10 Best Estimating Software to Look for in 2024

You are here:

Cost estimation helps contractors, check the feasibility and scope of the construction project. It also helps them to offer fair and reasonable pricing to the clients. Further, procurement of finance also depends on the detailed cost estimates of the project.

Hence, when so many factors depend on accurate and efficient cost estimation, integrating the right estimating software can prove to be a game changer.

Here is the list of the 10 best construction estimating software that will help you create accurate estimates, send professional bids, and win jobs in no time. To help you opt for the ideal estimating software, a brief description of features, pros, cons, and customer reviews is also provided.

So, without any further ado let’s get started.

10 Best Estimating Software of 2024

1. InvoiceOwl

star(4.5)

Best Construction Estimating Software

 

invoiceowl

 

 

 

Starting price

$9.99/month

Free trial

3 days

Key features

Professional estimates & invoices, e-signature support, Requesting and tracking payments, Multi-company management, Quickbooks Online Sync

Why We Picked InvoiceOwl

InvoiceOwl helps contractor professionals create customized estimates instantly and get them converted into a lead. You can easily add costs, markup percentagess, and any applicable discounts to get the summarized cost

Among the range of free multiple estimate templates available, you can create as many estimates as you want with just a single tap. Additionally, you can send these estimates directly to the client’s email address. The software also facilitates getting instant approvals, followed by the acceptance of upfront deposits.

To gain in-depth knowledge about this leading estimating and invoicing software, let’s explore the range of features it offers:

  • Generate personalized quotes and estimates with ease.
  • Use pre-designed estimates and invoice templates to create quick estimates and invoices.
  • Attach mutually agreed-upon or standard contracts to estimate or invoices, and make modifications if required.
  • Increase estimate approval speed by 3x, enabling customers to approve them within just a single click.
  • Get hassle-free document authorization through the instant e-signing feature.
  • Send estimates directly to the customer’s email address for approval, right from the software.
  • Users can approve estimates with one click and then create invoices directly.
  • Online payments can be accepted either through all major credit cards including American Express, MasterCard, etc.
  • Manage up to five companies within a single InvocieOwl account.
  • Get timely notifications about your dues with the real-time invoice tracking feature.
  • Issue credit memos in case of any elimination in the cost or any change in price once the invoice is sent.
  • Generate monthly, quarterly, or annual sales reports to monitor your business’s financial health.
  • Collect insightful online customer reviews automatically just by tapping “Review Request” right after completing the job.
  • Get an entire dashboard preview of the total revenue generated, overdue invoices, and payments received.
  • Save clients’ data and line items to get free from the hassle of entering them every time.
  • Simplify daily bookkeeping operations by easily syncing your InvoiceOwl account with QuickBooks Online.
  • Export estimates and invoices into PDF, CSV, or XLS file format.
  • Duplicate recurring estimates or invoices and update just the basic details without creating it all over again.
  • Send automated payment reminders by email to your clients based on the selected date range.
  • Access built-in email/SMS notification templates for multiple activities, right from sending an estimate to getting the invoice paid.
  • Use an online purchase order generator to quickly order supplies/products by simply adding items, quantities, and rates.

What People Say About InvoiceOwl

Esther howard

InvoiceOwl is a game-changer for my business. I can effortlessly create estimates on-the-go and convert them to invoices. The eSign feature and online payments are seamless.curver quote

https://www.invoiceowl.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/esther.png

Esther Howard,

from Crystal Cleaning Co

 

 

Esther howard

 


2. STACK

star(4.0)

Efficient Takeoff Calculating & Construction Software

 

stack

 

 

 

Starting price

$2499/year

Free trial

Available

Key features

Quantity and material takeoff, Detailed cost estimating, Client quote and proposal

Why We Picked STACK

STACK is a cloud-based takeoff and estimating solution. The software enables users to quickly upload digital plans and calculate takeoff. Construction takeoff is the calculation of how much material will be required by the construction company to complete one particular job.

Along with benefiting from this, users can able to streamline the preconstruction process, winning more jobs and greater profitability. It even enables the users to incorporate tax, material, and labor costs, as well as any non-measured costs. The takeoff system then uses that information to help create the cost estimate for the job.

Pros

  • STACK’s technical team conducts a comprehensive training session to smooth the user’s learning journey of a new product.
  • Allow users to effortlessly load and navigate blueprints of the projects.
  • Customer support is praised by the users.
  • Cloud-based estimating capabilities allow remote clients to work efficiently and agile.

Mike B.

Easy and fast to use. Very easy to train new estimators with this software.

Cons

  • The pricing structure is quite restrictive, compelling users to pay for features, which they might not need.
  • Restricts multiple logins on a single account.
  • Does not offer a free trial restricting users from freely accessing the software unless they purchase a plan.
  • Offers limited integration options in comparison to the other STACK alternatives in the market.
  • The user interface is hard to navigate for those who are unfamiliar with cloud-based services.

