The Best Construction Estimating Software of 2020

Our construction estimating software reviews are the result of over 40 hours of research on 80+ construction estimating software companies from across the web. These reviews and our construction estimating software guide help small businesses and startups find the best construction estimating software for their business.

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How We Chose the Best Construction Estimating Software

In many cases, the accuracy and presentation of a bid have the biggest impact on whether or not you secure a contract. Speed is also a crucial factor, and clerical mistakes or oversights can be extremely expensive — but they’re also unavoidable when manual processes are in place. To protect your business from these human errors, you may be considering using construction estimating software.

Each business has unique specialties and requirements that dictate the features of estimation software that are most important. We’ve identified four characteristics that we consider as essential: A project estimate builder, proposal generator, what-if analysis and reporting functionality.

Project Estimate Builder

A profitable and successful project depends on the accurate estimation of labor, equipment and materials. When you use construction cost estimating software, you should easily be able to reference the cost of goods and services in your area and compare them against a variety of projects with a similar scope. We analyzed this type of software to find the best estimate builders that use cost and historical databases to create an estimate with optimal accuracy.

Proposal Generator

The proposal generator should be clean, simple and easy to use. Ideally, it should take an estimate and automatically generate a professional proposal that clients can conveniently review. This time-saving feature is excellent for contractors who are usually working on multiple bids at any one time.

What-If Analysis

Construction projects are particularly vulnerable to issues such as labor shortages, problems with the supply chain and other potential setbacks. The most useful construction estimating software platforms include what-if analyses that let contractors assign conditions to make projections based on the best- and worst-case scenarios.

Reporting/Analysis

One of the features we think is indispensable is reporting on KPIs. When you use this type of software, you’re creating a cost and labor database that you can cross-reference for future projects. Good estimating software should let you break costs down into separate reports that are easy to customize, generate and read. The best construction estimating software offerings can create charts and graphs to help you easily visualize the data.

The 15 Best Construction Estimating Software Providers of 2020

CompanyPriceFree Trial / DemoVisit
B2W EstimateOne time payment of $5,500YesVisit B2W Estimate
Buildertrend$299 per monthNoVisit Buildertrend
CausewayCustom QuoteNoVisit Causeway
ConEstCustom QuoteYesVisit ConEst
eSubCustom QuoteYesVisit eSub
McCormick Estimating SoftwareCustom QuoteYesVisit McCormick Estimating Software
Methvin$27.50 per month, per userYesVisit Methvin
PandaDocEssential - $19 per month, per user
Business - $49 per month, per user
YesVisit PandaDoc
PlanSwiftOne-time payment of $1,195YesVisit PlanSwift
ProEst$5,000 per yearYesVisit ProEst
RedTeam$3,500 per year (based on a $2 million ACV or lower)YesVisit RedTeam
Sage Estimating$99 per month. (based on a 12-month subscription to Sage Estimating Essential)NoVisit Sage Estimating
Stack$1,999 per year, per userYesVisit Stack
UDA ConstructionOnline$1,599 per yearYesVisit UDA ConstructionOnline
Viewpoint for EstimatingCustom QuoteNoVisit Viewpoint for Estimating

B2W Estimate

B2W-Estimate
B2W Estimate is heavy construction estimating software that gives contractors a scalable, high-performance platform for creating and pre-populating detailed cost databases. It provides default templates for pay items and crews and allows integration with third-party apps, such as field tracking, accounting and project management.

With one centralized hub for costing data, contractors can maximize accuracy and speed by automating manual processes. This gives operators more time to focus on strategy and finding projects to bid on while the software does the legwork. It’s easy to learn and deploy, with a familiar interface, automated DOT bidding and pre-populated pay items and bid forms for civil work.

However, it doesn’t include a historical database or have reporting or analytical capabilities, which means you can’t use it to make data-driven decisions in the future. Furthermore, it doesn’t have a takeoff system or electrical, HVAC or plumbing estimating for specialty contractors.

