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BuilderHelper is a cloud-based construction management solution for home builders and residential remodelers. It offers users construction bidding and estimating onscreen takeoff, and construction project management in a single su...Read more
Contractor's Office from PrioSoft is an on-premise construction estimating software capable of handling the needs of contractors across a variety of industries include paving, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, concrete, general contract...Read more
Clear Estimates is a construction estimating system for remodelers and contractors which allows them to create estimates, produce bid requests, draft proposals, manage customers and more. It integrates with QuickBooks and allows u...Read more
Buildertrend provides pre-sale tools including a built-in customer relationship management (CRM) system, bid requests, project proposals, plus more. Project management tools include scheduling, budgeting, timesheets, and more. Cus...Read more
Estimator360 is a cloud-based platform for construction estimating and management. It is suited for smaller construction companies and contractors with a focus on residential projects.
The software performs building calculati...Read more
XactRemodel from Xactware is an on-premise estimating solution for professional remodelers. The solution is suitable to manage remodeling projects from as small as a minor room modeling to an entire renovation project. It helps re...Read more
CompuTool Connect is an integrated suite of business applications designed exclusively for the construction industry. It can be scaled up from the basic version by adding on applications to accommodate growing companies.
BuildTools is a cloud-based construction project management software for custom home builders and remodelers. The solution helps users organize the chaos of building projects, providing one spot for scheduling, budgeting, purchasi...Read more
Simple Series from Contractors Software Group is an on-premise solution for small builders and contractors. Primary features include lead/client tracking, follow-up marketing, estimating, proposal writing, material takeoff, budget...Read more
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 i...Read more
JetStream is a cloud-based construction solution for small businesses that provides users with tools to manage constructions projects. The customer portal keeps homeowners up-to-speed on project changes and developments. The solut...Read more
CoConstruct is a construction project management software that provides custom home builders and remodelers with tools for managing projects, financials and clients. It allows users to sync data from estimates, specifications, sel...Read more
Smart Contractor is an integrated construction management solution for small and midsize construction companies. It includes applications for estimating, project management and scheduling, contact management, job costing, invoicin...Read more
Sigma is a construction estimating software for commercial and residential contractors. Whether you are a small subcontractor, general contractor or large engineering firm, this estimating solution will work for you. It provides m...Read more
Ready to level up your business ? ?? JobNimbus is a CRM and contractor management solution suitable for home service companies. Manage your contacts, tasks, and projects from start to finish along with detailed reporting capabilit...Read more
UDA ConstructionSuite offered by UDA Technologies provides a comprehensive solution to meet the needs of builders, remodelers, GCs, construction managers and real estate developers.
UDA ConstructionSuite combines construction...Read more
CMIS by ECL Software is a cloud-based construction management solution for builders and contractors. The solution can also be deployed on-premise for various industries such as design or build firms, construction managers and prod...Read more
Hyphen HomeFront is an on-premise construction management solution designed for custom, semi-custom and production builders. It offers takeoff, estimating, bid management, project management and customer management functionalities...Read more
Visual Planning is a hybrid resource management and scheduling platform that helps businesses to manage their assets and day-to-day operations. The solution can be deployed on-premise or hosted in the cloud.
Visual Planning o...Read more
Contractor Estimate Pro is a cloud-based estimating solution for contractors, remodelers and roofers. Key applications include construction takeoff, estimating, budgeting and accounting. The solution helps contracting companies in...Read more
Traditionally, residential remodelers have relied on pen and paper to draw up estimates for their customers. While many remodelers swear by this method, it can be time consuming and can lead to inaccurate estimates. So if you’re looking to streamline your estimating process and put together tighter, more accurate bids, you will want to look into purchasing residential remodeling estimating software.
We put this guide together to help you better understand this type of software. Here’s what we’ll cover:
What Is Residential Remodeling Estimating Software?
