App or spreadsheet for labor and materials

16 Replies

I'm starting a rehab project. I was wondering what you guys use to keep track and mand cost of equipment, materials and labor.

I'm debating whether I should use a good old-fashioned excel spreadsheet or if there's an app out there that can assist with us

There is a whole page of downloads under TOOLS tab - free forms and files. Maybe there is something there that could be handy for you. Are you trying to track your own resources, or subs?

I am trying to track everything(including subs). I would like to use an app if there is a good one available. I feel it would make the process easier to track and manage.

@Nick N. No app for rehab has all that. Houseflippingspreadsheet might be a good fit but I haven't used it. For 1 job at a time, nobody can beat excel. Apps are really geared for 10+ jobs with 500k minimum at any given time open projects. Anything less is not worth making/operating an app for. I have 4 projects, excel still works. Don't count nickles and dimes, concentrate on controlling time and large chunks of money. Remember, a day of delay is more than the cost for a box of screws. I always buy more on my jobs, say I need 10 pcs of lumber, I buy 11/12. I lose more money going back and forth to the hardware store than $3-$6.

For your needs on scheduling, go to, they have a bunch of templates for organizing. Just don't reinvent the wheel, learn how it works.

We are doing 8 rehabs a year off a google spreadsheet.  Have thought about apps etc but as mentioned above it doesn't make sense yet.  The next step I might take is using podio but have not figured out exactly how to make it work for all the different aspects of a rehab yet.  We already use podio for a lot of other systems.

i feel like the OP is talking about two different things. maybe.

are you asking about scheduling AND fiancials?

because financials are best kept and organized in a financial software like Quickbooks or Quicken (whatever version). that's where one click tells you everything you spent down to the penny.

I agree about finances -- Quickbooks is easiest and best.

I 'build' my own relational databases using Microsoft Access.  It has many templates -- and there are others on the web. Nothing will fit you (or me) perfectly but might be helpful.

Excel works but for this type of use Excel is known as a 'flat-file' database. A flat-file has many drawbacks -- but can work. 

To clarify my post we use quickbooks for the financials and a spreadsheet for scheduling, materials, scope of works, and project budgeting.

Originally posted by @Chris C. :

We are doing 8 rehabs a year off a google spreadsheet.  Have thought about apps etc but as mentioned above it doesn't make sense yet.  

What do you think will be the catalyst that will make it make sense for you to consider using an app? What do you foresee using an app for when you get to that point: workflow management, rehab estimation?

@Kuba F. I expect I will need better automation at about 1 rehab per month (12 a year).  That is also the same point I would expect to bring on an employee/project manager.

I would need it primarily to handle workflow, material ordering, estimating,etc.  My deal analysis is handled fairly well in Podio so really it would just need to be the nuts and bolts of the rehab.

This is some good feedback. 

Honesty, I wasnt sure what I was looking for. I am looking for something to compare quotes, materials purchased, workflow management..............I want i all. Kidding. But I would like anything that would simplify my process.

I've looked into co-construct and buildertrend. Both can do a lot of which you are wanting and even have a communication platform to use with your contractors that is attached to each project. Buildertrend also has a solid system built for project scheduling and coordination. I've discussed using an app with some of my subs and they really liked the idea. I don't do the volume to need it just yet so have held off but the biggest hold-up for me is I have become attached to my flippingspreadsheets. They look great, are easy to use, and provide about everything I want in tracking and analyzing a project financially. 

@Nick N. I work for a large general contractor, and to manage our projects we use Excel. We use Viewpoint for accounting, but I don't touch that. Everything else I need to manage for these large projects is just whatever documents available on my PC, folders for organization, and lots of spreadsheets. We even make schedules in excel, but you could look into MS Project. I know other large general contractors use software like ProLog, but that's expensive and for very large projects. Maybe it's just coming up with your own best spreadsheets and documents that work for you. 

@Julie Marquez I used to use, online, mobile, etc. But like you said, these softwares are generally for larger and bigger firms, I spent a good $3,000 (setup and customization) only to find out that I am better off with my spreadsheets. I fell in love with the software and support, it was too much of a learning curve on my end, had one person (an architecture graduate) do two weeks to customize the whole software, then tried it with several subs, etc, after two months, reality starts to sink in, all operators were grumpy, the subs wanted to just submit the bid and be done with it, it is harder to adjust our bids to clients on the last minute. Volume is not really there.

@Christopher B. It looks good on paper and idea, when they start using the software, and it is only you that they are working it with, they'll start to cry that they lose time operating the software. Been there, done that, inefficient.

@Nick N. It will take you 2 days max if you are a regular formula programmer or know what you are doing to build a schedule, build folder system, and build a good SKU list. Get a pen and paper, list all that you want, then make a sub-list (one page per section) on how it will look like, list your formulas. It will be easier. I did mine in less than a day.

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