Categories

Estimating software

Question Icon
Posted by: from Calgary
10/2/2012 at 7:27:04 PM

I was hoping someone could give me some advise on purchasing a construction/renovation software package.

I have been looking at Xactremodel Estimaster and planswift. I am leaning towards Xactremodel because of its built in industry pricing. But the other two look a little easier to use has anyone got any experience with any of these products or any other ideas?

Thanks

REPLIES (9)
User Icon
Date/Time10/2/2012 at 8:36:42 PM

I've looked into several programs and, recently, bought a bookcalled Construction Estimating by DeWalt. Available via Home Depot. The unfortunate partr is that it is gearede for the U.S. and any form downloard aren'ty available in Canada. The good part is that it provides a lot of good, basic information.

What I did is make a program using Excel and taylor it to what you are doing. You can also put in current prices to make your estimates a little more accurate.

Hope this helps.

User Icon
Date/Time10/2/2012 at 9:15:45 PM

Why do you need a program ? First off if you know the industry you should be able to quote the job. The programs are way over rated and also way over priced but that's fine as long as you have licensed workers and Plan on doing the job to Nike Holmes standards which are well over the top which most people can't even fathom

It is a true fact to do all jobs you need to price right and also do the job right with the proper materials just not at a million dollars a job like mike Holmes it's mostly impossible do do it his way that's why it is all paid for by his show but don't get me wrong the job should still be done wright with the wright materials but his workers are all paid way to much so it drives the price way to high and that's why most people get screwed cuz joe blow cones in way lower wrong. You need to get proof and references and pictures if past jobs and chech the history of the company.

Sry I went on for to long, hope it helps you.

Take care

User Icon
Brian A. from Linley Homes Inc. in Hamilton
Date/Time10/3/2012 at 8:55:39 AM

Hi Stephen,

We have been using XactRemodel estimating software since 2009. It works well for the renovation contractor. The soft ware is easy to use once you gain a bit of experience using it. We have found the program to be very versitile. The price lists are quite extensive and are fairly accurate to your local area. Although, you can overide the defalt prices at any time to suit your marketplace.There are standard reports available, however the reports can be altered to your own preferences. The program provides pricing on a lot of items that you don't come across very often. This allows you to have reasonable pricing available to you, so you don't have to delay the quotations waiting for several subtrade prices to arrive.

Previous to using this program we used the sister program Xactimate since 1990. At that time our company was heavily involved in the disaster repair industry. Xactimate is the standard estimating software recognized by the insurance industry throughout North America.

We are not familar with the Planswift soft ware. We will say, the XactRemodel program has worked well for us.

Good luck with your decision.

Brian

User Icon
Date/Time10/4/2012 at 1:59:10 PM

One of our branches does software development and we created our own. I still use paper and a simple Excel spreadsheet!!! The problem with most of the "off the shelf" ones are, as mentioned before, are geared to the USA pricing.

The only reason we use the software is to try to track down all the different materials we use.

I would think in your case, unless I don't understand the full scope of your business (which is totally possible), the bulk of your material and labour is pretty constant. Except for the grade and quality of the final material (shingles), your costs are pretty fixed.

I know your logo states "and renovations", so in that case it may be a worthwhile to consider, but I suspect, except for the quality of materials, the labour attached to the specific tasks (ie. hang a door, paint 1 square foot of wall, etc) is also fixed regardless of the quality of the door paint, etc, thus your pricing is pretty fixed.

Cheers

John

John Kuehnl-Cadwell

Master Electrician

Datawise Solutions Inc

User Icon
Date/Time10/4/2012 at 2:10:23 PM

To Paul

I appreciate your underlying thoughts on the consideration of whether a software package is necessary, and I also appreciate that regardless if you use paper or software, the job still needs to be estimated properly...

What I don't get is the reference to the TV renovation shows. I am not prepared to defend any of these guys, but you do not have any knowledge to base your comments on (you don't know how much they get paid, where or who pays for materials, etc) and quite frankly the issue does not even address the OPs question.

I, like many other contractors, have to deal with the reno-TV reality everyday. What we need to do (as contractors) is educate the client between the difference of TV and what they can afford. One thing in particular that I like about Mike in, is that he encourages clients to call in the pros (people like you and me), we should be happy abut that. Anybody who watches his show (or any other for that matter), need to be aware that it is TV first and foremost, and TV was made for entertaining us.

Cheers

John

John Kuehnl-Cadwell

Master Electrician

Datawise Solutions Inc

User Icon
Date/Time10/15/2012 at 7:56:39 PM

We use software Bid4Build for already more than 8 years-very reliable, professional software and works with work books for estimating. Has a lot of options for any construction industry and is affordable.

User Icon
Fenton from FRM Contracting in Windsor
Date/Time10/29/2012 at 9:15:24 PM

To John Kuehnl-Cadwell,

Good to see that someone have mentioned TV renovations. I would like to see them either talk about or post the project's final cost if not by trade then at least the full total so as to not mislead the public.

Fenton Mceachrane

FRM Contracting

Windsor, Ontario

User Icon
Date/Time11/2/2012 at 11:20:24 AM

Guys!!

Off topic but about Mike Holmes, I know him and asked him why is he so anal about his projects.

His answer "ratings sell" The network actually pays the home owner sometimes. So don't sweat that small stuff he is very good at what he does. He is just told to smoke and mirrors for TV.

The main thing is as always is, done right is done once. If we concern ours with handyman specials we destroy the value and get 50 years max out of a property. Something to be said about the Kremlin in Moscow. Our the Queens castle in London. That is verses the parliament building in Ottawa. When we have "craftsman" build we repair. If we have Joe and Mike build, you know the guys in a white van, with 3 helpers that dont speak English. After they are done, we rebuild!! Enough said about what it is.

Lets do our jobs, Do it right!! Make a home for your future grand children. Make enough money to retire on and live happy ever after. Now wake up and get er' done - the right way!!!

Make the dream come true and take away the nightmare.

Regards

Victor K

User Icon
Date/Time11/6/2012 at 2:31:57 PM

To Fenton

I understand that perspective. I think what we need to understand is first of all, when the show aired? If the prices are 10 years old, what is the value. Secondly where is the show located? The price of an electrician is different in all parts of the country. What was the quality of materials? Big difference between a granite and a laminate counter top.

I think there would be too much detail to wade through to present pricing on TV that is current and valuable.

I always encourage clients to get three quotes, then they know that they are comparing similar variables.

Cheers

John

To John Kuehnl-Cadwell,

Good to see that someone have mentioned TV renovations. I would like to see them either talk about or post the project's final cost if not by trade then at least the full total so as to not mislead the public.

Fenton Mceachrane

FRM Contracting

Windsor, Ontario

Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area.

Find your home service pro
Great renovations start with a great contractor.

Since 2004, TrustedPros has been helping homeowners find the right contractor for their home improvements and repairs.

Post Your Project

Within hours you'll be comparing offers from top-rated professionals. It's free to post and you're under no obligation to hire.

 
Trustedpros Inc. does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, safety, legality or usefulness of any Content, or Whether Content is Current and up-to-date, and TrustedPros Inc. Shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to your use or reliance upon any content or for content being removed or otherwise ceasing to be available. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use of this websites for more details.
Categories

It appears you may be located in the US

TrustedPros is designed to deliver results targeted to your location.

Get Free Estimates

Post your project and compare offers from top-rated pros.


x