Construction Estimation Software
Published November 22nd, 2016 by

What is Construction Estimation Software: A Basic Guide

What is Construction Estimation Software: A Basic Guide

If you are in construction, then you probably already know what a construction estimation software is. But if you are planning on going to construction and have no idea what this tool does, then this article is for you.

Previously, construction firms and contractors only use a spreadsheet for the estimation of their projects and materials. According to one survey, about 21% of spreadsheet users admit that it does not work. The development of this software has really helped contractors with their works and estimations.

Here are the basic things you should know about a construction estimation application.

What is Cost Estimating About

There are three important things that you have to consider when making estimates:

  1. When making an estimate, it is not enough that you search for the current price of materials and labor and then submit it as a proposal to the client. The proper formula is to add the estimated cost of materials and labor to your markup. The total number is what you will present as your estimate to your clients.
  2. If you want to be taken seriously in the construction industry, your estimates have to be accurate. Why would it be accurate if it is just an estimate? What is meant here is to be as accurate as possible. For example, if you get the project, what you will ask your client should not be far off from what you showed them as your estimate. You will be accused of ripping off your clients if you charge a higher amount than what you initially estimated.
  3. When a client asks for an estimate, you should be able to give it quickly. Otherwise, they might go to other contractors who can give them a quicker estimate.

The three things mentioned above will be easily met when you use an estimation software rather than doing the estimation manually. The software would especially give you a speedy and accurate estimate of a project.

Common Features of a Construction Estimation Software

Construction estimation tools are developed to help contractors with estimating materials and labor used for a project to aid in estimating how much a project will cost. This estimated amount is what contractors use to bid on projects. Estimation is its main function, but here are other features that this software has so that you will know what other things this software can do:

  1. Proposal generator. This is what the tool mostly does. It will take the estimates of the possible costs of a project, and it will create a professional and accurate bid proposal. The proposal will no longer be done manually because the software can already do it. You would still have to go over it before submitting it This is just to ensure that everything is looking nicely. There might be software which fails in the proposal generator department, so be sure to read reviews of construction estimation software to help you choose the best one.
  2. Cost database. When creating the estimates of your materials, the previous costs used will be saved in the database. This will save you time because you won’t have to input cost of materials every time you estimate a project. There is also software available that will do research on the current costs of different materials from different suppliers. If you want this feature, try to read construction estimation software reviews to know about which ones have this feature.
  3. Visual assemblies. This will show you a view of the part of the project that you are estimating. This will give you an additional feel for the project that you will be doing.
  4. Labor and materials. According to a survey done in 2012, the most difficult part of a project to estimate is the labor. With the software, even the salary that you have to pay for your labor will be included in the estimates. The software will estimate how much labor will be needed from the beginning of the project until its completion. Materials that will be used during the entirety of the project will also be estimated and saved in the database.
  5. Historical database. This is the saved estimates and proposals of all your previous projects. Knowing the history of your projects will help you with your future projects. All the estimates, including labor and materials, will be saved in the database. There is software that will only store information up to a certain period. If you want all your previous projects saved in the database, check out construction estimation software reviews to know which tools have the largest and most extensive database. Try to research which applications will not delete previously saved data and save everything since the beginning.
  6. Pre-built templates. This is a collection of the most common requirements for standard projects. For example, if you will build a new bathroom, pre-built templates will include the cost for a new sink, shower, tiles, and the possible labor for such project. Pre-built templates will save you time when making new proposals.
  7. Project reporting. There are data that need to be analyzed. Project reporting will ensure that the analysis done will be accurate and very detailed. This will also save time because you don’t have to do the analysis by yourself. The project reporting will use graphs, images, and charts to make the analysis easier to understand.
  8. What-if analysis. This is a wonderful feature that will let you know if there are changes in the project cost if the possible completion date is moved. Completion data might not be followed in cases of natural disasters and calamities. The software will be able to help you solve any changes in the cost of the project if such things happen.

Benefits of Using a Construction Estimation Software

If you are still not convinced that you should let go of your spreadsheets and start using a construction estimation solution, here are some of its benefits:

  1. Process standardization. This is setting standards on the processes that are involved in construction estimation. When processes and materials are standard, it is easier to buy and make the same materials. Substitutions are also easier to manage, and decisions about building or buying are easily done.
  2. Making proposals and submitting them are quicker. Proposals are made by the software itself, and it is usually accurate, so there really is no need to remake them. Pre-built templates are also available for standard processes, which makes making and submitting proposals even easier.
  3. The estimates are accurate most of the time. This is because the software updates its database to match the prices that are available in the market. It searches and categorizes materials based on their prices and built making it easier to make estimates.
  4. Increased bidding opportunities. Because proposal making is done quicker and accurately, the contractors can submit their bids on more projects. If before, a contractor has to make time to write proposals, with this software, he can devote his time to other more important and pressing matters.
  5. Less resource required. The contractor will not have to do an extensive research on the best materials and labor to be used. The software will do it for the contractor. This will save more time allowing the construction company to build on more projects.
  6. Better collaboration. Using the best construction estimation software will allow for a better collaboration between tools and applications. Using just a spreadsheet does not allow for integration with other software. When in construction, you are probably using a construction management software; it would be better if you could integrate these two for better functioning.
  7. Larger bidding. Once you are making a name for yourself with the help of this software, you can now bid for bigger projects. With the software, bidding for more complex projects is definitely possible. With the help of the construction management software, handling big projects will be easy. Here are five benefits of getting a good construction management tool.
  8. Professional proposals. It was mentioned in the features that this software has a proposal generator. The proposals that the software make are professional-looking, that your client will not think that it was from a software and not you that made it. Read reviews of construction estimation software, so you know the applications that can make the most professional-looking proposals.
  9. Budget creation. The software not only creates estimates but also makes budgets. And it does that in a quick manner, so you can know the budget for a project immediately.

In relation to an estimation software, you should also look at construction management software. Here are some of its features and functions.

Hopefully, this article has helped you learn the most basic things about a construction estimation software. This software will really help you in making estimates. Even if you are already an expert in making estimates because you have been doing it for a long time, this software can still find a way to make your job easier. The combination of your expertise and the automation of the software will make you a formidable construction company. You will find that you can submit more bids to more projects, and soon, you will be handling more projects.

If you want to try a construction estimation software, check out reviews and rankings at

John Tovar

John specializes in the creation and planning of business-centric mobile applications and mobile website design and development.

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