PrebuiltML Software


 

Lumber Dealers, General contractors and Home Builders looking for standalone Framing Takeoff software should look no further than PrebuiltML. This expansive software installs locally, and offers essential applications like Onscreen Takeoff, fast and accurateScaling and 3D views. By automating much of the takeoff process, it allows clients to not only streamline job efficiency, but also minimize wasted materials and man hours.

PrebuiltML offers a vast product database already pre-built into the software and will keep customer preferences including stock lists, eliminating time-consuming administrative work so users can spend more time on more valuable projects.  Each user has unlimited, manageable profiles for every job and client.

The system helps keep everyone involved with a project on the same page with a multitude of lists included in the software. Use the lists to control who is pulling what materials and even where and when they get sent.  This level of attention and precision on every job will save significant time and prevent confusion.

PrebuiltML was designed to be easily customized; all reports can quickly and conveniently look unique to a business. It takes just a few clicks to include the business logo and imagery, notes, annotations and other details. Documents can be smoothly exported to Excel and converted to print in PDF format. 

We consider this software a good fit for lumber dealers, general contractors and home builders of any size, even as small as one user. Support is offered over the phone and online via email or their member portal, which includes several useful videos to help new clients start using the system.

 

 

PrebuiltML - Take-off verification
 
  • PrebuiltML - Take-off verification
    Take-off verification
  • PrebuiltML - Create layouts
    Create layouts
  • PrebuiltML - Notes
    Notes
  • PrebuiltML - Communication
    Communication
  • PrebuiltML - Visuals
    Visuals
  • PrebuiltML - Integrated viewer
    Integrated viewer
Supported Operating System(s):
Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 8

39 Reviews of PrebuiltML

 
Software Advice Reviews (21)
More Reviews (18)

Showing 1-20 of 21

from LumberLink
Specialty: Other specialty contractor
Number of employees: 2-10 employees Employees number: 2-10 employees

PreBuiltML Review

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At my age (65) not being computer literate, I was able (along with the Technical Support) to grasp the technology. The Program makes it possible to transform my knowledge of construction on to paper with Layouts and Lists. The accuracy of the program generates lists and layouts that are Informative to the Builder, Supplier, and Carpenter. The layouts are created in color and sizes that are legible. The program can be customized to fit various skilled needs. I would recommend this software to anyone who has the knowledge in the construction field or anyone who has the time to learn the construction techniques.

Advice to Others

Spend the time to learn the features. The Technical Support Team is fantastic and will work with you anytime the are open.

 
 

from Lavalley Building Supply
Specialty: Home builder - production

PrebuiltML Software

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N/A

Likes Best

I like how thorough the program is. It's fairly intuitive and brings you through all phases of the building to do an accurate take off.

Likes Least

I find that finding the correct product can sometimes be difficult due to how extensive the material lists are and how they are categorized.

Recommendations

To just jump and do several projects start to finish.

 
 

from Builders First Source
Specialty: General contractor

The new and ever improving Estima Software

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Likes Best

They are always making it better. I started on the Planswift version. It was very difficult to use. Weyerhausauer has made many improvements to their product. This has made it very user-friendly. I love using this product!

Likes Least

The newer version, without the Planswift, is better, but tends to crash if I'm not working at the office. I can't understand how it knows I'm not there, but it does. But I'm not an IT guy either. I hope they can get that bug fixed.

Recommendations

Pay attention to what your customers are telling you, and make revisions based on their input!

 
 

from McCoy's Building Supply
Specialty: Other specialty contractor

Great product + excellent customer service = PrebuiltML

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Likes Best

The software is accurate and makes takeoffs more time-efficient, while gaining customer confidence.

Likes Least

There are a few quirks in the software that need to be improved to make it perfect, but the customer service team is responsive and the development team is addressing them one by one in their updates. There's not much that I don't like about this product.

Recommendations

If you haven't used software like this before, like I didn't, then there is a slight learning curve, but the videos that are available online along with the excellent support team help you get through it. I would describe this software like riding a bike - it's not hard, you just have to get on and scrap your knees a few times. It's a great product!

 
 

from Middleton/Lavalley's Building Supply
Specialty: Design/build firm

Great Time-Saver for Estimators

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Likes Best

I like how you are building a model that has properties, and when changes are made to the model, it does all the necessary adjustments to the Materials affected by those changes. The vendor is very responsive and always happy to help work through issues that may arise.

Likes Least

Being on the opposite side of the country means we can only be in touch for half the day due to the time zone difference, but that is really a non-issue thus far.

Recommendations

Put the time in upfront to set up your Templates, as it will save you a lot of time down the road potentially making the same changes over and over in specific job files.

 
 

from Marson and Marson Inc.
Specialty: Construction manager

Great Product for all Estimating

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Likes Best

I like the fact that lists are compiled for me. Once I learned to link walls, the program essentially thinks for you. All products have been accounted for when doing an estimate.

Likes Least

I dislike not being able to link drywall with my linear wall measurements.

