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Joinery Tenders Explained

3rd February 2021

Everything you need to know when applying for joinery tenders

Joinery tenders can be a great way to secure a consistent workload for your business. You may often find both carpentry and joinery tenders together.

Advantages of tendering as an SME

There are multiple benefits to tendering that you might be unaware of. If you’re new to the tendering world, it can be daunting. If you’re a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) it is a great way to secure a pipeline of work.

You might be thinking that tenders only go to large corporations, but that it isn’t the case. The UK government have actually implemented a scheme to award more SMEs tendering contracts. Their target is to spend at least £1 in £3 with SMEs. This means that public organisations are actively looking to award contracts to smaller businesses.

Below are some examples of joinery services that go out to tender:

  • First fix joinery
  • Second fix joinery
  • Internal joinery
  • External joinery
  • Door and window renovation
  • Stair installations
  • Replacements
  • Hardwood fittings
  • Metal joinery

Tendering not only opens the door to a greater number of joinery tenders, but it can bring more lucrative leads. Sole-traders and SMEs can bid for work on large joinery contracts as part of a framework agreement. These large contracts may enable you to work on a number of different projects in serval areas.

Public sector procurement

The public sector use tendering as their main way of outsourcing. Public sector businesses must put contracts out to tender if they meet or exceed the OJEU thresholds. Brexit has not changed these thresholds and they are set in place until 1st January 2022. Afterwards, a re-evaluation will take place by the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Government Procurement Agreement (GPA). Most of the joinery tenders available are for public sector organisations. These could range from educational institutions such as universities, to councils and domestic housing. There are joinery tenders in the private sector, but they’re more difficult to find. This is because they don’t have to go out to tender, unlike in the public sector.

When a business is looking to procure goods or services, they may put a contract out to tender. When the tender documents are released, a supplier can then apply. They can usually do this by completing the pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ). PQQs cover the status of your organisation. You’ll often be required to provide your companies finances, quality management and environmental, social and health and safety policies. A buyer may want you to provide additional case studies and testimonials. This is to ensure that potential suppliers are used to carrying out similar contracts and work.

Typically, the majority of joinery tenders can be found as part of framework agreements or Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS).

Framework agreements

Framework agreements are commonly used for joinery tenders. A framework agreement is simply a contract agreement between one or more organisations. Tenders often focus on a single supplier delivering the required services or goods. However, frameworks aim to establish a multi-supplier agreement. This is good news if you’re and SME because there are more places available.

Joinery tenders on framework agreements are often for longer term contracts that could last multiple years. Buyers release a framework opportunity and award places to the best suppliers. The majority of frameworks include ‘Lots’. This means a supplier doesn’t have to deliver every aspect of the contract. They need only apply for the relevant section.

For example, a large framework may entail the refurbishment of council housing across the UK. The contracting authority would set out the specifications of the framework and assign different Lots for the different services required. Each Lot could refer to a different area in the UK or subcategory. For example:

  • Lot 1 – London
  • Lot 2 – West Midlands
  • Lot 3 – East Midlands


  • Lot 1 – Plumbing
  • Lot 2 – Flooring
  • Lot 3 – Joinery

You can tender for one or multiple Lots, depending on where you’re based and the services your organisation offers.


A Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) is essentially a supply chain list where tenders or other bid opportunities are published. These bidding opportunities are only published to specific members that have been successful in winning a place on the list.

They do this via completing a PQQ or SQ (selection questionnaire), similar to a framework agreement. This helps buyer narrow down the suppliers they are then going to give invitations to tenders to (ITTs). The supplier has to get into the DPS in order to be invited to tender. Once a place is secured, a supplier doesn’t have to keep doing the PQQ each time a tendering opportunity arises. Every time a new tender is published relating to joinery, if you’re on the DPS, you’re automatically invited to tender. This saves time for both the supplier and the buyer.

Qualifications and Accreditations

There are some qualifications and accreditations that are worth having when applying for joinery tenders. Some examples of these are:

  • ISO 9001; 14001
  • Construction industry Training Board (CITB)
  • Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)
  • British Woodworking Federation (BWF)

3 questions to consider before you begin writing joinery tenders

  1. Can deliver the contract of work?

This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many businesses don’t consider their resources prior to bidding. Although, in most cases, the buyer will be able to assess your capabilities in the PQQ stage. You need to ask yourself if you are able to deliver the contract if you are successful. Do you have enough resources? There’s no point wasting time and money on crafting a response if you can’t deliver. 

  1. Do you meet the financial thresholds?

Is there a minimum turnover threshold that you have to meet? Buyers will often set a minimum financial threshold in order to ensure the supplier can deliver the work. When writing your joinery tenders, you need to check if the financial threshold is outlined. If it is, do you meet it?

If it isn’t outlined, you are still able to determine whether you will meet the requirements. You shouldn’t bid for projects with a budget that’s greater than half your annual turnover. For example, if the buyer states that the contract budget is £200k, your business should turnover more than £400k. This is an easy way for you to work out if you can meet the financial threshold.

  1. Do you have the relevant experience and evidence?

You will most likely be asked to provide relevant case studies of past work that’s of a similar calibre. These examples are usually required in the PQQ stage. You’ll often be asked for up to three previous examples of contracts you’ve completed that are of a similar nature. Buyers want you to demonstrate that you can carry out the project at hand. You want to make sure that your examples relate to the specification. As a general rule of thumb, you should choose examples within the last five years.

How we can help you win your next joinery tender

Here at Hudson, we are tender writing experts. Our Bid Writers at sister company, Hudson Succeed, have an 87% success rate and over 40-years bid writing experience. If you are completely new to tendering or aren’t seeing any success in your own tendering efforts – we can help!

We have created four bid writing services that can help you win your next construction contract.

Tender Ready

Our Tender Ready programme is designed for businesses who are completely new to tendering. This programme works with you, ensuring that you have everything in place to tender successfully.

Tender Improvement

If you’ve already been tendering for work but aren’t seeing success, our Tender Improvement programme is for you. During the course of the programme, we’ll assess your previous submissions and supporting documents. Our Bid Writers will provide feedback and then make any amendments that will increase your chances of winning.

Tender Writing

Have you found a joinery tender you want to go for, but don’t have the time? Send it over to our Bid Team and they will write your response for you. They can also ask any clarification questions and let you know if they need any additional information from you. They’ll even submit the bid on your behalf!

Tender Mentor

If you’ve written your own joinery tender and want someone to double-check for errors, then Tender Mentor is for you. Our Bid Writers will assess your work in line with the spec. They’ll proofread it and point out any grammar errors, spelling mistakes or inconsistences within your bid.

Both our Tender Ready and Tender Improvement packages include a 12-month subscription to Construction Tenders.

Book a Demo with Construction Tenders

The best way to venture into the tendering world is through booking a live demo of Construction Tenders.

At Construction Tenders, we source construction leads and opportunities for;

Below are some past joinery tenders sourced on our Construction Tenders portal:

18 Otley Road, Keswick – Lot 2 Internal joinery, first fix and services

Allerdale Borough Council- North West- Budget: Undisclosed


18 Otley Road, Keswick – Lot 3 External works, second fix M&E and joinery finishes

Allerdale Borough Council- North West- Budget: Undisclosed


GB-Middlesbrough: ERDF – Presentation Portal and Integration Software for ERW Joinery

Teesside University- North East- Budget: £50,000


Joinery repair and minor works for Mid Ulster District Council

Mid Ulster District Council- Northern Ireland- Budget: Undisclosed


Why not contact us today to find out more about how Construction Tenders can benefit your business.