PriceFree Trial / DemoFeatures
One time payment of $5,500Yes>Deployment options: Installed - Windows,
iPhone/iPad
>What if analysis
>Third party integrations
>More features at B2W Estimate

Pros & Cons of B2W Estimate Construction Estimating Software
B2W Estimate is available for a one-time payment, which will appeal to business owners who prioritize budget. It also offers a free trial so that you can try out the features and see if it fits your needs before committing to a purchase. That said, it misses out the vital functions of including a historical database.

ProsCons
>Free trial
>Export to accounting, field tracking and project management systems
>No historical database

What Customers Are Saying
Reviews of B2W Estimate are complimentary of its ability to integrate streamlined estimating with project management, scheduling and accounting. One manager says, “The best thing about B2W is how the different modules communicate with each other.”

Buildertrend

Buildertrend
Buildertrend’s objective is to help construction managers and bosses get organized and make more money. It makes the presales, customer management, project management and financial processes much easier to manage from one place, and it offers further convenience with the capability for using third-party integrations. It’s cloud-based, so contractors and managers can access the data they need from anywhere.

The mobile app includes a summary screen with a quick view of all the information you need, with the ability for subcontractors to customize their screen so it shows their most relevant data. All bids are stored in one location, with an automated system that makes it easy to build estimates and deliver customized proposals to clients.

Although Buildertrend includes a variety of other features, it’s somewhat lacking in the cost estimation department. The software doesn’t let you gather historical data or create estimation-based reports, and it doesn’t include plumbing, electrical or HVAC estimating. Although it’s expensive, it’s available to unlimited users for an unlimited number of projects.

PriceFree Trial / DemoFeatures
$299 per monthNo>Deployment: Web-based, cloud, SaaS
iPhone/iPad, Android
>Unlimited users and projects
>What-if analysis
>More features at Buildertrend

Pros & Cons of Buildertrend Construction Estimating Software
The user interface of Buildertrend is modern and designed to be easy to use. It’s cloud-based, so anyone can access it from anywhere. However, it’s one of the most expensive options on our list — but it doesn’t boast the most features. Additionally, there’s no free trial.

ProsCons
>Clean and simple user interface on desktop and mobile
>Cloud-based
>Expensive
>No free trial

What Customers Are Saying
Customers claim that Buildertrend is easy to set up and helps them keep track of customers and provide timely follow-ups for clients. One environmental executive comments, “Our installation team loves using the project management feature to keep track of our installs and provide an easy transition from sales to installation.”

Causeway

causeway
Causeway offers a range of software for construction companies. Most of these solutions are compatible, but not with third-party apps, unfortunately. The aim of its estimation software is to help companies increase their win-to-bid ratio by getting bids right the first time, and fast. This gives decision-makers more time to focus on the tasks that help the business to grow.

Causeway helps align everyone within the company’s methods of creating and organizing bids. On the other hand, Causeway lacks some of the key features we’d hope to see in construction estimating software. For example, There’s no historical database and you can’t generate bid-specific reports. Additionally, there’s no takeoff system and it doesn’t offer plumbing, electrical or HVAC estimating functions. It does let contractors plan for worst-case scenarios with what-if analysis.

PriceFree Trial / DemoFeatures
Custom QuoteNo>Deployment options: Installed - Windows
>What-if analysis
>Unspecified number of users
>More features at Causeway

Pros & Cons of Causeway Construction Estimating Software
Causeway’s bid comparison feature is one of its strongest points, letting contractors evaluate and compare returned bids, making it easier to select the right suppliers in the future. It also provides one centralized place to store your data without creating any data islands or exposing your data to the risk of loss you’d get with a spreadsheet. However, it doesn’t allow third-party integrations or offer a free trial.

ProsCons
>Secures your data better than a spreadsheet
>Bid comparison feature
>No third-party integrations
>No free trial

What Customers Are Saying
Reviewers are positive about the UX and UI of Causeway’s estimation software, with one construction executive saying, “My favorite aspect of the software is the appearance.”

