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COINS

COINS develops, implements and supports enterprise resource planning software for the construction industry. The company has been in business for nearly 40 years, working with construction companies across the U.S. The COINS construction... Read More
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FOUNDATION Construction Accounting

FOUNDATION® construction accounting software is a job costing, project management and scheduling solution available as traditional installed software and on the cloud. The system offers hundreds of automatic job costing reports and... Read More
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PENTA Construction ERP Software

PENTA is an enterprise system that manages every aspect of accounting, project management and service for construction, engineering and service firms. Delivered via cloud hosting or on-premise, PENTA provides functionality for construction... Read More
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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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Procore

Procore is a cloud-based construction management software application that helps firms increase their project efficiency and accountability by providing streamlined project communication and documentation. Users are able to manage... Read More
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On-Screen Takeoff and Quick Bid

On-Screen Takeoff is a construction estimating and takeoff solutions for contractors and construction professionals. The solution offers tools for estimating, managing bids and having project visibility. Both commercial and residential... Read More
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eCMS Construction ERP

eCMS is construction ERP software that offers integrated project and financial management applications supported by business intelligence, content management, workflow and mobile applications. The solution can be deployed on-premise... Read More
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Jonas Enterprise

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
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ComputerEase

ComputerEase was founded in 1983. Since then, the vendor has built a large customer base of over 6,000 contractors. It offers a fully integrated construction management suite with accounting, project management and service management... Read More
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Vista by Viewpoint

Vista is an integrated suite of finance, operations and project management applications for contractors and capital project owners that can be deployed on-premises or hosted in the cloud. Users can manage workflow and reporting that... Read More
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WenDuct and WenPipe

WenDuct and WenPipe are construction estimating and digital takeoff systems designed specifically for mechanical contractors. Wendes Systems, the maker of WenDuct and WenPipe, has a long history of helping specialty contractors create... Read More
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PlanSwift

PlanSwift is an on-screen digitizing and takeoff system that is suitable for both commercial and residential GCs and subcontractors in a number of industries, such as electrical, heavy/highway, plumbing, and custom and production home... Read More
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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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QuoteSoft Duct & QuoteSoft Pipe

QuoteSoft is a takeoff, estimating and bid management solution developed to meet the unique needs of piping, plumbing and ductwork contractors. QuoteSoft is an industry-specific solution that is used by more than 3,000 contractors... Read More
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InEight Estimate

InEight Estimate is construction software that enables multi-user collaboration throughout the estimating process. InEight Estimate can be used to estimate projects of any size, across all construction and capital projects markets... Read More
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Trimble Accubid Enterprise Mechanical

Accubid offers cost estimating and digital takeoff in their mechanical software package. The estimating system can be purchased by itself, but the takeoff application must be purchased together with cost estimating. Key features in... Read More
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Maestro

Maestro is the flagship product of Maestro Technologies, a Canadian-based software company that has been in the construction software industry for the last 20 years. Their solution has helped over 2,000 customers manage construction... Read More
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Explorer Eclipse

Established in 1984, Explorer Software provides Construction accounting and project management solutions to many different contractors around the world. The system is completely browser-based, allowing it to be accessed from any type... Read More
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Ventus

Ventus is a cloud-based construction and service management solution for businesses of all sizes. It’s suitable for general contractors, plumbers, electricians, home builders, communication providers and more. Primary features include... Read More
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McCormick Estimating Software

McCormick Systems was founded by a contractor during the late 1970’s and after thirty-three years in the industry has grown their product to reach over 8,000 contractors around the world - from the United States to Australia. McCormick... Read More
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eDeneb

eDeneb Accounting is a Cloud-Based accounting solution designed for the construction contractors. Designed for small and midsize contractors in electrical, mechanical, plumbing, amongst many others. eDeneb’s accounting features... Read More
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Trimble AutoBid SheetMetal

For Sheet Metal and HVAC/Ductwork contractors that do any combination of commercial, industrial and institutional work, Trimble® AutoBid® SheetMetal is designed specifically for the unique needs of the industry, providing estimates... Read More
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Visual Planning

Visual Planning is an expansive, comprehensive, and efficient system that offers a complete solution for a business’s Project Management needs. It combines the tools users need to allocate resources, manage individual projects, budgets,... Read More
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Trimble AutoBid Mechanical

Trimble AutoBid Mechanical is a labor and material estimating solution that was designed for mechanical, piping and plumbing contractors who specialize in commercial work. Autobid Mechanical allows contractors to create accurate bids;... Read More
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Smartsheet

Smartsheet is a project management application with a spreadsheet-like interface to help teams collaborate, plan projects and manage tasks. The software offers a suite of project management applications, such as document management,... Read More
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ProContractor™ by Viewpoint

