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RSMeans Data Online Logo

RSMeans Data Online

Estimating software for the construction industry

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RSMeans Data Online Reviews

Overall rating

4.2

/5

303

Rating criteria

  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend7.72/10

Reviews by rating

Pros and cons

I like the many options presented to develop a comprehensive estimate. Customer Service is the best I had encountered with any cost related company.
Generally good - we are satisfied with the product. Customer service is great too.
Very comprehensive cost database. Good coverage of locations across the US and Canada and useful index tables.
But it is hard to be frustrated when software has more than you need.
The software is unreliable. It has costed our company several hours of lost productivity.
Also, I have yet to meet any one that truly uses RSMeans as it is essentially a dead tool.
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303 reviews

Recommended

AR
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Verified reviewer

Construction, 11-50 employees

Used daily for 1-2 years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Indispensable tool for estimating

Reviewed 4 years ago

This software has made our estimates way more accurate and competitive.

Pros

Huge range of trades to choose from, updated cost lists by quarter, ease of use.

Cons

The only thing we don't like is that the table doesn't display properly when the browser window is collapsed to half screen.

KM
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Kevin M.

Construction, 1-10 employees

Used daily for 1-2 years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Estimating for Computer Dummies

Reviewed 4 years ago

I have been using RSMeans since 1984. I started in college with the book, then eventually to a CD, and now online. My business could not survive without it. Its is the best program on the market. I have tried other programs as samples and they cannot compete with RSMeans. And as to technical help, RSMeans is the best I have ever dealt with, if you have a problem they are great with helping you.

Pros

It makes my estimating easier and faster. It would be impossible to estimate a project without RS Means. Its also gives me an advantage to check subcontractors quotes. In addition, I can bid projects in different areas around the country, which has open vast business opportunities in the construction industry that I would not be able to accomplish before I had the program.

Cons

I wish program had virtual "Cortana" like Microsoft. Sometimes I need to find an item and I don't know how to ask RS Means what the item is and all I get for a response is that there is no line item. Also, I wish they had more items to chose from and good example is ceramic tile such as: 12" x 24", 18" x 18", 24" x 24". These items are becoming more prevelent. RSMeans needs to keep up with HGTV as items are changing with the times.

GB
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Gail B.

Construction, 1-10 employees

Used weekly for less than 6 months

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support

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Not happy with service or customer service.

Reviewed 4 years ago

RSMeans did nothing but cost a lot of money and provide inaccurate information.

Pros

Unfortunately it is hard to like much about the software. Many of the assemblies are inaccurate. I am still waiting for a response from the technical service department for a "ticket" that the sales rep put in 5 months ago about inaccurate calculations.

Cons

The customer service is almost non existent. Emails and the website advertise that their is customer service available until 10 PM. After speaking with a very unpleasant gentlemen, named Kireee, that responded to me by saying "oh my god, reeeally", I discovered he didn't know how to do anything more than sign on to the program. He was the same individual that promised I would get a call back from...

JS
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Joe S.

Construction, 501-1,000 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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shared Data Base

Reviewed 4 years ago
Pros

The access to all the trades and the ability to match items to specifications has been a great help. also being able to retrieve old proposals and have them update quickly

Cons

I also have the JOC software from RS Means which no one at RS Means seams to understand and they have tied my passwords to the same account but if I am locked out of one I can not get in the other one. Then all the tech know how to fix this is delete all your cookies. these are place markers for other programs and be cause of the failed IT side of this it makes it hard to accept it as a leader.

TC
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Tim C.

Construction, 51-200 employees

Used other for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend5/10

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RS Means at our Firm

Reviewed 3 years ago

We provide our customers with budgetary estimates during our design processes.

Pros

Ability to line item choose from all RS Means disciplines we subscribe to. Ability to customize our output reports. RS Means have the majority of the systems that we need to provide accurate budgetary estimates.