ConEst

conest
ConEst aims to help electrical and low-voltage operators reduce estimation time and win more contracts by automating the bidding process. Whether you’re a two or three-man company or a larger organization, you can easily create consistent estimates based on up-to-date data. In addition to speeding up the bidding process, this type of software decreases the chance of human error. As such, every member of the team can effortlessly deliver professional bids that are accurate, consistent and detailed.

It has more deployment options than many of the providers on our list, with the options to install it on a Windows device, app or use a web-based client. One of its most appealing features is ConEst’s ability to generate reports that offer insight into historical and real-time data. This means you can make informed decisions about which suppliers and processes to use in the future. Its main downside is arguably the fact it doesn’t have subcontractor management functionality.

PriceFree Trial / DemoFeatures
Custom QuoteYes>Historical database
>Deployment: Installed - Windows
Web-based, cloud, SaaS
>What-if analysis
>More features at ConEst

Pros & Cons of ConEst Construction Estimating Software
Although ConEst doesn’t disclose its pricing structure, it does indicate that a free trial is available. In addition to a what-if analysis function, operators can integrate the software with other apps, such as HR, finance and CMS programs. However, it doesn’t offer subcontractor management.

ProsCons
>Supports third-party integrations
>What-if analysis
>Free trial
>Subcontractor management isn't possible
>Undisclosed pricing structure

What Customers Are Saying
Many of the reviewers of ConEst mention that it’s easy to navigate and it makes their proposals more consistent and professional. One electrical contractor says that the software is an “up to date program and easy to navigate after a few lessons. It makes quoting easier and more professional.”

eSub

eSub
eSub aims to help construction companies create estimates and use them for the cost analysis of future projects. As a project management system, it lets decision makers track and compare true costs against the various breakdowns within an estimate. It also enables the integration of estimation and accounting to further streamline the bidding process and increase profitability.

The interface is easy to use for contractors and admins, letting them import cost codes, vendor information, bid amounts and costs by systems and phases. This eliminates the risk of duplicating data and making errors, thus improving accuracy and ultimately, profit margins.

That said, eSub’s main focus is really project management. It doesn’t have a historical database for estimating data or what-if analysis. Plus, it doesn’t include a takeoff system or specialized estimating for HVAC, electrical or plumbing contractors.

PriceFree Trial / DemoFeatures
Custom QuoteYes>Deployment: Web-based, cloud, SaaS
iPhone/iPad, Android
>Reporting/Analytics
>Third-party integrations
>More features at eSub

Pros & Cons of eSub Construction Estimating Software
eSub is primarily project management software, letting you map contracts simultaneously from start to finish. It uses easy to generate and read reports to help decision makers improve operational efficiency. However, it doesn’t include a takeoff system or offer what-if analysis for estimates that take all risks into account.

ProsCons
>Integrated project management and estimating software
>Uses reporting to improve future estimating accuracy
>Doesn't include a takeoff system
>No what-if analysis

What Customers Are Saying.
Reviewers are positive about eSub’s ability to help them keep a project on track and on time. One CEO is impressed with the fact it’s targeted at subcontractors, saying, “The ability to share information is great, office and field are both synced. Makes you adapt one method of creating and maintaining documents is a plus.”

McCormick Estimating Software

McCormick-Estimating-Software
McCormick Estimating Software offers four levels of cost estimating for construction companies, depending on the size of your business. The software grabs real-time prices from sites like NetPricer and Trade Service — or you can integrate your regular supplier. Bid labor units are based on the national average, and the advanced trail and edit feature lets you make the necessary changes immediately.

Unlike many of the providers on our list, McCormick Estimating Software features a takeoff system that helps decision makers go from the planning to execution stage in record time. Despite these attractive features and decent reporting functionality, it’s lacking one of the most important features — contractor management. One of the main reasons companies deploy this type of software is to ensure everyone is reading from the same page, so it’s usually helpful to be able to engage directly with contractors.

