As a home construction business owner, you rely on teams of subs and suppliers for fast service and accurate pricing. It makes time spent on a project and on the job site much easier and more efficient.
The same can be said for your time in the office. Time is money — you could easily waste too much of it behind the desk or paying others for manual office work. You need help to make the job easier and more efficient.
Making work as efficient as possible is key, especially when you consider that much of this work is considered general overhead.
Let’s take a look at estimating, as an example. If you still use Excel spreadsheets, a calculator and a ruler as your go-to estimating tools, you know it limits the time spent on the job site and at home. Paying someone to estimate for you can be very expensive. There’s a better way. Automation through the use of construction estimating software.
Construction estimating software and apps automate the estimating process, reducing the amount of time it takes to estimate while also lowering the risk of human error that creeps into construction estimating. Errors are unintentional, but who hasn’t missed an outdated material cost or estimated one too many, or too few, subbies when we create estimates? How many times have you said to yourself that it’s time to eliminate the errors that risk your profitability and credibility?
Whether out of frustration or just a desire to try something new, more builders and renovators every day are turning to construction estimating apps to boost their business performance.
Yes, the construction industry as a whole has been slow to adopt new technology, but an increasing number of home construction pros have come to understand the use of construction estimating apps in construction projects. These apps streamline processes, reduce errors and save time and money.
Let’s review how:
Create Estimates Accurately
It’s time to take guessing out of the estimating process. Construction estimating apps reduce the risk of human error by performing complex calculations — material and labour costs, labour rates and equipment rental costs — quickly and accurately and in a way that is repetitive from job-to-job.
Construction estimating software gives you the ability to create construction estimating templates based on your best projects so that you don’t have to start from scratch each time. Software makes it possible to improve your templates over time so they become more comprehensive and complete each time you use them.
As templates become more accurate, you worry less over estimating and quoting jobs. Automating many manual admin tasks improves your efficiency when you engage with construction estimating apps. Imagine having accurate pricing for labour and materials loaded into your work environment and ready to go.
This frees up your time to focus on other essential tasks, such as job management and client relations. Automation speeds estimating up to 5X faster on average. Faster estimating means you quote more jobs to win more work at a price that works for your business.
Construction estimating apps generate clear and concise quotes that are easy for clients to understand, boosting your reputation for accuracy and professionalism. When you generate these quotes on a cloud based platform, you perform quote management digitally. When customers review and accept bids digitally, you close deals faster.
Regardless of the size of your business, using construction estimating apps will free up time to focus on other important tasks, such as hiring staff and finding new customers. Construction estimating software also clearly shows you how to account and pay for indirect costs through the use of digital markup tools. The best construction estimating software gives you the ability to show markup in as much detail as you care to show the customer.
Standardizing the estimating process is easy when using construction estimating apps. As mentioned, construction estimating software offers the use of templates based on your most common or most successful jobs. All of your templates are stored in a centralised place. And the best construction estimating software stores these on a common dashboard so you can stop hunting high and low for Excel files on your computer.
Construction estimating software also ties construction estimating closely with construction budgeting so that you can track how closely estimates follow actual expenses. Over time, your estimates become more accurate, and your business performance becomes more consistent.
What to look for in construction estimating apps
When choosing a construction estimating app for your small home construction business, consider the ease-of-use, especially when it comes to accounting software integrations. You want software with a short learning curve so that you can quickly connect your estimates and budgets to Intuit quickbooks or Xero.
Here are some other top features to look for when you’re shopping for construction estimating apps:
Material and labour cost estimating
Construction estimating apps that offer an easy way to include up-to-date material and labour costs help you accurately plan your budget and resources for a project. Accurately estimating the cost of materials and labour ensures you make informed decisions and stay within budget.
Access to a comprehensive material and labour cost database ensures that your estimates are accurate. You also want software that clearly tracks actual costs and profitability as your project progresses.
Digitising blueprints and plans are key features when considering construction estimating apps. Not only will your office be more organized, but your takeoffs will be more accurate and save you a ton of time.
Proposals and RFP preparation
The construction bidding process — preparing proposals and responding to RFPs — takes a lot of time, time that you cannot easily charge back to an individual project. Construction estimating apps streamline the proposal and RFP process using stored and saved data, saving time and reducing your overhead costs.
Be sure your software has job management features
Managing a construction project is a big job. As we’ve discussed, construction estimating apps do a great job speeding up the time it takes to estimate and quote a job.
But a total estimating solution does more. In addition to estimating features, the best estimation software also provides valuable insight into scheduling and improved job site communication to avoid surprises. Here are a few other things to keep in mind:
You know how important it is to collaborate with your internal team or with your trusted subbies and material suppliers. That’s why you need construction estimating apps that enable multiple users.
Updating project costs
You know better than anyone that not every project goes the way it’s planned. From the scope of work to materials and labour costs, construction can change at any time during the project’s run. Flexibility is key. Search for construction estimating apps that offer ease of updating and editing estimates through the use of variations.
The best construction estimating software processes variations the same way you build and send customer bids, so you keep a short learning curve.
Buildxact construction estimating software for residential contractors
A construction estimate platform helps you improve accuracy and efficiency so you run a profitable construction business. We’ve made your search for a suitable construction estimating platform easy with Buildxact.
Buildxact is a single-source estimating tool for small builders and renovators. You can improve your accuracy in just a few steps while reducing the time it takes to produce professional, up-to-date estimates.
Need more? Our estimating platform also includes digital takeoffs, real-time regional material and labour pricing, streamlining your quoting process and making communication a snap.