Usually something simple gets the job done, H20. "I'll wire your job according to print for $XX,XXX.XX. With payments.....". Sign here. If there is no print, I itemize everything, so it's clear what is included. I usually feel it's important to name some things that aren't included (permit, patching, etc.).
How you come up with that dollar amount is nobody's business but your own, and it only needs to look neat and professional if you have a supervisor. I do mine on school paper, and when it's lucky it goes in a file with a name on it.
Contract Proposals are either carbon type (if written on the truck), or from the PC in a style that imitates the carbon type (which I get from office supply stores).
PS I don't think this belongs in NEC
[This message has been edited by Tiger (edited 08-12-2005).]
Of course some folks do business with a handshake, others do business with the government. A government bid might look like a small town phone book. Any bid should clearly state the scope of work, the parties involved, the date issued and the date it expires (you don't want to have to match a 10 year old bid), the payment amount and terms. Bigger projects will require more details in the bid. If you are dealing with the government there are lots more things that will need to be there.
Making your takeoff sheets a part of your proposal is an easy and pretty much failure proof way of bidding a non government job. It makes sure that you put a $ figure on the items you're including in your proposal. Best of luck in your business!!