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by Eileen O'Loughlin,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: October 21, 2016

Gone are the days of manually performing estimating work with pen and paper on a job site. For contractors who specialize in roofing, there are many software platforms out there that can help to streamline your estimating processes, improve your bids and save you time and money.

We put this guide together to help you better understand the market for roofing and siding contractor software.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Roofing and Sliding Contractor Software?
Common Features of Roofing and Siding Contractor Software
Roofing and Siding Contractor Software Pricing
Roofing and Siding Contractor Software Deployment
Evaluating Roofing and Siding Contractor Software

What Is Roofing and Siding Contractor Software?

Roofing and siding contractor software is designed to simplify the day-to-day tasks associated with a professional roofing and siding company. From sales prospecting to bid estimating, ordering, accounting, and project management, implementing an effective roofing and siding construction management software program will increase profits by improving efficiency and accuracy throughout every step of the process.

Common Features for Roofing and Siding Software

Roofing and siding software is typically sold as a niche suite of applications and modules specifically for roofing and siding contractors. However, some vendors that offer general construction software may offer additional modules for roofing contractors. Usually with the more niche vendors you get a wider range of features, at the risk of not having the kind of support or other services you might expect from a large enterprise software vendor.

Below is a table that breaks down the common features you will find in most roofing and siding contractor software platforms.

Equipment tracking Allows you to track which employees have signed out which pieces of equipment. Track equipment maintenance history as well.
Scheduling Juggling multiple projects at once? Rely on the scheduling feature so you can maximize your workforce’s productivity and efficiency and ensure that jobs are getting completed on time.
Inventory management Keep track of all of your parts and materials and ensure that you never show up to a job under-equipped.
Customer relationship management Store your clients’ information in a database so you can easily look up their contact information and work order history.
Accounting Keep track of payroll for contractors, in addition to managing receipts, invoices and other expenses.  
Photo capturing Uses smartphone camera to capture pictures of job in progress to send to customers and other contractors.
Aerial measurements Using GPS maps, easily determine an estimate for how large a roof is so you quickly put together a bid.
Proposal management Puts all of your bids in one place so you can track their status.

Roofing and siding software programs will include most of the standard features associated with construction management software. These features include scheduling, customer relationship management (CRM), bid estimating and takeoff, document management, and accounting. Although most of these features are available through any construction management software, there are major advantages to selecting a top-rated program that is designed specifically for the roofing and/or siding sub-specialties.

The main advantage to a roofing- or siding-specific program is that it includes products and vendor/subcontractor information pertaining to that particular niche. For example, the inventory, accounting, and ordering systems will include roofing product names, pictures, and prices. Some even integrate with manufacturer systems and catalogues (e.g., CertainTeed, GAF, Owens Corning, ELK Roofing, Simonton EPOPS, and Ellison Window Wizard) to make product ordering that much easier. They’ll also include all the default subcontractor categories you might need.

The bottom line: The less time you spend customizing the system to your niche, the more time you have to focus on profit-generating tasks.

Roofing and Siding Contractor Software Pricing

Software for roofing and siding contractors is typically priced one of two ways: subscription pricing and perpetual license pricing.

Subscription pricing. You pay a monthly fee to use the software. It can be a flat fee, or depending on the vendor can be variable and tied to the volume of work you are doing. In some cases the subscription fee can also be assessed by how large your company is.

Perpetual license. You pay one large fee up front and own the software in perpetuity. The fee can also be determined by the size of your business or the estimated volume of work your company does. However, keep in mind you will still often have to pay additional fees for maintenance, support and upgrades. You can expect to have to replace or upgrade perpetually licensed software every five years or so.

Roofing and Siding Contractor Software Deployment

Software for roofing and siding contractors is typically deployed one of two ways: cloud-based and on-premise.

With cloud-based software, it is accessed through a web browser or via a mobile app. The software itself is hosted on the company’s servers and can require an internet connection or mobile data service to access. The trend these days is toward cloud-based software, but many vendors still offer on-premise software.

On-premise software, on the other hand, is installed locally on your company’s own computers or servers. One downside to on-premise software is that there might not be an ability to use it on mobile smart devices if the vendor does not offer a companion mobile application.

Evaluating Roofing and Siding Contractor Software

There are a number of programs that a roofer or siding contracting company could use to increase their office efficiency. Some of these will be fully integrated suites designed for large companies working with multiple vendors and subcontractors; others will be best-of-breed solutions that are geared specifically for this niche market. The number one factor in evaluating these systems is identifying your top needs.

Specific questions to ask when selecting software might include:

  • Do you need mobile compatibility so that users can access information from the mobile phones? If so, what mobile capabilities are included in the program?
  • Do you order lots of different products, or keep re-ordering a few specific items?
  • What features do you need?
  • How well does the software integrate with your existing accounting, CRM, ordering, or other systems?

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