Finding software can be overwhelming. We've helped dozens of contractors choose the right estimating software so they can calculate labor and material costs and produce accurate proposals.

Showing 1-20 of 233 products

Buildertrend

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

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Recent recommendations: 342 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Houzz Pro

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

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Recent recommendations: 183 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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CoConstruct

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

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Recent recommendations: 163 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Esticom

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

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Recent recommendations: 120 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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STACK Takeoff & EstimatingFrontRunners 2019

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

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Recent recommendations: 83 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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McCormick Estimating SoftwareFrontRunners 2019

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

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Recent recommendations: 64 recommendations

Platforms: Win
Deployments: On premise
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PlanSwift

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

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Recent recommendations: 63 recommendations

Platforms: Win
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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RSMeans Data OnlineFrontRunners 2019

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

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Recent recommendations: 57 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Contractor Foreman

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

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Recent recommendations: 54 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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RedTeam

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

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Recent recommendations: 40 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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TurboBid Estimating

TurboBid is an on-premise estimating software solution for small and midsize contractors designed to help them complete project estimations, regardless of the type of work, whether it's new residential, light commercial, remodeling,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 34 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: On premise
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UDA ConstructionOnline

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

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Recent recommendations: 31 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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JobNimbus

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

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Recent recommendations: 29 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Sage 100 Contractor (formerly Sage Master Builder)

Sage 100 Contractor, formerly known as Sage Master Builder, focuses on small to midsize construction companies, whether they are a general contractor, service or specialty contractor or a home builder. Suitable for companies that... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 22 recommendations

Platforms: Win
Deployments: On premise
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ComputerEase

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

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Recent recommendations: 21 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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ProEst Estimating

ProEst is a cloud-based construction estimating solution that offers automated features for construction companies of all sizes. ProEst enables construction teams to monitor and manage centralized estimates, takeoffs, reports and... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 21 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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PASKR

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

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Recent recommendations: 20 recommendations

Platforms: MacWin
Deployments: Cloud
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FastPIPE & FastDUCT

FastEST, Inc. is the United States based developers of takeoff and estimating solution designed specifically for plumbing, mechanical, HVAC and sheet metal contractors. FastPIPE and FastDUCT are two of the company's comprehensive... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 19 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Sage Estimating (formerly Sage Timberline Estimating)

Sage Estimating is an on-premise based construction estimating software designed specifically to serve contractors and sub-contractors in construction and real estate industries of all sizes. The solution provides interactive tools... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 19 recommendations

Platforms: Win
Deployments: On premise
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Spectrum (formerly Dexter + Cheney)

Spectrum Construction Software 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, human... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 18 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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2020 Construction Estimating Software Pricing Guide

Learn about the key aspects of accurate software pricing before you make your purchase decision.

Includes:

  • Pricing models & ranges

  • Unexpected costs

  • Pricing of popular systems

Buyers guide


Last Updated: June 30, 2020

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

Below is a breakdown of the functionality included in a typical contractor estimating software package.

Construction Estimating Software Functionality


In case you aren't familiar with these terms, here is a plain English description of the function of each module.

Module
What it does
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.

Benefits of Construction Estimating 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

FrontRunners

Your Guide to Top Construction Estimating Software, May 2019

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

Explore FrontRunners

Connect with a personal advisor who can help you find the right software for your business.
Software Advice
“Usability” includes user ratings for Functionality and Ease of Use.“Customer Satisfaction” includes user ratings for Customer Support, Likelihood to Recommend and Value for Money.Reviews analysis period: