You know the drill – you learn about a project and you submit a bid. The bid is usually your own form, setting forth cost of materials and labor, and your contact information. This bid is an opportunity for you to incorporate some terms to improve your bargaining position with the general contractor.

Some terms to consider are:

Void Date. You could make your bid void unless it is accepted, in writing, within a certain number of days.

Start Date. You could make your bid contingent on the project starting within a certain window. For example, “This bid is contingent on the project starting by October 1. If the start date is after October 1, general contractor agrees to allow subcontractor to revise its bid to take into account cold weather conditions. ”

Plans and Specs. You could make your bid subject to change upon review of the actual plans or engineer’s drawings.

 Termination. You could incorporate a termination for convenience clause. Yes, I know this might be overreaching, but if you don’t know the general, it could be worth a try.

When you submit a bid, you have an opportunity to add terms for your protection. These terms could provide you with a strong defense to claims brought by a general contractor.