Recommendations

It's a great program and it has a lot of features that you discover over time. The support is awesome and you get tips of the week to learn different obscure items within the program.

 
 

from The Weyerhaeuser Company
Specialty: Design/build firm

Estima is easy to use but still need lots of improvement.

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Likes Best

1. I like the easy setup to start a job, like inputing job data and scaling, and manipulating tif or png file format background.
2. Using containers to input materials in a wide area of the plan is very convenient, though it still needs improvement when inputing small item accessories, like hangers and blockings.
3. Generating a material list is fast and easy. The different view list options are very convenient.
4. The option to be able to create different list of products, different levels, and application is very convenient.
5. Being able to create bookmarks is great.
6. I also like the option to be able to copy and paste a large amount or the entire product input on a plan.
7. Flashing objects on the plan is excellent.

Likes Least

1. The work becomes slow in working big projects.
2. Product labels get tight, and they crowd over one another. It would be very helpful if the user had the tool to detach labels and was able to manipulate its location and orientation (vertical or horizontal)
3. Creating and editing text is easy, but there is no option to resize already created text box.

Recommendations

Simply know the software and have used it for complex jobs.

 
 

from Weyerhaeuser
Specialty: Other specialty contractor

Good software for takeoff

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Likes Best

It's easy to obtain material lists for takeoffs. Their responsive support will help when you run into problems. They have useful training videos to get you started.

Likes Least

Adding custom products is cumbersome. I would like more CAD-type tools (trim/extend). I would like better multiplier features. For example, a sub-pack that you can multiply within a main pack (if there's a repeating unit on the 2nd floor, unit would be sub-pack, floor would be main pack) would be helpful.

Recommendations

Give it a shot. Once you learn the software (after a couple of takeoffs), it's easy.

 
 

from Weyerhaeuser
Specialty: Other specialty contractor

Structural Frame Designer

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Likes Best

I like the simplicity of input and the great output.

Likes Least

I cannot say that I have anything negative to say about this software or its vendor.

Recommendations

When reviewing this software, make sure you compare it to similar software and not to software that is designed to do more complex functions. You really need an apples-to-apples comparison.

 
 

from Weyerhaeuser
Specialty: Other specialty contractor

Use product to complete EWP Take-Off's and Design Layout drawings.

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Likes Best

I like the ease of use to quickly complete a take-off. I also like how materials are linked. Making changes/revisions are fast and it updates easily and quickly.
Finally, I like the preset selections for items like hangers/connectors based on products used.

Likes Least

The file sizes are too large (typically averaging 10MB and up) when only importing 3-4 PDF trace images.

Recommendations

It's simple and easy to use. Once getting passed the learning curve, it's easy to remember the steps and functionality.

 
 

from Weyerhaeuser
Specialty: Design/build firm

Nice, Effective Software

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Likes Best

It's very easy to use. Being able to overlay on top of plans to do a take-off is a huge time saver.

Likes Least

There is no undo command. I'm unable to move joists around within a container (I have to delete and add new). Labeling could still be tweaked. It can't manually move labels, and the shift label button only moves joists and beam labels I believe, so other labels such as blocking still get covered up.

Recommendations

Make sure to do a good ten jobs or so before making judgement. It does take a little learning to get used too like any software.

 
 

from Weyerhaeuser
Specialty: Design/build firm

Mixed Feelings

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Likes Best

The software is easy enough to use and allows placement plans to be produced with minimal effort. Less detail is required during input, which reduces time spent on larger projects.

Likes Least

There is no undo function. If you accidentally hit delete, you have no way of fixing your mistake other than redrawing whatever it was that you deleted. Also, the connector selection and labeling is time consuming.

Recommendations

If you're looking for a CAD style program with product selection availability, then this is the software for you.

 
 

from Weyerhaeuser
Specialty: Other specialty contractor

I use Estima on a daily basis.

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Likes Best

I like that you can quickly generate a take-off or material list based off of any imported PDF drawing at any scale. The recent upgrades to adjust document skew and rotation have been very helpful.

Likes Least

I dislike the features. There are a number of features or improvements that would make Estima even better. The ability to copy and paste between .pedb files would be a big help with long term productivity. I'd like better functionality between versions also. Sometimes importing older versions into the current version creates a lot of problems to the point where the take-off has to be re-drawn. Being able to export to a CAD file would also be a nice feature. We often use Estima as a preliminary design tool and then use CAD as a final design tool. Adding the ability to assign shortcut keys would be a great improvement as well.

Recommendations

Dive right in! Make sure to learn all the tools and all their features. That will be the key to picking the right tool for the job and getting faster.

 
 

from Weyerhaeuser
Specialty: Design/build firm

Estima Review

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Likes Best

I like the ease of use. It has a grand product database with customization options. Little training is required to get up and running.

Likes Least

The file size is very large once job is done. File sharing could be an issue.

Recommendations

Updates are valuable and frequent. The price is lower than other available software.

