What to Expect From Estimating Software
Databases to Compare Costs
In order to make a fair and accurate bid to a client, you’ll need software that is able to pull the latest prices of materials and equipment through the internet. Many construction estimating software companies have access to wholesale databases for checking the ever-changing costs of building materials, and all the programs we’ve compared here have this essential feature. In addition to pulling data from online databases, the better programs allow you to add items and prices from your own personal suppliers to compare prices. You can make a similar database for subcontractors to compare labor costs.
Instant Takeoffs for Adjusting Estimates
Takeoffs are an important aspect of construction estimating, because they allow you to determine the exact amount of materials you need, estimate a cost for those materials and adjust those factors alongside design plans to offer a better bid to the client. Every program on our list has some form of takeoff that lets you craft a list of everything you’ll need to start construction, not including labor and overhead costs, and each one automatically calculates a price based on the available data of current prices.
Blueprint Viewing & Editing
Alongside digital takeoff features, it’s common for construction estimating software to allow you to upload a blueprint of the proposed project, usually in the form of a CAD or BIM file.
Which Construction Estimating Software is Best?
The top performers in our review are ProContractor Estimating, the Gold Award winner; B2W Estimate, the Silver Award winner; and Sage Estimating, the Bronze Award winner. Here's more on choosing a product to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of 10 products.
How Can Construction Estimating Software Help Your Company?
Construction Estimating Software will help you calculate the costs of materials, equipment and labor for prospective clients’ projects. The programs compile projected costs and create documents that can serve as formal proposals or bid offers to potential clients. After inputting the needed resources for the project, the software does the calculations for you, saving you time so you present your client your bid quicker. The software can take into account the number of hours for your labor, including any sub-contractors you’ll need to hire.
The best construction estimators can continue to be useful after your client has accepted the bid and the project is underway. They help you keep track of materials and ongoing costs as the project progresses, helping you stay on track and letting you foresee any variations to the original estimate. Many also create reports, so you’ll be able to present a complete record of costs to the client should the final costs exceed the original estimate.