5 Best Estimating Software for Small Contractors in 2023

9 min read
Jul 20, 2023

Successful small contractors know that maintaining a competitive edge means embracing technology. And choosing the right tools can make all the difference.

 

Among the arsenal of tools available, estimating software is one of the most vital. These digital companions have transformed how we plan, budget, and execute construction projects.

 

But with the plethora of options on the market, how do you know which estimating software for small contractors is the right fit for your business?

 

No more worries on that account because we have the perfect solution for you.

 

Let’s introduce you to some of the most awesome estimating software you can get for yourself. This isn’t your average include-them-all top-ranking estimating software companies list.

Instead, we researched the construction estimating software that can benefit you, the small contractor, most.

 

No matter your specific needs, you will find the perfect estimating software here. So keep scrolling to explore estimating software that can transform your contracting business!

 

Here's the best construction estimating software for small contractors this year:

 

1. ResponsiBid

A screenshot of the ResponsiBid homepage.

ResponsiBid is a powerful and user-friendly construction estimating software. It is designed for small contractors like you.

 

The simple interface and robust features help you create accurate cost estimates quickly.

 

The platform is great for small contractors looking to streamline the cost-estimating process. It automates lead capture and tracking and provides instant and clear construction estimates. This helps you convert leads into paying customers.

 

Also, the software helps you make customized packages to get higher ticket sales. It even has an answering service to give customers instant quotes over the phone.

 

By automating tasks such as lead follow-ups, ResponsiBid helps you save time. It gives you the freedom to focus on growing your business. You can link the software solution to your CRM software, Gmail, Google Calendar, and more.

 

This all-in-one estimating software simplifies the construction bidding process for small contractors. 

 

 

Free trial: No, but you can schedule a free demo to see how it works.
Cost: Plans start at $255/month. Find a detailed cost estimate on its pricing page.

 

P.S. NiceJob, a top-rated reputation marketing platform, integrates with ResponsiBid to give its customers the easiest way to get customer reviews!

"We love how seamlessly NiceJob integrates with ResponsiBid, but we are also huge fans of the passionate team and a product that helps us get reviews constantly without even having to try. It’s nice how all we have to worry about is doing a great job for our customers and then NiceJob just keeps building our online reputation!" — Curt Kempton,
Founder & CEO of ResponsiBid

 

2. SumoQuote

A screenshot of the SumoQuote homepage.

SumoQuote is a competent estimating software. It allows you to generate perfect professional quotes for projects in minutes.

 

No more manual calculations and complicated spreadsheets with SumoQuote! This user-friendly software streamlines the entire estimating process. It helps create professional and detailed cost estimates in a fraction of the time. It’s a proposition that can help you stand out in your industry and close more deals.

 

SumoQuote offers a comprehensive set of features that make price estimating a breeze. You can choose from customizable templates and make use of automated calculations. You can also tailor your price estimation by inputting project details.

 

The software also enables you to add your own branding and logo to templates. With it, you can create personalized construction estimates that impress clients.

 

With SumoQuote's intuitive interface, you can navigate the software quickly. It can reduce your estimate-generating time from 45 minutes to roughly 4.5 minutes. The professional feel of these templates can double your team's quoting capacity.

 

The company is one of the few ones that allow a free trial period besides offering the lowest monthly cost.

 

 

Free trial: Yes. 14-Day free trial. No credit card required. 
Cost: Plans start at $99/month. Find out more on its pricing page.

 

3. Projul

A screenshot of the Projul homepage.

Projul is a comprehensive project management software tailored for general contractors. It has everything you need in a construction management and estimating tool.

 

The software helps construction companies create detailed job costing estimates. It performs lead generation and invoicing tasks. The platform helps you stay organized, manage tasks, and collaborate with your team. With Projul, you can keep projects on track, improve communication, and boost productivity.

 

The construction software solution also offers business management functions. These include tracking leads, setting follow-up reminders, and scheduling meetings with clients.

 

Moreover, its reporting tools help you understand where new business is coming from.

 

A former residential subcontractor runs the company. It is an all-in-one solution for contractors, subcontractors, and specialty contractors.

 

 

Free trial: No, but you can schedule a free demo.
Cost: Plans start at $4,788/year. Browse through its pricing plans to find the best fit for you.

 

4. Procore

A screenshot of the Procore homepage.

If you're looking for comprehensive construction management software, Procore is a good option. The company used to specialize in project management software. Later, it acquired an estimating software company called Esticom to include estimating functions.

 

So, Procore lets you keep all your business management tasks on one platform.

 

Contractors can use this software for estimating costs, project management, scheduling, and more. Procore helps you streamline processes, reduce rework, and deliver projects. They do this while helping you stay on time and within budget.

 

Procore is not the cheapest software in the market. Yet, this cloud-based platform offers a variety of training tools. These help new contractors overcome the learning curve associated with its many products.

 

It is a leading construction management platform offering cost-estimating software for contractors. You can definitely save a lot of time and resources with Procore.

 

Besides creating costing estimates, the software integrates with Procore's other project management features. This provides a comprehensive solution for your construction needs.

 

 

Free trial: No, but you can schedule a free demo to see how it works.
Cost: Sign up and answer a few quick questions about your business to get a custom quote based on your needs.

 

5. ProEst

A screenshot of the ProEst homepage.

ProEst is one of the longest-standing construction project management software. Its construction estimating tool helps simplify and streamline the estimating process for contractors.

 

The company has worked with over 8,000 construction businesses over the years. Its annual pricing model allows you to estimate costs for unlimited projects in a year.

 

With ProEst, you can create accurate estimates, generate customizable reports, and manage bids. ProEst offers advanced features such as construction takeoff and estimating software. It also provides cost databases and bid management functionalities.

 

Intended for both contractors and subcontractors, the software is entirely cloud-based. So you or your team can access it remotely and aren’t restricted to a desktop computer.

 

 

Free trial: No, but you can schedule a demo to know more.
Cost: Plans are priced yearly, find out more by registering your details here.

 

The right estimating software and plan for you depends on your specific goals and needs. Some of the software listed specialize in construction management tools. But their products can be beneficial to all kinds of contractors and subcontractors.

 

We recommend checking them all out to find out what works best for you.

 

Top 6 advantages of using the best construction estimating software

Estimating software solutions offer a range of valuable advantages for contractors. These range from increased accuracy and efficiency to improved professionalism and cost control.

 

Here are some of the key benefits of using contractor estimate software:

 

Saves you time

Estimating software offers contractors a time-saving solution. These include reducing manual calculations, paperwork, and data entry.

 

The platforms' intuitive interfaces and automated features allow you to generate accurate estimates. You can also create reusable templates and update and update estimates as required.

 

This time-saving aspect is particularly valuable if you manage many projects at once. It also helps if you work under tight deadlines.

 

The software lets you dedicate more time to project execution and business growth. You can achieve this while delivering precise and professional proposals for each project.

 

Reduces cost

Estimating software helps contractors optimize their cost estimation process. This leads to better budget management and cost control.

 

They have tools to track material and labor costs and other project-related expenses. This helps you create more competitive and accurate estimates.

 

The tools reduce the risk of overestimating or underestimating costs. This prevents financial losses or missed opportunities.

 

With a cost estimating tool, you can have a clear understanding of construction project costs upfront. You can also negotiate better deals, quote accurate estimates, and ensure profitability.

 

Increases professionalism

Estimating software enables contractors to present professional and polished estimates to clients.

 

Customizable templates, branded documents, and detailed cost breakdowns convey your expertise and professionalism. This enhances your credibility and also instills trust and confidence in clients.

 

Contract estimation software also allows for easy customization and personalization. This enables you to showcase your brand identity through your estimates.

 

You can stand out from competitors and win projects by presenting professional estimates.

 

Smiling contractor using the best estimating software on a mobile phone to make their work life easier.

Improves accuracy and consistency

Estimating software eliminates human errors and ensures consistent calculations throughout the estimation process.

 

Automating calculations and standardized templates cut the risk of mistakes in your estimates. This leads to more reliable and trustworthy estimates. It also reduces the likelihood of costly rework or disputes with clients.

 

Features like takeoff tools and integration with cost databases give you accurate information. These further enhance the precision of your estimates.

 

Enhances collaboration and communication

Estimating software often comes with collaboration features that ease teamwork. They also allow for seamless communication among project stakeholders.

 

With this feature, you can share estimates and collaborate with team members. You can also get feedback or approvals in a centralized platform. This improves coordination and reduces miscommunications. It ensures everyone is on the same page about project costs and requirements.

 

Effective collaboration and communication contribute to smoother project execution. They also lead to timely decision-making and project success.

