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Mechanical Estimating Software For Plumbing Contractors

Many mechanical estimating programs are now cloud based and require a paid for license to use. They may have a monthly fee, an annual fee or cost per estimate depending on the product and features.

Buyers will want to evaluate the program’s ability to store assemblies that can be used in any plan that is reviewed in the takeoff tool. This feature saves time when taking off equipment connections like dampers, registers and air handlers.

Pipe & Fittings

Pipes are used to transport water, air and other fluids. They come in a variety of sizes, materials and finishes. Fittings are attachments that attach to pipes to change direction, control flow or change diameter. They can be soldered, brazed, welded, grooved or pressed into place.

The most common pipe fitting is a tee. They are shaped like the letter T and can combine two pipe runs or divide them. Tees also provide a connection for branch lines. Couplings are another type of pipe fitting. They connect two straight pieces of the same diameter or a reduced diameter. Reducers are used to make a gradual change in diameter, while bushings make a smaller change in size.

Most mechanical estimating software programs have databases of all different types of pipe, tees, couplings and elbows. The database will include the standard and available lengths for each part. The program will also have all the different methods of joining these parts together including soldered, brazed, welded, pushed and crimped joints.

The software will also have a standard and available list of material prices that can be updated on a regular basis. These price lists can save significant time during the estimating process. Most of these programs will also allow you to create assemblies which are all the pipe, valves and fittings around a piece of equipment or fixture.


Assemblies are groups of material items that speed up the estimating process. They help eliminate retyping and simplify data entry by allowing you to count a group of similar items (like the piping set-up for a VAV unit) all at once. Assemblies can also reduce the amount of rework that is needed when changing a pipe or duct size.

Assemblies can be nested within one another, a process known as “recursive inheritance.” The parent assembly defines the types that can be used in its scope and the resources it needs. The child assemblies then define the subassemblies, or line items that are a part of the parent. This is beneficial because it allows you to change the component costs and labor productivity of a basic assembly without having to update each individual line item.

Creating and maintaining assembly definitions requires careful documentation and standardization. Inconsistent naming conventions, descriptions, and measurement methods can lead to errors and confusion during the estimation process.

Ask the vendor about the type and amount of support documentation they provide. This will give you a good idea of how quickly they can respond to your questions. They should have online training videos as well as a knowledge base that contains frequently asked questions and step-by-step troubleshooting guides for common problems. In addition, ask about the level of security that the system has to prevent unauthorized users from accessing important files.

HVAC Piping

Depending on the size of a business and the complexity that is needed in an estimation system, there are options from desktop programs costing under $100 to enterprise solutions with thousands of jobs tracked across multiple locations. Most programs have a free trial period that allows contractors to test the software and make sure it fits their needs before making a purchase.

Increased Efficiency

Using HVAC estimating software can save time when creating estimates by reducing the amount of manual labor required to prepare custom bids for customers. Additionally, it can help reduce errors in calculating costs and prices and ensure that all aspects of a job are included in an estimate.


Many HVAC estimating systems include a comprehensive material database that keeps track of pricing data for a wide range of manufacturers and suppliers. This enables contractors to use accurate pricing when preparing estimates for their customers and automatically recalculate costs if prices change.

The best mechanical estimating software programs have a variety of piping construction standards, including copper, cast iron, steel and plastics, and include all types of joints such as soldered, brazed, welded, grooved and pressed. Some programs also support different types of fittings, such as polypro or push type fittings.

Wendes Systems offers a line of mechanical estimating software called FastPIPE and FastDUCT that meet the requirements for commercial and industrial sheet metal and HVAC, along with an application for duct insulation estimation, FastWRAP. Each of these programs is easy to learn and includes reliable customer support.

Plumbing Piping

For plumbing contractors, the process of preparing bids and estimates can be time-consuming, especially for large projects. Having a comprehensive estimating software solution can help streamline the process and reduce errors while also increasing productivity. This can lead to faster project turnarounds, better customer support and improved client satisfaction.

One of the most important aspects of any plumbing estimate is the costing of materials. This includes pipes, fixtures and accessories as well as labor to install them. A good estimating software can incorporate labor units, markups and profit to create a complete and accurate estimate for the customer. It can also help you keep track of inventory and order materials more efficiently.

Another crucial aspect of a good estimating system is its ability to handle different types of piping. This is especially true when preparing estimates for commercial projects. For example, many of these jobs will require specialized piping systems such as lifesaving gas piping and industrial piping systems.

Using the right estimating system can also help you create professional proposals that will impress your clients. Most programs will allow you to customize your proposal with your logo, terms and scope of work. Some even come with pre-made templates to help you get started.

The most popular construction estimating software solutions offer flexible pricing options including subscription and perpetual license. With perpetual license, you purchase the software outright and own it for an indefinite amount of time. Subscription pricing, on the other hand, allows you to pay a monthly fee for access to features and updates.