Construction cost estimating is a crucial aspect of the construction industry. This is a process of predicting the cost of building a physical structure or building. Of course, builders and clients are both concerned about the financial aspect of cost and failure to complete a project.
That’s why a certain amount of time and effort has to be dedicated to estimating how much the project costs before moving forward with it.
Clients considering large projects often seek multiple cost estimates or quotations, including those prepared by general contractors and those calculated by independent estimators. Here in this blog, we have discussed top construction estimator app solutions that make estimating easier than ever.
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Why Should We Estimate?
- To ascertain the cost that is required for a construction project. For example, public construction work requires cost estimating for obtaining technical sanctions, fund allotment, and administrative approval.
- It will help ascertain the number of materials required for their timely procurement.
- Create estimates of the number of manual labor who have to be employed to complete the construction project within the time frame
- Make a list of tools and equipment required to complete the work according to the program.
- Predict the completion time, depending on the volume of work involved in the estimate.
- Prepare tenders and prepare bills for payment.
- Prepare the estimated valuation of the existing property.
- Create a schedule for construction and program.
Types of Estimates
This estimate includes detailed particulars of the quantities and rates of all items that are required for the satisfactory completion of the project. This is an accurate estimate that can be prepared. This is frequently accompanied by; reports, specifications, detailed drawings showing plans, design dates, calculations, and basic rate estimates.
Such estimates are prepared for administrative approvals, technical sanctions, and contracts.
This is the preliminary or the approximate estimate that can determine the rough estimate quickly, allowing the relevant people to consider the financial aspect of the project and sanction it. This type of estimate requires the construction contractors to possess prior knowledge of similar work.
Or, a quantity survey is a complete estimate of all the materials required to complete the construction projects. The quantity is worked out by assessing the requirements based on the dimensions in the structural drawings. This is a necessity as the complete list will help estimate the cost of the project.
This is a detailed and revised estimate of the quantities and the cost of materials. Rates of material that are originally provided in the estimate without material deviations of a structural nature from the design originally approved for a project.
This is often accompanied by abstract comparison statements, showing the possible variations for quantity and amount against each item involved in the project.
A revised estimate is needed for change of rate or quantity of materials so that no additions or revisions of drawings are necessary. For fresh technical sanctions, a revised estimate is submitted.
Some modifications arise during the work due to material deviation in the structural nature from the originally approved design but are necessary for the project’s development. This is an estimate only for the additional work that is required.
This should come accompanied by a full report of the reasons why it was deemed a necessity. The method of preparation is the same as a detailed estimate.
The complete estimate is related to the work and the main or the detailed estimate.
Annual maintenance and Repair Estimate
Another aspect to keep in mind is the aftercare of the construction projects. Maintenance is also important for the proper functioning of the projects. An estimate needs to be prepared for the items that need to be renewed, replaced, and repaired.
This cost can vary depending on the age and importance of the structure.
How to Write a Construction Estimate
How do you write a construction estimate? Below are the few key terms and concepts that need to be kept in mind before creating an estimate-
- Quantity Take-Off: Taken during the pre-construction phase, this measures the materials and labor that will be required for the project completion.
- Labor Hour: The labor hour is the unit of work measuring the output of a person working for one hour.
- Labor Rate: This is the amount paid per hour to a skilled craftsman. This includes the cost of overtime, worker compensation, and unemployment insurance.
- Material Prices: Since material prices are prone to fluctuations, the expected material price is calculated based on the past fluctuations in the price of the materials.
- Equipment Costs: Equipment cost primarily refers to the cost of buying or renting heavy machinery and tools, such as cement mixers and cranes.
- Subcontractor Quotes: Most contractors hire multiple specialty contractors to undertake parts of construction in the construction industry. You can add the subcontractor quotes to the estimate for easy tracking in the future.
- Indirect Costs: These expenses are directly not linked to the construction work. They include transport, administration, design fee, legal fee, smaller equipment, etc.
- Profits: To gain profits, general contractors add a margin on the cost of completing the work. Specialty contractors add the same in their quotes.
- Capital Costs: These are the costs accumulated just to establish the facility. These include the cost of acquiring the land, office and field teams, the total cost of construction, and the cost of any temporary equipment and structure that is not a part of the main structure.
- Operations and Maintenance Costs: This is primarily for the owner and includes the cost of operation and maintenance after the construction is completed.
- Variances: The amount allocations are often bigger than the cost estimates, this is because there might be an increase in the wages, or the construction cost can rise.
