How to Find the Best Construction Estimating Options, Including Takeoff Software and Services

November 4, 2021
construction estimating - venn diagram

Why Traditional Takeoff Software Is No longer the Best Job Cost Option

Despite the range of job cost options that currently exist, builders still have many needs that are not being met during the pre-construction phase of a project. Beyond accurate materials and labor cost data, many contractors are still struggling to develop takeoffs or submit winning bids. How well is your current construction estimating option performing for your company, and how does it compare to the expertise you can find at 1build? In this post, we assess common job cost options, including traditional takeoff software, estimating services, and outdated cost data, to help you see exactly where your cost estimating process can be improved.

How Does 1build Compare to Construction Estimating Databases, Takeoff Software, and Other Job Cost Options?

In today's busy world, it's pretty common for construction pros to use a range of job cost options to meet their pre-construction needs instead of using a single, reliable source. This could be due to inexperience with single-source cost estimating options, reliance on existing systems, or dependence on internal resources like an in-house estimator. But what if you could get all the information you need to create fast, accurate bids based on realistic takeoffs in a single platform?

At 1build, we provide all the pre-construction tools and services you need in one place. When you work with us, you'll gain access to rapid estimates that can be adapted on the fly, on-demand estimators with extensive experience in takeoffs and cost estimates, live material cost data that is continuously updated, and digital takeoffs that save you time, energy, and effort when developing your bids.

But how will you know if 1build is a better option than what you're currently using? Here's a quick look at some comparisons between 1build and alternative construction estimating options.

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The 1build Platform vs. SaaS Takeoff Software

We’re aware that other estimating platforms with SaaS takeoff software exist and that some of them do a decent job of allowing you to access your takeoffs from anywhere. However, they don't provide the option of changing your project from a basic rapid estimate to a live, on-demand estimator who can help you through the tricky details of your project when you need it. What’s more, their pricing databases may not be up-to-date or may rely on external directories that contain errors. In short, with other SaaS software, you'll have to do most of the heavy lifting to complete your estimates and they’re more likely to be inaccurate.

1build Rapid Estimates vs. Spreadsheets or Pen and Paper

Traditional pen and paper estimating or spreadsheet-based systems open the door for a range of potential mathematical issues. Simply keying in the wrong space can break your spreadsheet, whereas pen and paper systems are not only prone to errors but are also time-consuming. When you work with 1build, we'll help you put your bid together in a matter of minutes, even if you don't have plans handy.

1build On-Demand Estimators vs. Third-Party or Overseas Estimating Services

The deceptively low prices of third-party or overseas estimating services might make you think they’re a viable option to address your pre-construction needs. But like most things that look too good to be true, they usually are. Issues in language, experience, and processes can be hard to overcome and result in steep costs: imprecise estimates and losing bids. At 1build, our expert estimators are ready to help you. We've always got an estimator with deep experience in your field of construction and project type, so you can effortlessly add an estimator to your team with the click of a button.

1build Live Material Rates vs. Outdated Cost Data Volume Supplier References

Cost data can be outdated or regionally incorrect. In fact, 90% of the cost data in RSMeans is incorrect. Stale cost data results in both budget and schedule overruns, eroding your profit margins. To protect your business from volatile pricing or shifting labor costs, 1build sources our cost data in real-time from local suppliers and crews in your zip code. This means the amount you bid will be the amount you spend, reducing the risks of cost overruns.

1build Digital Takeoffs vs. Manual to Get the Project Moving

The final job cost option during pre-construction is using a manual process. Yes, you could do the project takeoff without help, but you’ll also have to do the measurement and costing yourself to get things going, which will substantially slow you down. Ironically, by trying to get things moving, you’ll end up getting your project stuck. However, when you work with 1build, you'll be able to get the right numbers faster, and your estimates will be simultaneously created in the background as you work on your takeoff. An added bonus of forgoing a manual process is that you can avoid the risks associated with spreadsheets.

As you can see, you can receive substantial benefits from using 1build to meet your construction estimating needs during pre-construction. By leveraging 1build instead of traditional software, manual processes, stale cost data, or overseas services, you can focus on what you do best—building.

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