A fully customizable experience plus a powerful feature set earn Bid4Build the TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award for construction estimating software. Bid4Build excels at estimating building construction projects, focusing on residential, home repair and modeling. The software includes a number of wizards, such as an estimate advisor wizard. These wizards help you quickly build a thorough and accurate estimate.
Bid4Build comes with an extensive cost database that you can alter and customize according to each project and your needs. You can add, delete and change line items and line item costs as needed, and Bid4Build allows you to make adjustments using a mobile device.
Bid4Build comes with an extensive customer support system in addition to being easy to use. The thorough help center will give you most of the answers you'll need, but the manufacturer also offers online demonstrations and live training. We are thoroughly impressed with this construction estimating software, and with how this application aids you in the bidding process.
Bid4Build has many of the same features that we found in more-expensive software, and it even has several features those applications don't support. This construction estimating software includes both a customer maintenance database and a supplier database. It has a Project Phase tool to break down your estimate into phases, and a Create Area section that allows you to divide your estimate into specific areas or rooms, which is useful for remodeling bids. The Create Assemblies section helps you group together specific line items that are used together for a specific job. The area database allows you to automatically calculate area dimensions, and the built-in calculator and conversion programs allow you to automatically calculate various aspects of the bid.
Unique features it has that are not commonly found in most estimating software include a scheduling system that generates a timeline schedule for your subcontractors and clients. You can break down your schedule by phase, area and category in a Gantt report. This helps everyone involved know exactly what work is scheduled on any given day. There is also a calendar management feature – which is independent of the scheduling system – that is available for every date entry field.
Bid4Build also features a project photo database that stores digital photos and lets you document phases of your projects. A digital image database can be very helpful in showing the progress of your work to your clients. Plus, this application even has a map generator that allows you to create detailed directions to a work location so that clients can come to the site and see the progress for themselves.
Once you've created an estimate, you can customize the way the reports are presented. The information for each estimate is broken down into reports for the customer, internal financial reports and reports for subcontractors and suppliers. You can choose to print these reports or send them as PDF files to the appropriate groups. You can even put your company logo on the reports for a customized professional appearance.
While Bid4Build doesn't have a built-in takeoff digitizer, the manufacturer offers a takeoff companion product for the estimating software. Bid4Build Takeoff Live seamlessly integrates with Bid4Build Estimating and allows you to import your PDF, TIF, BMP and JPEG image files and calculate measurements in a fraction of the time it would take with printed plans.
The Bid4Build interface is logical and intuitive. You will be able to produce bids right away without too much trouble. When you begin using this construction estimation software, you'll be greeted by a QuickStart menu to help get the ball rolling. The manufacturer even offers a graphical representation of how the application works. If you click on the graphics, they will take you to the actual window where you can enter the data.
The navigation is straightforward and is presented as a step-by-step process to help you create an accurate estimate. Each step includes a helpful accompanying video. Bid4Build is organized in a hierarchal structure with the customer at the highest level. You need to have a least one customer to create an estimate, but you can create multiple projects for each customer. You can enter a variety of information about each customer, and this information is searchable within the database.
When you create an estimate using physical area dimensions, the dimensions allow you to calculate the extended area to define the quantities for your items. If you supply the length, width and height of a room, Bid4Build will calculate all perimeters and surface areas of the roof, ceiling, walls and floors. You can use construction calculators and sub-calculators, such as the Concrete Calculator or the Roof Calculator, during the process.
At the bottom of the hierarchy is the item. Individual items are identified in a database that can be integrated with other data sources. When you create an estimate, you can modify item if you need to or add new items, define the quantity of the item based on its usage and then automatically calculate the total costs and man-hours needed to install the item. There is an assembly feature that allows you to group multiple items together into what's called an assembly for use on future projects.
Bid4Build plays well with other applications. It is able to integrate with third-party software such as QuickBooks, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Project, as well as CAD software and the National Trade Database. It isn't compatible with Primavera, but it does offer iPhone and iPad integration, so you can review and update information on the go.
Bid4Build has a thorough help center. On each screen in the application, clicking a question mark icon will give you assistance regarding the screen you're using. There is also a FAQs page and interactive training tutorials. Plus, as mentioned earlier, Bid4Build's interface has several integrated videos for in-application assistance.
Bid4Build is a well-designed, user-friendly construction estimating application. This estimating software is an attractive package that is rich in features and functions. It offers a sense of flexibility that is ideal for companies that work on a variety of different projects. It is easy to use and is backed by a helpful customer service team. This is the best construction estimating software for those working on general building construction or light commercial work.
Bid4Build allows you to make adjustments to your project from an iPhone or iPad.
It is primarily geared toward residential construction, not commercial construction.
Bid4Build is among the best construction estimating software because it is flexible, customizable and allows you to track your projects on the go.