Construction estimating software can resolve a lot of problems for general and subcontractors because construction estimating is a very crucial step in the construction project. To get an accurate idea about the cost of the construction project, the project owners and contractors have to create a detailed schedule, cost estimates, and construction plans. Fortunately, there is a lot of software that can help in getting the exact estimate. In the following blog, we are going to cover some of the best construction estimating software used, understanding the construction bidding, and cost estimation. Let’s get started:
Understanding Construction Bidding
Construction bidding is a process in which contractors and the suppliers have to submit their proposals or bids to the project owners. These bids actually summarize the costs that the contractor or supplier has to expect to pay for the development of the structure or infrastructure. Note that in case of large construction projects, companies, and governments will be accepting the bids from many different contractors and then they will decide which contractor will be completing the project.
The process will start with the owner, project sponsor, and creation of bid documents that are collectively known as a bid package. The bid package will be summarizing the key details about the project for providing all the information needed by the contractors for making an accurate construction estimate. Furthermore, there will be a proposed schedule and budget outline for the project. The documents will be including the project blueprints, insurance requirements, location or schedule constraints, and other information.
What Is Construction Estimating?
Construction estimating is also called as the construction cost estimating or simply estimating. It is the process for identifying the approximate detailed costs that are associated with a construction project. For the small projects, an experienced contractor has to come up with a quick estimate in his head. However, for large-scale projects, there is a need for detailed bids so that accurate cost estimation can be done. For creating these estimates, the contractors and their subcontractors have to determine the quantities and cost of all equipment, materials, and labor for their work that will begin with generating a takeoff list by utilizing the information found in the bid package.
Construction takeoff refers to the quantities and the amount of labor that is needed to complete a construction project. Gathering this information will be using a process in which the estimators will use project blueprints for determining the amounts and types of each material along with the labor necessary for every section of the project. After this, the takeoff list is used for creating the cost estimate and the project bid.
Construction Estimating vs. Takeoff vs. Bidding Software
This focuses on the creation of project bids, proposals, client management, and subcontractor, project scheduling, bid analysis, and reporting
This specializes in pulling the information of digital blueprints and spec-sheets. The use of this information will lead to the generation of cost estimates.
This will be helping the estimators that are usually contractors and subcontractors to create the cost and quantity estimates for the materials along with the supplies. Mostly, these tools include cost summary templates, pre-added formulas, material cost databases, and calculations. Sometimes, the estimating software will refer to the products that will be covering all the aspects of takeoff, bidding, and estimating.
Bid Management Software
This is very similar to the bidding software; however, it will refer to a set of tools that are needed by the contractors for managing their subcontractor bids. Note that these tools will allow the contractors to generate their bid proposals which are the purpose of bidding software but this is not the focus of these tools.
List of the Best Construction Estimating Software
Now, you are having an understanding of the construction estimators, so let’s have a look at the best software:
Sage Estimating software is a perfect solution for construction companies irrespective of their size. It provides the flexibility and power to enhance the process of estimating. This software will help you in building faster and accurate bids. It comes with already equipped cost databases and takeoff along with many other features.
Key Highlights of Sage
Cut & Fill: This helps you to determine accurate quantities that are normally difficult to match via manual takeoff processes. This means that less money goes to waste.
Database Editor: It is having a set of tools for facilitating a streamlined setup and easier maintenance of databases. It will allow you to add records quickly and will be updating several fields in the multiple fields at once.
Estimating Standard: This feature is built on purpose for accommodating the growth of a company and serves as a foundation for what is proven.
Estimating Databases: These are the set of databases that are pre-built, so you need to create yours. They will include the current manufacturer pricing, parts, and assemblies among others on the list.
Takeoff Solutions: Allow to handle risks, save time, and boosting profits by automating the takeoff and estimating process via pricing databases that are industry-specific.
The causeway is built for helping the contractors for reducing the traditional costs of tender inquiry up to 50 percent. It allows them to make the net value and costs more visible. This software is having a client base of more than 5,000 and is it best for contractors and specialist contractors in the building, designing, and civil engineering.
Key Highlights of Causeway
Management of Bids: Allow you to determine the best bid amounts.
Billing and Invoicing: Produce billing receipts and invoices for different bids that have been tendered and won.
Cost Database: It is having a set of databases with the current industry-specific pricing for parts, materials, and assemblies.
Quote Management: It allows the users to compare the price quotation for different bids and provide the best possible quote to win the bids.
3-Viewpoint for Estimating
Viewpoint for Estimating is software that is best for small and medium-sized contractors for using the technology and eliminate the worries related to costly and traditional planning.
Key Highlights of Viewpoint for Estimating
Cost Database: It will let you cost any job properly by considering factors like weather conditions, seasonal labor full time, and skill levels.
Quote Management: It will enable you to include all the negotiation issues and will help you in determining the best quote that will be presented to owners after the winning of bids.
Project Estimation: It allows you to easily determine the materials, labor, tools, and equipment for any kind of construction job.
Manage Sheet Revisions: This will help the contractors to compare old plans with new ones for quick analysis of the changes that will result in additional costs.
