Where to Bid on Construction Jobs? The Top 3 Sources to Land Your Next Building Project

Written by Bridget Cooper

DateDec 15, 2023
Reading time8 min read

Winning construction jobs can sometimes feel like a rat race — a seemingly endless loop of rejections, failed bids, and frustrating silences. 

And this struggle is a harsh reality for many contractors, with studies revealing that, on average, contractors secure only 10-20% of the construction bids they submit.

So what causes this struggle? It's not only just about the competition. A big part of this problem lies in not knowing where to find the right prospects. Too often, contractors subscribe to outdated lists with expired bid dates and incomplete project details.  

Thankfully, there are better alternatives today, and that's what we'll delve into in this article. We’ll explore the 4 best sources to find the right prospects, fill your backlog, and win more construction deals. 

Government Websites 

One of the most effective ways to tap into federal bidding opportunities is through government websites. 

If you're just starting out and have a limited budget, such websites should be your first stop. This is because you don't have to pay any fees to register or maintain your registration

An example of such a website is the System for Award Management (SAM.gov) All projects posted on the platform are worth at least $25,000, and you can use the website's handy search tool to explore all of them. 

The search tool allows you to narrow down bid opportunities based on criteria like place of performance, project dates, and contract awardees. And once you find a suitable bid, you can easily access all the project scope documents that you need to create a strong proposal.

BidClerk by Construction Connect

BidClerk, powered by Construction Connect, is a leading construction bidding platform with over 400,000 annual construction project submissions. It covers a wide range of projects, from private and commercial to industrial and educational. It has valuations that range from thousands to multi-million dollars.

Renowned for its user-friendly experience, BidClerk outshines other construction bidding sites with its advanced search features, metrics, criteria, and mobile responsiveness. But where it really shines, though, is the insights it provides to users. Upon subscribing, you gain access to a wealth of critical contact data for key decision-makers involved in each construction project — from the architect and engineer to the project owner. Such information would take you days to track down if you researched manually. 

The platform takes it a step further by also providing the LinkedIn profiles of these stakeholders. You can learn more about their backgrounds and analyze their previous construction projects, allowing you to create stronger and more deeply-informed proposals. 

You also receive detailed project descriptions, covering specific trades, locations, crucial documents, project status, specifications, etc. 


BidClerk costs vary based on factors like your chosen market, the number of counties, and optional premium add-ons. While the platform doesn't specify exact costs on its website, a reported estimate is around $50-$75 per month for a market area.


In 2008, Kevin Priddy, drawing from over 20 years as both a general contractor and subcontractor, founded Planhub. Since then, the platform has grown steadily and currently hosts a thriving community, featuring 400,000+ subs, 55,000+ GCs, and an impressive annual posting of 60,000+ projects.

Planhub effectively links general contractors (GCs) and subcontractors in commercial construction projects nationwide. It supports you throughout every phase of the bidding process, from discovering construction leads to submitting and winning bids.

The website bills itself as the most practical and cost-effective cloud-based solution in the construction industry, and here's how it backs up that claim:

  • Offering insightful competitive analytics, including plan downloads, views, and project engagement metrics, allowing you to assess your competition at a glance.
  • Generating a curated list of relevant public and private projects for your review using your profile information 
  • Allowing you to add new team members and assign them to different bids, minimizing duplicated efforts and streamlining collaboration.
  • Automatically sending automatic Invitation to Bid (ITB) notifications to your profile whenever your profile aligns with a newly posted bid.
  • Providing a suite of modern, user-friendly tools for discovering relevant projects, building, and managing bids and proposals.
  • Sending automatic reminders whenever a deadline is approaching, helps you stay on top of important timelines.
  • Providing insights into pricing trends for similar projects in your area -- compared to other construction companies -- enabling you to price your bids appropriately.


You can use Planhub for free. But to get the most out of the website, here’s how much you need to pay as a subcontractor: 

  • Jobs within a 25-mile radius: $999/annually
  • Jobs within a 50-mile radius: $1,599/annually
  • Jobs within a 100-mile radius: $1,899/annually
  • Jobs within a 200-mile radius: $2,999/annually

You can also get an enterprise plan by contacting the sales team for a quotation. 

