Free mechanical estimating software is one of the best options for contractors looking to improve their estimating and takeoff processes. It is also an excellent tool to use for generating accurate bids and proposals.
Mechanical estimating software can help contractors create estimates three to four times faster than without it. Several features can make this possible, including automatic fitting takeoff, pre-built assemblies, and value engineering tools.
Mechanical estimating software is a tool that enables contractors, builders and other construction professionals to make accurate estimates and bids for their projects. It also helps them streamline their business processes by automating many of the steps in the estimating and bidding process.
Regardless of the type of estimating software you use, it should come with a variety of features to make the estimating process easier and faster. These include pre-built estimate templates, supplier pricing databases, and other helpful tools that can help you create the most accurate estimates possible.
Pre-built estimate templates – The majority of estimating tools will offer some sort of template with which you can easily display cost estimates for different types of work. More powerful tools will offer multiple templates and other features that can save you time.
Supplier pricing database – This is an important feature because it will allow you to track prices of materials and supplies as well as calculate costs in order to create more accurate estimates. It’s important to choose a software that offers this functionality because it can save you time and money in the long run.
Smart labor technology – This is another important feature to look for in an estimating software. It helps you create more accurate estimates by automatically adjusting the time and labor associated with different jobs based on specific values. For example, if you know that it takes your team 10 feet to install 8-foot tall drywall, you’ll want smart technology to automatically adjust that rate for 12-foot walls.
Integrated labor tables from MCAA and PHCC – This is another great feature to look for in an estimating software. These tables will let you know the exact type of labor you’ll need for a job, and they’ll match it with current labor rates.
The best mechanical estimating software will have these labor tables integrated into its system. This will help you create more accurate estimates and ensure that you aren’t bidding on jobs that are overpriced.
The best estimating software will also have a large library of items and assemblies that you can easily reference when creating estimates. This will help you keep all of your information in one place so that it can be used for future projects without having to re-enter all the details each time.
Mechanical estimating software can be a powerful tool for growing a mechanical contractor’s business. It can help ensure that new projects are accurately estimated and bid competitively, and it can also give you the ability to track the progress of a project and make adjustments accordingly.
Using a good mechanical estimating program will save you time, money and headaches. It will also enable you to produce accurate estimates more quickly and with greater precision than you could do by hand.
Most of the estimating software programs will have a wide range of features that will be relevant to your trade, including a number of prebuilt templates. These can include everything from a basic HVAC piping quote to a detailed sheet metal estimate.
Some of the more advanced estimating tools will also have features that can be tailored to your specific needs. This can be useful for example if you work with a lot of different types of plumbing materials or equipment that has common parts or assemblies that need to be accounted for in each takeoff.
You may also want to consider whether the estimating software can integrate with your accounting or scheduling software. Some of the best programs have this capability and it can save you a lot of time when you are preparing bills for clients as it will allow you to export the data to your favorite application.
Another feature that you may be interested in is if the estimating software can be used to create PDF takeoffs. These can be a big time saver and will allow you to create an instant material list that can then be used in a bid.
In addition to this, many of the estimating software programs will have specialized tools that can speed up the estimating process. These can include a tool that allows you to count plan symbols and determine the quantities of each item, as well as a tool that allows you to add labor, overhead and waste costs.
Some of the estimating software packages will even have training resources for new users to get them up and running. These may be live webinars or video tutorials that hone in on certain platform functions, and they can be helpful for those who are new to the industry or who are unfamiliar with the intricacies of estimating software.
When it comes to free mechanical estimating software, the key is to choose a product that is tailored to your business. Some estimating systems are designed for general contractors, while others are specifically built with a trade in mind (electricians, HVAC or plumbing).
The most important factor to consider is pricing. Some programs cost more than others, and the price often corresponds to features and popularity.
Some estimating systems are cloud-based, which means they’re accessible via a web browser on any computer with an internet connection. They’re also known as “Software-as-a-Service” (SaaS) and are typically billed on a monthly basis.
Other estimating tools are on-premise, which are deployed directly on the user’s computer. These types of products typically cost more upfront, and they usually include an annual maintenance and support fee as part of their license.
Many estimating systems offer pre-built estimate templates, and some also include a supplier pricing database, which can help you save time by automatically calculating costs. The database can be updated with current supply and material pricing from local distributors, so you’re always ready to provide an accurate quote.
Another important feature is integration with takeoff software. This allows you to automatically generate the materials required for your mechanical estimating project, which can cut down on the amount of labor you spend completing estimates by hand.
Moreover, some programs also include access to industry-specific labor databases, which can save you money by providing you with more precise labor prices. Some of these include the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, the Sheet Metal Workers’ Association, and the National Kitchen and Bath Association.
In addition, some estimating software systems integrate with other construction management tools, such as Procore or Autodesk, so you can use them in tandem. This can make it easier for you to streamline your estimating process and stay on top of job scheduling.
Finally, some software solutions come with an implementation team to get you started on the right foot. This includes a kickoff meeting, data migration, system configuration and dedicated training.
One of the best options for free mechanical estimating software is Estimate, an open-source software program by Wanhive. This software is suitable for larger civil construction and EPC companies and is released under the GNU Affero General Public License. It is also compatible with a wide range of operating systems and devices.
Whether you’re a small or large business, free mechanical estimating software can save your company time and money. It can also help you win more bids by offering detailed estimates and preventing your work from going over budget.
Many free estimating software products offer a wide range of features designed to improve the accuracy and efficiency of your estimates. They also provide support for users, including customer service and product training.
The best estimating software offers industry-specific solutions that address the unique needs of your business. Typical features include industry standard labor units, pricing databases, and a variety of pre-built mechanical assemblies that can make quoting easier.
Some software providers even offer specialized systems for specific types of construction projects. For example, if you’re a mechanical piping contractor, it makes sense to use a spool pipe length calculator, which can eliminate the need for a manual process of measuring pipes from a drawing.
A good estimating tool will also help you keep track of your project documentation, including plans, blueprints and specifications. This will make it easier to access the files you need when you need them, which can reduce the risk of misplacing or wasting documents.
It should also allow you to create multiple-item updates, allowing you to update prices and materials in several places at once. It may also have a number of formulas to help you perform calculations, such as area or volume.
Another great feature is the ability to store assembly / item details, which can be a handy way to keep track of common pieces of a project. For example, a residential interior wall typically uses a certain number of nails and wood in order to be installed. Keeping this information in an assembly means that each nail won’t need to be included in the bill of materials every time that assembly is referenced.
Free estimating software will often allow you to share your documents with other team members, which can make sharing projects and collaborating on them much easier. This can be done through permission controls, which can grant or deny a user access to a project. This feature is especially useful when multiple people need to collaborate on the same document.