02 January 2023 6 min read

12 Best Construction Estimating Software and Tools in 2023

 

A profitable construction project starts with an accurate and precise estimation.

See Estimating in Archdesk

Are you tired of the time-consuming estimating process whose results rarely apply to real life?

We understand that estimating and starting a project is a crucial yet extremely tough part of the project’s reality.

That’s why we prepared a list of the top 12 construction estimating tools to better plan, structure, and create your future estimates.

Best Construction Estimating Software and Tools in 2023

Scroll down halfway for a deep dive into each software with Capterra and G2 ratings and pricing information.

What are construction estimating software and tools?

Estimating is vital for construction projects to create a precise budget, control costs, and ensure a proper profit margin for the project. 

Construction Estimating software and tools are essential for estimators as they streamline the process, automate calculations and organise data management to estimate as fast and efficiently as possible. 

Moreover, these tools prevent projects from going over budget, as project managers can compare estimated prices with actual expenses and react faster if the risk of overruns occurs. 

What Is Construction Estimating?

Construction estimating is the process of predicting the cost of a construction project. The goal is to create a construction estimate document that clarifies a project's viability, scope, and budget. Among the expenses specified in an estimate are direct and indirect costs, overhead costs, and a profit margin for a bidder. General contractors can use construction estimating to bid for future projects.

Types of Estimating Software and Tools

Several construction estimating software and tools are available in the construction industry. Here are some of the most common types:

Spreadsheet-Based Estimating Software

One of the most popular types of software available on the market as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. Their biggest advantage is the flexibility of the tools and customisation options. However, spreadsheet-based estimating software often lacks more advanced features or integration with other tools indispensable for construction.

Database-Driven Estimating Software

It's software that stores all data in a centralised database. It allows users to keep all needed information and generate estimates directly, making the process more efficient. But, the biggest advantage of database-driven estimating software is their advanced reporting and integration capabilities, which makes them a good fit for more complex projects.

Parametric Estimating Software

This type of software is based on mathematical models and algorithms that allow to create estimates by predefined parameters. To do that, the system uses data and statistical analysis. Users must introduce all project-specific parameters, and the software calculates the costs accordingly. Because of that, parametric estimating software will be a good choice for repetitive projects from the same portfolio.

3D/BIM Estimating Software

3D/BIM (Building Information Modeling) estimating software uses digital models to determine the cost of a construction project. It's crucial to integrate the system with BIM tools or other information-rich databases to make use of it. Visualisation lets the estimator identify potential problems and estimate costs more efficiently.

Cost Estimating Software with Takeoff Capabilities

It's a type of software that offers takeoff functionality besides estimating. It means that an estimator can mark, measure and calculate quantities of resources in the system. The advantage of cost-estimating software with takeoff capabilities is that it supports precise cost calculations.

Industry-Specific Estimating Software

The last type is industry-specific estimating software that offers solutions tailored to the particular sector's needs. Except for estimating features, it provides tools that support each industry's unique requirements and needs.

Archdesk screen with quotes

Why Do You Need a Construction Estimating Software

There are several reasons why your business should invest in proper construction estimating software. 

Accuracy- the system can help in accurate cost estimation by eliminating human errors and supporting the calculations throughout the whole process.

Time-saving- the software can free you from a time-consuming and manual process. It speeds up the estimation by automating the calculation and providing pre-built cost databases.

Cost control- project managers can track costs more efficiently, as they can compare estimated prices with actual expenses and make quick adjustments in the risk of cost overrun.

Enhanced productivity- a proper estimation solution helps generate estimates faster, which enables a team to manage more projects and work with enhanced productivity. 

Competitive advantage- enhanced productivity and more accurate cost estimation-a tremendous competitive advantage. The company can win more projects as the system helps them respond quickly to bid requests and submit top-notch proposals.

Collaboration and communication- estimating software improves internal and external by providing a centralised platform to gather data, exchange information, and update estimates.

Scalability- finally, the estimating software can help a business grow, adapting the estimating process to different project sizes and complexities. 

1. Archdesk

Archdesk's website hero section

Archdesk Overview

No matter what estimating tool you're using or how the estimation process looks in your company, Archdesk has all kinds of tools to support you.

Archdesk is a construction management software that connects all the processes inside one platform, making project delivery faster and more efficient.

The system automates the repetitive processes and provides revisions to created estimates. Thanks to that, you have more time for tasks that matter- like winning more businesses.

Also, you can integrate Archdesk with your spreadsheets; import/export Excel files, and send your estimations to the client in different formats: PDF, Google Sheets, Excel, and more.

We adapt to how you work- making your processes more efficient.

Capterra Rating: 4.8/5

G2 Rating: 4.3/5

Archdesk Pricing

Archdesk Packages Pricing

What do people think about construction estimating with Archdesk?

"We have put our business model in the settings and now every department of our company uses Archdesk, we move projects from one stage to another and the next departments get access to the project, it works perfectly.

"We start from enquiry, it then goes to estimation, then to accounting for deposits, then to project manager and we finish at accounting again. Very smooth."

