PlanSwift Construction Estimating & Takeoff Software

4.33 / 5 (355) FrontRunners®

Our advisors have recommended this product 19 times in the last 30 days

About 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 builders. The solution's functionality can be applied to most businesses that utilize digital blueprints.

PlanSwift provides a way for users to calculate digitized values, including labor and material costs, by clicking various points on the screen. The Single Click feature allows users to measure linear and square footage with one mouse click. The program also includes 64-bit Microsoft Excel integration and a browsing feature that lets users create and find new jobs in any location on the network or desktop, improving collaboration between team members. Takeoff features of the system include drag-and-drop assemblies on items, the ability to add hyperlinks, and automatic prompts that give users hints on what to do next during the process.



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Supported Operating System(s):

Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows 8, Windows 10

355 Reviews of PlanSwift

Average User Ratings

Overall

4.33 / 5 stars

Ease-of-use

4.5

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.0

Ratings Snapshot

5 stars

(168)

4 stars

(144)

3 stars

(27)

2 stars

(9)

1 stars

(7)

Likelihood to Recommend

Not likely

Very likely

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Showing 1-20 of 355 reviews

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November 2016

Stephen from Scraper's Edge Inc.

Company Size: 2-10 employees


Ease-of-use

4.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.0

November 2016

Great for Takeoffs

*Disclaimer* I declined any training in this product, so negative experiences may be the result of ignorance I've been using PlanSwift for nearly a year & am very happy with it. I use it exclusively for takeoffs, of which I have done over 600 this year. I would highly recommend it for takeoff purposes, but I have no experience with it's other functions & cannot offer any comments on them. Customer service was prompt & answered my questions to my satisfaction. They couldn't fix my desktop freezing problem (see below) & were not aware of it being a problem, but I found an acceptable workaround myself. I can't comment on value for money as I am not responsible for any budget in my company.

Pros

PlanSwift gives a high level of user control for the published result of the takeoff. I can modify takeoff colours, add notes, create my own legend (with notes), insert lines, arrows, etc. The takeoff functions are well designed. Adding an area to the same layer is easy, subtracting a section is just as easy & displays very nicely as a blank space which doesn't interfere with other layers or the original drawing. Modifying a takeoff shape or colour is very easy, as well as drawing curved shapes, copying shapes to same or new layer. Various layers don't interfere with each other, don't "fall behind", etc. Layers can easily be turned off & on. Scaling is excellent with preset dropdown & custom input available, allowing you to work in metric or imperial & scale in either without limiting your output unit selection (ie. scale in metric & get takeoff output in imperial units if desired).

It appears to me that a lot of attention went into the design of the takeoff features. There are a lot of little things that make it much easier to use. For example, drawing a shape can take several minutes sometimes, & if you are interrupted & need to use another program you just have to move to another screen or minimize the program & when you come back you can carry on. Lots of programs force you to resolve the function you were engaged in before minimizing, but PlanSwift doesn't. This little thing makes a big difference when referring to another drawing on a pdf that has to be zoomed, or moved, etc while doing the takeoff.

The published pdf is very easy to read, & looks clean & professional - a very high quality finished product is possible with this program.

Cons

The loading time is the biggest drawback. If I load too many drawings into the program at a time, opening the program, publishing a pdf, & organizing files within the program can take a long time. This also causes my desktop to freeze so that I cannot move files around or into folders until I restart windows, wait for my screensaver to come on, or sometimes it just fixes on it's own. This is silly, but it seems that the program loads every drawing in it's database when I open the program, so to keep loading times reasonable, I need to remove files from it's database when I finish with them. It's an annoying & unnecessary hassle. It may be that the program is designed to load several drawings for a single project & then file the whole project when complete; so this might indicate I am using the program in a way it wasn't intended. However, I don't want to file away each drawing when I'm finished & start a new project. The takeoff is the project for me, so creating a project for each drawing will end up costing me even more time, if that is how it is designed.

