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A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing the Right Construction Cost Estimating Software

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Still, using spreadsheets and calculators or outdated software? You have to read this…

The construction industry is evolving rapidly, and manually estimating costs just won’t cut it anymore. Inaccurate estimates result from faulty data, and there is simply no time for this.

Thankfully, today’s tools allow greater insight into customer data and with a greater degree of accuracy and efficiency than ever before.

This article takes a deeper look at the importance of software when estimating costs for construction projects. By the end of this article, we hope you will have a good sense of what features are likely to meet your needs and help your business grow. Let’s get started!

Why is estimation software important?

Everything starts with sending a quote to your clients. For clients to feel comfortable choosing your service, they need to be confident in the accuracy of the quote and its attention to detail.

Relying upon a spreadsheet and calculator simply does not work anymore and hasn’t for some time. Having a comprehensive solution is necessary. With modern systems, you gain insights into potential risks that were just not possible with traditional methods.

Estimation management software helps bridge the gap left by the construction industry’s outdated methods of calculating cost. With the estimating software available today, you gain a comprehensive solution that provides not just accurate cost estimates but also valuable insights into potential risks. By quickly generating accurate estimates and predicting risks, estimation management software offers a complete overview of project costs.

Finding the right estimate management software

The most important feature of estimate management software is to manage budgets easily and provide reliable estimates to clients. Here are things to look for when identifying the right estimate software,

1. Comprehensive cost estimation

The software you choose should allow users to quickly create accurate and detailed cost estimates for construction projects. We are not talking about a simple overview: the construction cost estimation software should break down the costs of everything from project rates to labor costs and individual item costs of the materials needed. It should support inputting the quantities, unit prices, labor rates, and material costs necessary for accurately calculating the overall cost of a project.

2. Updatable line items

Any software you choose should allow users to make changes in the line items and assess their impact on costs. Updating data at any point in the project life cycle should be easy, giving you the flexibility to revise the original estimate if necessary and keep everyone on the same page regarding what the expected costs will be.

3. Improved visibility and saved templates

Ideally, the software you choose should provide improved visibility over the entire estimate process. You should be able to track every activity with customers and be able to share project information effortlessly. It should be built with templates that you can use out-of-the-box instead of creating one from scratch.

4. Create error-free invoices

Any estimation software you plan to purchase should have the flexibility to convert invoices upon the approval of the estimate. No more hassle of searching for alternative methods to generate and share invoices with your project team. Imagine the convenience and efficiency it will bring!

5. User-friendly and comprehensive listing page

The estimating software should have a comprehensive listing page through which you can track the status of your estimates, whether it’s approved or not, and take action accordingly. Tracking is not restricted to the status of estimates—you can track payments and expenses too. Overall, the software should be able to provide in-depth reporting of the estimate process and customer feedback.

6. Mobile compatibility

In today’s world, having a mobile-friendly version of a software product is no longer a luxury, it is a requirement. Mobile-friendly software allows users to access and work with estimates from anywhere using their smartphones or tablets, increasing flexibility and productivity. It is important to recognize that the ideal estimate software may vary depending on users’ or  organizations’ specific needs and preferences. Evaluating software options against these key features can help select the most suitable solution.

7. Integration with accounting and payment apps

One of the significant advances you need to consider when choosing an estimating software solution is the integration between payment and accounting platforms. A seamless connection between systems promotes enhanced financial visibility, efficient payment processing, accurate cost tracking, and improved collaboration. It streamlines the estimate process and elevates your construction projects and helping you to achieve more in less time.

The best construction cost estimating software of 2023

According to Forbes, the best software products for estimating construction projects are Buildxact and PlanSwift. We shouldn’t exclude products like Zuper that are flexible and highly customizable. Let’s take a look at what we mean.