Capterra Review 

See Estimating in Archdesk

2. Active Takeoff

ActiveTakeoff Value Proposition

Active Takeoff Overview

Active take-off is an on-premise construction take-off solution that helps in cost estimating.

The platform works best for construction managers, design firms, finishing contractors, home builders, and real estate developers.

The system offers standalone estimating and take-off applications, customisable templates, and different units of measurement, including metric and imperial.

Active take-off offers integration with a spreadsheet calculator. The user can import PDF files and export data to an Excel sheet.

Capterra Rating: 4.6/5

G2 Rating: -/5

Active Takeoff Pricing

active takeoff pricing

What do people think about construction estimating with Active Takeoff?

“It does the job, but with some changes and updates, it could be a lot better.”
Capterra Review

3. PlanSwift

planswift value proposition

PlanSwift Overview

Planswift is another good construction estimating software option. The system claims to eliminate the need for paper in planning, making the process less expensive, faster, and more manageable.

The system supports cost, material, waste, and labour calculations. Also, the system offers single-click take-off options.

Regarding integration with a spreadsheet calculator, PlanSwift can link to and update Excel WorkBooks in real-time with the software.

Capterra Rating: 4.3/5

G2 Rating: 4.3/5

PlanSwift Pricing

planswift pricing

What do people think about construction estimating with PlanSwift?

Choosing only the files I need is a great feature. I also like the way I can add my take-off quantities to my sheet to be able to print out and add to my bid package.
g2 Review

4.Buildpartner

Buildpartner Value Proposition

Buildpartner Overview

Builderpartner is a collaborative pricing platform for construction. The target customers for this software are builders, architects, and surveyors.

As an estimating software, Buildpartner collects price and job information to assist teams in generating quick benchmark costs, accurate work schedules, and obtaining comparable bids.

There’s no available information if Buildpartner integrates with a spreadsheet calculator.

Capterra Rating: 4.8/5

G2 Rating: -/5

Buildpartner Pricing

Buildpartner pricing

What do people think about construction estimating with Buildpartner?

“Generally really enjoyed using the platform and once had got our heads around it, it was really interesting to use.”
Capterra Review

5. Contractor Foreman

contractor foreman value proposition

Contractor Foreman Overview

Contractor Foreman is an affordable option for small company contractors requiring an easy-to-use project management platform.

This platform offers more than 30 features and connectors, including the ability to generate and submit construction estimates.

Also, Contractor Foreman offers the option to upload and edit Microsoft Office documents (including Excel) and edit them.

Capterra Rating: 4.4/5

G2 Rating: 4.5/5

Contractor Foreman Pricing:

contractor foreman pricing

What do people think about construction estimating with Contractor Foreman?

“Although roll out of CF has been a bit bumpy and there is certainly a learning curve involved, it has been good!”
Capterra Review

6. STACK

STACK software value proposition

STACK Overview

Considered to be quite flexible, STACK qualifies as a solid construction estimating software system option.

But, the tool's primary strength is its ability to predict the labour needed for various building projects.

On integration with a spreadsheet calculator, STACK allows importing data through Microsoft Excel or CSV. It's possible by uploading a file or copying and pasting data directly from a spreadsheet.

Capterra Rating: 4.5/5

G2 Rating: 3.9/5

STACK Pricing:

STACK pricing

What do people think about construction estimating with STACK?

"Overall it is a great product to work with. When you have more technical drawings, sometimes it's hard to get an accurate count of all square and linear footage. Have to dig through drawings to find which could take an ample amount of time.”
Capterra Review

7. Procore

Procore Value Proposition

Procore Overview

Procore is a cloud-based construction management software that supports estimating activities.

It includes all of the standard construction software functions, such as project scheduling and task tracking, as well as web-based document management and digital photo preservation.

Procore can integrate with a spreadsheet calculator. The users can import a wide range of data into the system, choosing how their data is populated in various tools.

Capterra Rating: 4.3/5

G2 Rating: 4.2/5

Procore Pricing

Procore asks you for some information and promises a call back with a quote

Pricing Unavailable

What do people think about construction estimating with Procore?

“So far, my overall experience with Procore has been positive. I am the main Procore Company Administrator here, and I've been learning the program mostly on a live project, so that part has been stressful, but that is the nature of the beast at times."
Capterra Review 

Looking for the best solution for your quotation & estimation process? Discover how Archdesk can support you in our article here

8. Expert Estimation

expert estimation value proposition

Expert Estimation Overview

Expert Estimation is a Windows-based construction estimating software that allows the creation, management, and production of precise estimates.

The platform enables estimators to construct customisable templates, automate estimation procedures, and more.

When it comes to integration with spreadsheet calculators, the platform gives the option to upload a saved local copy of the spreadsheet using the Save Spreadsheets button.

Capterra Rating: 5.0/5

G2 Rating: -/5

Expert Estimation Pricing:

Pricing Unavailable

What do people think about construction estimating with Expert Estimation?

“Its easy to use, promotes business transparency and allows users to ensure that all of their costs are being recovered.”
Capterra Review

9. WenDuct and WenPipe

WenPipe WenDuct Software Value Proposition

WenDuct and WenPipe Overview

WenDuct and WenPipe are cloud-based construction estimating software that aims to help HVAC businesses streamline estimating procedures.

