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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What estimating software are you using and why do you like it? What software should I stay away from.
I'm a General Contractor doing 95% commercial/industrial work.
Also, a Plumbing Contractor doing the same percentages.
The web has so many to choose from, it's too time consuming to investigate all of them.

Thanks for you insight.

Dave
 

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thesidingpro said:
Nothing beats spending a couple weeks building your own spreadsheet in excel.
I use spreadsheets a lot but usually only for single trade jobs. I'm not sure I could pull off a spreadsheet for a full remodel or custom home.
 

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Sophisticated Siding Guy.
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Other than blue print take off's there's nothing a spreadsheet can't do that I have seen estimating software do.

The thing with excel is you can start of basic and continue to add and make it as complex as you want.

There is a lot that can be done use data validation and basic vb that novice user's can master pretty quickly.

I'm not saying excel is the best for everything but it decent for everything and very user friendly.
 

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thesidingpro said:
Other than blue print take off's there's nothing a spreadsheet can't do that I have seen estimating software do. The thing with excel is you can start of basic and continue to add and make it as complex as you want. There is a lot that can be done use data validation and basic vb that novice user's can master pretty quickly. I'm not saying excel is the best for everything but it decent for everything and very user friendly.
I'm not saying it's not possible I'm saying I'm not currently up to the task of creating a spreadsheet that can do so much. Spreadsheets are great.
 

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Sophisticated Siding Guy.
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The home builders association provided me with a pretty good template that I used for the few homes I've built. I would start with that and start modifying it based on my needs as a home builder.

For my day to day bidding I use a rather complex spreadsheet I built from scratch over the years. Works great for what I do.

With that being said I'm sure there is some great software out there that I might be looking into if I built a dozen homes a year.
 

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I agree with the Excel comments, but it takes a lot of time to get the templates built the way you need them. If it's only for trades, no problem. I'm needing something for whole house takeoffs.
I'm considering Planswift or ProcontractorMX.
Does anyone have comments on either?
 

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Try to search CTalk... There have been a number of threads that point to spread sheets or shared ones.

Creating your own-

Excel files are typically workbooks, consisting of worksheets (tabs). Each tab can have a trade then another tab have the sums of all the other tabs on it.

Finding a pre-made spreadsheet that works without customizing... that can be a bigger PITA than creating your own, if it's at the level of complexity needed to GC a full set of trades.
 

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I think the most professional software you could use would be On Screen Take-Off.

http://www.oncenter.com/products/ost/

It's not cheap, and may involve a bit of training to use, but the payoff for quick/efficient estimating is well worth the cost/learning curve.

On Screen Take off integrates with quickbid, so you can quickly figure out your cost/profit margins for any job after measuring all the lines. Our commercial division has used on screen take off for years and I highly recommend it for contractors use. I personally only use OST and integrate it with microsoft excel. But our commercial division uses OST/QuickBid to the fullest extent taking estimating complicated commercial jobs cut down big time.

Good luck!
 
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