What is Construction Estimating Software?
Pro Tips

What is Construction Estimating Software?

BuildBook Team
May 30, 2023
May 30, 2023

It’s one of the most important questions you’ll answer before tackling a project. What’s this going to cost? If the answer is too high, you might lose the project. If it’s too low, you could lose money. Not to mention the hours estimating takes. We’ve got answers for this dilemma that will lead to a win for you and your clients. 

What is construction estimating software and why is it important? 

Let’s be honest—the old-school method of estimating is a frustrating hassle. You need to sharpen pencils, pull out spreadsheets, and do a whole lot of guesswork. That all began to change in recent years due to the growing popularity of estimating software. And for good reason. For starters, it saves a whole bunch of time and money.

Construction estimating software is an application specifically designed to streamline the estimating process for construction projects. In a nutshell, you use estimating software to calculate your bid price for construction projects. 

It also helps you nail the numbers. The construction industry often operates with wallpaper-thin margins. Screwy estimates can result in a major hit in profitability and wreck your company’s finances. One recent study by QuickBooks and TSheets found that one in four construction companies would go out of business after just two or three inaccurate estimates.1 Doesn’t take much.

All-in-all, estimating software helps you set clear expectations with your clients and start your construction projects off right. Whether you’re estimating a massive new custom home build or a simple remodel, it helps you build trust and strong client relationships thanks in part to the accuracy and low margin of error. It’s affordable and reliable and works for residential construction projects of any size.

Architects and builders are the largest segment of the construction world using estimating software, followed by contractors and construction managers.

Users of construction estimating software
Grandview Research identified the largest segments using construction estimating software.

According to Grandview Research, estimating software is expected to grow 8.3% from 2022 to 2030.2 They reported that, “The current growth of the market can be attributed to rising construction activities and shifting construction companies' focus on optimizing the cost of the project. Aggressive growth in the construction activities being undertaken across the globe is prompting companies to integrate lean principles into construction processes to reduce waste, improve productivity, and cut costs supporting the market trend.”

Essential features of a good construction estimating software

With highly specialized features designed to meet modern construction needs, Pros can:

  • Quickly create estimates from templates or a cost library
  • Set management fee structures
  • Add markup to individual line items
  • Add a scope of work, contract terms, and other critical details
  • Schedule and track payments
  • Generate proposals
  • Create a sales pipeline to track all estimates
  • Capture and track client approvals
  • Convert an estimate into a project budget 
  • Manage vendors
  • Record and track project bills and expenses
  • Track actual costs against estimated costs
  • Control what details are shared with your team and clients
  • Communicate and collaborate with team and clients
  • Access estimates from both a computer or mobile device

How to use estimating software effectively in your business

Just like any tool, to make the most of our software, you’ll need to learn how to use it. And we’ve made it super simple! Once you have a grasp on the project at hand, we’ll lead you through the process one step at a time. 

Master the project

Study the project, the contract, and building plans to understand the full scope of responsibilities and provide the best estimate. You’ll also want to know the expected timeline and how payments will be handled. Visit the site to assess the conditions and meet the stakeholders. Ask questions; What is the purpose of the project? What standards will determine the quality expected? 

Trust the system

Construction estimate software will provide you with an easy-to-follow template. It’ll lead you as you go. When starting the estimate, include the project name, location, and client information. Then add the purpose and scope as laid out in the contract. You’ll choose the type and quantities of materials, equipment, and labor to complete the build within the budget guidelines and in line with the project goals. 

The software will lead you all the way through the process, including submitting a proposal. Once the client receives the estimate, they can easily approve it online or provide feedback on any changes they’d like to see. Once they approve it, the software should allow you to automatically convert that estimate into a project with your budget already set in place. No paperwork to file, and no waiting on the mail or delivery. 

Benefits of using construction estimating software

There are a truckload of advantages to using construction estimating software, from saving time to boosting your profits. We’ll break a few down.

Better planning and budgeting 

Estimating software lets you get a clearer idea of the overall picture. It helps with the current project, but also with future estimates. By tracking costs, you’ll see how to steer clear of costly mistakes and save a ton of time and money on your future projects.

With a detailed list of expenses, you can stick closer to your budget when it comes to purchasing materials and other items. You can get as close as possible to the exact quantities needed, and even locate ways to get the quality results you’re after for less money.


Using construction estimating software offers more accurate results from the outset of a project through completion. And in a market that’s always fluctuating, that can be interesting. Along with being able to bid accurately, you (and your clients) will stay up to date on actual project costs through every phase. You’ll know everything that’s going on, from materials and equipment, labor, to any subcontractor spending, and all those fun little “surprises” that pop up.

Save money 

Thanks to being able to track costs with pinpoint accuracy, you’ll know the cost breakdown of any construction project. Since you’ll have completely reliable data, you can quickly spot inefficiencies and overspending. This means you can pass any cost savings along to the clients and build trust at the same time.  

Save time

Forget the spreadsheets and hundreds of phone calls. You simply enter some information and let the software do the heavy lifting. You can edit projects from anywhere and communicate through the system without having to contact your team, suppliers, subcontractors, and clients manually one at a time. Easily keep everyone up to date on progress and milestones. Along with being crazy efficient, this also helps cut out costly errors, delays, and miscommunication too. 

Nail deadlines

The goal used to be meeting deadlines. And the construction world has a sketchy rep in that regard! Forget meeting them. Now, you can aim to beat deadlines with the increased efficiency you’ll enjoy. This is a key to growing your reputation and your profits. 

Happy clients

Happy clients mean more 5-star reviews and more business. Construction estimating software allows you to quickly and easily offer more precise info to your clients. Fewer mistakes mean more deadlines are hit. And like we mentioned earlier, any savings you pass on is just icing on the cake. Plus, when a client perceives you as a high-tech company, they’ll feel even better about the construction company they chose. 

Why BuildBook is the world’s best construction estimating software

BuildBook's construction estimating and proposal software is rated #1 for speed and simplicity

We’ve laid out the reasons estimating software is a must. So why go with BuildBook? 

Our construction estimating tools are fast, powerful, and simple to use, with every feature you need to run better projects. BuildBook has redefined how estimating gets done by creating tools that require no training to use. This helps you stand out from the competition and allows you to access it from anywhere. Create accurate estimates and stunning proposals in minutes that win more jobs.

In short, we offer the best construction software on the planet. We were rated #1 for speed and simplicity. You can’t beat #1. But don’t take our word for it! Try it free for yourself. 

BuildBook is extremely easy to use. There is no better construction software for the money.

- Cody J. - Custom Home Builder

Estimating software flips a complicated, disorganized chore into an organized, easy process. Once you understand the tools and how they work, your estimates will rock, your clients will thank you, and your business will boom.


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