Matthew M

My biggest issue is that sometimes it can run a bit sluggish when working with huge document sets.


3. ProEST

star(4.2)

Bidding Software & Project Management Tool

 

proeast

 

 

 

Starting price

$5,000/year

Free trial

Not Available

Key features

Estimating, Bidding, Reporting, Cost database, Document management, Accounting integrations

Why We Picked ProEST

ProEST is one of the leading construction project management software and estimating tool. It is an ideal construction management software for contractors, general subcontractors, and civil constructors. However, because of the restricted integration with Excel, the software has its own spreadsheet and reporting templates.

The software is operationally focused to smoothen the bidding processes of the contractors. Because of the comprehensive set of capabilities, it can handle cost estimation, and digital takeoff as well as easy creation of reports or proposals.

Pros

  • Provide users with an extensive cost database, making it ideal for those who are cost-savvy and want to keep an eye on what they are spending.
  • Flexibility and freedom to customize the software sets the product apart from competitors.
  • The annual pricing model will allow the access of software to unlimited users.

Leandrew E

Proposal writing and summary reports got easy.

Cons

  • The website lacks pricing information.
  • Very expensive in comparison to other existing competitors in the market.
  • Difficulty in building custom assemblies from scratch.

Verified Capterra User

I would go home frustrated and feel like we made a mistake purchasing the product.


4. Esticom

star(4.1)

Construction Takeoff Software for General Contractors

 

Esticom

 

 

 

Starting price

$139/month

Free trial

14-day

Key features

Peer reviews, Integrated quotes, Project templates, Sales pipeline tracking, Project deadline tracker

Why We Picked Esticom

Esticom works for faster takeoff operations, easy bid management, and efficient cost estimation for various construction projects. It promotes features like real-time access to business metrics and consistent updates about new bids or projects.

Because of its cloud-based takeoff and estimating capabilities, contractors can easily manage construction projects with real-time access to labor, pricing, plans, and material databases. It is ideal for all types of general contractors and small businesses in the construction industry, including painters, HVAC specialists, electrical contractors, and plumbers.

Pros

  • The software has a straightforward and intuitive user interface.
  • Customer support is good.
  • The ready-to-use built-in templates and flexible customization allow users to mold the software as per their requirements.

Justin G.

The cloud-based structure and easy-to-use functions made this software powerful.

Cons

  • Lack of customization over automatically generated quotes. Users have to still rely on MS Word to personalize the quote while defining the scope of work.
  • The assemblies priced in US dollars cannot easily be converted into CAD. Users have to manually import the assemblies’ prices in CAD.

Luis A.

The software does not allow you to apply different percentage margins on the labor side per line item. We can only do that on the material side.


5. Buildertrend

star(4.0)

Estimating Tool for Home Builders & Remodelers

 

buildertrend

 

 

 

Starting price

$399

Free trial

Not Available

Key features

Easy bid management, Project proposals, CRM integrations, Scheduling, Budgeting

Why We Picked Buildertrend

A Buildertrend is one of the popular estimating and bidding software. Right before the inception of the project (pre-construction process} till its completion, Buildertrend has a comprehensive suite of products under one single suite. For instance, bidding, estimating process, project management, project scheduling, field service, and more.

It allows users to create accurate construction estimates, bid on projects, manage leads, conduct email marketing campaigns, and generate invoices. However, takeoff capability is lacking here, and there are chances that it can be a dealbreaker for construction companies.

Pros

  • Because of the multiple products offered, all the activities from pre-construction to post-construction are covered simultaneously.
  • Includes a dynamic internal communication hub enabling users to stay transparent and aligned with each other.
  • Free cancellation from month to month. No long-term financial commitments.

Boone D.

Buildertrend has extensive customization options through the use of custom fields, filters, and views. The system is straightforward to navigate.

Cons

  • Unlike, other Buildertrend alternatives like InvoiceOwl, it has a limited set of features for efficient cost estimations.
  • Inability to auto-save the data. In any case, if you accidentally close the program all your data will get lost.

Brian D.

The user interface is kind of clunky, especially on the app. Sometimes it is difficult to find stuff and the filters can get annoying.


6. Clear Estimates

star(4.3)

Estimating Software for Small Contractors and Residential
clearestimates

 

Starting price

$59/month

Free trial

30-day

Key features

Cost estimating, Professional proposals, Customizable templates, Historical database

Why We Picked Clear Estimates

Clear Estimates is an affordable construction estimating software program. It can be a good pick for small-scale contractors as pricing plans start from as low as $59/month. By using data from RemodelMAX, Clear Estimates aims to offer accurate and region-specific cost estimates for construction projects.

