Estimating

Top Construction Estimating Software for Accurate Bidding

top construction estimating software

Top Construction Estimating Software for Accurate Bidding

Construction estimating refers to extensively evaluating the costs and risks associated with a construction project. This includes calculating parameters linked with costs like labor and material costs, location and site assessment, legal and regulatory costs, and other contingent estimates.

An estimator is fundamentally trying to achieve an accurate estimate template for the construction project, which can act as an outline and draft of how to proceed. The project management is typically concerned with streamlining the production process, breaking up all the project costs, and then individually assessing every cost using different cost estimators.

Construction Estimating Software Options

Estimating acts as a critical project planning component for project management as it helps in framing the company’s budget, resource allocation, deciding for competitive bids to a client, and maintaining healthy profit margins for future projects.

Essentially, we cannot steer clear of this crucial step because then otherwise, we will be left with incessantly inaccurate estimates which can lead to either over production or overutilization of resources or underproduction or underutilization of resources. This can lead to severe cash flow burns and threats of high debts and inefficient credit history.

Hence, clear estimates are the backbone of a strategically innovative and profitable business. This planning plays a huge role in ensuring the utmost optimization of resources a visionary scope of objective fulfillment.

However, there are instances where inaccuracy persists regardless of whether the company prepares detailed cost estimates. This is often attributed to pure record keeping and human errors while collecting data. Or perhaps, insufficient information in hands to create estimates with.

Therefore, many construction companies use the best construction estimating software to create accurate estimates that warrant maximal accuracy, efficiency and the least time consumption.

Best Construction Estimating Software

Moving forward, we will have an extensive overview of some of the most common and popular project management tools and construction estimating software available in the market. We will discuss their key features and pricing data as well.

Buildxact: Construction Management Software typically for Residential Builders

Buildxact acts as an all in one accounting software that provides quantity takeoff data and a complete research data estimating process. It helps the general contractors create their project budgets and estimates most efficiently and seamlessly. Moreover, it helps stack up all essential research based project estimates about costs, risk portfolio and resource allocation and other necessary construction estimation statistics in one interface.

It is a cloud based estimating software, which also aids in bid management by helping the construction project get more competitive bids in a time window which is five times faster than others.. It also allows its user to integrate with different software like Outlook, Quickbooks and others.

However, Buildxact does not have a real-time, functional app. The lack of having a personalized portal, discourages the cost estimators from having a smooth customer experience. They will not conveniently be able to engage with the clients leading to low insights and feedback turnover.

Buildxact offers a flexible pricing plan tailoring according to the client’s needs and preferences. There are three different pricing plans. They have an entry level plan which is for $133 per month. This plan offers the user with primary estimation facilities, digital takeoffs and quote bidding.

The Pro plan is the one that happens to be the most popular one, priced at $222 per month, it is just one feature shy from the Premium plan which is primarily for ‘large team’ oriented work. It offers the client everything from free consultations, to providing creating create estimates and a complete estimating solution.

Of course, Buildxact offers their user access to a free trial before booking for committing themselves to a confirmed payment plan.

Sage Estimating: Construction takeoff and Estimating Software

Sage Estimating is a cloud based software that helps its user create competitive bids in a highly cluttered and competition dense market. Their main selling proposition (USP) is to help clients prepare cost estimates with precision promising to shed down takeoff and estimation time by about 50%. The estimating process is fully backed by advanced integrated tools that standardize the entire system.

Sage synchronically works with construction management software in integration. They equip the use of soft wares like Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate. Essentially, these soft wares help to coherently do the entire task of transitioning the relevant cost database into an abstract cost estimating template. This accounting software seamlessly prepares a job costing and accounting template without the need of any manual calculations allowing the user to share data within teams with absolute ease.

Their whole product positioning lies around automation of data with a cloud based access, which is primarily aimed to reduce errors. Automation not just pertains in easily curating cost templates, but also promptly undertaking the responsibility of prompt bid management. Their multiple interfaces like Smart Assemblies, Estimating Management Console and Microsoft SQL Server Database aid in drafting refined pricing reports and quicker bids with just a few clicks. These integrated soft wares fundamentally provide data storage, organization and storage perks to the client and ultimately delivering professional proposals.

