Skip Navigation Links Tips

Are you new to GradeBeam? Are you a longtime member unfamiliar with recent product updates? This page is designed for you! Here you will find a list of tips & tricks that will help you interact with GradeBeam to get the most from your membership investment!
  • Subcontractor - Responding To Invites Using
    To respond to Job Opportunites sent to you through our Invitation-To-Bid (ITBs) System simply click on the NON-MEMBER ACCESS button on the homepage...
      • To respond to Job Opportunites sent to you through our Invitation-To-Bid (ITBs) System simply click on the NON-MEMBER ACCESS button on the homepage. Follow these simple instructions to learn how you can access project information and download documents FOR FREE on

        You should have received your invitation either as a fax or an email or both....

        IF YOU RECEIVED YOUR INVITATION AS A FAX: Near the bottom of the page you should see text that reads: To respond, go to

        You must open an Internet Explorer browser window on your computer and select the FILE menu. Then select OPEN. A small interactive gray window will appear with a text field within it. You must type the hyperlink exactly as it appears on your fax into that small window and hit ENTER on your keyboard. Please be patient while your project loads as is searching through millions of bid invites looking for the one specific to YOU.

        If this is your first time using to access a project, you will be prompted for an email address and asked to agree to our User Agreement. You will never be asked for this information again.

        IF YOU RECEIVED YOUR INVITE AS AN EMAIL: Simply scroll down the page to find the link that reads: To respond, go to and left click your mouse on it. A new window will appear with your project information.

        If this is your first time using to access a project, you will be prompted for an email address and asked to agree to our User Agreement. You will never be asked for this information again.

        Obviously if you received your invite by email the process of responding is much easier. If you would like your email address listed with your company write and include your business name, fax number, and desired email. Your information will be loaded into our database and your ITBs will be delivered the INSTANT they are sent!

  • Subcontractor & General Contractor System Requirements
    It is important that your PC or laptop is configured correctly, so please make certain that your machine meets these system requirements...
      • INTERNET EXPLORER is most stable when used with the Internet Explorer browsing program. Although it is possible to visit with applications like Netscape and Mozilla, you may find some features unavailable.

        COOKIES Your browser must have cookies enabled for to function. To enable cookies, follow the directions below:

        Microsoft IE 6+ Select Internet Options from the Tools menu in your browser window. Click on the Privacy tab. Click the Default button OR manually slide the bar down to Medium. Click OK.

        Microsoft IE 5 Select Internet Options from the Tools menu in your browser window. Click on the Security tab. Click on the Custom Level buttom. Scroll down to the Cookies section. Set Allow cookies that are stored on your computer to Enable. Set Allow per-session cookies to Enable.

        Microsoft IE 4 and older Select Internet Options from the View menu in your browser window. Click on the Advanced tab. Scroll down to find Cookies within the Security section. Select Always accept cookies. Click OK

        HIGH SPEED INTERNET CONNECTION While it is possible to visit and use with a dial-up internet connection, a high speed internet connection is recommended. Some of's customer support tools (such as GoToMeeting software) virtually require a high speed connection.

        High speed internet is available through DSL and Cable Modem. If you are interested in purchasing a high speed internet connection you should contact your local cable provider or ISP.

  • Adjusting Your Browser Security Settings
    Correct Security Settings will ensure compatibility of and Internet Explorer. Follow this six-step process to restore your browser settings to their default mode and get back to work on

        STEP 1
      • Open Internet Explorer (if not already open)
      • Click on Tools.
      • Select Internet Options from the Tools menu.
      • STEP 2
      • Click on the Security tab.
      • Click on the Default Level button (if it is not dimmed out).
      • Click on the Apply button (again, if it is not dimmed out).
      • Click on the Trusted Sitesicon.
      • Click on the Sites button.
      • STEP 3
      • Type
      • Click the Add button.
      • Click the OK button.
      • STEP 4
      • Click on the Privacy tab.
      • Click on the Default button (if not dimmed out).
      • Click on the Apply button (again, if not dimmed out).
      • STEP 5
      • Click the Content tab.
      • In the Content Advisor section click the button that says Disable so that it changes to Enable. (If this process prompts you for a password and you do not have one, you must contact your system administrator.)
      • Click the Apply button.
      • STEP 6
      • Click the Advance tab.
      • Click the Restore Defaults button (if it is not dimmed out).
      • Click the Apply button (again, if not dimmed out).
      • Click on the OK button.
      • Close all browser windows and quit all programs.
      • Restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
      • Once your computer reboots your browser settings will be restored to their default condition and Internet Explorer will function properly with If you are still having technical issues with your machine while in, you can Email Us or give us a call at (866) 482-7669. A customer service representative will be standing by to help you immediately.