Project managers can execute digital take-offs while voice-verifying each of them. It helps minimise errors and manage projects faster.

The platform offers Microsoft Office Excel integration. Also, it can be connected to some accounting, CAD or project management systems.

Capterra Rating: 4.5/5

G2 Rating: -/5

WenDuct and WenPipe Pricing:

Pricing Unavailable

What do people think about construction estimating with WenDuct and WenPipe?

“The support is outstanding, but the program is very outdated, and I have been waiting for the new 64-bit program for years.”
Capterra Review

10. Buildertrend

Buildertrend Value Proposition

Buildertrend Overview

Buildertrend is a cloud-based construction project management software designed to help contractors, builders, and remodelers. 

It supports scheduling, estimations, and cost control and allows real-time collaboration within a project. 

The system connects with different financial applications, which means data can be easily uploaded from Excel spreadsheets into Buildertrend.

Capterra Rating: 4.5/5

G2 Rating: 4.3/5

Buildertrend Pricing

Buildertrend pricing

What do people think about construction estimating with Buildertrend?

“Buildertrend is very customisable. But for our industry, I'm not sure BT is the best software. The accounting side of it isn't as smooth or easy to learn as we'd hope.”
g2 Review

11. ProEst

ProEst Value Proposition

ProEst Overview

ProEST is a global construction industry leader in estimating and cloud-based take-off software systems.

It’s a decent alternative for a construction company that must produce accurate estimates while maintaining customer interactions properly.

Regarding integration with a spreadsheet calculator, the platform offers automatic information transfer to save time and eliminate unintended entry mistakes.

Capterra Rating: 3.6/5

G2 Rating: 4.3/5

ProEst Pricing:

ProEst asks you for some information and promises a call back with a quote

Pricing Unavailable

What do people think about construction estimating with ProEST?

“The software started off ok; I liked using it, but they have done something, and it is the slowest estimating system I have ever used now.”
Capterra Review

12. Clear Estimates

ClearEstimates Value Proposition

Clear Estimates Overview

Clear Estimates is a good choice if your business needs one solution that specialises in construction estimates exclusively.

Subcontractors looking for simple construction accounting software might consider this platform to help them create proposals and estimates in minutes.

The platform does offer the option to import from Excel. However, the process might seem more complicated for less tech-savvy users.

Capterra Rating: 4.5/5

G2 Rating: -/5

Clear Estimates Pricing:

clearEstimates pricing

What do people think about construction estimating with Clear Estimates?

We have been overall happy with the program. It is really hard to teach someone new how to use it though. We have a new employee and there have been several huge mistakes that have costs our company money in the long run due to over seeing some things.
Capterra Review

Frequently Asked Questions about construction estimating software

What is construction estimating software?

Construction estimating software is designed to calculate construction costs for projects. Estimators use this software to create their bid price for a project. If successful, this price is in the construction contract.

Non-negotiable features of a construction estimating software

Here are non-negotiable features that your future system should have. But, consider factors like your company's size and existing technology stack before choosing.

1.All data gathered in one place

Whether you work with the bill of materials, bill of quantities, schedules of work, or any other pricing document, your future system should be able to support you. It means configuring and building the necessary connections to bring all the data together.

It will give you visibility over your processes and the possibility to control them. Also, you'll be able to collaborate with other teams as there's no risk that you work on different or outdated numbers.

2.Automations

You shouldn't spend time on manual calculations or double data entry. Invest in a system that will free you from time-consuming and repetitive tasks.

With proper software support, once you complete your estimation, you should be able to create quotes or tenders within just a few clicks. The system automatically pulls the data, saving you time on actions that matter.

Related Content: See how to make estimates and proposals in Archdesk.

3.Integrations

Do you use Excel to create estimations, and switching to another tool is hard? You won't have to change your preferences with a proper digital solution.

The system will allow you to import different file formats, so you can create your estimates in Excel and then link the projects teams and communicate on changes in the system. Also, it will enable you to export your estimation in a particular format your client needs Excel, PDF, or browser view.

4. Revisions - all data saved in the system

Your client requested another change in estimation. You made it, but during the next review, it turned out that the very first version was the best. Does it mean you have to build everything from scratch and waste extra hours on calculations? 

A sound estimating system will store the history of changes. So, if your client requests modifications, you will quickly restore the needed version and speed up the estimating process.

What is the first step in estimating?

The first step in estimating is establishing scope and purpose. It's crucial to understand all project tasks and specify the purpose of the estimation. Also, it's time to clarify contradictory assumptions with the team and contractors that could impact the project's cost.

Who is a project estimator?

An estimator is responsible for calculating the project cost before it starts. Before starting estimating, they must clarify clients' expectations and consider all risks that could impact the final cost. Once the project begins, the estimator monitors the project's progress to ensure that actual prices correspond with expenses in an estimate.

What is estimation used for?

Estimating is a way to define approximately the amount of something. In construction, estimation is used for determining the project’s cost before the actual expenses have been incurred. The estimation should be as precise as possible to serve well in further steps.

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2024-05-18 10:26:22