For pricing details, you can check out their website and they will quote you a relevant plan according to your project financials, upon request. However, just for context, their payment plan at bottom, starts at over $120 per month.

Contractor Foreman: Estimating Software for all Project Management Needs

Contractor Foremanis one of the most popular and affordable all-in-one estimating software that provides a multi-dimensional interface to users on multiple devices like phone, tablets and laptops. With a monthly pricing plan as low as $49, it provides its clients with detailed project management estimating solution and up-to-date financials.

This software deals with catering to unlimited projects without increasing your price bracket and claims to incorporate more than 35 powerful features to provide their client with efficient and clear estimates. Just by journaling all your equipment costs and labor and material prices would provide you with an array of management solutions like scheduling, daily logs, client portal using features like Gantt (CPM) etc.

This estimating software also provides the user with customizable templates and a financial dashboard that automatically does all the job costing functions. Their financials interface includes features like real time cost database, online payments, purchase orders etc.

This software is embedded with a network and team of incredible construction professionals that vouch to provide support through team chat, crew scheduling and calendar meetings. However, some clients are reported to have complained about the lack of support.

The integration network of Foreman is vast because of its large scale. Some common software tools integrated into this software include QuickBooks, Google Calendar, Zapier and CompanyCam to name a few.

Moreover, Foreman, like any other construction software provides a free trial to its prospective clients for a time frame which is as broad as 30 days. It also comes with various pricing plans, with the most expensive one being priced at $249.

ProEst: Cloud Based Construction Estimating and Management Software

Having a plethora of big and leading names of the construction industry in their portfolio, ProEst is a popular choice of many construction estimators. This software has been a critical component in the planning and estimation process of many construction projects in the past.

It provides its clientele with various features ranging from generating a forecasted report on whether it is viable for you to save money to carry on with your construction project to creating standardized proposal formats and bid management.

Moreover, they also sync you up with a personalized construction professional who would be responsible for simplifying the project’s pre-construction phase. With a construction CRM interface integrated into their portal, the clients can easily monitor their project management. This interface would act as an extensive template showing the progress of the project and relevant adjustments in the construction costs.

The integration tools incorporated in this estimating software include AutoDesk Build, sage Intacct, Power BI, Acumatica, Procore and BuilderTrend to name a few. Having partnered with all these soft wares, ProEst provides its clientele body a landscape of estimation benefits with up to date data, all at in one place, in just a few clicks.

The pricing plan is a subscription model charged annually like every other construction estimating software; however comes without a free trial. Their pricing data is discrete and would require the potential clients to sign up to know the plan.

PlanSwift: Takeoff Software for Construction Estimating

Another common name in construction estimating is PlanSwift. Offers a slightly limited number of perks as compared to the aforementioned estimating software because the proposition for them primarily lies in customizable templates and performing a detailed department wise takeoff operation in seconds. They claim to save the client with ample time by procuring the required estimates in the most minimum time frame.

A construction estimator looking to get a measured analysis of the project’s materials and other dimensional areas can consult PlanSwift as they specialize in takeoffs fundamentally. However, they are not equipped with the software integration capability with other tools, which is a drawback.

They have an annual subscription plan which is priced at $1749 and includes support, software updates and training spanning for about 2 hours. There is only one pricing plan and its their professional plan. They also facilitate the potential clients with a free trial service like many others. Rest services are priced individually and do not come under a plan.

Procore: Construction Management Software with Estimating Capabilities

One of the largest construction software houses in the US with an annual revenue of more than $500 million and housing more than 2000 employees and spanning an industry presence of more than 2 decades, Procore is the name for estimating services in the construction industry.

It is primarily a cloud-based software tool that allows construction professionals to collaborate in teams, providing shared and stored access to unlimited data and cost plans on a single device. Being the largest estimating software, it has the largest tool integration network with 300 plus partnered alliances. Procore was also ranked as Forbes top construction estimating software making it incredibly reliable amongst the clients.

