Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives

Bidding and Construction Contract Administration



Check the Final Plans Carefully:

  • Are there enough outlets?
  • Are the switches where you​ need them?
  • Are the correct light fixtures shown?
  • Will the casework (built-in furniture) serve your needs?
  • Sightlines:  Can you readily supervise public areas from the circulation desk?


Advertise for Bids:

  • Comply with bidding laws.  This is usually the responsibility of the Architect.
  • Comply with prevailing wage laws.  This is usually the responsibility of the Architect.
  • Bid documents should establish criteria for selection of qualified and experienced contractors.
    • What are the required contractor qualifications?


Pre-Bid Conference:

  • A meeting to review bid procedures and to field questions about the bid documents.
  • Attendance may be optional or mandatory.
  • An Addendum may be issued to clarify documents and answer questions.  This becomes an official part of the contract documents.


Bid Opening:

  • Confirm that each bid is complete, addenda have been acknowledged, etc.
  • Open, read, and record the bids – that's it.
  • You might say, "the apparent low bidder is ...."  Do not say, "The low bidder is ...."


Select Lowest and Best Bidder:

  • Responsive Bidders:
    • A bidder that has submitted a bid which conforms in all material respects to the invitation for bids.
    • If the bidder is not responsive, they must be rejected for not meeting all bid requirements.
    • Responsible Bidders:
    • Bidders that have the capability in all respects to fully perform the contract requirements, and the integrity and reliability which will assure good faith performance.
  • Get list of all recent projects.
    • Has the contractor done projects of similar size, cost, and complexity?
    • Check the contractor’s references.
    • Did they finish on time?
    • Did they finish within the budget?
    • How did they handle construction problems, questions, and conflicts?
  • Does the contractor have a stable address?
  • Check the contractor’s bank and insurance references.
  • Carefully check all financials.
  • Check for licensing in Kentucky?
  • Contracts should require that conflicts are mediated by a neutral mediator to help avoid costly, time-consuming law suits.
  • Do they have commercial AND public construction experience?
  • Would previous owners use the same contractor again?  More info to follow



  • The bids are obtained;
  • The contract with selected contractor is negotiated;
  • The architect and owner approve the sub-contractors, and,
  • The contract is signed.