PriceFree Trial / DemoFeatures
Custom QuoteYes>What-if analysis
>Historical database
>Deployment options: Installed - Mac, installed - Windows, web-based, cloud-based and SaaS
>More features at McCormick Estimating Software

Pros & Cons of McCormick Estimating Software
McCormick Estimating Software is a full project management tool that lets you add features on an ad-hoc basis. It also provides a free trial so you can try it before you buy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a subcontractor management function.

ProsCons
>Free trial
>Full project management solution
>Doesn't have subcontractor management capabilities

What Customers Are Saying
Plenty of customers who use McCormick Estimating Software talk about the fact it’s a fully integrated tool that lets them simultaneously create and cost designs. One manufacturing executive says, “What I like the most is the fact that you can build the project that you are estimating in McCormick, (all devices, boxes, wires, connectors, wire nuts, screws, and etc.).”

Methvin

Methvin
Methvin is a dedicated construction estimating software solution designed to assist business owners in generating high-quality cost estimates and winning more contracts. You can link worksheets with multiple tasks, break tasks into sub-schedules and set variables for accurate and speedy pricing. This can help make workflow more efficient and automate time-consuming tasks that don’t add value.

When you start a new project, you can import the worksheet from a similar previous contract for an even faster process. In addition to a takeoff system that lets contractors seamlessly move from the planning phase to the action phase, Methvin can create specific estimates for HVAC, electrical and plumbing specialists. The project estimate builder and proposal generator functions are impressive, and a free trial is offered.

PriceFree Trial / DemoFeatures
$27.50 per month, per userYes>Deployment: Installed - Mac
Installed - Windows
Web-based, cloud, SaaS
iPhone/iPad, Android"
>What-if analysis
>Includes a historical database
>More features at Methvin

Pros & Cons of Methvin Construction Estimating Software
One of the major benefits of Methvin is the price-to-quality ratio — it packs in a lot of features for an affordable price. It’s also compatible with pretty much any operating system, making it versatile and convenient. Although it’s a comprehensive estimating, takeoff and project management tool, it could have a more modern user interface.

ProsCons
>Free version available
>Includes all deployment options
>Doesn't have the best user interface

What Customers Are Saying
As a remote method of managing construction projects, reviewers are complimentary about the software’s ease of use and a broad range of features. One construction manager notes that the “best thing is it is all integrated across its all features. Good to do cost control and agile management using the project dashboard.”

PandaDoc

PandaDoc
One of the primary focuses of PandaDoc is to help companies create and send bids in moments instead of manually pulling together all the necessary information. It integrates with your CRM to quickly send customized digital proposals to potential clients. The pricing table is interactive, letting customers choose from multiple options and saving you time on back-and-forth communication. When a customer is ready to sign the proposal, they can do so remotely from anywhere.

The software tracks engagement so you can follow up at the right time and drive urgency with automated reminders to keep projects moving along at your chosen pace. While PandaDoc can be helpful as part of the sales process, it lacks some key features. There’s no historical database or what-if analysis, which are both excellent for mitigating risk. Additionally, it doesn’t provide subcontractor management or have a takeoff system.

PriceFree Trial / DemoFeatures
Essential - $19 per month, per user
Business - $49 per month, per user
Yes>Deployment options: Web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS and Android
>Unlimited users
>Third-party integrations
>More features at PandaDoc

Pros & Cons of PandaDoc Construction Estimating Software
PandaDoc is one of the most affordable construction quote estimating software providers on our list, and it includes a free trial so you can test out whether it meets your needs. However, the low price comes at the cost of some useful features, such as a historical database and a takeoff system.

ProsCons
>Free trial
>Low cost
>Lacks a historical database
>Doesn't include a takeoff system

What Customers Are Saying
One of the recurring comments in the PandaDoc reviews is that it has excellent third-party integration capabilities. A managing partner of a construction firm says, “The ability to originate sales docs directly from CRM records and have that ‘event’ time-stamp into the contact record is great. Then, as documents are sent and engaged with the history of that engagement is also time-stamped to the contact record.”

