purposes will result in proposals that provide the Owner a proposed cost that will more accurately reflect the final cost of the project, reduce the time required for generating and answering requests for clarifications of the bidding documents, and reduce the needs for time extensions in the pricing process.


● Complete and review, for accuracy, all construction documents before issuing them for bid. Highly recommend performing a constructability review prior to issuing the documents.

● When determining bid date, consider holidays and non-work events in the project vicinity.

● Allow two (2) weeks minimum preparation for small (under $1,000,000) or simple projects.

● Allow four to six (4 – 6) weeks for large and/or complex projects.

● For extremely large projects ($50,000,000 or more), extremely complex projects, or extremely complex bid requirements, the estimating time allowed should be determined after consultation with the potential Prime Bidders.