Being able to generate accurate estimates is an important part of contracting work. Because of this, there are a number of software solutions to help contractors make estimates that are accurate while making the estimation process both quicker and easier. Not all estimation software options are right for every business, of course; some are geared only toward larger contractors or those working within certain specialties, meaning that their price or feature focus might not align with your needs.
Fortunately, there are enough options out there that you should be able to find a software-based solution that does meet your needs. Here are just a few options to get you started on your quest to find the right software solution for your contracting business. Links to product home pages are included to make it easier for you to learn more about the options as well.
Clear Estimates is designed from the ground up to be easy for contractors to use. This tool offers up a cloud-based solution that gives you access to the software and your saved estimates anywhere you have an internet connection. Even better, you can gain access to the tool for a reasonable monthly fee with no long-term commitment or contract required.
Joist is a name that over 900,000 contractors already trust with a wide range of features including on-the-go estimation. The software functions as an app that you can download to any Android or iOS device, letting you create estimates, manage invoices, collect payments, and more from anywhere. The base service for Joist is free, with tiers of Joist Pro available that add more features for a very reasonable monthly rate.
With solutions for general contractors, subs, government contractors, and more, ProEst tries very hard to be the go-to estimation option for the entire construction industry. Featuring customer relations management, detailed cost estimation, digital takeoffs, and integration into a number of business tools, it really does have a lot to offer. Costs may vary depending on your specific business situation, though on the plus side, you’re only billed for the jobs that you’re actually awarded while using ProEst.
Another iOS and Android estimation solution, SMSPro helps you to manage time management, job scheduling, and customer interactions while creating detailed estimates and quotes that feature things like line-item pictures to help you drive home the value of your offer. There’s a great value consideration for using the app, too, since the price comes in at around $1 per week.
For those working in the remodeling sector, XactRemodel offers an estimation software solution that’s focused on the specifics involved in remodeling existing homes and other buildings. Covering remodels large and small, the software can help you ensure accuracy while saving you time, regardless of whether you’re making a few tweaks, building a major addition, or doing renovation and repair. The software runs a bit more than some of the other options listed here, though it also offers some features that aren’t always included in other software suites.
Building Your Own Solution
If none of the above solutions fit your needs, there are a lot of other options available to you. If you don’t want to spend the time going through them or the money to license some options, however, it’s entirely possible to build your own solution as well. Creating or modifying a template for Excel or similar software can give you a workable solution using software that you likely already have on your computer. In the end, it’s all about coming up with a solution that best fits the needs of your business.
What estimating software option do you prefer? What specific feature does it have (or lack) that’s important to you?