How to find the best remodelling estimating software
We speak to a lot of people who are looking for remodeling estimating software and residential construction estimating software. Many of those people have already tried other platforms and found that they don’t work the way they expected them to.
It’s a frustrating process, and by the time many of those company owners, estimators and managers reach our team, they’re ready to go back to a pencil and a calculator.
However, there is excellent residential construction estimating software and remodelling estimating software out there. You just need to follow the right process to find it. Here’s how.
1. Give Yourself Time
The last thing you want to do when you’re looking for the best remodelling estimating software is rush into anything. If you have a “slow” season, that’s the perfect time to evaluate residential construction estimating software so that you can give yourself enough time.
You should speak to the people who make the software, see a demo of the product, and have lots of time to ask all the questions you have before you decide anything. Don’t let salespeople rush you into anything either. Finding the right software for your business is the goal, and good salespeople who have your best interests at heart understand that.
2. Understand What You Need
The best way to find the best remodeling estimating software is to understand precisely what your problems are.
Write down all of your problems with your current estimating system. This could be things like not being able to customize the software or it being too complicated. Maybe your system isn’t as accurate as you would like it to be, or quotes take too long to complete or edit.
List all of the issues you and your estimating and sales team have so that you have a checklist of must-haves to work from when you’re evaluating options.
3. Avoid Desktop Programs
Several years ago, when you wanted residential construction estimating software, you had to buy a CD and install it on a computer. However, when you install software on a desktop computer, you can only use it when you are in the same place as the computer. There are some remote access options, but they’re not very reliable, and when they don’t work, neither can you!
Not to mention that losing your CDs or their serial numbers means you can’t reinstall your software if you need to. It’s just an old, inconvenient way to do things!
The best remodeling estimating software today is cloud-based. This means that you and your team can access it anywhere. So, you can work from home if you need to or access a client’s quote from a tablet or phone when you visit them.
There are no CDs to lose either, so you never have to worry that you can’t reinstall your software!
4. Set a Realistic Budget
The good news is that there are very affordable options for residential construction estimating software out there these days. However, good software (and the tech support that backs it up) does come at a moderate cost.
Keep an open mind when you’re looking for estimating software options. It’s okay to have a budget in mind, but also remember that good software will save you time and money and can help you to get more work. So be sure to factor that into your calculations.
Price is important when you are looking for construction estimating software, but it’s not the most important thing. So, make sure you take everything (including cost) into account when you’re trying to decide.
5. Remember There’s a Difference Between Commercial and Residential Software
There’s a lot of construction software out there, but it’s not all suitable as residential construction estimating software.
The kind of software that big general contractors and construction professionals use isn’t really suited to the residential construction market. It might have lots of bells and whistles, but it’s also complicated and usually made for people who have engineering or project management degrees.
That’s not to say that commercial construction estimating software isn’t great at what it does. It is. It’s just more than most people need in remodeling estimating software, and you’ll be paying for lots of things you might never use.
The best remodeling estimating software is made for residential contractors and remodelers, and it’s user-friendly, simple to understand and not difficult to learn.
6. ALWAYS See It in Action
If someone tries to sell you remodeling estimating software that you haven’t seen in action, walk away.
The only way to really tell if construction software is right for you is to see it in action.
Often, the best way to do that is to have a live demo with someone who knows the software inside and out. This is usually better than a free trial, which, let’s face it, most of us sign up for and never really try.
A software demo should show you all the most important features of the residential construction estimating software you’re considering using. They should also let you ask questions about the things
that matter most to you. Go back to your checklist of problems and challenges, and make sure that the platform you’re considering checks all your boxes.
7. Look at Tech Support and After Sales Support
No matter how well designed and user-friendly a platform is, there’s always a learning curve.
Well-designed remodelling estimating software should be intuitive, and you should be able to master it fairly quickly. However, when you’re trying to run a business, you don’t have time to spend trying to figure everything out on your own.
Always make sure that the software you’re investing in has great after-sales support. Find out how you can reach their tech team when you need to, and ask about tutorials, manuals, and other tools you can use when you need them.
Even if you get the best remodeling estimating software, you're back to square one if you don’t know how to use it properly.
8. Flexible User Plans
Often, when you first sign up for a cloud-based software platform, you might have one or two people who need to use it. However, if things go well and your business grows, there’s a good chance you might need to add more users.
Look for residential construction estimating software that makes it easy to add more users to your plan and has reasonable rates for additional users.
Being able to use cloud-based software as a team makes it easy to collaborate – even if your team works from different places, which is a big plus in the construction industry.
9. Regular Updates and Improvements
There are many residential construction estimating software packages out there that have been around for decades and haven’t changed or improved much over the years. However, things that were cutting edge fifteen or twenty years ago are usually old and clunky now.
Be careful that you balance the reputation of the company behind the product with the need to use the latest technology. Older programs might not even work properly with newer operating systems, so you might not be able to keep using them forever.
Newer residential construction estimating software companies are often more open to customer feature requests and ideas too. So, if you really need a new feature, they might be more likely to consider including it in a future release. Being able to be involved in the development of the best remodeling estimating software makes it a lot easier to get a perfect fit!
Ready to Talk?
CostCertified.com was developed to deliver everything on this list – and more.
We’ve spent years developing a platform that is easy to use and intuitive, offers the best flexibility on the market, and is always accurate and up to date.
We’ve built features into the system that you won’t find anywhere else, and we really do believe that we’ve got the best remodeling estimating software out there.
Our team of technical specialists and sales representatives would love to discuss your estimating and construction management needs and show you how our platform is helping companies like yours. We make it easier to generate quotes, take your quote presentation to the next level, and help our customers to increase their sales exponentially.
So, if you’re looking for the right residential construction estimating software and want to take a look, click here and book a demo. We’re always happy to talk to contractors who need software solutions.