Showing 1-20 of 247 products
Autodesk Construction Cloud brings together best-of-breed solutions to unite office and field teams from design to planning, construction to operations to help make construction more predictable, safe and sustainable. No aspect of... Read more
Recent recommendations: 386 recommendations
Buildertrend is a construction management system for home builders, remodelers, specialty contractors, and general contractors. This solution combines project scheduling, project management, financial management, customer management... Read more
Recent recommendations: 251 recommendations
Houzz Pro is a lead and project management solution designed for businesses in the home remodeling and design industries. Houzz Pro is able to streamline processes for businesses of all size by centralizing all business needs into... Read more
Recent recommendations: 151 recommendations
CoConstruct is a construction project management software that provides custom home builders and remodelers with tools for managing projects, financials and clients. It allows users to sync data from estimates, specifications, selections,... Read more
Recent recommendations: 130 recommendations
JobNimbus is a CRM and project management solution suitable for home service companies. Manage your contacts, tasks, and projects from start to finish along with detailed reporting capabilities. With JobNimbus, businesses can manage... Read more
Recent recommendations: 128 recommendations
Esticom is a cloud-based construction takeoff and estimating platform that helps contractors manage construction projects with real-time access to labor, pricing, plans and material database. Primarily catering to trades such as electrical,... Read more
Recent recommendations: 112 recommendations
PlanSwift is a well-known construction takeoff system used by more than 12,000 construction professionals around the world. It supports the needs of residential and commercial contractors in a number of trades (e.g. electrical). Read more
Recent recommendations: 100 recommendations
RSMeans Data Online is cloud-based access to a comprehensive database of construction costs in North America. The application details costs for materials, equipment, labor and productivity at the unit, assembly and square foot level... Read more
Recent recommendations: 95 recommendations
STACK Estimating is a cloud-based on-screen takeoff and estimating tool for professional contractors of all business sizes and all trades. STACK users can quickly and easily upload digital plans and complete takeoffs using the software.... Read more
Recent recommendations: 71 recommendations
UDA Technologies’ ConstructionOnline offers a web-based, integrated approach to project management, project scheduling, and customer management. Designed for emerging construction businesses in the homebuilding and remodeling industries,... Read more
Recent recommendations: 57 recommendations
Contractor Foreman is an integrated cloud-based project management and estimation solution that caters to businesses in the construction industry. Key features include financials and accounting, scheduling and planning, contact management... Read more
Recent recommendations: 56 recommendations
McCormick Systems offers a comprehensive Windows-based electrical contracting estimating software for commercial, industrial and residential contractors. McCormick offers four levels of estimating programs - WIN 1000, WIN 3000, WIN... Read more
Recent recommendations: 53 recommendations
RedTeam is a project management, construction financials and document control solution suited for midsize commercial general contractors. It is a cloud-based application developed by contractors to manage pre-construction, construction... Read more
Recent recommendations: 49 recommendations
Deltek, together with ComputerEase, provides cutting edge, integrated construction accounting and project management software. This innovative, user-friendly product not only improves the way contractors run their business, but it... Read more
Recent recommendations: 38 recommendations
Acumatica Construction Edition is true cloud construction and accounting software that provides office and field teams real-time data including job costing, change orders, project management, dashboards and more. With field and office... Read more
Recent recommendations: 35 recommendations
PASKR is a cloud-based construction management solution built for construction teams that enables users to estimate, build, and track projects. PASKR streamlines back office and field operations. Users are able to access project-related... Read more
Recent recommendations: 29 recommendations
Sage 100 Contractor, formerly known as Sage Master Builder, focuses on the needs of small to midsize construction companies, including general contractors, service or specialty contractors, and home builders. A great fit for construction... Read more
Recent recommendations: 27 recommendations
Spectrum (formerly Dexter + Cheney) is a cloud-based construction ERP solution for small, midsize and large enterprises. Primary features include accounting, document management, job cost, project management, equipment management,... Read more
Recent recommendations: 26 recommendations
BuildTools is a cloud-based construction project management software for custom home builders and remodelers. The solution helps users organize the chaos of building projects, providing one spot for scheduling, budgeting, purchasing,... Read more
Recent recommendations: 24 recommendations
Jonas Enterprise is an intuitive, integrated solution for contractors that has been present in construction and service management for over 25 years. The application offers service, accounting, and operations project management capabilities... Read more
Recent recommendations: 20 recommendations
2021 Construction Estimating Software Pricing Guide
Learn about the key aspects of accurate software pricing before you make your purchase decision.
Pricing models & ranges
Pricing of popular systems
What is construction estimating software?
Construction estimating software is a tool that helps estimators calculate material and labor costs as well as produce detailed, professional proposals from these estimates. While these systems have always been useful, the proliferation of fixed-bid work and intensifying competition for projects is making them an even more important tool. Note, this software is sometimes called construction bidding software.
If you haven't been in the market for some time (or ever), there's a lot to figure out. We've written this guide to help you make sense of the market so you can choose the best construction estimating software.
Here's what we’ll cover:
- Common features of construction estimating software
- Benefits of this application
- How estimating and takeoff differ
- Market trends to understand
- The vendor landscape
- Popular construction estimating software
Common features of construction estimating software
Below is a breakdown of the functionality included in a typical contractor estimating software package.
