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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sure this question has been asked to death, but what estimating software do you recommend?
I'm trying to bid some light commercial projects and need an easy to use software.
I've been playing with building my own in MS Excel, but it's taking way too long.
Any suggestions?
 

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Yes it's been asked to death. I'm using ELMS, just started experimenting with their upgrade, so far it works o.k. If you do a search you can find where I've explained the pros and cons to ELMS, Xactimate.
 

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Plantangible estimating tool

RD,

I could never find a simple and easy to use software when I was bidding projects/jobs so I built one. Though I built it from the Landscape contractor perspective I am finding that many small-trade contractors are able to use Plantangible because of its simple, customizable framework.

It it easy to use and will help you organize your quote and gives you the ability to adjust your quote in seconds, without loosing any information.

My users have seen a better conversion rate on their estimates and a major time savings from traditional estimating methods.

The process has 5 simple steps:
1. Upload your company info and logo (this is for your professional printed quote)
2. Create a Job (with client information)
3. Add section(s) (define the scope of the project)
4. Add Products to each section (after saving the product your totals will auto calculate)
5. Print your quote (with your logo, company info, client info, and job totals)

After your first quote in Plantangible the quotes will get even quicker. We store your product info and allow you to populate new quotes using those product details (saving you time in data entry).

The site is www.Plantangible.com - there is a free trial with no continued obligation and no need to put in any credit card info. The sign up process will ask for company info but that is only for the printed quote. I just launched the tool and would love your feedback, good or bad, so I can truly make this something that contractors will use.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me directly - [email protected]
 

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TimberlineMD

Who is the "other guy"? Are you referring to your competitors pricing vs. the craftsman book pricing guide or are you talking about the cost of the actual estimating software?
 

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TimberlineMD

Who is the "other guy"? Are you referring to your competitors pricing vs. the craftsman book pricing guide or are you talking about the cost of the actual estimating software?
'the other guy' is whomever you think is bidding the same project as you. Some people in this industry feel they need to price a job, based somewhat, on what 'the other guy' is bidding it for. To me this is asking for trouble. Bid the job in order to make money, forget the others.

Craftsman comes with estimating and price books, EasyEstimating does also. I have both. I do comparisions of both price books. I like the Craftsman break out of estimated man hours for a task. I compare that to real world experiance. I like the estimating reports and the checklist order for all phases of a project that I get with EasyEst.

In the end you still have to use your good judgement when estimating.
 

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Click link on post #6 above.
I went to the web site. They want you to download the 30 day trial. Went to the pricing tab. It doesn't tell you how much it costs. Just that they want me to download the 30 day trial. I want to know how much it is. I do not want to waste my time downloading something I may not use if it's not willing to disclose it's price beforehand.
 

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I went to the web site. They want you to download the 30 day trial. Went to the pricing tab. It doesn't tell you how much it costs. Just that they want me to download the 30 day trial. I want to know how much it is. I do not want to waste my time downloading something I may not use if it's not willing to disclose it's price beforehand.
When I started with them they had a free version with limited features. From there they offered 3 versions. Sort of a good, better, best. Best being with all features turned on. I believe that I paid about $1k for the best.

I would contact Ron, who is their sales/support guy for pricing questions.
 

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You can not beat using quickbooks to do your estimating if you also use it for your accounts as it means you only enter data once and gives you a good handle on job costing
There are add ons if you want a more sophisticated system but if you use groups in your items list quickbooks will do most things
 
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