- Running a construction site requires a lot of responsibility, much of which requires several different tools. Your Android smartphone can be one of the most valuable tools you have with you on a construction site, as long as you have the right apps.
- Construction work, smartphones and tablets can be more helpful than you might think. Beyond simply using these personal devices to take notes and photos while in the field, several apps can help you do more, like scheduling work and tracking issues and collaborating with workers on all levels of a project.
- There are construction apps that allow you to have measurements, plans and many other aspects of the job site right at your fingertips.
For construction work, smartphones and tablets can be more helpful than you might think. Beyond simply using these personal devices to take notes and photos while in the field, several apps can help you do more, like scheduling work and tracking issues and collaborating with workers on all levels of a project.
Here we highlight the best apps for Android devices that are specifically targeted for this industry.
Build & Construction ZA
This is a visual directory of suppliers for the heavy-duty construction biz. You can browse companies that supply materials and equipment directly to contractors, like cement and concrete, cranes and earthmovers. You don't directly order items through this app. As its developer describes, Build & Construction ZA is a discovery tool. For example, it could be helpful for looking up suppliers that are conveniently located near your work site.
Contractor Estimate & Invoice
With Contractor Estimate & Invoice, you can create job estimates as you're onsite and email them to your client or print them. You can also create, email and print invoices. These electronic estimates and invoices can be customized with your company logo. Clients can digitally sign work contracts on this app. Contractor Estimate & Invoice keeps tabs on a client's payment status for your completed work. All of this paperwork can be exported to bookkeeping software.
Fieldwire helps you track the progress of construction jobs, including keeping tabs on workers, issuing schedules, and sharing blueprints and photos. Fieldwire seamlessly combines several tools: a blueprint viewer includes a drawing tool you can use to mark up your plans with notes and revisions. The gallery stores your photos you take onsite to document progress, and a photo can be linked to a blueprint or task. Real-time collaboration lets you share documents and images with other members of the construction team. You use the task manager to schedule work and track construction and safety issues. Of all the apps featured here, Fieldwire is the must have in this category.
If you only need a good app for viewing blueprints and don’t require additional features that Fieldwire has, take a look at PlanGrid. You can store other documents, like building materials, linking them to your blueprints, inspection reports and work schedules. Using its drawing tools, you can mark blueprints with doodles and notes. Another tool helps you track specific construction issues that must be addressed; it lists the status of the issue, the date when it should be fixed, and who's in charge of it.
Safety Meeting App
For complying with OSHA rules, the Safety Meeting App helps you and your workers review safety regulations and document the meetings. You open a new meeting in the app, select the date and time when the meeting starts, enter the names of people attending, choose from one of 950 safety topics, and discuss this topic as everyone analyzes the documentation. Details of the meeting can be saved to PDF for printing.
ARuler, an augmented reality measurement app, uses smart technology and your phone camera to measure things. The app features angle measurements, a ruler, area and perimeter measurements, a distance meter, volume and some planning features. This free app can be a handy tool for many of your construction projects.
Build.com offers a free app that can be compared to an Amazon of construction apps. Build.com is a large online retailer that specializes in construction products, and they have access to 16 total websites. The app also provides alerts for price drops and optional assistance. The app is primarily geared toward home improvement projects, but they also have items that can be used for small remodeling businesses.
Construction Master has a few different apps, all of which tend to work very well. This a paid app with prices ranging from $9.99-$29.99 each. The app can be installed on either Android phones, as well as iOS devices, but if you are using for a different platform than Android, you will need a separate license. The goal of Construction Master's apps is to replace advanced construction math calculators that are commonly used by engineers and contractors onsite. The app includes right angle solutions, full metric conversion functions, area/volume solutions and special functions, such as paperless tape. The app also includes functionality such as pipe length cuts, rafter calculations, jack rafters, stair layouts and unit conversion.
SmartBid for Construction
The SmartBid for Construction app requires that you first have a paid account with SmartBidNet prior to accessing the free app. The app helps you manage bids for subcontractors while collaborating with them by exchanging documents. SmartBidNet offers a free demo to show you the features and how the app works.