How to Bid to Win Residential Spray Foam Insulation Projects

Placing a bid is a slippery slope; bid too high and you price yourself out of reach, bid too low and leave yourself vulnerable in the event of a mishap which all too often leads to cutting corners, delays and having to go back to the client asking for more money. While word of mouth is such an effective tool in residential work, accuracy is as critical to longevity as the profits that sustain your business.

Measure twice, cut once:

With the cost of materials being the lion’s share of project cost, missing critical measurements and confirming critical details can be the difference between not being awarded the project and, even worse, losing money when you do get the project.


Home owners approach their needs differently. Some want to be involved in every aspect of their need, while others will rely on you to simply provide the best solution with little to no involvement. Despite the customer’s schedule, measuring and inspecting the project is the first opportunity to show the potential client your thoroughness and attention to detail while gathering the important data required to accurately provide a number. This thoroughness can often lead to insightful details which competitors have missed, giving you the advantage.

Utilizing grid sheets are a great way of detailing each section and their differing details; such as stud spacing or the type and amount of insulation that needs removed before the new installation.

Tracking the yield, environmental, and substrate condition of each and every job will over time allow you to refine your numbers for better accuracy of future bids.

You are the professional:

Customer in today’s market have instant access to information. This places an emphasis even more so on being the professional. Trade associations specific to the spray foam industry are a great way to keep up with those advancements and are a gateway to a deeper understanding of the advantages which spray foams have over alternative insulations. Due to their seemingly endless versatility in formulation and wide range of uses – spray foams are continually being improved or integrated with the latest advancements in retrofit and envelope insulating practices. Trade associations often focus on training best practices and keeping up with the latest developments which are a great indicator to the homeowner that you are engaged and a steward of your profession.


Proposals are another opportunity to showcase your professionalism. Structuring the proposal to maximize effective communication is simplified when all the details are known. Start out the proposal with an overview describing the home and its attributing features.

The scope of work allows yet another opportunity to effectively demonstrate that you’ve listened and attended to the owner’s request. This is also the area where you have the moment to showcase the details of your approach and inform in detail why you think it should be done a certain way. This is also a great area to provide drawings or photos describing your intent.

Keep your wording simple and direct and don’t over commit. Avoid using words like all and entire by simply exchanging them for a specific amount or dimension. Let the customer know what you intend to supply including equipment, materials and how much time and work hours the customer can anticipate. This is also the perfect place to explain your needs for access, safety requirements during the application period, and any requirements you may have of the occupants or owner as it relates to your needs. Be clear with the terms and conditions and always clarify the price numerically and in written form.

Be present to present the present:

Proposal packages are great for showcasing your professional business brand. Incorporating your proposal in a folder or binder that expresses the positive attributes of your business. The cover can show a picture of the residence with the contact info. This is also a place where you can provide information on the products, customer testimonies, samples, business cards, extended warranty and service programs along with a sample contract.

Winning the customer over takes time, accuracy and professional effort. Mishaps often end in dissatisfied customers and loss of potential future work. For more articles about spray foam please visit:

How to Make a Spray Foam Insulation Business Profitable

John Davidson is the VP of Operations at SprayWorks Equipment Group and is an SPFA PCP Certified Roofing and Insulation Installer, Roofing and Insulation Project Manager, and Supplier Rep. With over 30 years of experience in the spray foam and polyurea industry, John brings a wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience. He has worked on commercial and residential buildings, bridges and infrastructure.


  1. John – just wanted to say this is important information for our mutual audiences and the industry to take a complex process and make it the most simple and effective as possible leading to their success. And, of course we love to see people like yourself putting the time, effort and cost in to obtain your industry professional certifications and utilizing those credentials in your credit line! Leadership, commitment and expertise are hard to quantify/qualify and we are elated to see use of SPFA's PCP program to aid in that effort. Maybe you need to put in an abstract to do a presentation on this important topic above for SPFA's Convention attendees in Pasadena 2020!

    • Thanks, Kurt! I enjoy sharing topics like these that I’ve learned about through experience and through excellent training. We want to give back and help the industry grow in a positive way. I’d like to discuss the opportunity to present this topic at SPFA 2020.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *