Estimating Software Help

13 Replies

Does anyone have experience with using an estimating software package to develop rehab costs? Specifically, does anyone have experience with XactRemodel or Xactimate?

Assuming you have experience with one of these software packages, could you provide some insight or review? 

I'm looking to use the software for estimating contracting jobs as well as working up estimates for potential flips.

Those are estimating software that are too wide to use, you might spend 8 hours on one house, doing the external and internal walls then the roof, which will take you about 30 mins if you just use an excel and usual prices.  I normally use excel, and a bid walkthrough. Try J Scotts book as a reference, depending on location, just use a factor or bids from contractors. You might want to go with a handyman and pay him for his time to get a gauge on how prices are in your area. But pretty much its your best bet, J Scotts book, bid walk sheet, ms excel. Good luck.

Xactimate is more geared for insurance work. Unless you have some pretty serious construction background, it's going to be very byzantine feeling.

Truth of the matter is that there really isn't a great solution for this. I've ended up coding a spreadsheet for myself that's about 8 pages of common-use items, which I then plug in and delete lines that don't go into the final price. You'll probably want to do the same eventually.

@Manolo D.

@Aaron McGinnis

Gentlemen, thank you for the comments. I am actually more interested in moving from excel based spreadsheets to a software package for estimating construction jobs. I am the contractor...well that's not entirely true...my father is the contractor and has asked me to post this question in his stead. He is primarily involved in kitchen and bath remodel work.

Originally posted by @Lucas Pfaff :

@Manolo D.

@Aaron McGinnis

Gentlemen, thank you for the comments. I am actually more interested in moving from excel based spreadsheets to a software package for estimating construction jobs. I am the contractor...well that's not entirely true...my father is the contractor and has asked me to post this question in his stead. He is primarily involved in kitchen and bath remodel work.

How big is your company? why do you need a software package?

Originally posted by @Lucas Pfaff :

Does anyone have experience with using an estimating software package to develop rehab costs? Specifically, does anyone have experience with XactRemodel or Xactimate?

 Both products you mention have a free 30 trial you can download and test drive. Most other products do as well. If it were me I would download several programs and figure out what you like best.

Thank you for the input @Adam Anderson

@Manolo D.

The company currently has 5 full time employees not including the owner. 

Originally posted by @Lucas Pfaff :

Thank you for the input @Adam Anderson

@Manolo D.

The company currently has 5 full time employees not including the owner. 

 What is the annual turn-over and what scopes are there?

@Manolo D.

I'm not certain what you are asking here...

Annual employee turnover and project scopes?

If so, the annual turnover is zero over the last 12 months. 

The primary project scopes are kitchen and bath design and remodel, but additional scopes can include basement remodeling, additions, and more.

Annual sales = annual turn-over = annual contracts.

@Lucas Pfaff Its not that large of a project, but just in case you really want to explore it, try a cost software from Craftsman (yes, the book company), choose a variety -- if you want more advanced, try rsmeans.com

I use XactRemodel in my contracting business.  I love it.  It does have a pretty significant learning curve and requires extremely detailed review of the job site.  It's the exactness of the product that I love so much.  Exactly what I put in is what it produces a bid for and the client knows exactly what they're getting.  Feel free to reach out to me if you want to discuss.  

@Manolo D.

 Thanks again for the help. We're looking into it.

@Craig Jennings

I appreciate the review and even more so the offer. I believe we are likely going to go with the same product. I'll be sure to take you up on your offer if we get to that point.

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