The most honest answer you will get out there is that it depends. If you want to make work easier, then you need a to use construction estimating software. If you want to be precise, factor in all the variables, and give your customers an accurate quotation, then it is recommended to use software.
If you are comfortable labouring hours on end to produce one estimate by printing plans and marking up with a scale ruler and highlighters, then of course, you don’t need a software program. But there is always an easier way.
To get your estimates done quickly and professionally, you don’t just need an estimating software program. You need a good one. A good construction estimating software for trades should help you factor in every detail that is important in costing a project.
As you may have noticed, every industry is different. The estimating process for a renovation project cannot be the same as that of a new build. The same case can be said of carpentry, roofing, flooring, and concrete aspects of a project. They are all different.
You need a software program that offers specific solutions for your chosen trade. Since software programs are highly adaptive, you can look for one that specifically has options for your trade. Better yet, you can go for custom estimating software for your trade.
For example, if you are offering multiple services, you need an adaptive software program that will deliver your estimates wherever they are needed.
Alternatively, you can pick trade-specific software.
Essentially, the software will handle almost every part of the builders’ service package. It will cover pre-construction design, project design, building information management, labour costing, material costing, logistics, outside consultancy, and miscellaneous expenses.
Home builders tend to run more projects at any given time, all requiring different estimating criteria. Notably, house extension, basement renovations, and garage conversions will be markedly different from roofing, bathrooms and kitchens. The software ought to be able to factor in some of the specialist areas that a builder is likely to encounter.
Builders will want to liaise with other construction trades and companies to offer services such as HVAC, electrical, plumbing, carpentry among others. An estimating software will factor in the collaborative efforts and subcontracting and the impact they have on the overall project timelines and cost implication.
Whether you are doing rough carpentry or finish carpentry, accuracy is important. You are competing with other companies. You need to stay within the acceptable bid level. An estimating software will, more importantly, factor in the cost of materials, estimating millwork, framing, installation, and project management. Carpentry materials tend to be a bit more nuanced because of the demand for proper sizing, cutting, and even storage.
Construction estimating software for carpenters helps you to get the estimates much faster. You don’t have to manually measure walls, ceilings etc. You don’t even need to handle the chaotic spreadsheets to get the cost of labour and professional work estimated.
You may want to try specialist carpentry estimating software or a software application that can work the carpentry trade estimates.
Doing roofing takeoffs can be tiring. A roofing estimating software can change all that. If you want to do the following:
· Count items such as vents and skylights
· Measure and calculate areas and roof pitches
· Count gutters or soffits
You can estimate wastage, labour costs, and design implication on overall costs. This is not possible when you are manually doing the work yourself. You may need to rely on informed guesses. If you are not that experienced, you will find yourself over quoting or underquoting, both of which will hurt your profitability and chances of winning contracts.
I don’t know whether it is a trade thing or it is just a thing among concrete contractors, but they rarely send attractive estimates. On the other hand, clients throughout the construction sector always find attractive estimates professional. They tend to hire the person who sends the most professional estimate.
Estimating software for concrete contractors can offer this and more. You don’t have to labour over ground footings, concrete and rebar costs, walls, or any other items on your estimate. Those regulatory compliance-related costs you keep forgetting are added for extra convenience and safety.
Software designed specifically for concrete contractors can helps you understand how you stack up against competition, especially with your margins and workflow. For example, if you are not winning enough business, it could be because you are not standing out.
Just like any other home building or commercial project, flooring contractors rely on flexibility and creativity to get the job done profitably. Overall, the margins in the construction contracts and more so in the flooring contracts tend to be subdued. This is down to poor estimation.
A flooring estimating software can reduce that because it offers you a chance to factor in all the flooring components from tiling design and material, project takeoffs and waste calculations. It virtually organizes your work.
Estimating software will help you draw the layouts, apportion materials, professionally add the transitions and other details such as stairs, patterns, and seams, and overall deliver the estimate in one professional package.
Your client can easily follow the document to understand exactly what is included and what is not.
Overall, invest in a software program that helps you achieve your goals as a flooring contractor. Essentially, estimating software should considerably reduce the time it takes to prepare a quote. It should be easy and the end result should be professional, accurate quotes prepared in a fraction of the time.
As a home builder or speciality trade contractor, estimating is a high risk and challenging task. Profits are typically won or lost based on how accurate your estimates are and if they match your final project costs.
Take the time to research what estimating software is best for you.
ConX is construction estimating software designed specifically for builders and trades. If you are making the jump from pen and paper and looking to find a simple estimating, we're here to help.