BidNet Direct

Bidnet Direct is another top resource for federal, state, and local bidding opportunities. It provides two types of solicitations: Group Bids, where solicitations are published directly to the website by participating government buyers and Statewide Bids where the website aggregates bids from various sources such as websites and newspapers across every state.

To give you an idea of how popular this construction bidding website is, consider the following: 

  • In 2022 alone, there were over 450,000 bid opportunities, made up of 22,000 group bids and 430,000 statewide bids.
  • Over 1,500 participating agencies regularly publish solicitations on the website, with over 200 agencies registering on the platform since 2023 started.

With such a huge collection of solicitations, Bidnet Direct ensures that contractors — whether seasoned or newcomers — can identify relevant opportunities easily. For example, the "Solicitation Search", allows you to add filters like location, solicitation type, and closing date to nail down your exact search. And if you want to be even more specific, you can include extra keywords like roofing, plumbing, or repair to find the exact opportunities in your niche.

Once you find what you need, you can use the "Save Search" feature to bookmark your search for future reference. This feature enables you to revisit closed projects to track bid winners and try to establish subcontractor relationships with them. You can even use it to build a calendar of potential opportunities that may arise in the future. 

The website takes the hassle out of the bidding process right from the get-go. During the onboarding process, you're required to include your working categories or NIPG categories — unique codes identifying the services your company provides. Bidnet attaches these codes to every bid posted so that it can match you with the right opportunities. Whenever these bids are published, it automatically notifies you via phone or email, helping you take immediate action.  


There are four subscription models you can choose from:

  • Limited: The free option. You only get access to member agency bids.
  • Group: Costs $9 per state per month. Provides real-time alerts and advanced search capabilities.
  • State: Costs $36 per state per month. Delivers daily bid notifications and access to both local and state bids.
  • Federal: Costs $45 per state per month. In addition to the features we've mentioned above, it also provides access to federal bids.

Streamline the Construction Bidding Process with DowntoBid

Construction bidding websites like -- BidClerk, Planhub, Bidnet Direct, Construction Bid Source, and Construction Market Data -- offer a wealth of contracting opportunities at the click of a button. But here’s the twist — what makes these platforms so beneficial can also present a significant headache for you.

Throughout the article, we’ve explained how they notify you by email whenever jobs matching your profile are published. 

The thing is, most of these emails are often unrelated to your interests. Amidst the flood of email updates pouring into your inbox, you're likely getting invitations from unfamiliar contractors, projects from out of state, and, sometimes, receiving the same email multiple times for the same project.

This email overload can be a real challenge. Sure, these platforms open doors to numerous opportunities, but they also throw in the frustrating reality of sifting through countless emails every day.

And as a subcontractor, the real work extends beyond email management.

To win more construction deals and fuel business growth, you also need to:

  • Identify and bid for projects that align with your goals, discarding those that aren't worth your time.
  • Ensure your bids meet the requirements set by contractors or project owners.
  • Keep all your bidding details organized and easily accessible.
  • Track factors like relevant trades, bid amounts, and margins.
  • Keep an eye on the results of your bids to ensure you’re heading in the right direction 

How Downtobid Can Help

If these considerations feel overwhelming, take heart in the fact that platforms like Downtobid can help ease this burden. We do this by: 

  • Ensuring that subcontractors receive valuable feedback on their bids, making the whole process more transparent and informative.
  • De-duplicating emails to streamline your inbox
  • Automatically compiling relevant construction bid opportunities for subcontractors
  • Compiling emails and bid invitations into unified threads
  • Scraping details from documents to create customized bid boards
  • Detecting addenda and changes on bids and summarizing them into an easy-to-digest narrative

In short, if you're not using bid-invitation tool like DowntoBid to automate mundane construction bidding tasks, organize your data, and streamline processes, you're potentially leaving significant opportunities on the table.

Sign up for early access today.

Written by Bridget CooperUpdated on Feb 23, 2024

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