Twice with complicated, multi-layered projects, I've had the program freeze when attempting to publish a pdf. Generally at the end of the day when I've already stayed a bit late to finish, & the takeoff is needed asap. This sucks. Restarting, loading the program & trying again takes 10-15 min. In both case it has not worked after 3 tries & I've had to relay the info verbally or use a screenshot instead of a published pdf. Honestly, out of 600+ takeoffs, that's not terrible - I'm assuming it has something to do with the file format and/or amount of info I tried to publish. I've had lots of complicated takeoffs with many layers & pages work just fine.

April 2017

Ryan from WinSol Groundworks

Company Size: 11-50 employees


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

3.0

Functionality

4.0

April 2017

Ease of use, and rapid efficiency for contractors doing takeoffs on plans.

I used this program for the entire duration of the trial I was permitted to use it for. While in use this program was highly efficient in is duty to serve as an upgrade to our current takeoff software. (See pros/cons)

Pros

- Can get square footage for concrete of massive plans in 20 - 7 minutes, as opposed to using something like Vu360, and (constantly crashing) taking multiple days to do a single takeoff for one PDF plan.

- This program is organized, It comes with an integrated item list that (after you put your prices in for materials) can give you the equivalent of an excel estimate, as you finish the takeoff, and while you are in the middle of doing it.

- There is a fill tool for getting square footage or selecting lines for linear feet, you can do supermassive takeoffs for concrete (as long as there isn't a cancerous amount of pointing lines dashing the entire plan) in seconds...

- They just broke free from the shackles of oracle so now they have a bunch of awesome plugins back, Plugins such as 'convert takeoff into Quickbooks'...

- The program was very quick, no memory leaks here, no lag.

- Can be converted into excel

Cons

- High cost, this program is about $ or more PER install (gets cheaper the more you get possibly on a per-software basis), after all of your salesman deals and whatnot, (without any fancy online training)

- Complicated at first, Don't try to show the program off to anyone unless you have spent a good 3 - 4 days experimenting with all of the tools, and asking your salesman for a live demonstration. It can be frustrating to know the tool you've been wondering where it is, is under your nose.

- The program can only do auto ("one click area") (for getting square/lineal footage) selection for so much space, so on big PDF plans, you will have to use the cut tool to dice the plans into a moderately sized grid, of which it will then handle like a champ.

April 2014

Dave from BDC


Ease-of-use

4.5

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

5.0

April 2014

Very comprehensive and customizable takeoff software

Pros

I work for a small construction company as the project estimator. I have to do takeoffs on basically every aspect of the home so I can put together budgets and bid out the project properly.

This is a seriously powerful tool for doing a full building takeoff. Almost all aspects of it are customizable, so you can make this thing do just about anything you want. I've got a template set up that that allows me to use one measurement to calculate quantities for multiple parts. And, if something changes, I can easily manipulate it to figure the new data. So, I measure for block work on foundation and I tell it how many courses I want and it will change the calculations based on the number I select.

For the most part, the customer service has been extremely helpful.

I am able to save and print views of the takeoffs. This has been extremely helpful when putting together ceiling joist and rafter layouts for my field team. This has helped eliminate a lot of wasted (expensive) lumber by the framers cutting up wood they shouldn't (like cutting up a 2x10x26 intended for a rafter and using it for headers).

Cons

Knowledge base: Sometimes the knowledge base can be a little tricky. It will often take you to outdated versions or may not show anything at all. Much of the information is not laid out in a very intuitive way.

Customer service: There have been a few times where I've run into glitches with the software. The costumer service was not helpful every time (though they have been 99% of the time). Sometimes they have been problematic. I use the labeled count feature regularly, but it doesn't always total up the counts properly. When I contacted customer service, the rep I spoke with just said, "I'm not sure. It's probably the computer." He said that about a couple issues. He never did a real review or provided a resolution. I've found ways to work around it, though.

