Estimates For Contractors | How to Make an Effective Estimate as a Contractor

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Every construction project in the world requires a stable plan and a cost estimating management system. A large number of physical assets are necessary to begin from scratch. Labor, land, raw materials, equipment, and machinery are examples of assets that are widely utilized.

Along with physical assets, we need to calculate the cost estimate flow during the construction project process. However, there is always the possibility of human error when it comes to calculating the overhead costs on each part of the construction.

But wait, no need to panic!

There are many solutions in the form of applications available to make things easier and provide detailed estimates for contractors. These applications are used throughout the new construction sectors. These apps aid in preserving the same data throughout for verification.

Let’s have a look at what these applications are and how they work.

Why is Cost Estimation Required?

Every project or building is supported by a proper system and construction plan that contains a large number of elements like unit cost, equipment costs, and labor costs that, in turn, necessitate the expenditure of cash and final cost.

When we start something new, capital is essential, as are the estimates we set for the construction project. There should always be a good plan including construction documents which is less time-consuming, helps in cracking construction contracts, and attracts potential clients.

In a small or large plan, there are hundreds of aspects in a line that requires special attention, as well as how much money to spend on a single product. Not only the items but also the labor and material with the hourly wage system must fall in a precise method to avoid losing money and financial waste.

To avoid monetary concerns, the total cost estimators should be identified before the outset of the project. In other words, the budget represents the essence of estimation. It is the criteria for establishing the project in order to avoid losing money, project bids, complex projects, unexpected events, and potential clients.

At the same time, the budget maintains construction costs, equipment costs, bid estimates, win projects, material costs, and unit costs in order to create a professional plan that would entice the customer. It also serves as a reality check for how you will work.

In such instances, either you establish a strategy for cost estimates or you lose money. There is no in-between scenario. Every project should start with a project management system that creates estimates for contractors to process things on every aspect of the plan.

How to Make a Contractor Estimate?

    • Identifying the project: It is critical to thoroughly examine the project before beginning. It means that every aspect of the construction should be understood by both the laborers and the highest authority involved. It should also be evident how much time and money it will take to complete the work.
    • Collection of raw material: To avoid complications later, all raw materials must be acquired prior to the commencement of the task. This will also aid in the smooth operation of the work.
    • Dividing the task fields: The division and positioning is the critical stage because they will aid in determining which task must be completed first. The construction process necessitates a number of steps that must be completed at specific times and under the construction projects.
    • Keeping contact with each other: It is important to maintain interaction amongst all positions at work. Transparency will assist everyone involved in avoiding money fraud. It will also aid in the monitoring of construction estimators throughout the project.
    • Everyday cost calculations: It is necessary that, in order to manage estimation in any task, daily calculations of transaction records are important.

These are the methods for estimating costs for contractors or project owners. It is critical to keep things as basic as possible. If this is planned in a fair pattern, the risks of fraud are reduced and the estimate for the project can go as planned.

Top Estimate Apps for Contractors

Logo Pricing Plans Website
  • Monthly plans- $7, $13, $28 per month
  • Yearly plans- $5, $9, $20 per month
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  • Free
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Invoice Simple
  • 0-$10/month
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Speedinvoice App
  • $9.20 per month
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Square Invoice
  • Free
  • $20 per month
  • 2.9% + 30¢ (online card payment)
  • 2.6% + 10¢ (in-person card payment)
  • 1% with a minimum fee of $1 (online ACH payment)
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  • Free
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  • Monthly: $5.99
  • $9.99, $39.99 per month
  • Yearly: $59.99, $99.99, $399.99 per year
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Top Contractor Estimating Apps

  1. InvoiceOwl

    It is simple to use estimating and invoicing software for contractors of different industries. The software allows users to make use of a digital signature to create contracts simply. With this app solution, you may also include documents, accurate estimation, and photographs in your proposal. Estimating, reporting, tracking, and purchase records are the main features.


    • Monthly plans: $7, $13, $28 per month
    • Yearly plans: $5, $9, $20 per month
    • 14-day free trial
    Pros Cons
    • Simple to use
    • One-click estimate to invoice conversion
    • Stripe integration
    • No QuickBooks integration
  2. Zoho Invoice

    Zoho invoice is an estimate and invoicing solution that helps you eliminate the scope of mistakes. This software is one of the most popular estimation apps for contractors. It lets you create a perfect brand by letting you customize the estimate easily.

    Moreover, the Zoho invoice lets you track working hours. It lets you charge based on an hourly rate. This is why many contractors find this app simple to work with.