Cost estimating software helps residential remodeling contractors calculate material and labor costs and produce detailed remodeling proposals. As competition for projects continues to increase and more contractors are pressured to deliver fixed-bid work, buyers are adopting modern systems, including Web-based systems, to deliver accurate and professional proposals. At the same time, owners are using these systems to create their own home remodeling estimates and double check the accuracy of project bids they receive.
Screenshot of Visual Planning user dashboard
Common Features of Residential Remodeling Estimating Software
When we speak to residential contractors, the two primary criteria they have for estimating systems are: 1) that it be easy to use; and, 2) that it is affordable. There are a number of systems that meet these criteria, but they vary in their feature breadth and sophistication. Below is a table of the top core modules you should look for as you evaluate home estimating systems.
Your system should serve as a basic customer management system. For example, it should track your prospect and client contact information, as well as the notes you create when you interact with them. More advanced programs will help you organize and automate your new project sales pipeline.
While an estimating system does not function as a construction project management system, it should organize estimates by project and maintain information on each project. You should be able to pull up a client contact, select one of that client’s projects and see the estimates you have developed for that project.
Track material costs
The core of an estimating system is the ability to maintain an extensive database of materials. This database should be updated regularly with up-to-date prices for materials in your region through a subscription pricing service like RemodelMAX. You should also be able to modify this database yourself.
Rather than specify every 2x4 and nail you need for a job, you’ll want to create assemblies that combine all of the items needed to build a specific unit of work (e.g., a residential interior wall). Vendors should offer pre-built assemblies, as well as the ability to create custom assemblies.
Build and reuse templates
Templates are like assemblies at the project level. They allow the remodeling cost estimator to start with a completed estimate for a similar job (e.g., kitchen remodel) and then make modifications to make the estimate specific to the job that is being estimated. The system should come with a library of templates, and allow you to create custom templates.
Reflect change orders
Of course, things change during the pre-construction process and during the project. So, the system should enable you to process change orders in the system. The system should generate a change order report that illustrates the cost impact of the change. Finally, this feature should have a status for accepted, declined, pending etc.
Generate reports and proposals
The output of your estimating activities should be well-formatted reports, contracts, and proposals that impress your clients with their professional level of detail and polish. The system should make it easy to customize these reports with your company logo and contact information, as well as contract terms specific to how you do business.
Residential remodeling estimating software is typically priced in two different ways: subscription pricing and perpetual license pricing.
Subscription pricing: With subscription pricing, users typically pay a monthly fee for as long as they want to use the software. This fee might be determined by the breadth of features you want included, or it can also be determined by the number of remodeling jobs your business does on average.
Perpetual license pricing: With a perpetual license, you pay one large fee upfront and own the software indefinitely. However, with a perpetual license, you may have to pay annual fees for support, maintenance and upgrades.
It is worth noting that some vendors offer “per job” pricing, meaning you’ll only be charged for every individual remodeling job, and typically it’s a small percentage of the remodeling job’s overall price. Some vendors also offer free versions of their software that have limited features, allowing you to try it and out and see if you want to pay for the full version.
Residential remodeling software is deployed one of two ways: cloud-based and on-premise.
On-premise. With on-premise software, you install the software directly on your own computers or servers. On premise software is typically associated with perpetual license pricing.
Cloud-based. Cloud-based software is accessed through a web browser or a native mobile application and is hosted on the software vendor’s servers. Many residential remodelers prefer to use cloud-based estimating software as it allows them to draw up estimates from their mobile device when they’re on the go.
It is important to keep in mind that not all estimating software platforms can accommodate residential remodelers. Some platforms are better suited for specific types of estimating work, while others can work as multi-purpose systems that can cover most of your bases.
Also consider vendor viability. We frequently see in the market for construction software smaller vendors getting acquired—and sometimes sunsetted—by bigger vendors. While smaller vendors often have cheaper pricing, you might have less confidence that the vendor will be around for a long time. This is particularly important if the vendor offers a perpetual license and then goes defunct—that can be a bad investment if you end up stuck with “abandoned” software that is no longer being updated.