 
 

from Weyerhaeuser
Specialty: Design/build firm

Estima Review

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Likes Best

I like how easy the software is to use.

Likes Least

I don't like that there isn't an undo button. Estima really needs an undo button.

Recommendations

It's good tool for take-offs and is simple to use. It needs design capabilities.

 
 

from Weyerhaeuser
Specialty: Design/build firm

Weyerhaeuser HDH feedback

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Likes Best

We have a great relationship with PreBuiltML. They have actively resolved and found solutions to many of our issues to help improve our customers experience. We have found ways to improve our own process by using the tools available to our team.

Likes Least

As we've been trying to develop this software, when a new release is sent out, I don't feel that it has been correctly tested. We often get an update within hours or days of an update to fix a found issue. More testing could be completed before sending to all users.

Recommendations

Utilize all the resources available to you. There are great customer service representatives, YouTube videos, PDF training documents, and plenty of in-market resources to help make you as efficient as possible. Also, when upgrades are made, learn about them; don't get stuck only using what you learned when you started using the software. You'll quickly find others passing you up if you stick with your old ways.

 
 

from Tennessee
Specialty: Other specialty contractor

Experiencing Estima

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Likes Best

It allows us to show the builder we are not just guessing at what they will need for framing etc, but we're using a tool to make his house and lumber package more accurate & efficient. Plus, it’s just fun in general using the program for roof, floors, ceiling joist etc.

Likes Least

It's missing some little things that will speed up the time it takes to complete the plan. It obviously takes longer to use the program than to do a manual take off most salesmen are use to for bidding, but it’s a lot more fun and gives a better end product for the customer. This, will be one of the bigger hurdles. The "old school" guys will be reluctant to switch to the program, because it takes more time (which they seem to think they don't have) and because most will be resistant to change in general.

Recommendations

You should take time to figure out the best way to get all you can in your template that the program will allow. This way each time you start a new design, you don't have to keep going back and do the same work each time. It would be nice if you were able to do a little more in the template. (i.e. saving products you use commonly so you don't have to pick them each time, 2x10's, 2x12's, 7/16 OSB, presets you've saved in other files, etc.).

 
 

from Mid-Cape Home Centers
Specialty: Other specialty contractor

prebuilt - review

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Likes Best

It's extremely user-friendly.

Likes Least

I would like to have more control over presets. (i.e. to be able to make a preset with multiple areas and also be able to make an area preset with only one edge with a material).

Recommendations

There are multiple ways to achieve the same goal. Play around to see what works best for you as far as speed and accuracy are concerned.

 
 

from Mid Cape Home Centers
Specialty: Design/build firm

This is a user-friendly program; the support is A+.

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Likes Best

I like the ease of use and customer support.

Likes Least

Like with most programs, there are glitches, and sometimes they come at inopportune times.

Recommendations

Make use of the help and support offered through the vendor

 
 

from Precision Estimating
Specialty: Other specialty contractor

Great software

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Likes Best

I am an estimator, and I use this software all day, five days a week. I started using it when it was first released. When I started, I was taught by another estimator, and he taught me to do everything the way he does his takeoffs. By watching the different videos, attending the online demos, and talking with customer support, I have figured out completely different ways to complete my takeoffs. What has impressed me the most is that you can put as little effort into learning the software as you want to. If you just want a point and click software that will give you square footage, linear footage, etc., you can do that. But if you want to use it like we do - importing stocking lengths, preferences, notes, and layout colors, or creating customized templates for each lumber yard and builder we work with - you can do that, too.

Customer service is great. I always get a response to my questions within the hour, and usually within a few minutes.

Lastly, the thing I think is most important is that the software developers work hand-in-hand on a daily basis with framers and contractors. The software reflects that. It's easy enough to use that you can pick it up once a month and do fine. It's complex enough that you can use it every day and still find ways to cut down on time and increase accuracy.

Likes Least

One of the things that I like best about the software, its flexibility, is also one of the pitfalls. It can do so much that sometimes it feels a little overwhelming. Once you start looking under the hood (stocking lengths, preferences, etc.), you realize how much is actually there.

Thankfully, you don't have to take advantage of all that stuff if you don't want to. You can always ignore it if you just want really simple takeoff software.

Recommendations

No software is perfect for every user. I would suggest watching some online demos, downloading the free trial, and playing for a little bit. If you don't see a feature you want/need, call customer support. With other companies, you might not get the help you need. You might not even get to talk to a real person. Prebuilt customer service is excellent. I have made contact with them several times, maybe even once a week for various reasons. Some of my questions are small (e.g., "Can you help me enter this new product so that I can draw a square footage and it will give me the correct piece count?"), and some of my questions are big ("I have a customer who needs #2 studs at 24" OC for all exterior and bearing walls and standard and better studs at 16" OC for all interior nonbearing walls. How do I do that?"). It doesn't matter; I get immediate answers every time. Customer service is probably the second most important part of software evaluation, but I think people forget to check that.

 
 
 
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