1.BuildXact

Buildxact is an all-in-one platform for estimates, job management, and accounting. With Buildxact, users can create accurate estimates, generate professional quotes, and track costs throughout the project lifecycle. The software streamlines the entire process, allowing users to seamlessly transition from estimating to project management to accounting without the need for multiple tools or manual data entry.

2. PlanSwift

PlanSwift provides users with advanced tools for digital estimations, allowing them to measure quantities and dimensions directly from digital blueprints or PDF files. This feature eliminates the need for manual calculations using paper plans, saving time, reducing errors, and increasing the accuracy of estimates.

3. Zuper

Here is why we say Zuper is the best fit for your business. Zuper Software Solutions is all about customization and flexibility. We have clients in the construction industry who are benefitting boundlessly through our construction management software. We can hear you saying, What is the benefit of using Zuper? Wait.. why don’t we discuss that first?

Benefits of using Zuper estimating software

So, here are the top benefits of using Zuper estimating software.

  1. Accurate estimate
  2. No paperwork
  3. Ready-to-use templates
  4. Track every progress of the estimate
  5. Automates follow-ups
  6. Integrates with accounting seamlessly
  7. Unifies invoices and payments in one place

1. Accurate estimate

Bringing accurate estimates is where manual methods of calculating the cost of estimating procedures fail. At the same, it is the most crucial aspect as it helps customers make their decision. Using our estimate software, you can quickly generate an estimate with in-depth details of service descriptions, additional notes, contracts, or concept designs. It also includes the details of spare parts, items, configurable project rates, expiration dates, and labor costs.

2. No paperwork

Well, as you might have guessed, the power of automation brings with it the perk of less or no paperwork. In the case of our estimation software, everything is carried out digitally. From generating a quote to sending it with a digital signature, everything is carried without any paper trail. So you can put a thorough end to paper documentation.

3. Ready-to-use templates

While automation is undoubtedly a groundbreaker, we are taking it a step further with our ready-to-use templates. No more starting from scratch or wasting precious minutes crafting documents. Simply choose the template that suits your requirements, and voila! Your work is done. You can save these templates for future needs and update them according to your need.

 4. Track every progress of the estimate

Stay in the loop and keep tabs on every stage of your estimate with our cutting-edge tracking system. From the moment it is drafted, to the exciting moment of response, whether it is an acceptance or decline, and even when it is seamlessly converted into an invoice – our estimation software provides a bird’s-eye view of it all. Plus, you will never miss a beat with valuable customer feedback at your fingertips.

5. Automate follow-ups

Another distinct feature of our estimate software is you can automate sending friendly reminders to your customer about the status of the estimate. It increases customer engagement and opens an opportunity to know any possible difficulties at the customer’s end, allowing you to follow up and provide the support they need.

6. Integrates with accounting seamlessly

At the forefront of Zuper estimate software lies its remarkable integration capabilities. Zuper estimate software is pre-built with top-notch integrations. Among these integrations, one that stands out as absolutely essential for the construction industry is Accounting applications. With Zuper, you can effortlessly connect with popular platforms like Xero, Quickbooks, Wisetack, and Concur, as well as payment applications such as Stripe.

7. Unifies invoices and payments in one place

Managing the invoice cycle is a headache for construction businesses. Zuper estimate software makes this process much easier. Once your estimate gets approved, you can generate an invoice with a simple click and share it with your others directly through mail or save it as a pdf. After that, you will be directed to the billing cycle, where you can pay using your preferred mode of payment.

Take on more jobs with estimate software!

It is time to say goodbye to outdated spreadsheets and empower your team with construction cost estimation software that will focus on what truly matters and give exceptional results. The power of estimating software is that it will completely transform your workflow, giving you more visibility, autonomy, and speedy delivery.

Still, trying to decide if estimate software is the right fit for your needs?

Take advantage of the opportunity to try our free demo to experience the incredible advantages it brings to your operations.

Take a step forward and unlock the full potential of your construction business. Download our ready-to-use product service estimate now.

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