In case you aren't familiar with these terms, here is a plain English description of the function of each module.
|Proposal Generator||Takes your cost estimates and creates an accurate and professional-looking bid proposal.|
|Cost database||Stores materials and labor costs to reference when creating an estimate.|
|Visual assemblies||Displays a graphical view of a build assembly to visualize which portion of the project you're estimating.|
|Labor & materials||Automates labor and materials cost estimates based on calculations from your project takeoff.|
|Historical database||Stores all of your past projects with related materials and labor cost estimates in a database.|
|Pre-built templates||Accelerates the process by providing a set of commonly required parts and labor for standard jobs, such as a bathroom remodel.|
|Project reporting||Creates cost breakdown reports using charts and graphs to improve the analysis of project costs.|
|What-if analysis||Models how your bid will change if assumptions (e.g., project completion date) change.|
Many contractors require specialized construction estimate software to handle their trade-specific requirements. As such, specialty contractors should evaluate products designed for their unique needs. For example, a mechanical contractor who needs to estimate custom sheet metal work for HVAC ducts would benefit from a specialized application.
Or a residential contractor who is performing his own project estimates might want a straightforward, affordable residential estimating solution where ease of use trumps depth of functionality and sophistication. Other contractors that we often find have unique needs include electrical, flooring, and earthwork contractors.
Benefits of this application
Last year, we surveyed contractors, estimators, building owners, and other construction professionals about their estimating processes. In our survey, we asked industry professionals about their top priorities for 2013 and beyond, and the benefits of using technology to support these processes.
The top priorities of construction firms (improved process standardization, accuracy, and speed) mapped closely to the benefits firms say they noticed after deploying construction estimator software.
To gain more insights into industry benchmarks and best practices, check out our 2012 Benchmark Report.
How estimating and takeoff differ
We find that buyers sometimes confuse estimating software with takeoff software. The confusion stems partly from the fact that these two programs are often deployed in conjunction, as both are critical to developing accurate bids. But they perform two distinct functions. To simplify it:
- Takeoff systems help measure plans and blueprints to estimate the amount of materials and labor needed to complete a project.
- Construction estimating systems determine how much the estimated materials and labor will cost, and then produce a complete bid in a professional format.
This table will help you determine if you need takeoff or construction estimating software (or both):
|If you...||Then You Need...|
|Spend too much time measuring plans and blueprints||Takeoff|
|Often incorrectly estimate labor/materials quantities||Takeoff|
|Spend too much time calculating labor/materials costs||Estimating|
|Often incorrectly estimate labor/materials costs||Estimating|
|Have trouble creating professional-looking bid proposals||Estimating|
|Need one system to estimate labor/materials quantities & costs||Both|
If, after reviewing our table of common pain points, you realize that a takeoff program is what you need, head over to our takeoff systems buyers guide to better understand this market.
Market trends to understand
These pre-construction application market trends should be considered when evaluating a new system and reading construction estimating software reviews.
Digital takeoff: Digital takeoff has matured and it provides many efficiencies. It reduces the cost, time, and hassle of printing paper plans. It also costs less than a plotter or reprographic service. Most systems can measure .pdf, .tiff, .dwg, AutoCAD, and other digital file formats. Buyers should strongly consider (and trial) digital takeoff before investing in another digitizer board.
Increased competition for jobs: The sluggish economy means that contractors are competing for fewer jobs. General contractors and project sponsors are running more intense selection processes with shorter bid turnaround times. Contractors need to produce bids faster and more accurately to compete for more jobs, win, and make a profit.
Geographic migration: Some companies are now bidding on jobs outside their traditional territory. The availability of electronic plan files via online plan rooms, as well as data from building information modeling (BIM) files, makes it easier to identify projects and get the data necessary to produce a bid. To compete, contractors need an efficient infrastructure that will allow them to access these online plan rooms.
Multi-user estimation: Many contractors are seeing a need to involve more employees in the process. In some cases, this results from growth. In other cases it results from a reaction to turnover of seasoned estimators and the resulting skills gap. And other times it results from a desire to gain consensus on estimates. Regardless, demand for multi-user systems is growing, and if this is an important consideration you should evaluate the best vendors that support many users.
The vendor landscape
The application landscape is highly fragmented and can be confusing. However, we can simplify the market by matching top-rated solutions to our four buyer types.
|If you are a...||Then you should evaluate...|
|Commercial contractor||ProEst, Maxwell ProContractorMX, OnCenter On-Screen Takeoff, Sage Timberline, QuickMeasure|
|Electrical contractor||Accubid, ConEst, McCormick, Electrical Bid Manager|
|Mechanical/HVAC contractor||Accubid, Wendes, QuoteExpress|
|Earthwork contractor / heavy construction contractor||BID2WIN, Hard Dollar, HCSS, SharpeSoft, WinEx Master|
|Residential contractor||Clear Estimates, Contractor's Office, GiddyUp, My Project Estimator|
Popular construction estimating software
Your Guide to Top Construction Estimating Software, September 2020
Software Advice uses reviews from real software users to highlight the top-rated Construction Estimating Software products in North America.
Learn how products are chosen