September 2017

Juan from Commercial Concrete Systems, LLC

Company Size: 201-500 employees

Review Source


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.0

September 2017

Excellent Value for the Money - Full take off AND estimating capabilities

We are a medium size concrete and masonry subcontractor. We have used another estimating software for about 17 years, but no on screen take off abilities and very little flexibility in creating your own assemblies or unit prices. It is more of a general GC type of software. It was time for a change. I am very happy with Planswift. No software is perfect, but definitely Planswift makes easy taking off and estimating a job. If you plan on using it just for take off purposes, you can start as soon as you buy it. But if you plan on using it as an estimating tool, my suggestion is to give yourself at least 1 month so your most trusted estimator builds the assemblies (full time job). With only 2 or 3 hours of training a smart techy estimator can do it. But it is a long process. And the more you learn about assemblies, the more you have to go back and improve the ones you already built. Based on what I have seen so far, I think Planswift was created as a take off software and then adapted to an estimating one. This is somehow inconvenient, but not a deal breaker. Like every software, there are things it can not do, or at least not in the way a user would like to see them. But overall, it works just fine. We have now a full database with our custom made assemblies and 5 people using Planswift.

Pros

Take off portion is super user friendly. You learn how to use it in a couple of hours.
Price is very reasonable.
Huge savings in prints to bid jobs.
Database can be shared among all users.
You can create as many assemblies and unit price templates as you want.
You have access to formulas to calculate material quantities based on the take off.
Customer support is excellent and unlimited for simple take off questions.
Training is excellent
My sales person, Conner Livingston, still assists me when I need his help.

Cons

To use the pricing portion you have to create your own assemblies. They are not pre-built.
Lacks security features to prevent deleting custom made reports. You have to back them up.
Lacks security features to prevent others to modify your database and custom made reports. You have to back them up.
Only two people at Planswift have knowledge about building reports and is not part of the regular customer support. Either you buy a Training package or pay by the hour so they can help you build the reports you need.

October 2018

Lynn from Evergreen Technology

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2018

PlanSwift claims to be the number 1 takeoff software. It's true!

I've been using this software for over 6 years now (back at version 8.0). I have customized the export to excel and created a fully automatic system where I use PlanSwift for the super fast take off features, then export it into my customized excel worksheet which makes everything instantly calculated the way I want it with instant and automatic reports (material order / P.O., field labor budget for the workers in the field, accounting report, financial evaluation of the bid... etc. ALL others will not allow me to do the same. PlanSwift stands alone in the BEST option.

Pros

Easy to learn. Dead on accurate. Super easy to navigate. Also... you can learn how to customize PlanSwift to give you the Export into Excel anyway you would like. No limitations. No other software has this feature.

PRICE: Seems high but remember... this is a ONE TIME PURCHASE (no annual fees). Saves a TON of money compared to others who charge an up front fee PLUS their annual fee .

Cons

I can't find anything wrong with this software. Everything others lack, PlanSwift has it included. Again... I haven't found another digital takeoff software that even comes close. I would recommend this one and let readers know you can buy with confidence.

September 2018

Robert from KEA Corporation

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

September 2018

Planswift is and essential tool that we use everyday - could be improved though

Please lower price ? Or introduce discounts at certain times of the year for existing customers who have had the software for a certain amount of time.

Pros

I love that we're able to take off drawings digitally, a lot different than I when used to have to take off projects when I was younger by hand. I love the support we're able to access when we have questions, everyone seems to be very knowledgeable about the software and knows how to answer our questions directly and effectively. I also like how we're allowed to disable the license each time we're finished using the software each day at the office - allows me to pick up different projects that I work on for personal projects at home with not having to buy two separate licenses (which can be costly)

Cons

The price can be overwhelming at times - we like to keep up with the maintenance/updates and support which is an additional couple hundred dollars every year.
Not to mention wanting to get a couple more computers with Planswift on each with their own license is impossible for us at this time, which is actually holding us back.

