14 types of construction estimating software (with benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 11 November 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Estimating software helps construction organisations deliver realistic projections for delivering new projects. If you're in the construction industry, learning about the different types of estimation software is vital for improving productivity and ensuring client satisfaction. Overall, they save valuable time and resources and help you accurately gauge the cost of a construction project. In this article, we discuss 14 types of construction estimating software and their benefits.

14 types of construction estimating software

Construction estimation software helps organisations and contractors accurately calculate the cost of a construction project. 14 types of estimating software contractors use include:

1. ProEst

ProEst is a cloud-based estimating, bidding and pre-construction management tool, offering contractors new levels of information accuracy, process efficiency and team collaboration. It allows contractors to monitor and manage centralised takeoffs, reports and contracts. All of this information is easily accessible 24/7 from a mobile device. ProEst users use the software to manage clients, create proposals, manage prospect information and create cost estimates. Since it offers visibility into the future, users also use it to track pending projects, create precise business forecasts and update estimating software. ProEst essentially streamlines material counts and pre-construction workflows.

Related: How to become a construction estimator: a step-by-step guide

2. Clear Estimates

Clear Estimates is a simple estimating software designed to create proposals and estimates, produce bid requests and manage customers. The estimation software integrates with RemodelMAX and QuickBooks for different purposes. QuickBooks exports project estimates and client information into the system and RemodelMAX determines project and material costs, produces proposals and maintains project databases. Clear Estimates has customisable built-in templates that simplify the cost estimation process for different projects. Contractors may select a template, add square footage and add or remove parts depending on a client's needs to obtain job-specific estimates.

Related: What are construction estimates and why are they important?

3. Sage Estimating

Sage Estimating software helps contractors generate cost estimates to increase bid-winning ratios. It provides electronic takeoff, job costing, project scheduling and a cost database. The app has a dashboard and permissions that allow users to create a custom dashboard where they receive only the most relevant information. It also has a building estimates and accounting feature for automatically generating estimates according to client trends and predictions. With Sage Estimating, contractors get up-to-date information on software or company developments.

Related: What is project management for construction? (Plus types)

4. Easy-Pro Builders Estimator

Easy-Pro Builders Estimator is open-source estimating software that assists in estimating building project costs. Its open-source nature makes it ideal for organisations with in-house development teams capable of changing it as required. The software operates on the free Apache OpenOffice spreadsheet Calc, with 24 trade worksheets to accurately report job costs and estimates. The software is fast, simple and easy to use, making Easy-Pro useful for contractors.

Related: Construction management qualifications (plus skills)

5. IntelliBid

IntelliBid is an estimating software designed specifically for industrial, commercial and residential electrical contractors. It reduces estimating time by 50%, producing estimates faster with greater precision, consistency and detail. IntelliBid is available in four levels, IntelliBid, IntelliBid PRO, IntelliBid PLUS and Intellibid Design Build. Contractors may choose a level that meets their estimating needs or start with the basic package and add features individually to build a full program. The software also has a Journal Message Centre that provides organisations with a centralised, accessible solution for data storage.

6. SmartBid by ConstructionConnect

SmartBid by ConstructionConnect is the leading construction bid management software designed to improve subcontractor communication, streamline bid projects and help general contractors simplify the pre-construction process. It's also incorporated into other software as it supports native mobile apps, compliance tracking technology and various integrations and add-ons. SmartBid's bid invitation technology allows contractors to organise project details and send bid invitations. Its document management tools provide quick and centralised access to project files. SmartBid gives construction professionals access to qualified subs and contact information easily transfers documentation and ensures secure data storage.

7. Candy

Candy is an estimating software that helps contractors manage project pricing and control quantity takeoff. Its key features include forecasting, cash flow, building product data, progress tracking, project planning and budget management. General contractors using this software may forecast values and quantities with information related to estimates and valuations to facilitate project planning. The cash flow module tests variations using information from project programs and builds a financial model of the construction project. Candy's planning and scheduling tool optimises the pre-construction process and sets up projects for greater success.

8. QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise

QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise has an industry-specific version for contractors to track costs and create estimates. Contractors may use the software for job costing, tracking time and expenses against estimates. They may also use it to create and share estimates and develop detailed job costing reports that help determine the most profitable job.

QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise also helps you send and track invoices until the completion of payments. The software manages payrolls as either Enhanced Payroll, which makes direct payments to employees and generates W-2 forms with no additional cost, or Assisted Payroll, which is an advanced option that automatically files taxes.

Related: A step-by-step guide on how to use QuickBooks, plus benefits

9. Procore

Procore estimating software manages and tracks construction projects and resources from planning to closeout. The software connects construction professionals to industry-specific solutions for managing, designing and altering bids and job costs. It also has an excellent feature on its drop-down menu, enabling engineers to access multiple projects simultaneously. The dashboard overviews updated project statuses, helping you monitor tasks across various projects. Procore is beneficial to contractors as it's easy to navigate and understand.

10. Autodesk Construction Cloud

Autodesk Construction Cloud is an estimating software that contractors and designers use to deliver projects on time and within budget. It helps contractors track construction activities in real time and connect workflows to increase productivity. Contractors also use it to build private and collaborative workspaces and manage vital documents remotely. Autodesk features Autodesk Build, Autodesk BIM Collaborate and Autodesk Takeoff to empower construction professionals to improve business outcomes. Takeoff helps contractors generate automated quantities from 3D models, while BIM Collaborate connects construction teams to manage designs. Autodesk Build delivers deep, broad and connected tools for builders.

Related: 11 best construction apps to implement in the workplace

11. ClockShark

ClockShark is a leading scheduling and time-tracking software designed for local construction firms. If you require a more straightforward way of running payrolls accurately, understanding job costs and tracking mobile employee time, ClockShark may suit you. ClockShark assists construction organisations in shifting from pen and paper systems to digital timesheet platforms. This allows construction professionals to clock in and out of work from their mobile devices or web interface. The software's time-stamping feature helps organisations generate precise payrolls for employees and calculate suitable work hours. ClockShark also integrates with QuickBooks and synchs job details within the app.

12. Buildertrend

Buildertrend is a cloud-based construction management software that helps construction professionals complete projects while reducing communication errors and improving customer satisfaction. With Buildertrend, contractors may automate data entry and calculations, leading to quick, efficient and more accurate data estimates. The software understands the costs associated with a project, giving more visibility to its financials. It also allows organisations to generate professional proposals for clients using information from their estimates. This feature minimises errors caused by copying wrong numbers and saves time. Buildertrend provides users unlimited access to branding, educational webinars and live chat support.

Related: Why project budgeting is essential for project management

13. STACK

STACK is a cloud-based construction estimating and takeoff software that aims to provide users with flexible estimating and takeoff solutions. With the software, users measure digital plans, finalise project estimates, collaborate with teams and customise prices accurately. They may also upload digital strategies, submit accurate bids and complete takeoffs. STACK subscriptions come with unlimited training and support, making it easy to use, especially for new users and those transitioning from other software. STACK essentially increases profitability and drives maximum efficiency. It also facilitates project organisation, provides up-to-date software improvements and enables users to calculate precise cost estimates.

14. CoConstruct

CoConstruct is a construction software built to help construction organisations overcome project management challenges by streamlining complex processes. It also aims to keep customers happy and employees working smoothly. CoConstruct integrates with other software like QuickBooks to keep operations simple for construction managers. The software provides organisations with financial management tools such as cost tracking, job costing, contractor invoicing, pricing and purchase order management. All pricing plans on the software include a customisable feature to match the organisation's wants and a dedicated coach to provide guidance and support.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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