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Client Resources - DIY tendering for obtaining builder prices.

For a home owner not used to approaching builders and main contractors for obtaining tender prices, here is a simple DIY guide that you can use as a template for your own approaches rather than using the services of CHP.

The scheme prepared by CHP remains 'draft' until I have received formal Building Regulations approval. This would not stop builders from pricing the scheme.

Any changes (if required) can be assessed by the final builder as to whether
or not it affects the price given.

Contacting builders for a tender should be completed in this way:-

Telephone them first and explain:-

1 -That I have completed a scheme for you, planning has been obtained & you
are now in for Building Regulations Approval.
2 - Describe the works (large entrance hall & garage conversion).
3 - You would like to start in the next 4 months.
4 - Would they like to tender for the works?

If so send them a COMPLETE set of all drawings, specs & any engineers calculations and attach a covering letter.  This can be by hard copies in the post or via email attaching pdf's.  

A draft wording to a covering letter is here...


(to be adjusted or enhanced as decided by each client to suit their needs)


Dear Sirs,

Re: PROPOSED .......... EXTENSION AT .......... TENDER

Further to our recent telephone conversation where you expressed an interest in completing the above home extension, we enclose 1 complete copy set of all drawings and documents for your assessment and pricing of the above project.

Please take time to carefully read the drawings and Specification Manual as there are a number of P.C. sums and a contingency sum which are deemed to be included within your quotation.

The Contract for the works will likely be by exchange of letters or other simple contract which shall be discussed in detail with the successful tender including method of payment, retention etc.

We have already obtained full Planning approval & Building Regulations Approval has just been applied for. We would like a mutually agreed start date within the next 4 months.

You are required to provide a fixed price, fully inclusive quotation. You are to include for all necessary labour & materials to fully complete the works as specified or generally outlined on the drawings to a high standard of workmanship & current good building practice. The suggested contract period is stated within the Specification Manual & there are a number of prime cost (PC) sums & a clients contingency sum that is also deemed to be included within your tender price.

Could you please fill out the ‘tender return’ form at the back of the specification manual No. 1 return it in a sealed envelope to us at the above address no later than …(allow 4 weeks minimum)....................

All tender bids will be opened shortly after at the same time. Your quotation is to be fixed price for a period of 3 months. Quotations received after this date may not be considered.

You are advised to visit the site to acquaint yourself with the overall site conditions prior to submitting your quotation. Could you please telephone us as soon as possible to arrange a mutually convenient appointment.

We are not obliged to accept the lowest or any of the tenders. We will notify all tenders within one month of the results.

Please note that if for any reason you are unable to provide us with a tender price then could you please return ALL the enclosed documents as soon as possible.

In the meantime should you have any queries then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Yours sincerely,


1 - Expect them to arrange a site visit with your before submitting their tender price.

2 - If you go out to 4 builders expect only 2 to provide a price within 4 weeks. You will have to chase the remaining two.  One will not tell you he doesn't want the job.

3 - I can supply all the latest pdfs of the scheme for your own printing at a local copy shop and use via email.  Alternatively I can provide you hard copies of all the docs at £20 per complete set (in most cases).

Hope this helps.


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Architectural and Building Design Services - for planning permission and building regulations within Marlow, High Wycombe, Maidenhead, Bucks, Berks and Oxon areas.

Residential development for household extensions, conversions and new dwellings.

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