Man carrying a large computer on his back

The bidding competition is fiercer than ever in the construction industry. More and more contractors all over the world are using software in their businesses. Estimating software makes the entire estimating and bidding process go so much faster that companies are placing more bids than they ever have before, but how much weight does estimating software actually have in your construction business?

The Wall Street Journal reported saying that construction estimating software is the best way to help companies add value to their estimates. With estimating software you can lay out all your funds being spent on each project so your clients can gain an understanding of how much a change in scope would cost and deter from making last minute project changes.

What can estimating software actually do for your business?

Construction estimating software can help you calculate the costs of materials, equipment, and the labor required for your clients projects. After inputting the needed resources for the project the software will compile projected costs and creates a bid for you using the calculations the software provided.

Takeoff and estimating software can help you even after you’ve presented your bid to the client by tracking materials and ongoing costs as the project progresses. This can help you stay on track and foresee any changes to the original estimate that might need to be made. Many takeoff software create reports along with the bid so your client has a complete record of costs just in case the final cost exceeds the original estimate.

  • Increase efficiency – Estimating software reduces the possibility of human error and can alleviate the manual entry of tasks saving you time and money.
  • Increase accuracy – Contractors can pinpoint labour costs, amount of materials needed, and the overall selling price in a fraction of the time with more accurate numbers.
  • Increase consistency – With estimating software you can guarantee the accuracy of your bids and give your customers a specific time frame that you can finish the project, every time.
  • Project Management – Estimating software can fix and prevent labour delays and material errors.

Some people will argue that takeoff and estimating software isn’t worth the price and while it is true that some takeoff software can be expensive, there’s a wide range of software to choose from that could better fit your price range depending on the features you’re looking for. Some of the cheaper construction estimating software starts around $595 according to Capterra. On average you’re looking at about $852 with the median being around $760 per year. The most expensive software can reach an annual price of $2,000.

In an article by Hard Dollar they note that estimating software “can help reduce project costs by 15% while increasing productivity by up to 300%.” Many users have claimed that it has made their bids are “10-15%” more accurate than they were doing them by hand.

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