Unlike others, Clear Estimates solely focuses on construction estimating software cost and not on project management. However, to streamline the user experience, it provides smooth integration with Buildertrend (a project management tool) and QuickBooks (an accounting software).

Pros

  • Clean user interface with easy understanding.
  • An affordable pricing model in comparison to other estimating solutions in the market.

Marty H

Keeps me organized and on track, and I don’t miss anything on quotes.

Cons

  • Some essential functionalities like search, sort, or filter need improvement.
  • Unlike InvoiceOwl, it does not automatically convert approved quotes/estimates into invoices.
  • The software has glitches sometimes. You need to compulsorily get out of the program and sign in again when it freezes or fails to respond.

Joel M

This doesn’t have a simple feature to convert my quotes into itemized invoices once completed. If it had that feature, this would be all that I would need.


7. Contractor Foreman

star(3.9)

Construction Management Tool for Small Companies
Contractor foreman

 

Starting price

$49/month

Free trial

14 days

Key features

Generate estimates, Receives online payment, GPS tracking, Real-time cost database

Why We Picked Contractor Foreman

Contractor Foreman is an efficient construction estimation software with a 30-day FREE trial option. The software has more than 20 powerful cost-estimating features and flexible integrations including the ability to create and send professional estimates.

This digital system is ideal for estimating, project management as well as staff scheduling, all at once. If this was not enough, their plus plan goes beyond the estimating facilities. This is because it offers three hours of free private training to the users for a smooth user experience.

Pros

  • Software has cost-effective pricing tiers making it easily accessible for small businesses that are tight over budgets.
  • The flexible key integrations with third-party software help to streamline workflows and efficiency.
  • Software offers excellent customer support ensuring that user receives help as and when they need it.

Pablo M

It’s a great app, it’s user-friendly, and the customer support is super responsive.

Cons

  • Cannot create service tickets from estimate, restricting users from seamless transition. This also results in extra manual work or the need for additional software.
  • Inability to add multiple wage rates of employees, potentially leading to less accurate cost estimates and project budgets.

Andrey V.

Software has a rigid structure that does not allow you to easily customize. The online chat is not what an online chat is. It sends you an email, to which you might get an answer within 6-24 hr which didn’t work to resolve issues or get answers on time.


8. Sage Estimating

star(4.1)

Estimating Software for Large Enterprises
Sage

 

Starting Price

Not Disclosed

Free trial

Available

Key features

Real-time visibility, Dynamic dashboard, BIM integration, Analyze project history

Why We Picked Sage Estimating

Sage Estimating is a comprehensive cost-estimating solution that focuses on improving the bid-to-win ratio. This advanced pre-construction bidding solution assists the users in creating accurate project estimates.

The estimating capabilities of the software are further extended by integrated BIM, project history, and benchmarking, as well as electronic takeoff capabilities. However, it should be noted that Sage focuses on providing an extensive set of features rather than user-friendliness.

Pros

  • Comprehensive feature-rich capabilities ensure that the user performs various estimating-related operations efficiently.
  • The software gets easily integrated with any other software. This ensures smooth transitioning and easy data sharing between different aspects of construction project management.

Fred J

Building an estimate framework is quick and easy. The database can be tailored to suit the needs of your specific niche or core work type.

Cons

  • Seems quite expensive. The initial investment, ongoing maintenance, and subscription fees, everything together can strain the financial resources of a few users.
  • A complicated user interface has a steep learning curve. This complexity can be frustrating for those who demand straightforward estimation solutions.

Jaime R

It takes too much time to set up a project. I felt the interface was very clunky and could use some improvement to streamline the project setup.


9. SimPRO

star(4.3)

Project Management Software Solution for Field Sales
Simpro

 

Starting price

$22/month

Free trial

Not Available

Key features

Estimating, Bidding, Cash flow management, Integrations, Inventory tracking

Why We Picked SimPRO

SimPRO is an overall job management solution serving users with a wide range of products. It allows construction businesses to generate multiple quotes, manage inventory, communicate with technicians, or streamline accounting.

The software can turn out to be an excellent choice for those who rely entirely on their field staff members. With mobile capabilities, fieldsales people will be easily able to create and deliver estimates in no time even while being on the road. This flexibility will remove the unnecessary time lag being faced in the old traditional estimation process.

Pros

  • Software has a simple user interface and an intuitive design making it easy for users to quickly adapt the software.
  • Right from generating leads to creating invoices and getting timely paid, all sorts of job management functions are offered by the software.

Dan

Customer support is always available when we need them and is extremely easy to work with.

Cons

  • A lack of transparency over the pricing structure might make it challenging for users to understand the cost structure. This can potentially lead to unexpected expenses or difficulties in budgeting.
  • The absence of a free trial offer restricts users from testing the software before making a purchase.

