Construction Estimating Software

Get the best construction estimating software for your business. Compare product reviews, pricing below. Read our buyer’s guide for more help.

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ProEst Screenshot

ProEst

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ProEst is a top construction estimating software that allows you to create bids in half of the time as other options—letting your cost estimators win you more bids than ever before. ProEst can be used by a variety of businesses—including large civil…
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Starting Price
$5,000/year
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Clear Estimates Screenshot

Clear Estimates

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Clear Estimates is the easiest tool for contractors looking to make professional proposals in minutes instead of hours. A database of over 10,000 pre-loaded parts includes labor and materials costs specific to your area for added accuracy. The parts and…
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Starting Price
$59/month
Client OS
Mac, Web, Windows, iOS
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Estimating Link Screenshot
Estimating Link is a sophisticated estimating software application ideal for both state and private work in heavy highway, environmental, bridges, site-work, railroad and civil projects. It’s designed specifically for unit price and lump sum bidding all…
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Starting Price
$300/month
Client OS
Web, Windows
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
PlanSwift Construction Takeoff & Estimating Software Screenshot

PlanSwift Construction Takeoff & Estimating Software

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PlanSwift is an easy construction takeoff & estimating software program that makes doing takeoffs a snap, just point-and-click! This software serves every trade, such as: General contracting; Electrical; Flooring; HVAC; Plumbing; and And more!. Calculate…
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Starting Price
$1,445 (perpetual license)
Client OS
Windows
Deployment
On-Premises
RSMeans Data Online Screenshot

RSMeans Data Online

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RSMeans Data Online from Gordian is an online construction cost estimating software with a large construction cost database available in a variety of formats. The solution provides level of cost detail (unit price, assemblies, and square foot models)…
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Starting Price
$265/year
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
STACK Screenshot

STACK

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STACK is an all-in-one solution for a better estimating and preconstruction process. Drive maximum efficiency and improve project profitability using the industry-leading, cloud-based software. STACK is designed to be your centralized hub for planroom…
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Starting Price
$2,499/user/year
Client OS
Mac, Web, Windows
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Buildxact Screenshot

Buildxact

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Buildxact is an easy-to-use estimating and construction management software designed for managing estimates, purchasing, and scheduling from your phone or in the office. Point and click estimates make it easy to build custom quotes. Takeoffs can be made…
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Starting Price
$149/month
Client OS
Mac, Web, Windows, iOS, Android
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
CoConstruct Screenshot

CoConstruct

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CoConstruct is a cloud-based construction management software designed with the needs of builders in mind as well as their clients and trade partners. CoConstruct works to help eliminate the chaos in your day while creating rewarding building experiences…
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Starting Price
$99/month
Client OS
Web, iOS, Android
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Houzz Pro Screenshot

Houzz Pro

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Houzz Pro is the #1 all-in-one business software built specifically for remodeling and design professionals. From local marketing tools to project and client management, thousands of home renovation professionals run their business end to end on Houzz…
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Starting Price
$55/month
Client OS
Web, iOS, Android
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
Sage Estimating Screenshot
Sage Estimating provides you with an all-in-one estimating tool with trade specific cost databases for many construction trades. This product helps you quickly prepare takeoffs and proposals for your clients. You can either use one of the pre-populated…
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
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Client OS
Windows
Deployment
On-Premises
Estimate Rocket Screenshot

Estimate Rocket

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Estimate Rocket provides features to take jobs from lead to paid. The all-in-one platform provides online estimating and invoicing tools needed to run your business and simplify your daily tasks. The software helps you create professional proposals and…
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
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Starting Price
$59/user/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Procore Screenshot

Procore

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Procore is your complete online construction management software. Procore provides cloud-based project management applications to help construction professionals build quality projects on time and within budget. Procore is designed to combine standard…
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Starting Price
$375/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
WinEst Screenshot
WinEst from Trimble is a Project Cost Estimating Software Solution providing: Cost Databased: A wide range of WinEstimator and third party professional Cost Databases are available and especially designed to enhance cost knowledge and cost “infoflow…
Client OS
Windows
Deployment
On-Premises
Buildertrend Screenshot

Buildertrend

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Buildertrend is cutting-edge, cloud-based project management software. With more than 1 million users across the globe, they empower the construction industry with a better way to build. The software helps construction professionals build more projects…
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Starting Price
$299/month
Client OS
Web, iOS, Android
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Estimating Edge Screenshot

Estimating Edge

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Estimating Edge offers The EDGE and EDGE On Site as smart options for takeoff and estimating solutions that provide competitive estimates. This complete estimating solution enables commercial subcontractors to prepare estimates with accuracy, efficiency…
Client OS
Web, Windows
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
HeavyBid Screenshot

HeavyBid

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HeavyBid by HCSS is an estimating and bidding software for crew-based infrastructure construction. The solution has been used for estimates in earthwork, underground, highway, pipeline, mining, plants, and other heavy construction. HeavyBid will rapidly…
Client OS
Mac, Windows, iOS
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
ECI MarkSystems Screenshot
MarkSystems® is the home building industry’s only single-database, ERP information management application, industry-specific construction software products available for homebuilders and property developers. As a cloud-based software, MarkSystems provides…
Client OS
Windows
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Projul Screenshot
Projul is built on proven business fundamentals that provide the tools for small businesses to quickly and efficiently get work done. Projul manages your leads, converting more opportunities to meetings and sales. Once those leads become customers, Projul…
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   $     $     $     $     $   
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Starting Price
$199/month
Client OS
Web, iOS, Android
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Contractors Software Group Products Screenshot

Contractors Software Group Products

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Contractors Software Group (CSG) offers three series of integrated but modular CRM, estimating, scheduling and job cost accounting applications that can be installed on premise or be hosted in the cloud on a monthly basis. They include the: Simple Series…
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
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Starting Price
$100/month
Client OS
Web, Windows
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
PandaDoc Screenshot
PandaDoc is a digital document solution. Create, send, track, and eSign documents — all from one intuitive and easy-to-use platform. Supercharge your CRM with the PandaDoc integrations. PandaDoc is an ideal platform for managing organizational documents…
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
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Starting Price
$9/user/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted

We searched and searched, but we couldn’t find any products in our database that match your criteria. Perhaps our team of software experts can help? They’d be happy to provide a list of free construction estimating software recommendations that meet your exact requirements.

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Construction Estimating Software Buyer’s Guide

What Is Construction Estimating Software?

Construction estimating software helps general contractors estimate the costs of construction for a specific project. Estimates are created by calculating labor costs, material costs, subcontractor costs, and equipment costs, for the purpose of finding and submitting a bid price for a project.

Considered to be a subset of construction management software, estimates generated via construction estimating software will turn into a construction contract and will lead into the management of the project itself. These construction estimates can be created via a variety of templates preloaded into the software–allowing you to add your company logo, client information, line items for goods and services, and varying terms and conditions of the agreement.

Engineers, architects, and construction managers will utilize cost estimating software in the construction field for overall bid management but also on any need to create a cost estimate. Beyond job cost estimation, construction estimating software can provide payment tracking, report generating, and building schedules.

More advanced software options are also available, such as building information modeling (BIM software). This type of solution creates 3D models used to plan, design, construct, and manage buildings or infrastructure.

Proest Construction Estimating Software
An estimate created with ProEst.

Features of Construction Estimating Software

Functionality Definition
Labor cost tracking Quantification for employee hours and job-specific rate management
Material estimating Calculation of material costs based on defined material base rate costs and input of quantity requirements
Subcontractor estimating Calculation of costs likely to be incurred for payment of subcontractors in the performance of job responsibilities
Equipment cost estimating Cost calculation capabilities for the purchase or rental of equipment required to complete job work
Digital takeoff Digital takeoff allows for dimensional information to be extracted from blueprints and converted into a list of required materials and the associated costs for those materials
Estimate document management Document management capabilities for the storage and retrieval of job estimates
Estimate to quote conversion Capabilities enabling the translation of job cost estimates into customer-facing quote or proposal documentation
Historical estimating Estimating which uses inputs from previously performed work to inform likely costs of job work
Clear Estimates Modify Labor Rates construction estimating software
Easily modify labor rates in Clear Estimates.

Benefits of Construction Estimating Software

Why should your business use construction estimating software? What benefits does estimating software provide your business? Some of the top reasons include:

Improved Bidding and Job Cost Forecasting

Job cost estimating features collect and analyze pricing data to estimate the time, money, materials, and labor required to build a physical structure. Failure to do so can have a financial impact of cost overruns and a failure to complete a project.

Construction estimating software provides standard processes to build cost models for executing job-based work. While used most commonly in the construction industry–it can also apply to other industries that conduct work on a project basis and need to determine likely costs of completing the work.

Bidding and job cost benefits provided by construction estimating software include:

  • Reduced labor costs by saving time spent on preparing job estimates
  • Improved ability to ensure project profitability by producing more reliable estimates using automated calculations and historical performance data
  • Higher bid win rates by turning around quotes to customers more efficiently
  • Lowered job costs through identification of cost control strategies such as more selective job selection, strategic sub-contracting, and alternative material/service sourcing
RSMeans Data Online Line Item search Construction Estimating Software
A line item search in RSMeans Data Online.

Create Digital Takeoffs

Construction takeoff refers to functions that let the user extract material counts and estimates from digital blueprints. Also know as digital takeoffs, this feature can scan blueprint file types such as SVG, DXF, DWG, and PDFs–allowing blueprints to become digital files that can be edited. Information can then be pulled from the digital blueprints that help calculate quantities and measurements.

A capable estimating program allows you to easily use blueprints to identify the scope of the project. With the scope identified, you’re able to reverse engineer back to a parts list and more reliably create data-driven price estimates. The same process works in relation to labor costs. As you break a job into smaller sub-components, you’re able to more accurately project costs.

The materials usually included in a construction takeoff include:

  • Lumber
  • Concrete
  • Roofing
  • Blocks
  • Pipes
  • Wire
  • Fixtures
  • Flooring

To determine how an item is quantified, you’ll need to either conduct a simple count, provide accurate length requirements, or use area for components that are provided in volume (such as concrete). Digital takeoff capabilities will perform these complex equations to arrive at the accurate quantities needed.

PlanSwift Digital Takeoff Construction Estimating Software
A takeoff created with PlanSwift.

Create What-If Scenarios

A what-if scenario is a speculation about how a specific job or project might be handled. With regards to construction estimating, it can better help prepare you for the best-case and worst-case scenario when it comes to determine the price of a construction job. By reviewing each stage of the project lifecycle, project managers should be able to better predict the outcome of a proposed construction project.

What-if scenario analysis can improve project management by evaluating possible outcomes and helping your business make more informed decisions and actions. The goal in doing so is to reduced uncertainty, or better preparing your business when it needs to respond to different situations. With improved project predictability, your business should have a better grasp on both simple and complex factors to expect with your upcoming projects.

For example, there may be a scenario where a construction business is bidding on road construction. They have the measurements of the road but may want to present the customer with a choice of materials. A flexible construction estimating program will help create two different scenarios showing the cost of each, not just in labor and materials, but also maintenance over the life span.

In another scenario where a kitchen is being remodeled, the ability to quickly swap in and out different cabinet styles, countertops, appliances, etc–without redoing the whole bid–allows both the flexibly adapt to changing customer demands and to do so quickly.

CoConstruct Estimating Software
Create estimates in CoConstruct.

Using Historical Cost Data to Generate Accurate Estimates

Keeping records of your historical cost data can save time in preparing new estimates for similar work. These past estimates can accurately predict the cost of your project as long as the cost of supplies and labor doesn’t fluctuate too much.

Cost estimators can turn to regularly published construction cost data for comparative cost analysis. This includes catalogs of vendors’ data, periodicals, commercial cost reference manuals, and digests of actual project costs. Alternatively, your business can look into your own historical efforts to determine estimates. This comes in handy when doing work for the same client, or doing the same type of construction jobs over and over.

Construction estimating software will include a computerized database of previous estimates and bids. The most basic of options will have a built in historical database can allow you to reference quantities, costs, crew and machine productivity data from previous projects. A more advanced option may offer capabilities such as Earned Value Analysis (EVA), which can measure a project’s progress at any given point in time and better forecast the final cost as you move your way through the project statuses.

STACK Takeoff Overview Construction Estimating Software
View all of your projects at a glance in STACK.

Examine Estimated Job Costs in Depth

Both construction and manufacturing projects can be priced via process costing or job costing. Process costing will assign a costs to every step involved in a manufacturing project based on historical data. Job costing breaks down the specific labor, materials, equipment, and subcontractor costs needed and their associated calculated costs.

Process costing works best in industries with more uniform costs, while job costing tends to be more accurate due to using more historical data and less guesswork. This is why job costing is more prominently found in the world of construction estimating.

Dedicated job cost software can help save time on job-costing calculations doing via manual processes such as spreadsheets. Most estimating software will also tie in with job cost processes and help your business better price jobs accurately, submit timely estimates, calculate realistic profit margins, and track costs in real-time.

A good estimating program will give you an analytical foundation to understand your costs in different areas within the job. Breaking down estimates and costs by sub-projects, physical areas or by other organizing units provides a wealth of info for understanding which job elements are driving the profit or loss on the project overall.

To identify payback, you may need to segment costs to track the resulting revenues. For instance, if you’re a builder looking to lease your own space, it’s typically imperative to set up rates built on an understanding of what’s required for per unit cost recovery. This would require a need to track the cost of the overall project–by building or by unit.

WinEst Construction Estimating
View estimate pricing in WinEst.

Types of Construction Estimate Templates

The best construction estimating software will help create whatever type of estimate you business needs. Most will come with templates that will autofill with your company and your client’s information. These templates will usually differ depending on the type of work you’re doing, such as new home cost estimating, general construction estimating, remodeling estimating, and more.

What determines the information that gets put on the estimate? There are four main types of construction estimates, and which one gets used will usually depend on the stage of the project.

  1. Preliminary Estimate: Non-final estimates that present a variable range for how much a project will cost. Usually done at the start of a project using limited information and based off past projects.
  2. Detailed Estimate: The first official estimate create, usually as a modified version of the preliminary estimate. Includes more details such as quantities, costs, and rates. May also include drawings and other specifications.
  3. Quantity Estimate: Includes a list of quantities needed for all materials to complete a project. This is determined by multiplying the dimensions of project drawings by the rate for an item of work.
  4. Bid Estimate: The final bid that is submitted to a prospective client. Usually created with a combination of numbers from past estimates as well as providing the best possible price in order to win the bid.

Which Construction Estimating Software Is Right For Your Business?

Electricians, plumbers, many manufacturers, builders, and HVAC companies all deal with estimating on a daily basis. However, some of the elements of the estimating process can be different in each environment. A program written with your industry in mind can help shorten the learning curve for your company’s estimating software users.

Examples of industry-specific estimating software include:

InSite Elevation Earthworks Estimating Software
A 3D Takeoff with elevation in InSite Elevation, an earthworks estimating software.

Does QuickBooks Have An Estimating Tool?

QuickBooks Online has been used successfully by thousands of construction companies. While not an industry-specific construction management software, the solution can handle the needed accounting for most construction businesses. This includes managing job costs, tracking time and expenses for projects, and running the appropriate reports on a job/project level.

Intuit, the developer of QuickBooks, does not offer a dedicated construction estimating tool. However, QuickBooks solutions do have the ability to create estimates as part of their overall accounting package. Estimates created in QuickBooks can be used to create a bid, proposal, or quote. These can later be turned into a sales order or an invoice. Creating an estimate is part of the usual A/R workflow in QuickBooks.

Given QuickBook’s popularity, there are a number of highly rated construction estimating software options that will integrate with QuickBooks–allowing you to keep the solution as your primary accounting software but get the estimating capabilities your business demands. Some options recommended by QuickBooks themselves include:

On-Screen Takeoff Construction Estimating System
A take off in On-Screen Takeoff.