  • Internet Explorer 8 and InPrivate Browsing
    Turn off InPrivate browsing in IE 8 to access GradeBeam
      • Users that are using the latest version of Internet Explorer, IE v.8, may notice the following changes when using

        (1) User cannot access the website. FIX: Turn off InPrivate browsing. InPrivate browsing prevents Windows from storing cookies. Cookies must be enabled and stored in order to log in to If InPrivate browsing is turned on, a blue "InPrivate" logo will display on your address bar. To shut down InPrivate browsing simply close the current browser window then open a new one.

        (2) Computer does not recognize TIF / TIFF files posted to FIX: TIF / TIFF files will behave differently depending on what kind of imaging software is installed on your machine. If you click on these files in to download, you may get the following message: Do you want to save this file, or find a program online to open it? Users should save the file(s). Once they have downloaded all the images they need, right-click on the file icons (they will be Unknown File Type icons), select the Open With option and choose an image program from the list of available options. recommends using Windows Picture and Fax viewer.

        Users having trouble with either of these fixes or requiring further assistance should call Support at (866) 482-7669.

  • Adjusting Folder Options in Windows Explorer
    Use this guide if your TIF files are opening in the wrong program.
      • If TIFF or TIF files in aren't opening in the program you want AND you are using a Windows operating system, use the following steps to correct the issue:

        (1) On the lower left of your screen locate the Start Menu. Move your mouse cursor over it and right-click once. (2) A series of options will appear. Select Explore. A folder will pop up with a window on the left displaying several other folders. This is Windows Explorer. (3) Look to the upper left of this folder for the words >File / Edit / View / Favorites / Tools / Help. Left-click on Tools. A menu will show. Select Folder Options.... (4) On the Folder Options window you will see four tabs: General / View / File Types / Offline Files. Click on File Types. You may see a flashlight icon in a blank window on the File Types tab. This is normal and means your computer is searching. (5) Soon you will see an alphabetically sorted list of all the file extensions recognized by your PC. Scroll down until you find TIF and / or TIFF. (6) Left-click on TIF to highlight it. On the bottom half of the Folder Options window you will see blue text that reads, "Details for 'TIF' extension." Directly below you will see "Opens with:" followed by the icon and name of the program designated to open TIF file types. If the program listed here is NOT the program you want to use, continue reading. (7) Click the Change button and a new window will display the recommended programs installed on your PC that can open the file type in question. We recommend choosing Windows Picture and Fax Viewer. Click on this program name to select it then hit the OK button. Then, on the Folder Options window click on Apply or Close (8) Close the Windows Explorer folder and any open browsers. Launch Internet Explorer again and log into any GradeBeam project with uploaded TIF or TIFF files. These documents should now open in the program you chose.

        If further assistance is needed call GradeBeam Support at (866) 482-7669

  • Adjusting QuickTime™ Settings
    For users whose files are opening in QuickTime Media Player
      • QuickTime™ is sometimes set as the default application for opening media files on PCs and laptops.

        Unfortunately,'s Take-Off tools and .TIF images will not always work if QuickTime is trying to open these files. The solution is to disable QuickTime as the default application, and select another program. Follow the steps below:

        1) OPEN QUICKTIME Click Start (on the lower left of your desktop). Then select Programs then QuickTime, and then QuickTime Player. The QuickTime media program should open and be visible on your screen.

        2) ACCESS QUCIKTIME PREFERENCES On the QuickTime Media Player click Edit then select Preferences (at the bottom of the list) and then select QuickTime Preferences.

        3) OPEN MIME SETTINGS On the QuickTime Settings window you should see several tabs that read, "Register," "Audio," "Browser," on the Browser tab. After doing so a button should be visible near the bottom of the QuickTime Settings window that reads MIME Settings. Click on MIME Settings.

        4) EXPAND IMAGES AND DESELECT TIFF BOX In the MIME Types window you should see media extension files names such as "MPEG," "MP3," and such. Scroll through this list until you see Images. When you find Images, click the + in the box to the left. This will make a menu expand from under the Images heading. Scroll down that menu until you reach an entry that says TIFF. Once there, click the little box to the left of TIFF to uncheck it.

        5) OPEN FILE TYPES AND DESELECT TIFF In the same tab menu we saw in Step 3, select the tab that says File Types. Scroll through the File Types menu until you see the Images entry. Once you find Images, click on the + in the small box to the left. This will make a menu of file types expand underneath the Images heading. Uncheck the boxes next to the entries TIFF, BMP, GIF & JPEG.

        6) CLICK OK AND QUIT THE QUICKTIME PROGRAM Select the OK button and close the QuickTime program by clicking the red "X" on the upper right of the QuickTime window(s).

