Construction Takeoff Software vs. Construction Estimating Services: Which one should you choose?

March 21, 2022
estimating||||doing takeoff in 1build

Is it better to go with a construction estimator or do it yourself?

As the busy construction season gets closer, there are more projects than ever to bid—whether your specialty is residential bathrooms, commercial build-outs, or hospital HVAC. But the old way of calling subcontractors and emailing suppliers, just to turn around and have to enter everything into an excel spreadsheet isn’t going to work this time. As your business grows you need a solution that grows with you, especially when it comes to estimating and pricing your potential projects.

Here’s what you need to know when you are shopping for estimating and construction takeoff software or professional estimating services.

What to Look for in an Estimating and Construction Takeoff Software

Not every estimating software offers the same features and ease-of-use, so consider your level of skill and comfort with building a digital estimate. If you are a seasoned construction estimator, you will need tools that help you customize you estimate, connecting them together seamlessly. The 1build platform allows you to create sections, grouping, and duplicates of your estimates so you can sort your material and equipment by phase, CSI division, or room. The rapid estimate view also includes space for any formulas you commonly use, and is fully integrated with all of your takeoff measurements.

doing takeoff in 1build

If you are just beginning your estimating journey, you need an estimating and construction takeoff software that is easy to use, and helps you grow in your pricing skills. The 1build rapid estimate view was created with small contracting businesses in mind. It is simple to being even if you don’t have architectural plans. Use the rapid estimate view to search for the item you need, add the measurement, and watch the pricing populate. You can also add your company logo and contact information to instantly create a professional estimate sheet that can be shared with a unique link, PDF, or Excel file.

Beginners and pros both need accurate material and labor rates. When you are shopping for an estimating software for your growing company, look specifically for how often pricing databases are updated, and whether the costs and labor rates are national averages, or specific to your local area. The 1build cost database is captured from thousands of sources across the United States and sorted with our proprietary algorithm. Every 1build subscriber has access to specific data for any county in the United States—and you can choose the county for each estimating project.

What to Look for in a Construction Estimating Service

No matter how easy the estimating software is, sometimes you still need a professional to create a full estimate for you. Maybe your business is growing fast with stacks of RFQs that are ready to bid, or maybe you are expanding your work into a new sector—it is more work than your current team can handle so an estimating service is the way to go!

Here are three questions to ask when looking for the best estimating service to fit your needs:

  1. Is the construction estimator experienced in the type of project you are pursuing?
  2. Where is the construction estimator located?
  3. What kind of data is the construction estimator using for your bid?
1build cost database

The 1build Estimating Combination

When you are searching online and reading reviews about construction takeoff software and estimator services, it may seem like you have to choose between a high-quality estimating software with all the features you need or a professional construction estimating service. The 1build team is all about creating solutions for contractors so they can grow their business, so we took on this challenge. Every 1build software subscription comes with full access to our Estimator Network, so your team can easily transition between estimating a project quickly in-house, or sending the plans to a professional to get it finished for you.

With 1build, you have the powerful tools you need on a daily basis, and the professional support to scale and win more bids. Ready to see it in action? Schedule a demo with a 1build solutions expert and walk through the platform for your specific type of construction projects.

1build provides an easy-to-use integration with construction supplier catalogs and purchasing systems. Get access to millions of construction materials with our API today