Cons

I administer our RS Means account, but I very, very seldom use it myself. As the account admin, I am forced to be one of the user accounts; therefore, I have to allow staff to log on with my e-mail and password to use the online cost estimating. We have determined that we do not need more than two simultaneous accounts and our preference would be to assign the licenses to who needs them, when they need them. I can do that with the non-admin license, but not with the one assigned to me. I’d prefer not to have staff logging on as me (administrator).

EW
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Elstein W.

Civil Engineering, 11-50 employees

Used daily for less than 6 months

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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RS Means

Reviewed 4 years ago

I was tasked to gather reliable quotes for new construction and renovations to buildings, wastewater treatment plants and other items based on a provided damage report and memo. I found that RS Means was exceptionally reliable in providing quotes for buildings (i.e. drywall, receptacle, windows, doors, lighting etc.). My main problem and realization with RS Means were that I had to contact manufacturing and distributing companies to gather quotes for the larger more expensive equipment that are housed in wastewater facilities. I can only image that RS Means do not have a major need to have those types of quotes, but it would help to fully round out a great software tool. My overall experience with RS Means was positive regardless of the minor limitation.

Pros

I liked the ease of picking up the software functionality for gathering reasonable quotes for new and renovations to buildings, streets and treatment plants.

Cons

At times I found that the software was lacking in overall speed when loading requested search items. I was able to minimize this issue by refining my search request as best I could but for new users attempting to compare all items of a requested search it will slow down RS Means, and you would have to wait until the system loads the various items. This was mainly an issue when I had over 700 results for a single search.

JD
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John D.

Construction, 1,001-5,000 employees

Used weekly for 1-2 years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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Conceptual Estimating

Reviewed 4 years ago
Pros

RS Means is extremely helpful in creating conceptual Budgets. It offers me an array of building models to start with and a comprehensive library of assemblies to add, subtract, or change the model to fit the particular building that I am estimating. The end result is a quick and accurate conceptual budget, with a detailed summary of the estimates assumptions. My set sum estimating on projects is also enhanced by allowing me to search RS Means data to compliment our in-house historical data. This virtually eliminates planning bias when pricing items within a project that we do not have historical data for.

Cons

I had a little trouble getting knowledgeable feed back from the rep that called for the renewal. I probably should have contacted customer support with my question but I received the renewal call before I had a chance to. The rep was very nice on the phone.

AR
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Verified reviewer

Construction, 1-10 employees

Used weekly for 6-12 months

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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RSMeans Online

Reviewed 4 years ago

Overall it is good data and good software and we have been using it to get reasonable estimates for our jobs.

Pros

The data is updated regularly and is relevant to the local area

Cons

One has to consider the estimate given by the software for reasonableness. Sometimes their numbers are obviously not correct. For the work done most often this is not the case. For some less common work efforts, their data is questionable. The way they name the tasks is sometimes arcane. it seems like people are organizing the data that have not done the work before. Maybe they could use pointers to give something multiple entry points for different ways of saying it. They seem to have "maintenance" relatively often on the weekends, making it hard to use at that time.

AR
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Verified reviewer

Management Consulting, 1-10 employees

Used weekly for 6-12 months

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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Great For Estimators of all Levels

Reviewed 4 years ago

I think RS Means is a valuable tool for various levels of estimating, from the non-experienced estimator to the very qualified estimator. From any level, RS Means can provide a sanity check or baseline of putting together a comprehensive estimate. Used with caution, it is a great tool.

Pros

Easy to navigate and understand. Software contemplates so many different scenarios that it can be easy to obtain the information you are looking for. I really like the factoring for various city indices.

Cons

Provides general information. Need to use the software with caution. Understanding the factors of the various line items is key in developing accurate and reasonable estimates.

AR
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Verified reviewer

Higher Education, 1-10 employees

Used weekly for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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RS Means for Cost Estimating

Reviewed 4 years ago

I use RSMeans to do cost estimates for building repairs, retrofits, remodels and equipment replacements.