    • Free
    Pros Cons
    • Supports 14 languages
    • Time tracker
    • No purchase orders
  3. InvoiceSimple

    Concerned about running a small business without accurate assistance? Don’t worry, this app is designed for small business owners, freelancers, and individuals.

    This application keeps a record of your transactions. It also maintains a track of previous financial exchanges. The major features of this app are invoicing, payment options, ongoing billing with clients, and billing in multiple currencies.


    • The cost is 0-$10/month.
    Pros Cons
    • Easy to use templates
    • Simple receipt maker
    • Limited integrations
  4. Speedinvoice App

    This is one of the most inventive applications for creating invoices that work in a different pattern. When creating invoices and reports, it provides over 500 different backdrop styles. Furthermore, the printing and sharing options are more easily accessible. Its key features are billing for hourly work, customizing your invoice, and payment by the procedure.


    • $9.20 per month
    Pros Cons
    • Quick quoting
    • Multi-device compatibility
    • No client data storage
  5. Square Invoice

    Square invoice is one of the most intuitive estimates and invoicing apps for contractors. It lets you create estimates, invoices, and contracts too. The square invoice lets you create highly customized estimates and invoices by letting you add custom fields.

    Moreover, Square Invoice lets you track your estimates anytime from any device. It lets you know whether your invoice is paid, unpaid, or overdue. And it lets you manage clients by storing client information like name, contact number, address, and email address as well.


    • Free
    • $20 per month
    • Processing fees
    • 2.9% + 30¢ (online card payment)
    • 2.6% + 10¢ (in-person card payment)
    • 1% with a minimum fee of $1 (online ACH payment)
    Pros Cons
    • Client management
    • Email receipts
    • Does not support multiple currencies
  6. Quilder

    This application is for small projects and the settled business, not just the contractors. From laborers and plumbers to the chairman of the company. This is beneficial to everyone in between. This application’s main features are invoices, quotes with branding, PDF transfers, and the ability to search for local suppliers and find material pricing in the market.


    • Free
    Pros Cons
    • Paperwork management
    • Shopping lists
    • No payment option
  7. Invoice2go

    Invoice2go is one of the popular accounting apps that let you create estimates effortlessly. And not just estimates and invoices, it helps you with overall accounting even with opening a bank account.

    Yes! You read it right. Invoice2go lets you create a no-fee small business bank account.

    Another useful feature of this estimate app is the payroll. You can set up payroll processing for your employees. So, you will not miss paying your employees their salary.


    • Monthly: $5.99, $9.99, $39.99 per month
    • Yearly: $59.99, $99.99, $399.99 per year
    Pros Cons
    • Project management
    • Unlimited storage
    • Limited integration

Future of Estimating Budget For Contactors

Anything’s future is determined by what happens today. As a result, there are numerous applications and other solutions available to make the job easier. Even in the construction business, there are tools like construction cost estimating applications that help people make the cost estimating process more accessible and less time demanding.

These applications like cost estimating software represent the future, in which all planning, material, and labor costs and records are digitally uploaded. Invoice production is simple, and major maps and documents can be shared with a single click.

The above-mentioned applications will assist the project management and other contractors in between monitoring work on their own mobile phones or screens. It also leads to safer transactions and retains track of past records, unlike in the past when records were written on paper and could be lost anywhere.

With the passing of time, insurance requirements in every field are also becoming obligatory, thus the future we are holding will also help in such projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are these applications necessary in this sector?

Construction estimate apps like InvoiceOwl are necessary as they help construction contractors to create precise and accurate estimates promptly from anywhere.

What distinguishes these applications from traditional record-keeping methods?

Traditional record-keeping methods are time-intensive and labor-intensive too. Whereas these applications help contractors create digital documents and store them digitally without worrying about losing them.

Should I invest in an estimate app?

Traditional record-keeping methods are time-intensive and labor-intensive too. Whereas these applications help contractors create digital documents and store them digitally without worrying about losing them.

Which one is the best estimate app for contractors?

The top 7 estimate apps on the internet for contractors are

  • InvoiceOwl
  • Zoho Invoice
  • Invoice Simple
  • Speedinvoice App
  • Square Invoice
  • Quilder
  • Invoice2go


In this blog, we discussed the importance of the cost estimate process for contractors. Estimates help the contractors win the job and grow their business. Thus, contractors must try contractor estimate software like InvoiceOwl to smoothen the estimating process.

If you want to create and send accounting documents like estimates, invoices, purchase orders, and credit memos, .

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