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Homebuilders typically rely on subcontractors, which means they need to monitor invoices, purchase orders, and communications very closely, as well as the status of all their jobs and subs. For many contractors building a house, a complete construction management software system that manages every aspect of the building process—from cost estimating to warranty administration—will be the most effective solution, though this not always the case. Many top vendors concentrate on one type of application, known as best-of-breed or standalone software.
Homebuilders need most of the standard features that come with top-rated construction management software, but as you’re looking there are a few features for homebuilders to consider:
Consider the following features of home builder construction software:
|Specialized Job Costing & Invoicing||One of the key features for homebuilder construction software is the inclusion of job costing data to make improve estimating accurate and make billing more efficient. A construction system that isn’t geared toward homebuilding—or worse, a generic accounting system—won’t have anywhere near the same level of functionality.|
|Link to Vendors & Subcontractors||Many systems will allow the user to link directly into vendor purchasing or subcontractor scheduling systems. This can expedite project/inventory management and scheduling. A system geared toward the homebuilder market will focus its materials in that area.|
|Critical Path Method Scheduling||Homebuilding involves hundreds of individual tasks. Most of these have some degree of flexibility in terms of when they are executed, but all of them must be completed within a certain timeframe in order to keep from extending past deadline. Critical path method is a project modeling algorithm that’s specifically designed to solve these kinds of scheduling dependencies, so some home builder construction programs use this method to support the user in scheduling tasks and subcontractors.|
There are dozens of homebuilder programs for the construction market. In fact, several companies make multiple products for this one niche. Selecting the right one can be a daunting task, but as with any software, start by assessing your needs. An integrated suite will combine accounting, project management, scheduling, and homebuilder CRM, but you may need just one or two of these capabilities. Residential remodelers have specialized needs within this industry, so should choose a dedicated residential remodeling system.
Specific questions to ask when selecting homebuilder construction software include: