Last updated on September 7th, 2019 at 04:30 pm
Choosing the Best Construction Estimating Software: Viewpoint
Construction estimating software is essential for streamlining workflow.
They allow business owners to save precious time by consolidating useful information that helps to gauge the scope of a project.
We highly recommend Viewpoint because through testing and research we found it to be the most comprehensive of construction estimating software, in its allowing users to save on time.
Not to mention its impressive ability to create reports that help to augment workflow. Viewpoint is a versatile software that is specifically built to compliment your project throughout its life cycle.
This, however, doesn’t mean it is the ideal product for you and your business. There are tons of construction estimating software available. Selecting the one perfect for your needs will come down to patience and planning.
We hope this review makes the process a bit simpler for you. Let’s break down what we believe are the best construction estimating software currently available on the market.
How Construction Estimating Software Helps Your Business
If you are looking to calculate the overall cost of a project, such as the labor of prospective clients, to materials and equipment, you may be in need of construction estimating software.
Not only are they efficient for calculating costs, but they are also useful for creating formal proposals to present to prospective clients in a speedy and professional manner.
You can use this software to calculate how many hours of labor are expected as well as the number of subcontractors that will be required for the task.
Of course, not all construction estimating software were created equal. If you are looking to save yourself time, energy and (ultimately) money, you will need the most efficient product of its kind.
A great construction estimating software will play a vital role in your business even while the project is underway, by helping you track ongoing costs and better determine the accuracy of your initial projections.
Some software allows users to create reports. You can present these reports to clients in the event that project costs will exceed the initial budget.
# First Choice: Viewpoint
As we mentioned earlier when looking for construction estimating software.
You will need one that is comprehensive and proves useful to your project throughout its life cycle.
Viewpoint embodies these qualities, more so than any other product we came across, which is why it lands the number one spot on this list.
With Viewpoint, users are in for software that crams tons of powerful features into one package.
These features include:
- Integrated project management
- Job costing
- Data management (including risk management)
- And enhanced productivity and analysis
When you combine these features with Viewpoint’s reporting capabilities, you have a product that saves you money and sets you up for a near-seamless workflow.
Viewpoint integrates Accounting Software
Viewpoint includes an accounting software that allows users access to reports (in real-time). In other words, you have a wealth of data at your fingertips and are able to track how your business is faring throughout operations.
All of this convenience is presented in a single database. Manage project costs with uber convenience thanks to its built-in financial planning and job costing solutions.
Flexibility in Profit Centers
If you are looking for flexibility in profit centers, Viewpoint shines here as well. Users are given leverage in ALL profit centers, this is inclusive of revenue rates for each piece of equipment.
Monthly calculations of book depreciation are hassle-free thanks to fixed asset schedules that you can easily organize. The job costing feature works seamlessly into the workflow, by delivering accurate information for operations and accounting.
You will find this especially useful as it pertains to job progress, and that the information can be presented in relevant formats that are available.
Resource Management Feature
Throughout your project you may need to:
- Define resource requirements
- Control resource requirements
- Classify personnel (and track their availability)
- Gather insight via reporting and dashboard features
Viewpoint makes this all simple for users, prioritizing efficiency and ease-of-use which ultimately maximizes its overall effectiveness.
You are able to track things like resource requirement (at the project level) thanks to a plethora of tools from a web planning tool to a resource locator and dispatcher.
You are also better able to define and control your resource requirements (at the project level) with a centralized scheduling system included in the suite.
Here are its standout features:
- Slew of powerful features
- Integrates accounting software into the suite
- Offers flexibility in profit centers
- Some users find that reps within the tech department aren’t exactly the techiest. However, most customers find that they don’t need this sort of help often.
# 2nd Option: BuilderTrend
Buildertrend is easily one of the most effective constructions estimating software around.
From lead management to creating proposals. Buildertrend allows you to do that and more.
All to the benefit of your projects and overall business. We’ll get into some of the features that may determine if Buildertrend is the ideal construction estimating software for you.
Lead Management Makes For More Opportunities
If you’re looking to find leads, convert them into projects and not wind up with gray hairs while you’re at it, Buildertrend was made for that specifically.
That’s because its many functionalities are designed to help users like you find more business opportunities. More notably, its lead management tool.
With this tool, you can strategically build leads, monitor them and eventually turn them into new projects.
Create Proposals in a Breeze
Because you can simply refer to historical data for (accurate) estimates, creating proposals won’t give you a hard time. Users can also access the system via mobile device in order to send out documents.
So you don’t have to be glued to your office chair to feel like you’re being productive. You can go ahead and save proposals you found to be effective and use them for future purposes.
With Buildertrend, you have a program that combines project management, project scheduling, customer management, and service management all in one powerful suite.
Its convenience is amplified by it being a web-based platform that users can access from any Wifi-enabled device they so choose.
This program also integrates with accounting software like Quickbooks and Xero, solutions that can prove invaluable to your business.
Each company is provided with an account manager to offer unlimited training and support. You will also have access to daily webinars, Buildertrend University, Buildertrend learning community, and a 24/7 help section.
Let’s take a look at Buildertrend’s stand out features:
Buildertrend Standout Features
- Integrated with necessary tools to cover the project life cycle
- Notification features keep everyone involved updated in real-time
- You can assign each person with their own to-do list
- Some customers experience annoying downtimes. These situations don’t occur often but can be irritating (for obvious reasons).
# Third Choice: Clear Estimates
With Clear Estimates, users have a powerful system that is flexible with tons of potential as it pertains to customization. Third Choice: Clear Estimates
Clear Estimates does lack a scheduling tool and the ability to interact with CAD designs.
But it attempts to balance things out with a slew of other features that make it one of the most efficient constructions estimating software on the market.
Let’s get into more of its features, and highlights, and the few drawbacks that users may bump into should they decide to commit to this product.
When it comes to ease-of-use Clear Estimates is in a league of its own. Since this program is cloud-based, there is no need to download it to your computer, which saves you tons of space and adds a bit of convenience to your tasks.
Create proposals or remodel bids on any device of your choice. So long as you have a decent Wifi connection you’re ready for business.
Premade Templates For Common Projects
This suite offers a selection of premade templates for relevant (albeit common) projects. However, you do have the option of creating and personalizing your own templates based on jobs that suit you better.
Clear Estimates Cost Book
The cost book included in the suite is both insightful and customizable. It gives you access to the standard pricing on material and labor within your respective area.
It also helps that you can customize this to reflect the vendors you actually do business with on a regular.
In House Contract Management
Here’s where Clear Estimates is a bit different from other construction estimating software mentioned on this list.
Most programs will rely on third-party programs to integrate contract management into the system. Clear Estimates handles this stuff in house. Without the use of third-party programs, you are able to create contracts as well as estimates.
If it’s a case where you are more comfortable using another program, you can always export this information and work from there.
An impressive and dynamic program, Clear Estimates has the ability to integrate with a range of project management; such as CRM and accounting software like Quickbooks.
Clear Estimates Standout Features
- Embodies ease-of-use
- Includes contract management without the need for third-party programs
- Provides variety in project management
- Program doesn’t include scheduling tools
# 4th Pick: ProEst Estimating
ProEst has a solid 35 years in the industry, and the overall performance of their software is proof that this is no coincidence. Their product is as refined and intuitive as it is powerful.
ProEst Estimating is compatible with almost any project management and accounting software you can think of. This includes Primavera, Microsoft Project and Quickbooks.
No matter what project management application you have used to create bids, ProEst is equipped to take those documents and give you full power to alter them as you see fit.
In fact, ProEst is compatible with almost every project management and spreadsheet application currently available on the market.
While I’m a big fan of ProEst Estimating’s features for the most part, the fact that there is no mobile app available is a crushing blow to an otherwise effective product.
Even 12 years ago this may have been acceptable, but in 2017, this level of inconvenience is almost inexcusable. Running a business can be time-consuming. The ability to work as you go (when necessary) should not be undermined.
This setback is pretty major, but the fact that ProEst delivers on almost every other front, makes it worthy of being mentioned among the best. Let’s see how it tries to make up for this.
An effective software can still lose major marks if customer support is a nightmare. Luckily, ProEst doesn’t run that risk by a long shot.
Their customer support is some of the best you can get from a software company. Representatives are informed, friendly and eager to help. There isn’t much else to say about it.
I mentioned ProEst being refined software. This is mostly due to its intuitive design that makes for a smooth user experience, which in turn helps to make it a truly efficient program.
One can’t help but imagine how the added convenience and accessibility of a mobile app would transform this already impressive program into an even more effective system.
Here are its standout features:
ProEst Standout Features
- Intuitive design
- Interface is fashioned off Microsoft office making it immediately familiar
- A comprehensive set of tools
- While a powerful program, the fact that it doesn’t offer the same level of convenience (in the form of a mobile app) works against it. Especially compared to some of the other heavy hitters mentioned in this review.
What is the most effective Construction Estimating Software? Viewpoint is in top of our choice
We already mentioned that our main pick is Viewpoint. However, you have many options to choose from.
We’d suggest that you consider what suite offers you the most comprehensive package in terms of tools, features, and functionalities that can help you within respective areas such as project management.
You will require a construction estimating software that complements the general activities of a project throughout the life cycle while offering you an effective program that is convenient for your business workflow.
We believe, after extensive research, that Viewpoint delivers best in these regards. Finally, one feature that all of the above software could use is automatic background checks.