ProContractor is a comprehensive estimating accounting, and project management solution designed to help small and midsize contractors manage critical financial operations. Deployed either on-premise or in the cloud, the solution enables... Read More
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Viewpoint MEP Estimating

Viewpoint MEP Estimating (formerly known as Maxwell Estimation) specializes in generating estimates and takeoffs for residential and commercial HVAC, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical firms.  It includes trade-specific estimating... Read More
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PM Vitals

PM Vitals is a project management solution for the construction industry. It is suitable for midsize to large companies and offers both cloud-based and on-premise deployments. PM Vitals offers a number of interchangeable modules to... Read More
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LEVESYS

LEVESYS is a construction project management tool designed to help contractors in a variety of industries create estimates, manage bids, schedule projects, correspond with customers, track finances, and manage follow-up repairs and... Read More
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Cubit

Cubit is construction estimating software by Buildsoft offering integrated bid management and estimating. The solution specializes in onscreen takeoff directly linked to estimating. If a user makes a change to their takeoff, it will... Read More
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Jobpac Connect by Viewpoint

Jobpac Connect is a cloud-based Construction Project Management (CPM) solution designed to help users track accounting and HR processes, manage job costs and revenue, report forecasting and cash flow and track fixed assets. The solution's... Read More
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Viewpoint Estimating

Viewpoint Estimating (formerly known as Maxwell Estimation) specializes in generating estimates and takeoffs for residential and commercial HVAC, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical firms.  It includes trade-specific estimating capabilities... Read More
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PROcru

PROcru is an on-premise business management solution for small to midsize construction companies. Key features include customer relationship management (CRM), estimating, project proposals, scheduling, performance reporting, job costing... Read More
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Viewpoint - Spectrum

Spectrum Construction Software provides complete construction management, combining accounting, job cost and project management software in one cloud-based application.  Spectrum offers full-featured accounting, document management,... Read More
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Dexter + Chaney Spectrum

Spectrum Construction Software provides complete construction management, combining accounting, job cost and project management software in one cloud-based application. Spectrum is developed by Dexter + Chaney, a technology company... Read More
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Plumbing Bid Manager

Plumbing Bid Manager is one of the leading plumbing estimating systems for small and mid-sized commercial and residential plumbing and mechanical contractors. Offers integrated material pricing updates and digital plan takeoff.
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Trimble ConstructJob

ConstructJob is Accubid's construction project management system. The software is web-based, which allows contractors to access project documents from any device and any location with internet access. Key capabilities in ConstructJob... Read More
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Construction Partner

Construction Partner is a construction accounting and job costing system with a 20-year track record in the industry. It combines accounting, estimating, and job costing in a single package. It's a good fit for contractors that are... Read More
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CompuTool Connect

CompuTool Connect is a customizable suite of fully integrated business applications designed exclusively for the construction industry. It can be scaled up from the basic version by adding on applications to accommodate growing companies. Base... Read More
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COBRA Contractor's Business Software

Designed for specialty contractors, Cobra estimating software is a good fit for professionals in industries such as plumbing and HVAC. This system offers an updated cost database and is available for on-premise deployment.
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IFS ERP Construction

Designed specifically for to-order manufacturers and asset-intensive companies around the globe, IFS Applications is relied upon by its large global customer base by supporting intricate order-driven and mixed-mode manufacturing... Read More
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Profitool

Profitool brings three decades of construction industry experience to the table and offers an enterprise system to construction firms across a wide swath of trades. Profitool provides functionality from project management to accounting. Profitool... Read More
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KEY2ACT

KEY2ACT provides field service and construction management solutions. The solution enables specialty trades businesses to deliver proactive service and optimize operational efficiencies. The field service functions include work order... Read More
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Sigma Estimates

The Sigma product line by Sigma Estimates offers construction companies, general contractors, engineering firms and architectural offices a suite of extremely scalable cost estimating applications. With Sigma, businesses gain increased... Read More
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Pantera Project Insight

Developed specifically for General Contractors, Sub-Contractors, Program Managers, and Specialty Trade Contractors, Pantera Project Insight is a comprehensive project management solution. It’s the first of its kind to be recognized... Read More
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CMiC xProjects

xProjects by CMiC systems is a flexible, powerful Project Management solution that was created specifically for use in the construction industry to meet the needs of all members of a project's team, including project owners, general... Read More
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CMIS

Designed and developed with the "Just Do it Once" Philosophy, CMIS by ECL software is an end-to-end construction management system that balances an intuitive UI with optimized business processes and effective critical information management.... Read More
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Contractor V

Contractor V from TAG delivers job cost accounting in a package that fits any size company. Contractor V combines years of experience, feedback, and advancements in technology to streamline workflow. Scalability makes it an entry-level... Read More
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JobFLEX

JobFLEX is a web-based construction solution offering a variety of applications with an emphasis on a user-friendly interface. The team behind JobFLEX has over 100 years of combined experience in the field, including field experience... Read More
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GoCanvas

GoCanvas is a cloud-based mobile business management system suitable for field service companies, including electrical, HVAC, pest control and plumbing. The solution is designed to work on any smartphone or tablet and can also be accessed... Read More
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Buyer's Guide

General estimating systems are designed for contractors that develop high-level estimates across multiple divisions. However, when a more detailed drill-down of the plumbing work is required, a system that is designed specifically for plumbers will be a better fit.

