How to Choose Construction Estimating Software

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Affinity Properties, Inc 509937

Interested in using construction estimating software to help you win a construction bid? There are many different programs available that claim to help a contractor win a construction bid, though it can be difficult to figure out which one will work best for you. Luckily, all you need to do in order to figure out which construction estimation software to use is evaluating how you plan on using it.

Type of Work

One of the first things to consider when choosing estimation software is what kind of construction work you actually do. Because estimation software uses variables that will change based on what type of project you are working on, there is a big difference between contracting estimate software designed for a general contractor and a specific type of contractor. With the right software, you can find something that will work on the exclusive type of construction work that you do.

Commercial and Residential

While some more expensive software is designed to let you use it well for both a residential and commercial project, most affordable programs are geared toward one or the other. If you focus exclusively on either residential or commercial contracting, you will probably be able to find a program that caters to exactly the same market you do. If you take both commercial and residential projects, it may make sense to pay the extra money for a program that can specifically handle both.

Customization

Sometimes a program will end up missing some sort of vital option that you need. If you find software that is customizable, you may be able to add that function for your own use yourself through an interface the program provides. If you don't find something that has customization options that will work for you, you may be able to find a company willing to add a specific feature for you if you ask.

Interoperability

Many construction management programs have a construction estimation package that is designed by the same company. If you already work with construction management software, it may be worth checking whether or not the company that made your software also has an estimation program available. Usually companies that create both programs make sure that they will work well together. Sometimes you can find estimation software that will work well with Microsoft Office or QuickBooks if you use either of those programs.

Maintenance

Check the upgrade and maintenance cycle of any software you want to consider to make sure it suits your needs. Do you need to pay for upgrades? Because things change quickly in the contracting field, it is important to make sure that the program you buy will either change with the field or leave you the resources to choose something else if it doesn't.

Try Before You Buy

If you find something you like it is always a good idea to make sure it will work well for your business before you make a final purchase. Consider checking to see if the company is willing to offer a free demo of their product either online or offline. If not, find out if there is a period where you will be allowed to seek a refund if the software does not meet your needs. Read any fine print carefully before you make a purchase that offers money back to make sure there aren't qualifications that you may not meet if you're simply dissatisfied.

The author of this article has expertise in Austin real estate. The articles about Cedar Park real estate reveals the author’s knowledge on the same. The author has published many articles in his Austin real estate blog as well.

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