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Construction estimating software, also known as construction bidding software or cost estimation software, helps general contractors, builders, and construction professionals create accurate and clear estimates of the cost of a construction project. It allows them to calculate the cost of materials, labor, and other costs associated with a project and generate a detailed budget. A construction estimating tool typically includes a database of construction costs and materials, as well as tools for creating and managing estimates. It also helps contractors place competitive bids, accurately plan and manage their projects, and stay within budget.
Considering the wide variety of construction management software tools available on the market, it can be difficult to select the right software solution for your business. To help narrow your search and find the best solution based on user reviews, you can look at GetApp’s Category Leaders report for construction estimating software. This report features top-ranking construction estimating software having the highest ratings for ease of use, functionality, customer support, value for money, and the likelihood of a recommendation.
Construction estimating software collects relevant information about a construction project, such as the size and scope of the project, location, raw materials, and labor required. The tool then uses this data to generate an accurate estimate of the total project cost broken down by category (for example, materials, labor, and equipment rentals). The tool provides several features to help you accomplish this. These include:
Cost database: Create and maintain individual cost structures and data sets for labor, equipment, and material costs and refer to them when creating project estimates.
Job costing: Calculate the approximate itemized costs, including initial costs and any other charges involved in completing a job by using historical data and estimates for labor, material, and equipment costs.
Proposal generation: Use cost estimates to generate professional-looking bid proposals. This feature helps general contractors create accurate bids and prevent under/overbidding.
Whether you should upgrade from Microsoft Excel to construction estimating software depends on your specific needs, the size and complexity of your projects, the number of estimates you need to create, and your budget. Microsoft Excel may be a good option for small projects, while construction estimating software is a better choice for larger and more complex projects. Here are a few factors to consider before making a decision.
Features: Microsoft Excel has basic tools for creating and manipulating spreadsheets, but it does not have many specialized features available in construction estimating software. For example, construction estimate software may include pre-built cost databases, automatic calculations, and integration with project management software.
Accuracy: Microsoft Excel can be prone to errors, especially for more complex estimates. Construction estimating software is designed to be more accurate and may include features such as automatic calculations and built-in checks to help reduce the risk of errors.
Efficiency: Microsoft Excel can be time-consuming for construction estimating, especially for larger and more complex projects. Construction estimating software is designed to be more efficient, with features such as automatic calculations and the ability to import and export data quickly.
Centralized data location: Construction estimating software helps small businesses in the construction industry store and organize all of their project data in one place. This can make it easier to track cost estimates, schedule work, and monitor progress, which can help SMBs stay on top of their projects and meet deadlines.
Streamlined estimation and bidding process: Construction estimating software gathers and processes details from cost databases and historical estimates, streamlining the creation of accurate cost estimates for various projects. It saves time and reduces the risk of errors, which helps SMBs improve their bottom line. The cost-estimating software solution helps them prepare proposals and submit quotes for multiple projects and win more bids.
Improved estimation accuracy: Construction estimating software keeps track of all essential data such as material and labor costs, subcontractor expenses, equipment charges, inventories, transportation costs, etc. This helps users calculate material and labor costs more accurately, eliminate any guesswork, and avoid underbidding or overbidding on projects.