        If you continue having trouble opening your TIFF or any other files in, Email Us or call (866) 482-7669. A Customer Service representative will be standing by to take your call.

  • General Contractor - Increasing Your Sub Response Rate
    Subs not responding? Learn how to use to get them bidding again!
      • We have all been there. For some reason or another our subs are receiving our bid invites, but aren't responding or are slow to respond. How can help a General Contractor looking for increased sub activity?

        Easy! offers database services where we send a Subcontractor Update Request to every sub in your master list (minimum 500). Historically these Update Requests have resulted in a very high response rate and make your subcontractor list a more powerful bidding tool.

        Our Update Requests can be modeled to suit your preferences. We will include your company logo and can request subs to submit anything from their business location and fax numbers to their qualifications and bonding capacity.

        To learn more about how Subcontractor Update Requests can increase your subcontractor activity, call (312) 428-4344 or E-Mail
      • (866) 465-8599

  • General Contractor - Uploading Documents To
    Learn how managing your documents on is a breeze!
      •'s document management system is a powerful tool for efficiently managing your plans and specifications. Posting documents to is a great way to solicit more bids from subcontractors.

        In order to provide our clients with the fastest web navigation possible, a 90-day-limit is imposed on all documents posted to GradeBeam. However, if an extension has been placed on a project and you need the documents to remain online longer than 90-days, simply call us at (866) 482-7669 so we can make the necessary provisions on your project.

        When uploading documents to, try to keep the subcontractor in mind. Breaking up documents by division and saving them with descriptive file names will help subcontractors find the plans they need quickly to start generating their bids for you.

        Because of's exceptional security parameters, certain characters in file names can interrupt the uploading process. Avoid saving your documents with file names that include &, %, $, #, and @. Doing so will increase your posting speed.

        Finally, we request that files are 10MB OR LESS for documents uploaded to If your file is larger than 10MB and/or you need assistance loading documents for your project, call (866) 482-7669. An associate will be happy to assist you.

  • General Contractor - Using Private Contacts In
    What PRIVATE CONTACTS are and how to use them
      • Private Contacts are contacts created in by General Contractors that want their subcontractor project information to go to a special location.

        To add a private contact for an organization, first pull up the organization from the Directory. Then select the "Private Contacts" link on the left. If no private contact exists for the organization click the light blue "Add Contact" link. Enter the contact's information including name and email. DO NOT FORGET to select an address from the drop-down menu. Your private contact will not activate unless an address is selected.

        Make sure to click "SAVE" and you're finished! Private Contact information overrides all other contact information in So, whether or not a subcontractor's public contact information is the same as his/her private, your messages will ALWAYS go to the private contact.

        Private Contacts are an excellent way for our General Contractors to more closely manage their project information with Many of our largest clients use Private Contact information exclusively and find the tool very rewarding.

        Call (866) 482-7669 if you have any questions or require more information about Private Contacts.

  • Subcontractor - Marketing Your Business On
    Are you just starting out in your business? Do you have a website you would like to market? can help you increase your visibility and drive traffic to your homepage.
      • Many business owners ask themselves the same question: "How do I let people know what I do?"'s Contractor Directory is 100% populated by construction professionals. And marketing to's construction community couldn't be easier. As a VIP member, your company name is prominently featured at the top of every trade-specific search results page, click-through tracking allows you to monitor how many people have visited your site through With the release of our newsletter, advertising space is at a premium as over 280,000 contractors see your company banner ad and can access your website through our electronic periodical.

        If you are already a GradeBeamer, upgrading to VIP is as simple as calling our office (866) 482-7669. If you are not a member and you are interested in the advertising options we offer, email Email or call him direct at (312) 428-4344.

  • Subcontractor - Using To Establish New Relationships
    Learn how to use to create new business!
      • While some Subcontractors are content to let a listing in bring them job opportunities with General Contractors they are already familiar with, Subs that become GradeBeamers are able to take full advantage of the network and use it to establish new relationships and grow their business.'s powerful Contractor Directory allows subcontractors do do searches for General Contractors. After collecting the names of a few GCs the Subcontractor can fill out their business qualifications form. Adding as much information as possible is going to be key to attracting the attention of GCs. Subs can submit qualifications online and INSTANTLY send messages to every project manager affiliated with your General Contractor list.

        By allowing General Contractors access to your qualifications on you are informing them that you are a GradeBeamer interested in working with them. Your membership is impressive to our General Contractors as they are aware (1) you are familiar with and (2) you are a sophisticated, pro-active user.

        If you need assistance completing your qualifications form or granting a General Contractor access to your qualifications page, call (866) 482-7669 and an associate will be happy to help you.