November 2018

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

November 2018

Great floorplan markup and estimating tool

The customer service team was really helpful when we were trialling out the software and helped us adapt it to our specific needs. No more paper plans! And if a floor plan changes, it is easy to add or subtract items.

Pros

We used to mark up paper floor plans with pencils and highlighters. We were looking for a way to go digital in this area. We looked at a couple different software options, and Planswift was the winner.

We find the UI to be very intuitive. While we mainly just use the software to mark up items on floorplan, there are lots of other features, such as calculating areas and volumes and creating detailed estimates. There are a number of industry-specific plugins available to help you estimate (Siding, Concrete, Framing and Drywall, etc.)

You can import any floor plan, even something sketched on a piece of paper! We generally import pdfs, but I believe you can import CAD files or jpgs as well.

Cons

There is a bit of a learning curve to learn the software and get set up. However, once you have it tuned for your business, it easily saves hours of time every week.

October 2017

Shane from PDC

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

2.0

Functionality

3.0

October 2017

Great takeoff software, good parts estimation, NO database

Planswift is like an open-source, do-it-yourself platform. It is awesome in it's capability to write what you need and even design the input screens to look very clean and professional. But negatives come with that...it's not good at all for multiple users, you have to define all your own processes and there is little to no bid-level abilities with the software. Most of the great reviews for Planswift are based on the Takeoff aspect. They are correct. But the estimation side is only great for a single, hands-on user.

Pros

-Takeoff probably couldn't be better. All takeoff software should be judged against Planswift.
-Estimation is confusing at first, but very powerful. Everything is customizable.
-Price is very low for what you can do.

Cons

-No database. This is a basic requirement. You can connect to MS database, but one shouldn't need to do that.
-Reporting is not good at all. It is very glitchy. So it appears easy to customize, but then things just quit working.
-Support and upgrades have seemingly stopped. Ownership has a changed a few times and now the software seems to be in limbo.

June 2017

Dean from DK Construction, Inc.

Company Size: 51-200 employees


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

1.0

Functionality

5.0

June 2017

Easily the best takeoff & estimating software available!

We are a large GC and self-perform much of our own work (concrete, framing, roofing, drywall, siding, etc.) and even do takeoffs on the work we are subbing out to keep our subs in check. We feel the sample parts & assemblies that come with the software as well as the plugins PlanSwift offers are useless. We found a company (www.precisiontakeoffs.com) that makes what PlanSwift refers to as "Third Party" plugins and they have been amazing. We have purchased 6 plugins from this company and they are very easy to use, very detailed, and very versatile. These plugins weren't cheap but are worth the investment. We would still recommend PlanSwift without these plugins as it is very easy to use and extremely accurate. I don't understand all the negative comments I see about PlanSwift. You don't need to be a computer programmer to use PlanSwift. It doesn't crash all the time. We rarely have any issues with it and when we do it almost always is a user issue, not a PlanSwift issue.

Pros

We love the fact that you can do everything (takeoff, pricing, overhead, profit, & bid proposal) within PlanSwift!

Cons

It does have a bit of lag on bigger takeoffs as it is only a 32 bit system. Customer service is terrible!

January 2017

Charlie from Havtech

Company Size: 11-50 employees


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

2.0

Functionality

5.0

January 2017

Solid Takeoff Software

Used this software for two years for Mechanical/Air Distribution Equipment Takeoff. It is quick and easy to perform counts and linear/area takeoffs. There were some minor glitches, but once I learned how to avoid them I had no problems with accuracy/ease of use. The software has a lot of potential for speeding up takeoff with custom columns/properties, templates, that require some set-up by the user. When I first got the software there was a great plug-in store that provided added features, but unfortunately, that has been taken down for the foreseeable future. My biggest complaint is that support does not seem to respond to many of my emails or takes a long time which is unacceptable given the cost of yearly maintenance/su