The specific bidding requirements for construction and repair contracts in the Tarheel State can be determined by following a nine-step procedure that lines up succinctly with the construction contracting process. In this four-part series, a Charlotte construction lawyer from Cotney Construction Law will explain the bidding requirements for construction and repair contracts. These legal requirements apply to all construction and repair contracts unless the project is determined to be ineligible by a relevant entity.
Developing Precise Project Specifications
The first step to procuring a bid in North Carolina requires no action on behalf of the contractor. The local government spearheading the project must first develop the project specifications. First, they will select project designers, such as an architect or engineer. The government is required to make a selection in accordance with the Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) process. Architects and engineers who choose to submit specifications are required to include all licensure requirements in the invitation disseminated to bidders.
Once the bidding process begins, contractors can submit competitive bids to procure these lucrative projects. Generally, there are two types of bidding:
Informal Bidding: If the expected cost of a project falls within the “informal bidding” range (typically $30,000 to $500,000), North Carolina law does not clearly dictate any requirements regarding the method for securing these contracts. Therefore, local governments are allowed to solicit bids through any means deemed appropriate including newspaper ads, website postings, email, mail, or phone.
Formal Bidding: Projects that fall into the formal bidding range, which includes construction and repair projects estimated to cost more than $500,000, must utilize formal advertising to solicit bids. Examples include advertisements in a newspaper of general circulation published and distributed within the jurisdiction of the local government and through electronic means. This advertisement must be posted at least one week before the bid becomes open for contractors to pursue. These advertisements are required to include information including:
- Time and location for procuring plans and specifications
- Time, date, and location of the bid opening
- Statement maintaining the local government’s legal right to reject any or all bids
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.