While evaluating applications in this market, you should consider deployment model, as pricing can vary based on the type. The two primary categories include cloud-based software, also called Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). The second type is on-premise deployment, which usually requires purchasing a perpetual license upfront.

There are about a dozen top-rated vendors that serve this market. In this guide, we will have break down the high-level "key requirements" for applications in this market. Also, we identified related plumbing applications that this software typically integrates with. 

Here’s what we’ll go over:

What is Plumbing Estimating Software?
Common Features of Plumbing Estimating Software
Related Plumbing Software Features
Plumbing Estimating Software Pricing
Plumbing Estimating Software Deployment
Other Considerations

What is Plumbing Estimating Software?

Plumbing estimating software is used by plumbers, general contractors and other professionals who fix, renovate or maintain residential, commercial and industrial plumbing systems.

What is unique about plumbing estimating software is that it has several features that are not found in other general estimating software platforms. For this reason, plumbing estimating software is much better suited for plumbers to use over other estimating applications.

Many buyers we speak to currently draw up their estimates with pen and paper, or with crude homebuilt spreadsheets. While these methods can work well if you or your business is only juggling a few projects at a time, it can become very unmanageable as your business grows and as you take on more projects. Buyers we speak to find that this software greatly assists with streamlining project plans, saves time and more importantly produces more accurate bids.

Common Features of Plumbing Estimating Software

Plumbing item database Plumbers need fast access to every pipe, fitting, valve, flange, mount and more. A plumbing estimating program will have a vast database that includes the approximately 150,000 items a plumber would need to access.
Plumbing assemblies Each bathroom you install uses most of the same items. The same with each shower, each sink etc. “Assemblies” are the groupings of items you’ll need for each job. Naturally these can be customized as standard or for each individual job, but by standardizing this information, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every single time you put in a bid.
Plumbing-specific Pricing Integration It’s important to submit a professional-looking bid. A good plumbing estimating system will export your bid information to a customizable template that includes your company information and logo, helping you reinforce your company’s brand through your bid.
3D modeling Some software platforms allow the user to draw up pipe plans in 3D, giving you a realistic representation of what the finished work ought to look like.

Related Plumbing Software Features

Leading vendors will integrate their estimating software with additional features to make for a full plumbing suite. Applications commonly associated with the top plumbing software include:

Time and materials billing Plumbers bill based on the time spent on the job, as well as the materials used, so keeping accurate accounts of both is critical for effective estimating and billing. Therefore, consider this feature carefully when selecting your plumbing solution.
Project management If your company has more than a few subcontractors, you’ll want to manage project schedules and track job documents. For this, project management capabilities can save a considerable amount of time and energy, ensuring efficient scheduling and maximizing your use of labor resources.

Plumbing Estimating Software Pricing

Plumbing estimating software is usually priced one of two ways: subscription pricing and perpetual license pricing.

When you purchase software with a perpetual license, you own the software outright and indefinitely. You typically pay one large fee up front, and in some cases will pay annual fees for support, maintenance and/or upgrades.

With subscription pricing, you usually pay a monthly fee that is often set by the features you wish to have access to, or by the volume of your business that you conduct. With subscription pricing you typically don’t pay additional fees for support, maintenance or upgrades.

Some software vendors will offer free or trial versions of their software that have limited functionality, but can still give you an idea of how they work.

Plumbing Estimating Software Deployment

Estimating software for plumbers is usually deployed one of two ways. Traditionally, the software was installed directly on the user’s computer (and was paid for as a perpetual license). This is called “on-premise” software. Most modern software, however, is deployed in the cloud, or is “cloud-based.” This means that the software is accessible through a web browser on any internet connected computer or smart device.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both. With cloud-based software, you can do your estimating on the go, but you might run into issues if you’re at a work site that doesn’t have WiFi or adequate cell reception. With on-premise software, you might be more limited when it comes to drawing up estimates on-the-go, depending on if the on-premise software pairs with any sort of mobile application.

Other Considerations

When evaluating plumbing estimating software, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Does this software specifically address my needs for the type of plumbing work I do (e.g., residential, commercial or industrial)?
  • Do the vendors I’m looking at have customers that are similar to me?
  • What will be the lifetime cost of this software?

Be sure to demo several different programs from different vendors so that you can get the clearest idea of which is easiest to use and has the features you need most. Ask the vendors for customer references and be sure to read reviews for each software program you’re looking at.