Brad

The app will not automatically refresh itself so every time when there is a change you will need to have all your staff update their app. Also, for expenses you need to be prepared for implementation to cost thousands of dollars.


10. Buildxact

star(4.5)

Takeoff Solution for Small Contractors and Builders
Buildxact

 

Starting price

$149/month

Free trial

Available

Key features

Lead Management, Customer communication, Estimating, Scheduling, Accounting integrations

Why We Picked Buildxact

Buildxact is one among the impressive construction estimating software tools, that caters to the construction management needs of small contractors, residential builders, remodelers, and specialty contractors. It has its own pre-built templates, price list imports, intuitive user interface, built-in takeoff functionality, and a streamlined estimating process.

It is one of the all-rounded products. This is because it holds the capabilities to address various construction management functionalities such as takeoff, project scheduling, construction accounting, etc.

Pros

  • The price list can be easily imported.
  • The user interface is easy to understand.
  • Users can freely access the software in the free trial period of 14 days.

Barry T.

The product was easy to use. Uploading your company logo for branding was easy. This program is backed up by fantastic support which I accessed.

Cons

  • The software has limited third-party integrations.
  • The software lags sometimes. Especially when you are trying to use the scheduling feature and works quickly, the software tells you to slow down.

Natacha P.

Probably like most programs, it has a lot of functions that we have to pay for, but do not use.

Frequently asked questions

  • List the names of the construction estimating software programs.

    Yes, the top construction estimating software that can transform and streamline your manual way of generating quotes is listed here. Have a look:

    • InvoiceOwl
    • Clear Estimates
    • SimPRO
    • Sage Estimating
    • Buildertrend
    • STACK
    • ProEST
    • Esticom
    • Contractor Foreman
    • PlanSwift
  • How a takeoff list can help manage the estimating and bidding process?

    With the help of takeoff software integration, construction companies or residential contractors create cost estimates or project bids. It is basically a detailed inventory of all the materials, labor, and other resources required to complete a construction project.

  • Can I track the status of my estimates right within the software?

    Yes, by integrating software like InvoiceOwl, you can track the status of the estimates. You can clearly ask for instant approvals once the estimates are sent. Later you can categorize those estimates into the type of approved, rejected, or pending. These estimates can even be automatically converted into invoices once approved.

  • Once the estimates get approved, can I accept the deposit right within the software?


    Yes, appropriately choosing the best-estimating software like InvoiceOwl can help you lock in jobs instantly. Simply get the approvals of the estimates and accept the upfront deposit to get started with the software.

  • Can I use STACK anywhere?

    Yes, STACK is a cloud-based management software. Hence it can be easily accessible anytime and from anywhere.

  • Is it possible to create free personalized estimates and invoices without registering on any estimating software?

    Yes, you can freely create unlimited customized estimates and invoices using InvoiceOwl’s free online estimating generator and invoice generator. Pre-designed estimate and invoicing templates are also available, where you can generate as many estimates and invoices as you want. You can even modify the pre-designed templates from the multiple options available. Even the option to preview the estimate/invoice,  followed by downloading it in PDF format is available.

  • How can I send my project estimates using InvoiceOwl?


    You can send project estimates in two ways; First via e-mail and second through SMS.

  • What to look for while choosing construction estimating software?

    To opt for the best-estimating software here are some of the points that you should consider:

    • Multiple estimate templates should be available.
    • Cloud storage capabilities should be provided so that there is no need to worry about data loss.
    • Leverage to instantly approve the estimates and invoices should be there, right within the software.
    • The software should be flexible enough to let you sign digitally.
    • In-app emailing should be provided for hassle-free sharing of the estimates.
    • Accepted estimates should get automatically converted into an invoice.
    • Easy acceptance of upfront deposits should be there for securing jobs instantly in one click.

Conclusion

These detailed listings of estimating software will help you make an informed decision about which software you should head forward with. Acknowledging the features, pros, cons, and reviews of them will help you better decide which estimating software best aligns with your specific construction business requirements.

However, trying and testing the software before making a purchase can save your time, energy, and resources. So, to start with sign up for InvoiceOwl’s . This free trial period will help you better understand InvocieOwl, the range of features it has, its user-friendliness as well as the affordable pricing tiers with attractive discount offers.

Author Bio
Jeel Patel
Jeel Patel
Founder

Jeel Patel is the founder of InvoiceOwl, a top-rated estimating and invoicing software that simplifies the invoicing and estimating processes for contractor businesses. Jeel holds a degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Toronto, which has provided him with a strong foundation in business principles and practices. With understanding of the challenges faced by contractors, he conducted extensive research and developed a tool to streamline the invoicing and estimating processes for contractors. Read More

United States

San Antonio

US