Pros

The outline style breakdown helps with finding what you are looking for in a timely manner

Cons

The search function is tough to get the wording just right to find what you are looking for

DS
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Don S.

Architecture & Planning, 11-50 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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RS Means is essential in the Design/Construction market

Reviewed 2 years ago
Pros

Its accuracy across the US, both current and historic data.

Cons

Wish it was easier to search for specific data. Occassionally requires rewording topic multiple times.

Vendor response

Hi Don - Thank you for your feedback. Have you checked out the Help Center? In the User Guide, there is a lot of information on "Searching our Data", specifically on the Index Search function. The Index search filter suggests sections from the catalog as you type (2 characters minimum). Once a suggested section is selected the search will take you straight to that section within the catalog (works for Units and Assemblies)." I hope that is more helpful when you are searching costs going forward.

HL
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Henry L.

Civil Engineering, 11-50 employees

Used weekly for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Review

Reviewed 4 years ago

Major client requires use of RS Means as basis for change order development and certification in their standard contract. Many civil utility contractors are reluctant to use the software because they base change in daily costs, based on resources in use on the project at the time the need for change is ID'd. They do not base their unit rate pricing on actual field conditions encountered at time change is identified, so they have trouble to, or do not wish to, use RS Means as the basis for their change proposal. This creates a problem for us as Owner's Rep to build a change order estimate that is readily comparable to contractor's proposal.

Pros

Wide selection of items ... recognizing that it is impossible to have every item included, the software developer tries to have a broad range of common sense construction items covered

Cons

Not much to dislike. For some of my needs for taking data from the software and putting it into the client required format, the cut-and-paste attempts are blocked or do not function.

DG
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David G.

Construction, 1-10 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend2/10

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Means Online Does Not Update Quarterly

Reviewed 2 years ago

We are currently looking for alternative Estimating & Database solutions

Pros

ability to find items, ability to find items

Cons

The Purchased Means Database does not work with our PROEST SOFTWARE: - Does not update Quarterly - Inconsistent cost results - Does not allow for Union vs Non-Union pricing - Assemblies are not easily modified, and Units are almost never Industry Standard Units for Assembly

RU
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Rebecca U.

Accounting, 10,001+ employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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Ease the headaches of Costing

Reviewed 4 years ago
Pros

One of my favorite features with this software is the locator. Having the costs customized to your location is so handy and much more accurate than applying a general multiplier to each item.

Cons

My least favorite feature about RSMeans is the subcategories. I love having all of my HVAC costs in one category but I find the subcategories hard to navigate and find exactly what I'm looking for.

CS
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Colin S.

Construction, 1-10 employees

Used weekly for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Great Software and Easy to Use

Reviewed 4 years ago

We are a construction management firm - not a general contractor. We see a very wide variety of work types and construction styles that make it difficult to maintain an in-house cost model. RS Means allows us to have up to date data without the maintenance costs of a self built database.

Pros

We really like the square foot estimator. It allows us to quickly talk over conceptual projects with clients and make our project kickoff meeting really meaningful and efficient.

Cons

The web interface doesn't always format correctly on my screen. Often times the chart titles don't line up with the data chart making it difficult to read.

RK
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Rita K.

Construction, 10,001+ employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Need Improvement in Certain Areas

Reviewed 4 years ago

Contract requires RSM pricing. This makes it easier

Pros

It is so much easier than the books! You can search but need to narrow it down for speed.

Cons

I can't search as fast as I would like and can't customize the export into Excel to match my contract spreadsheet. Also exports into Excel that have certain symbols, do not work

DK
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David K.

Construction, 1-10 employees

Used monthly for 1-2 years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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RSMeans Online Estimating

Reviewed 4 years ago

In this current construction market we are able to get budget estimates out quickly to prospective clients utilizing the RSMeans square foot estimator. This gets our firm in front of more clients and gets us more opportunities. For our smaller firm, the cost is not cheap, yet it is justifiable seeing the results of how quickly we can turn out estimates. I also like the professional look of the exported data into excel.