PlanSwift

PlanSwift
PlanSwift aims to help construction operators halve the time it takes to create and send a bid for a contract. Finishing an estimate by hand involves pulling together information from various sources, but this construction estimation software provider makes it happen with a few clicks. Not only are these bids faster, but they’re also more accurate because they’re based on real measurements and historical data.

The learning curve is small compared to some of the other providers on this list, and it’s one of the most affordable options. PlanSwift isn’t ideal for contractors with a specialty, like HVAC, plumbing or electrical, and it doesn’t have a function to help managers connect directly with subcontractors using the platform. That said, it features a decent takeoff system and third-party integration with various apps. You can try PlanSwift for free to make sure it’s right for your business before you commit to buying it.

PriceFree Trial / DemoFeatures
One time payment of $1,195Yes>Historical database
>Deployment: Installed - Windows
>What-if analysis
>More features at PlanSwift

Pros & Cons of PlanSwift Construction Estimating Software
PlanSwift markets itself as an environmentally friendly alternative to time-consuming manual paperwork. It offers a free trial and supports a broad range of useful third-party integrations. That said, it doesn’t support specialized contractors, such as plumbers, electricians or HVAC professionals — nor does it help operators manage subcontractors.

ProsCons
>Paperless, environmentally friendly estimating
>Free trial
>Third-party integration
>No subcontractor management capability
>Doesn't support specialist contractors, such as HVAC engineers, plumbers or electricians

What Customers Are Saying
Customers like PlanSwift’s takeoff system because it saves time and leaves a data trail behind that can be used for future projects. One anonymous user comments, “We can easily generate marked drawings with quantity summaries on those drawings whereas the consultant or client can easily check the quantities.”

ProEst

ProEst
ProEst is an easy-to-use software solution that helps contractors respond swiftly to customer bids and provide an accurate estimate for projects of any size. It lets decision makers analyze estimates, create detailed cost estimates, perform takeoffs digitally and complete bid day analysis for subcontractor comparisons.

The software’s historical commercial construction database means that generating accurate bids is fast and simple. At $5,000 per year, it’s one of the more expensive options, but it does have decent functionality. On the other side of the coin, ProEst does lack some useful capabilities, such as HVAC-specific tools and the all-important what-if analysis. Without it, making estimates for the worst-case scenario is more of an involved process.

ProEst does boast third-party integrations for streamlining day-to-day tasks further — in addition to letting operators manage subcontractors remotely.

PriceFree Trial / DemoFeatures
$5,000 per yearYes>Deployment options: Web-based, cloud and SaaS
>Historical database
>Unlimited number of users
>More features at ProEst

Pros & Cons of ProEst Construction Estimating Software
Although it’s not available for HVAC contractors, electricians and plumbers can use ProEst’s specialized functions as a CRM, cost estimator, takeoff system and reporting tool. It also integrates well with a wide variety of third-party apps. On the other hand, it doesn’t feature a what-if analysis.

ProsCons
>Supports unlimited users
>Includes a takeoff system
>Integrates with third-party apps
>No what-if analysis
>Not available for HVAC contractors

What Customers Are Saying
Reviewers are complimentary about how easy to use and effective ProEst is when it comes to speeding up the estimation and takeoff processes. One business owner says the pros of the software include, “Flexibility to edit almost everything; the large cache of report templates; the large database and pre-built assemblies; the built-in digital takeoff; the bid day summary to use for sub-contractor bid tabulation.”

RedTeam

RedTeam
RedTeam is good for general commercial contractors because it aligns all project partners and automates time-consuming data entry to improve financial performance. As a cloud-based platform, it lets you manage bids and conduct analysis from anywhere. RedTeam has a strong focus on communication between everyone involved in a project, which streamlines the estimation, project management, financial and reporting systems. Additionally, it includes subcontractor management, so everyone is in the loop.

RedTeam is affordable and offers a free trial so you can get a feel for the software before making the decision to buy it. Its deployment options are the web, the cloud, SaaS, iOS and Android, so it’s accessible from any device. One of the main things RedTeam lacks is a historical database, which is an essential aspect of a project estimate builder. Furthermore, it doesn’t have takeoff capabilities or specialized settings for HVAC, electrical or plumbing contractors.