When there are so many estimates to keep in mind, construction professionals need the help of construction estimating software, and for this, there are estimating tools and apps for estimating the construction cost.
Construction estimator apps and software can help make things better and easier and save time. They are better for a seamless customer experience. Here is a list of a few reasons why there is a need for constructions apps for better project management-
Why Should You Have Management Software?
Cost-Related Inputs and Processes
Estimating software offers access to various cost databases, helps in calculating taxes and the costs of both labor and materials, allows estimators to adjust prices, as well as item and activity, and integrate it with accounting software.
Estimating software can be helpful to take measurements and quantity take-offs and count the objects; this allows the estimators to mark construction drawings and generate bills for quantities.
You can access pre-made templates for proposals and cover letters, automatically generate proposals and cost reports, and maintain records of previous projects.
Here are a few construction estimating software solutions and applications that will be helpful for construction project management software, and many of these software’s offer a free trial.
Top 6 Construction Estimator Apps and Management Solutions
InvoiceOwl – Estimate and Invoicing Software
InvoiceOwl is an estimating and invoicing software that allows users to create professional-looking estimates and invoices in a matter of minutes! Ideal for all sorts of contractors, InvoiceOwl helps you to create professional estimates that impress your potential clients.
Using this software, you can send estimates on-the-spot from the mobile app, and collect testimonials from successfully completed jobs to attract more clients. You can also itemize labor and materials so that you help clients to know where the money is going.
Snappii – Construction Estimator and Bidding Mobile App
It can quickly and easily create on-site estimates for construction and repair projects. Snappii app is convenient, allowing the users to quantify material, labor, and other costs needed to complete a construction project. It will also do all the calculations, so once all the data is entered, the user will get the total estimated project cost.
Tax can be included in the estimated cost at the user’s option. You can download this handy app on mobile devices. All this can be at the tips of your finger.
Autodesk Construction Cloud
Autodesk construction cloud is a cloud-based software that provides the best solutions to unite office teams and field teams providing services from designing to planning and construction to operations. The goal is to make construction more predictable, safe, and sustainable.
The pricing starts at $49.00 per feature per month. This is one of the software solutions that also offers a free trial.
CoConstruct is One of the highest-rated residential construction estimator software. An all-in-one tool for residential contractors and custom home builders. Enter the data once, and that information passes through the estimate to the specs, selections, bid requests, proposals, purchase orders, change orders, and budget, and it is also fully integrated with Quickbooks.
Pricing starts at $49.00 based on usage, per month. There is no free version or free trial for this software.
Procore construction software helps in managing all your construction projects, resources, and finances from the beginning. This makes it easier to connect every project contributor to the solutions built for the industry, the owner, the specialty, and the general contractor.
This makes the ability to communicate across teams easier and helps to work together by linking it to the source. Procore can give your team easy access to everything that they need to know about getting the job done.
ConstructionOnline is an all-in-one construction management software that is designed to help finish work on time and under budget. It increases profits by integrating estimating and take-offs, client selection, and change order tracking.
Real-time dashboards help the team to make informed decisions. Keep your projects on track and achieve your targets. The pricing starts at $300 per feature, per month. They offer a free trial.
New Trends in Construction Estimation
Building Information Modeling (BIM)
A digital model of a structure with all its characteristics and dimensions. Everyone can use this model from the design to the construction, maintenance, and commission of the building. There is an increasing demand that cost estimating becomes an aspect of BIM.
The main criticism of cost estimating in BIM is that the cost estimators have low confidence in detailing in the BIM designs. This can lead to substantial inefficiencies and the reworking of estimates.
Sustainability and LEED Certification
LEED certification, a fairly new concept, is a point system for rating buildings based on their environmental performance. This is often done by using eco-friendly building materials.
Lean Construction and Cost Control
A fairly new concept, it draws inspiration from lean management; this is an effort to reduce waste without affecting productivity. This will result in significant cost savings.
Construction cost estimation is important, and for that, patience is important, and it is vital for any project management. With the rapid development in the infrastructure, manually keeping an account of all the data is a daunting task. Since the development in technology, there are many software’s that help track progress.
All companies must invest in resources and technologies to make this role effective. Estimation is a stepping stone to getting a bid. Without an accurate estimate, it is a high chance to end in a financial disaster. Being in a construction company, when you want to use estimating and invoicing software to create professional-looking estimates in less than a minute.
So, you can start your FREE Trial Today and experience how this software is helpful to your business.