PlanHub Vs Downtobid: An In-Depth Side-by-Side Review

Written by Bridget Cooper

DateMar 14, 2024
Reading time10 min read

In this comparison, we delve into Downtobid and PlanHub, two key platforms transforming construction bidding. We'll focus on how our software help you speed up bid management with AI-driven tools, including AI-assisted bid invitations, efficient addenda management, and automated scope identification.

We also take a look at PlanHub’s strengths in providing extensive project networks and bid management tools, aiming to improve the connection between contractors and projects. This analysis aims to highlight how each platform caters to the specific needs of general contractors and subcontractors in the construction industry.

Downtobid homepage

Downtobid Summary

Downtobid represents a modern approach to construction bid management, leveraging AI to acelerate every step of the bidding process. Our software prioritizes a subcontractor-friendly experience, from bid invitation to project execution, for higher engagement and efficient scope identification. It is made for project managers, general and trade contractors. Our AI features make Downtobid one of the top PlanHub alternatives.

Key Features:

  • Increased Reply Rate & Engagement: Leverages personalized, email-based ITBs and AI-driven data verification to improve subcontractor response rates and high-quality project matches without requiring subcontractors to create accounts.
  • Streamlined Project Discovery: Features a user-friendly Planroom organized into intuitive categories with auto-indexed plans and specs, making it easier for subcontractors to find relevant projects and details quickly.
  • Automated Communication and Updates: Automated follow-ups and sophisticated addenda management to keep subcontractors informed of project updates and changes in a timely manner, directly via email for convenience.
  • Transparent and Accessible Pricing: Offers a transparent pricing model at $499 for unlimited users, with a generous 50% discount for the first year.

AI-assisted Page Turns To Identify Key Scopes

Our software leverages AI to automate the bid review process, drastically reducing the risk of missing key scope details. By replacing manual page reviews with AI-assisted technology, we make sure you have a faster, more accurate bidding experience. This approach not only speeds up the process but also guarantees the completeness of every bid.

Bid Invites In Minutes

Upload documents and get personalized bid invites and scope sheets in minutes. Our software automates the creation process, ensuring each invite is customized with contractors' names for a direct, engaging approach. In fact, our users have reported a 30% increase in replies. This efficient system saves time and enhances bid accuracy, streamlining project kick-offs.

Central Planroom For Document Management & Collaboration

Our central Planroom cuts through the clutter of bid invites, offering subcontractors a direct path to quickly find and search project scope. No accounts required, and with our investment in fast loading times and mobile compatibility, qualifying bids has never been easier or more accessible to collaborate.

Who Is Downtobid Made For?

For Commercial General Contractors:

Estimators leverage our AI to perform thorough page turns, making sure no major trade is overlooked and providing a concise summary. The AI Copilot then recommends optimal bid packages, aligning them with a vetted list of local subcontractors, and includes a detailed scope of work within each invitation to bid. This process minimizes scope gaps in the preconstruction phase, speeding up project planning and execution.

For Trade Contractors:

Our software empowers estimating teams to assess hundreds of opportunities simultaneously. The AI Copilot reviews each plan set or bid invite, identifying scopes relevant to your trade. Suitable projects are automatically populated onto a bid board/calendar, complete with all critical information (deadline, GC, etc.), enhancing project selection and bid strategy with comprehensive analytics for win/loss insights.

How To Use Downtobid To Speed Up The Bidding Process

Our software handles your bidding process by automating the analysis and organization of project plans. Just upload your documents and our AI Copilot takes over, generating personalized bid invites and comprehensive scope sheets quickly. This efficient system ensures your bids are accurately tailored, saving you time and improving your chances of winning projects. In the next section, we'll show you how to use Downtobid.

Upload Project Files

First, click here to begin.

You will be directed to a page that allows you to upload your project plans.

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Receive Project Information

Just upload your plans, and Downtobid's AI will examine every page to pinpoint scope details and assemble customized bid packages. This process can take from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on your project's intricacy. Upon completion, you will be notified via email, and your tailored bid packages will be available for review.

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Review The Scope

After logging in, you'll discover a comprehensive list of AI-prepared bid packages. Each package includes a concise summary, highlights where your scope aligns perfectly, and recommends a selection of local, qualified subcontractors for invitations.

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Proposed Bid Schedule

The AI organizes a strategic bidding calendar, dispatching your invitations to bid according to the best time to sent invitations. These ITBs are combined with personalized details and a brief scope overview, allowing subcontractors to quickly assess their fit without needing to thoroughly review the plans.

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Access The Planroom

The Planroom design offers subcontractors hassle-free access without requiring an account, enabling them to swiftly locate the necessary drawings. Thanks to fast loading times and automatic organization of sheets, subcontractors can easily pinpoint projects that align with their skills.


Easy Organization With Filters

Subcontractors gain entry to the Planroom without the need for account creation, allowing them to quickly focus on the plans pertinent to their trade. With sheets automatically categorized, identifying suitable projects becomes effortlessly straightforward.


All emails are delivered directly to your inbox, enabling you to respond without having to leave your email interface. In the constant overflow of email notifications filling your inbox, it's common to encounter invites from unknown contractors, out-of-state projects, and even duplicate emails for the same project.