PriceFree Trial / DemoFeatures
$3,500 per year (based on a $2 million ACV or lower)Yes>Deployment: Web-based, cloud, SaaS,
iPhone/iPad, Android
>What-if analysis
>Third-party integrations
>More features at RedTeam

Pros & Cons of RedTeam Construction Estimating Software
RedTeam is a comprehensive construction estimating software system that makes it easy to see the status of all proposals and strengthens the bidding, budgeting and accounting processes. It also streamlines communication to improve collaboration. That said, it lacks a historical database and there’s no integrated takeoff system.

ProsCons
>Consolidates all construction data in one place
>Improves collaboration
>Lacks a historical database
>No takeoff system

What Customers Are Saying
Reviews of RedTeam speak highly of its ability to speed up time-consuming tasks and improve accuracy at the same time. A project manager comments that, “The program is well-tuned to help eliminate the pitfalls of being so busy and missing a step or piece of information.”

Sage Estimating

Sage-Estimating
Sage Estimating is a tool that helps contractors and subcontractors estimate the costs of construction and real estate projects. It includes an interactive interface that lets decision makers create and share bids with customers, suppliers, contractors and any other interested parties.

Sage includes a takeoff system that lets you pull group or individual item details from industry-specific databases straight into the bidding worksheet. You can enter measurements manually, or use an integrated takeoff solution to automatically grab the dimensions of the site. It lets you estimate labor costs, raw materials and various other overheads.

Unfortunately, Sage doesn’t come with built-in solutions for processes, such as reporting or costing, based on a historical database, what-if analysis or subcontractor management. It’s also only compatible with Windows OS. It’s capable of third-party integrations, however, so it’s fairly easy to find solutions.

PriceFree Trial / DemoFeatures
$99 per month (based on a 12-month subscription to Sage Estimating Essential)Not indicated>Third-party integrations
>Includes take-off system
>Deployment options: Installed - Windows
>More features at Sage Estimating

Pros & Cons of Sage Estimating Construction Estimating Software
Sage Estimating is an affordable on-site option for construction company costing and takeoff processes. It’s also compatible with the provider’s well-known reporting and accounting software for a comprehensive solution. That said, it’s fairly limited when it comes to features — with no what-if analysis or built-in reporting capabilities.

ProsCons
>Affordable
>Compatible with other Sage software
>Can only be deployed via Windows installation
>Lacks what-if analysis

What Customers Are Saying
Sage Estimating has good reviews from companies both large and small, and its integration functionality is what receives the most praise. A construction company CEO says, “There are many construction estimating software packages on the market, but none is better at breaking down an estimate in all the ways that are needed.”

Stack

stack
Stack was created by contractors as a solution for streamlining the estimating and takeoff processes. It aims to speed up the bidding process and help decision makers collaborate with their team from anywhere in a targeted and efficient manner. It cuts the risk of making estimating errors while ensuring that you deliver bids for new contracts on time. The software is easy to use, and you can get started by using the free version to get a handle on the way it works.

The cost of Stack is minimal compared to other providers with similar features on our list, especially considering it’s got a broad range of features. It offers settings for plumbing, HVAC and electrical contractors, a historical database and strong reporting tools. It doesn’t come with subcontractor management capabilities, but it can integrate with a range of third-party apps.

PriceFree Trial / DemoFeatures
$1,999 per yearYes>Deployment options: Installed - Mac
Installed - Windows
Web-based, cloud, SaaS
>Historical database
>Third-party integrations
>More features at Stack

Pros & Cons of Stack Construction Estimating Software
Stack offers construction estimating and takeoff software into one easy-to-use platform. It has strong reporting capabilities, with charts and graphs to help you visualize as well as estimate prices. There’s a free trial available, and it’s moderately priced. In spite of its benefits, Stack lacks vital functions, such as what-if analysis and subcontractor management.