Pros

As a smaller general contractor with few employees, being able to turn around estimates quickly is critical. I have utilized RSMeans square foot estimator to help understand project costs and help owners initially develop budgets. This is helpful in the current economy because trade contractors are so busy getting bids timely is sometimes difficult. Also, I like having updated costs at my fingertips to understand where the market is.

Cons

The square foot estimator needs more models. Our firm is located in California and a lot of our projects are type V wood construction. The models that come up are steel, masonry, or brick with skins that are slightly different than what we are bidding/building. If I could get some models similar to what we are currently working on in our market that would be great!

VC
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Vivek C.

Construction, 10,001+ employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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My Experience using RSMEANS

Reviewed 4 years ago
Pros

Ease of use - I mean we can get $/UOM regarding any construction work based on any location in US/CANADA.

Cons

Price of packages - It seems bit high. Also, you must consider that teams will be using this - so please consider increasing the number of users for an account

sg
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seth g.

Construction, 11-50 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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My Take on RS Means

Reviewed 4 years ago
Pros

I like the ease of searching for a "needle in a haystack". I can drill down quite far to get detailed item pricing

Cons

Not enough parameters for square foot estimates. I would like to see the ability to put more info in when I start the square foot estimate

TH
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Timothy H.

Real Estate, 1-10 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend5/10

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How RS Means Affects The Estimating For Elcan & Associates, Inc

Reviewed a year ago

Overall it does the job we need it to do. However, I am not overwhelmed with satisfaction.

Pros

How I can break down my estimates into individual lines items

Cons

The process of changing the city/state locations

pb
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patrick b.

Aviation & Aerospace, 10,001+ employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Great Resource

Reviewed 3 years ago
Pros

Current and up to date information with the online version.

Cons

Sometimes difficult to find the correct line item and you have to refer back to the book to find exactly what you are looking for.

JN
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Justin N.

Government Administration, 1,001-5,000 employees

Used weekly for 1-2 years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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RSMeans gives real time valuations

Reviewed 4 years ago

RSMeans gave us the ability to quickly create valuations for our many structures on six different campuses across the state of South Dakota. The customization process was cumbersome at times but the values were very helpful.

Pros

The ability to create valuations of a variety of different buildings

Cons

I'm a fiscal manager not a civil engineer so it is difficult to look at those huge lists of interchangeable components to what goes into a building

VP
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Valery P.

Renewables & Environment, 1,001-5,000 employees

Used monthly for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Great service

Reviewed 4 years ago

Great, but again limited in items focused for energy conservation measures.

Pros

Useful line items, and ability to price out how much it installation is.

Cons

- Limited in terms of what items you can find and price out. We use this software to price out energy conservation measures and some technologies are just not listed which is a limits how useful it can be on a project to project basis. - Sometimes pricing is not realistic for metropolitan areas. Worked on a project in San Francisco and spoke to someone local that said that the prices were nowhere near what RS Means was saying, they were much higher. - need to create every time i want to put together and export pricing for something small. Sometimes I get small requests for pricing and instead of being able to put a couple of items together, export it and send it out, i have to create a project and then put it together to export.

NL
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Narom L.

Civil Engineering, 10,001+ employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Great starting point for unique estimates.

Reviewed 4 years ago
Pros

I like the tools RSMEANS gives for guidance if you are unfamiliar with a particular trade.

Cons

The auto logout is annoying. It would be better if you got a log out on your own.

ah
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alan h.

Construction, 11-50 employees

Used weekly for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Hudson Budgeting/Value Engineering

Reviewed 4 years ago

quick and easy

Pros

the 2019 on line service brings up 2nd, 3rd, 4th level data a lot quicker than in the past. I use the production info and modify for projects and the materials costs are extremely helpful. searching from the search bar is quick.

Cons

upon opening the divisions are open. when working on a laptop it is harder to close the section. it would be good to have a setup button to determine whether we want that open or not.