Downtobid Cost

Our construction bid software has clear-cut pricing: $499 a year with no hidden fees. This transparent model includes all features, with a 50% discount in your first year. With us, we're upfront with what you pay for and get everything, making complex projects simpler and more cost-effective.


PlanHub Overview

PlanHub is a specialized construction bidding platform and digital plan room designed to help general contractors and subcontractors expand their operations.

Despite offering a wide network, has faced criticism for its accessibility issues and lack of transparency. It requires subcontractors to create accounts, pay for accessing and bidding on certain projects, and obscures essential information like general contractor contact details behind a paywall.

Key Features

  • Vast Network and Easy Project Access: Access over 32,000 general contractors, 400,000 subcontractors, and 4,500 suppliers on PlanHub. Find and win projects effortlessly with our extensive network and project leads.
  • Efficient Bid Management Tools: Simplify your bid process with PlanHub's intuitive tools. From project discovery to proposal management, we make it easy for you to create winning bids and expand your business.
  • Strategic Market Insights and Dedicated Support: Gain competitive advantage with PlanHub's market analytics and personalized support. Our insights and US-based customer service help you make informed decisions and achieve faster growth.
  • Seamless Networking and Collaboration: Connect with key industry players and collaborate smoothly. PlanHub's platform enhances your ability to network, share information, and build profitable relationships.


PlanHub offers tailored pricing plans to suit the diverse needs of the construction industry, from local contractors to national enterprises.

Premier provides a comprehensive suite of tools and access within a specified radius, starting at $1,199/year, with options to expand your reach up to 200 miles. It's designed to simplify bid management and maximize efficiency using PlanHub’s vast network.

Enterprise delivers unlimited national project access and enhanced features, including national reach, complete GC network communication, and dedicated customer care, ideal for teams with 3+ users.

Basic offers always-free limited coverage, perfect for those starting out. All plans include essential features like unlimited Planroom access, invitations to bid, and document downloads, with Premier adding unlimited bidding across the full PlanHub network, advanced takeoff and estimation tools, and exclusive analytics for a competitive edge.

Side-By-Side Software Comparison For Bid Management

In this section, we directly compare Downtobid and PlanHub. We'll break down each platform's approach to key aspects of the bidding process—project discovery, bid invitations, subcontractor engagement, and addenda management—focusing on features, accessibility, pricing, and efficiency. This comparison will guide you in choosing the software that best fits your construction project needs, enabling you to make a well-informed decision for your bid management requirements.

You can also check out our comparison of PlanHub, ConstructConnect and Downtobid.


PlanHub sets barriers for subcontractors with mandatory account creation and charges for access to select projects and General Contractor (GC) details, adding to the cost and complexity of participation. Our software promotes easy access and user convenience by eliminating the need for account setup and adopting a transparent pricing model.

Data Quality and Pre-Qualification

PlanHub provides a broad network but lacks customization in subcontractor selection. Downtobid, however, leverages a multi-step verification process for superior data quality and engages subcontractors, enhancing bid relevance and subcontractor response. We also have features to allow you to customize your subcontractor selection.

Price Comparison

PlanHub offers a range of plans from a free Basic option to Premier plans costing $1,199 to $2,999 per year, based on coverage area, and a customizable Enterprise plan for national reach and advanced features. Downtobid simplifies its pricing with a $499 annual fee for unlimited users, including a 50% first-year discount. Our software stands out for its straightforward, all-inclusive pricing and AI-driven tools, while PlanHub caters to diverse needs with tiered options, from entry-level access to full-scale enterprise solutions.

Bid Coverage and Engagement

PlanHub struggles with bid coverage, hindered by user access issues and difficulties in plan retrieval, deterring subcontractor involvement. On the other hand, Downtobid leads in improving high subcontractor engagement and ensuring thorough bid coverage by using personalized email ITBs and AI for accurately categorizing responses. This strategy boosts replies, and bid coverage by matching projects with the right subcontractors.

Planroom Organization and ITB Customization

PlanHub struggles with limited bid coverage, impacted by accessibility and plan access issues that deter subcontractor participation. DowntoBid, on the other hand, secures high subcontractor engagement and broad bid coverage by employing personalized email-based ITBs and automatically organizes Planrooms into intuitive folders and allows for customizable, detailed ITBs without requiring subcontractors to create an account. This method not only simplifies the process for subcontractors but also ensures a more accurate and efficient matching of projects and bids.

PlanHub's activity tracking functionality enables contractors to monitor user engagement, specifically tracking who has viewed the project, downloaded documents, or submitted bids.

Bid Leveling & Addenda

While neither PlanHub nor Downtobid includes a bid leveling feature, our software sets itself apart with advanced addenda management. It effectively highlights which sheets are affected by changes and proactively informs subcontractors about any adjustments in scope. This efficient communication ensures subcontractors are always working with the most current information, reducing errors and enhancing the accuracy of bids.


PlanHub's pricing lacks transparency and its bid submission process is less user-friendly, a challenge commonly encountered in the industry. DowntoBid stands out with its transparent $499 annual fee for unlimited users, plus a first-year 50% discount, coupled with an easy submission process that includes direct email replies and automated bid status updates, making it a more efficient and cost-effective choice for users..

Written by Bridget CooperUpdated on Mar 29, 2024

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