ProsCons
>Free trial
>Includes a takeoff system
>Strong reporting and analytic capabilities
>Doesn't let you manage subcontractors
>No what-if analysis

What Customers Are Saying
Reviewers say that Stack has helped them win bids, reach targets and get projects completed on time. One enthusiastic self-employed construction contractor says, “I have literally increased my productivity by 1,000%. I am doing 10-times more bids and with much greater accuracy, no one questions my takeoffs.”

UDA ConstructionOnline

UDA-ConstructionOnline
UDA ConstructionOnline is a cloud-based solution for bidding, project scheduling, project management and customer management. It’s specifically aimed at growing construction companies in the remodeling or home building industries. Although it doesn’t include a takeoff system or specialized tools for HVAC or plumbing contractors, it boasts pretty much every other feature we’d hope to see in construction estimating software.

A what-if analysis helps decision makers create bids that take into account the best- and worst-case scenarios and make realistic estimates. It also has strong reporting capabilities and a historical database, so you can carefully analyze future decisions based on hard data.

PriceFree Trial / DemoFeatures
$1,599 per yearYes>Historical database
>Deployment options: Installed - Windows
Web-based, cloud and SaaS
>What-if analysis
>More features at UDA ConstructionOnline

Pros & Cons of UDA ConstructionOnline Construction Estimating Software
Although UDA ConstructionOnline is optimized for electrical contractors, it doesn’t have the same functions for plumbers and HVAC operators. It does have the ability to produce detailed reports that can help you analyze your entire costing process. The software doesn’t have a takeoff system, but it integrates with third-party apps for extra functionality.

ProsCons
>Works well for electrical contractors
>Strong reporting and analytical functions
>Not optimized for HVAC or plumbing specialties
>Lacks a takeoff system

What Customers Are Saying
Customers are happy with UDA ConstructionOnline’s ability to help them speed up daily procedures and stay organized, with everyone involved in a project reading from the same page. One operations director says, “A few months ago I did not even know that something like this existed. It has opened a whole new world for me and I am blown away by what this software can do.”

Viewpoint for Estimating

viewpoint
Viewpoint for Estimating specializes in estimates and takeoffs for HVAC, plumbing and electrical contractors. It features trade-specific calculators to help generate accurate and viable estimates quickly. The software also has a pricing database that’s constantly updated with the current rates for labor and materials in each industry.

While it’s one of the most comprehensive solutions on the list for specialty trades, Viewpoint for Estimating’s pricing structure is unclear, and it doesn’t offer a free trial. The only function it’s missing — in our opinion — is the ability to directly manage subcontractors.

PriceFree Trial / DemoFeatures
Custom QuoteNo>Deployment: SaaS
Windows
>Historical database
>What-if analysis
>More features at Viewpoint for Estimating

Pros & Cons of Viewpoint for Estimating Construction Estimating Software
Viewpoint for Estimating is an estimate and takeoff solution specifically designed for HVAC, electrical, plumbing and mechanical contractors. It offers most of the features you’d expect from construction estimating software. On the flip side, it doesn’t let managers connect directly with subcontractors, and it doesn’t offer a free trial or disclose its pricing structure.

ProsCons
>Includes takeoff system
>What-if analysis for fully risk-assessed plans
>No free trial
>Doesn't have a subcontractor management feature

What Customers Are Saying
Reviews for Viewpoint for Estimating are complimentary about the flexibility of the software in adapting to the practices of a business. A mechanical systems manager remarks that, “We save a lot of time and reduce human error potential by exporting the summary information to our company’s Excel bid sheet.”

What Is Construction Estimating Software?

Construction estimating software is a tool that can streamline and refine crucial bidding and costing processes. During the initial bidding process, time is of the essence and accuracy is essential. Estimating the overall cost of a project and breaking it down into its component parts has traditionally been done using spreadsheets, calculators and manual labor.