They mainly target their services toward residential home owners, contractors and subcontractors. Their services span from the pre construction including project management, workforce and resource allocation, financial management, client relations to helping create competitive bids.

Procure Pricing plan is subjective to the clients construction project and volume of the cost estimates. They provide you with a custom quote, hence they do not have any subscription-based pricing plans for specific business name or model. Moreover, upon creating an account, the customer has access to availing a 14 day free trial as well.

Benefits of Construction Estimating Software Tools

Therefore, many construction companies use the best construction estimating tools and software to warrant maximal accuracy, efficiency, and the least time consumption. The use of technology is rapidly increasing in every business’s operational activity. Every industry incorporates artificial intelligence and computational tools for the research and development part of their growth.

The use of construction-oriented software tools can also foster innovation in the company giving it an outwitting position amongst its competitors. Moreover, with the rising change in climatic conditions, the demand in the remodelling and remoulding in the design pattern of many residential and commercial projects becomes inevitable. For this reason, many residential builders for reference use AI-powered technology to meet the needs of the time and therefore accomplish clientele requests.

Of course, the use of construction estimating software with all other perks also enriches the quality of the cost structure. Construction estimation software is done on the basis of advanced quality checks and assurances further contribute in stimulating the customer’s trust and hence the goodwill of the company.

Implementation and Integration of Estimating software

Essentially, integration simply means syncing one software tool with another one application, usually through a common interface in between them. We have had a detailed overview on the different types of construction estimating software and their key features along with their integration networks and model.

However, why do software hubs give so much relevance to integrated partnerships? Why can they not function without integrating? Well, the answer is quite simple. Efficiency.

You see, it is not that these companies cannot operate without partnering with other tools like we discussed how PlanSwift does not have any integration of a software tool but rather some estimation features like Job Costing.

On the other hand, we saw how ProEst is integrated with one feature of Sage called Intacct and we looked over many examples of other software tools have massive integrations. Many estimating software tools prefer integration because of the reduction of manual calculations and data entry which helps minimize errors.

Moreover, many tools functioning together can help streamline operations across the project ensuring that the project remains standardized and coordination across departments is improved. Another benefit of standardization is the concentration of data in one place. This makes it extremely easy to analyze and evaluate data which is the main part about estimation.

Lastly, all of this would ultimately help the business grow and achieve its maximum expansion targets strengthening customer relation and breaking their trust deficit. Construction projects involve heavy investments and high customer reluctance. Hence, every estimating company needs to ensure maximum customer satisfaction.

Examples of some common integrations like we discussed above include AutoDesk, Sage, Power BI, Outlook etc.

Overcoming Challenges in Construction Estimating

We will now look at some commonly recurring challenges faced in construction estimating and ways that they can be overcome.

Persistent Changes in Cost Structure

This is common challenge that keeps continually going past projects and on. Of course as the project progresses and with the extraction of more information in the cost database, changes will be inevitable. These constant turn and change in cost cycles can be gruesome for some estimators. Hence, it is extremely important, to keep regular updates and create a template where entry of changes can be input regularly and easily.

Complicated Data Base making Risk Evaluation Difficult

The data structures need to be streamlined and put in an organized shelf from dat one to avoid any discrepencies. Moreover, a financial analyst or chartered accountant should be hired who could give a detailed risk mitigation plan to the construction firm to make this process seamless and risk free. When the contractors would be aware of the company’s risk portfolio, it would be easy to counter any contingencies.

Conclusion

Construction estimating software significantly benefits construction firms’ accuracy, efficiency, and competitiveness. The options reviewed – Buildxact, Sage Estimating, Contractor Foreman, ProEst, PlanSwift, and Procore – each have unique strengths.

When choosing a solution, consider your needs, budget, and desired features such as cloud-based access, integration capabilities, and specialized tools like takeoff functionality.

While there’s an initial investment in time and resources, the long-term advantages of improved estimating precision, streamlined workflows, and enhanced project management make these tools valuable assets for construction businesses aiming to thrive in today’s market.

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