Construction estimating is broken into 2 phases. One is the takeoff phase. The second phase is the estimating phase which is typically the process of taking quantities that were generated by measuring quantities from a blueprint and then extend those quantities against a price.
When it comes to estimating software the price range is from free construction estimating software to construction estimating software costing thousands of dollars. What is difference between a construction estimating software costing thousands of dollars and estimating software that is free? Typically you will find that the more expensive construction estimating software offers a substantial database of construction materials, labor and equipment and has the ability combine groupings of items to speed up the construction estimating process.
Blueprint takeoff software typically is broken into paper plan takeoff and PDF plan takeoff or a process typically measuring or doing a takeoff onscreen rather than from a paper plan. The PDF plan takeoff software packages also range in price from free takeoff software up to software costing close to thousands of dollars. Again, what is the difference? The primary difference is once you have the takeoff quantities generated, where do you send them?
Some PDF plan takeoff software packages are built right into the construction estimatingsoftware. This gives the construction estimator a seamless experience. However, if the user likes the PDF plan takeoff software but does not like the estimating software you cannot detach one from the other.
The second type of PDF plan takeoff software is a standalone program where you build the estimate within the blueprint takeoff software. This also has its limitations. With all of the quantities embedded in the takeoff software, how do you get the quantities into a third party construction estimating program or into a spreadsheet. This is the dilemma.
For an Excel spreadsheet user, the ideal PDF plan takeoff program would embed itself right into the construction estimating template designed by construction estimator. This give the construction estimator the ability to generate blueprint takeoffs directly from the PDF drawing and feed the quantities directly into the construction estimating template the estimator has designed in Microsoft Excel. For many, this is the best option.
To recap, what type of construction estimating and PDF plan takeoff software is right for you. Is a free estimating program or an construction estimating program costing thousands of dollars. Or is the best choice building your own spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel. When it comes to PDF plan takeoff software is it a blueprint takeoff package that is embedded in a construction estimating database, one that works standalone, or is it a PDF plan takeoff program that seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Excel. The choice is yours.