While spreadsheets are effective and people tend to get attached to their Excel worksheets, they can be time-consuming. In addition to requiring a significant amount of data entry, they’re prone to errors. Not to mention that one person’s favorite spreadsheet might be workable for the next person who needs to use it. If your construction company is looking for a way to cut costs and improve efficiency, construction estimating software is the answer.

To create estimates for large construction projects, contractors and subcontractors must work out the cost and quantities of all necessary equipment, materials and labor. Construction estimating software uses desktop or cloud technology to improve and streamline the creation of line-by-line quantity and cost estimates for supplies, labor and materials.

As a software solution, construction cost estimating programs are usually affordable, especially considering how they can significantly improve a company’s operational efficiency. Manual methods of making calculations are more time consuming and ultimately more expensive than using these technological tools.

Benefits of Construction Estimating Software

When it comes to small projects, an experienced contractor can easily make the necessary costing calculations without any help. However, for large projects or a high volume of quotes remotely, estimating software can make you stand out for your speed, accuracy and professionalism. Some of the main advantages of using this type of program include:

  • Efficiency: Perhaps the most obvious and attractive feature of using automation for costing is speed. Digital estimation software lets you process bids, track projects and manage quotes from one place with a few clicks. The time saved on data entry and using multiple procedures can be used on other vital aspects of your business.
  • Consistency: Every time you start a new project, construction estimating software helps you to create estimates using identical processes to get to the final figure. When each contractor in your company uses the same estimation tool, formulas and procedures, your data will be reliable and accurate. Today’s consumers are savvy and detail-oriented, so this consistency can help you stand out over your competitors.
  • Streamlines project management processes: All business operators know that organization and planning are key to success. Using cost estimation software can help ensure that all projects are managed in a cost-effective and cohesive manner. It also makes accountability clearer and less prone to human error — and creates a clear data trail to help you optimize future projects.
  • Accuracy: By carefully looking after your material, equipment and labor costs and other expenditures, you’re taking care of the bottom line. Although the initial bid might be an estimation, it’s crucial that you create a detailed breakdown of the actual costs. Building estimation software lets you do this while also tracking insightful data, such as backorders, materials and true labor costs.
  • Integration: In some cases, you can integrate cost estimating software with the other vital solutions your company uses for even more streamlined and efficient operations.

Must-Have Features for Construction Estimating Software

With construction estimating software, the most important functions are a project estimate builder, proposal generator, what-if analysis and reporting and analytic capabilities. However, some other features are must-haves for certain contractors.

  • Historical database: A historical database keeps track of your outlays for equipment, labor and all of the other overheads incurred on construction projects. When you create new proposals, you can draw on this data to make even more accurate and speedy bids.
  • Mobile app: For technology to be as effective and useful as possible, it should be compatible with mobile, tablet and desktop devices. This way, the tools can be used out in the field or remotely from any location. Plus, the convenience of a mobile app makes the technology more attractive to employees and administrators alike.
  • Takeoff system: When cost-estimating software comes with a takeoff system, you can effortlessly use the bidding data to get the project off the ground. Although any app that allows third-party integrations is likely to be compatible with a takeoff system and perform this function, it’s easier when it’s an automatic process.
  • Subcontractor management: With this function, operators can choose subcontractors and directly delegate work using the software. This can significantly streamline workflow and save valuable time and effort at one of the most crucial stages of a project.
  • Electrical, HVAC and plumbing estimating functions: While there are plenty of GC operators, there are also lots of specialty contractors. Some software providers offer specific settings to streamline procedures for HVAC, electrical and plumbing contractors, which can be invaluable if you operate in one of these fields.

The Cost of Construction Estimating Software

The cost of construction estimating software ranges from $27 to around $400 per month, per user. In some cases, it’s possible to get access to all of a software’s features for a one-time fee. However, in most cases, you subscribe to the service on a monthly or annual basis. Prices vary significantly depending on the features offered, but it’s possible to get a low-cost option for smaller operations. More expensive solutions are often ideal for larger companies that require additional functionality.

Estimation software is one of the most affordable ways to automate time-consuming processes and give decision makers more time to spend on adding value to their business.