Shape Recognition: This will automate the quantity counts by searching the plans, interpreting the shapes, and symbols for improving accuracy and saves time.
HCSS HeavyBid is an estimating and bidding software that is designed to meet the needs of construction firms. It has helped more than 35,000 estimators daily for creating flexible estimates and will manage bids efficiently.
Key Highlights of HCSS HeavyBid
Quick Estimates: It will be using the data from multiple sources for assisting you in creating estimates faster.
Flexibility in building estimates: Estimates will be independent that will be allowing the users to customize when structuring.
Automatic Identification of Errors: This software can automatically identify the potential errors in estimates and will tell you to correct those errors.
Multi-level Breakdown: It will help the user to subdivide the complex tasks into smaller and detailed pieces for easy management.
Subcontractor Management: It will tell the user to quickly evaluate the suppliers and subcontractors’ quotes.
It is a cost estimating and bidding software that is designed for heavy construction firms or contractors. B2W Estimate can be used for calculating the labor and material costs. It will be tracking subcontractors and suppliers along with the management of bids and quotations. It also provides you an Excel integration support and you can also integrate it with other project management and accounting systems that include Oracle, Dexter + Chaney, Maxwell Systems, and more. This software is designed for earthwork, highways utility, paving, and other heavy construction jobs.
Key Highlights of B2W Estimate
Easy Deployment: It is very easy to use and it will deploy it features an intuitive interface and construction estimation logic.
Databases: It will be providing a set of databases that will have a specialized functionality for developing bids.
Export Capabilities: It can be integrated with other systems and it will support export to field tracking, accounting, and project management systems.
Automated DOT Bidding: This will be enabling the bidding that will be using pre-populated bid forms.
Robust Performance: It is designed with .NET and SQL for providing high performance and scalability for running the complex features and accommodating future expansions.
Work Breakdown Structure Bidding: It will be enabling firms for developing and organizing estimates in boundless hierarchical forms.
ProEst is a well-known developer of construction estimating software that is having 40 years of industry experience. This software will be integrating the cost estimating, digital takeoff, and bid analysis in one package. It was built using the .NET platform and Microsoft SQL database.
Key Highlights of ProEst
Cost Management: It provides the user the ability to refine every bid and run a “what if” analysis for ensuring that the estimates are both profitable and competitive.
Comprehensive Materials Database: It is having a cost update services such as RsMeans and All Priser.
Intuitive Interface: It is built with the look and feel of Microsoft Office for a simple learning curve and usability.
Digital takeoff Integrated: This provides users flexibility in performing takeoffs on screen by simply using a mouse and electronic blueprints. It also provides support for the different file formats that include AutoCAD, TIF and PDF.
Customizable Database: This makes it suitable for all the sizes of contractors.
STACK Estimating is produced by STACK Construction Technologies. It is a takeoff and estimating system for contractors of all sizes in different industries.
This construction estimating software will be allowing users for creating bids that will be having user-defined prices. It will be enabling for accurately calculating the costs. Users will also execute takeoffs on their own or simply request the STACK for handling the task via the STACK To-Go feature. It will be offering pre-built catalogs that will include material, equipment, and labor depth lists.
Key Highlights of STACK Estimating
Reporting: The reporting module will be enabling the organization of data will be based on division, location, or trade.
Cost Estimates: It also features coverage rate calculators that will help in identifying the type and number of materials that should be needed for a project.
Pre-built Catalogs: It will be available for certain trades and in-depth lists of equipment, materials, and labor.
Cost Database: It will determine the best cost estimates for a project by using the material, labor, and equipment prices from the specific industries.
Wide platform Access: It can be accessed by computers and on mobile devices.
Takeoff: It will be providing a better and accurate ground for the project takeoff.
8. On Center Software
On Center Software is a construction estimating software that will feature Quick Bid and On-Screen Takeoff. It is used by many companies worldwide.
It will be suitable for both residential and commercial contractors for different trade types. On Center Software will be effectively serving medium and large construction firms. It will not have any limits on the number of users that will be added to the system.
Key Highlights of On Center Software
Takeoff Application: It provides on-screen takeoff support and it has digitizer integration. It is also supporting file integration along with the 2D takeoff.
Cost Databases: It will be making it possible for determining the best quotes for the trade.
Integration Support: It will be supporting the integration with other systems that includes the project management and accounting platforms.
Cost Management: It is compatible with the tablet technology that offers field access to data for the efficient management of labor and costs.
Estimating: It will be allowing the users for estimating the best quotes present for winning bids.
For finding the best estimating software, you have to look for the features and budget that is suitable according to your construction needs. Most of the software is suitable for contractors from various industries and sizes. Furthermore, ensure that the software should be resolving your problem regarding the cost estimates. You can hire professional construction estimators for your project needs. Some estimating companies provide dedicated construction estimators to their valued clients as per their need and budget. World Estimating is working on multiple CSI divisions to provide maximum benefits to all clients. Here you can get accurate estimates at affordable rates. So do not hesitate to get solutions in 24 to 48 turnaround time. Good Luck!