 

Streamlines workflow and project management

Many estimating software solutions integrate with project management tools. This allows contractors to streamline their workflow and manage projects better.

 

Most project estimating software tools allow you to convert estimates into project plans. You can also assign tasks, track progress, and track costs in a cohesive system.

 

This integration eliminates the need for manual data entry. It reduces duplicate efforts and improves project visibility.

 

Having all the information in one place lets you optimize resource allocation. You can also identify any potential bottlenecks. It helps you make informed decisions to keep projects on track.

 

Leveraging estimating software helps ensure that you’re on top of your game. They help your company appear professional to potential clients. This helps build trust and increases customer satisfaction.

 

But, all estimating software companies aren’t the same.

 

So how do you make sure you choose the best one for your small business?

 

8 Key features to you want in construction estimating software

A man using the best estimating software for small contractors on an iPad on their desk, with construction blueprints and a hardhat also on the table.

Confused about what to look for in estimating software for small businesses?

 

Here are some features to keep in mind:

 

Cloud-based platform

Opt for estimating software that operates as a cloud based solution. This allows for easy access to your estimates and project data from anywhere and at any time. It is more convenient than software that you need to download on a desktop computer.

 

Also, a cloud based solution ensures that all team members can collaborate well. They can share information and stay up-to-date with real-time project updates.

 

The flexibility of cloud-based software enhances productivity and enables effective remote work capabilities.

 

Versatility and range of functions

Choose estimating software that goes beyond estimating. No one wants a one-trick pony!

 

Look for a solution that offers a range of functions. These should include project management and scheduling. You can also look for document management and reporting.

 

Having these extra features eliminates the need to use many tools. It also ensures your construction projects can be managed on one platform.

 

Integration capabilities

Consider the software's integration capabilities with other tools used in the construction industry. 

 

For instance, look for estimating software that allows seamless integration with review generation software. They should sync up with project management platforms and other third-party applications.

 

It should enable smooth data transfer between systems and reduce errors. It must provide a comprehensive view of project data across all platforms.

 

Quality customer support

You never know when software can go down and leave you in a sticky situation amid tight deadlines. So, focus on software providers that offer excellent customer support.

 

Look for companies that provide responsive customer service and comprehensive training materials. They should offer timely help and have a knowledgeable support team.

 

Accurate data

Accuracy is paramount in estimating software.

 

Look for features such as accurate takeoff tools and built-in cost databases. The ability to import and export data seamlessly is also helpful.

 

Up-to-date information ensures that your estimates are accurate. It helps them reflect real-world costs and quantities.

 

Your chosen software should also allow easy customization. It should enable you to tailor data inputs to match your project requirements.

 

Ease of use and implementation

Choose an estimating software that is user-friendly and intuitive. A steep learning curve can hinder adoption and productivity.

 

The interface should be well-designed, with clear navigation and accessible features. These features ensure your smooth implementation and quick adoption. They allow teams and project managers to use the software effectively from the start.

 

Multi-user capabilities

Consider the software's ability to support many users and ease collaboration among members.

 

Look for features such as role-based access controls and collaboration tools. You can also see if it has the ability to assign tasks and track progress.

 

Robust multi-user capabilities enable efficient communication and help streamline workflows. They ensure that all team members can work together well.

 

Bang for your buck

Check the software's pricing structure and the value it provides for your investment.

Look for transparent pricing models. Don't forget to consider the features and functionalities included in each plan.

 

Assess whether the software aligns with your budget. See if it offers a comprehensive set of estimating tools that address your needs.

 

It’s also smart to look at factors such as scalability and ongoing maintenance costs. Check the potential return on investment when selecting the software. This will help you find one that offers the best value for your money.

 

Consider these features when choosing construction estimating software to check if it's right for you.

 

Build up your online reputation as a small contractor

Choosing the right estimating software for a construction company is a crucial decision. It can have a significant impact on your productivity, pricing accuracy, and success.

 

While you search for the perfect estimating software, let’s look at how NiceJob can help your contracting business grow.

 

After all, once a job's estimated and professionally completed, you want to make sure you get those 5-star reviews!

 

 

NiceJob offers a comprehensive solution for contractors. It provides automated review generation and marketing, as well as customer referral campaigns and (free!) social proof tools — all so you can win more clients and increase sales.

 

Easily get 4x more reviews, increase referrals, and win more sales with reputation marketing!

14-day free trial. No credit card required.

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