All Industries, Business Tips, Pro Features, Guides

7 Top Construction Estimating Apps for Contractors in 2024

May 10th, 2024
10 Min Read

If using Excel spreadsheets, pen and paper, and texts and emails to create construction estimates isn’t cutting it for you anymore (or if you’re just tired of the time and aggravation that method involves), there are two common types of estimating solutions on the market:

  1. Basic mobile estimate apps: Apps created for drafting simple construction estimates via a mobile device (and that may include invoicing features or accounting integrations). 

  2. Construction management software with built-in estimating: Comprehensive business software, such as ServiceTitan, offers robust estimating features alongside seamlessly integrated project management tools, inventory management, in-depth reporting, and more.

On the surface, a basic mobile estimating app might seem like a decent and affordable solution to your estimating problems. But these apps have some significant limitations compared to construction management software: 

  • Lack of integration to other tools: Lightweight estimating tools often will not integrate with the other tools you use to run your construction business, such as your pricebook, project management, inventory, and billing systems. Someone on staff needs to update each of the systems manually to keep project information up to date.

  • Workflow inefficiencies: Estimators need to reference other tools and platforms when drafting estimates (pricebook, project management software, etc.). Information isn’t automatically pulled and updated from these platforms.

  • Lack of real-time project and financial data: When project data is separated into different apps and spreadsheets and needs to be manually updated, executives and project managers lack an accurate, real-time picture of crucial project and financial data.

For these and other reasons, most contractors will find greater value in construction management software that includes built-in estimating features. In this post, we’ll share a mix of both types of solutions so that you can decide which is best for your specific needs.

First, we’ll explain how our ServiceTitan platform helps specialty contractors streamline construction estimating and project management. Then, we’ll share 6 other construction estimating apps to consider.  

Best Construction Estimating Apps (Available on the App Store and Google Play)

  1. ServiceTitan

  2. Buildertrend

  3. Procore

  4. Contractor Foreman

  5. Construction Estimator App

  6. Construction Cost Estimator

  7. Joist

Schedule a call to get a free, live, one-on-one walk-through of how ServiceTitan helps contractors streamline estimating and project management.

1. ServiceTitan

To demonstrate how ServiceTitan’s cloud-based construction software can support contractors in estimating and project management, we’ll walk through some of our key features that have been designed for specialty contractors in Mechanical/HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and various other trades.

Manage Projects From the Project Overview Dashboard

The first step to building a construction estimate in ServiceTitan is to create a new project, which will generate a project overview page. 

This page allows you to: 

  1. View all of the basic project information (project name, contact information, customer information, etc.).

  2. View and log tasks for the project. 

  3. Access project financials including project job costing and expense details that update automatically throughout a project.

  4. Initiate key actions such as generating an estimate, purchase order, application for payment, invoice, and more.

  5. View team members involved in the project.

  6. Access an audit trail including events, notes, and document management.

The data displayed in the project summary and expense tables are all based on the estimate you create at the beginning of the job. So let’s look at how that works first.

Build Detailed and Accurate Estimates

Project estimates allow you to build detailed construction estimates by adding all of the specific tasks, equipment, and materials that will be needed to do the work. Users have the option to draw from pre-built job estimate templates or build estimates from scratch. 

Tasks, materials, and equipment can all be tagged with color-coded project labels to organize the project details and make everything easy to visualize. In addition, pricing and markups for each line item are automatically calculated based on the most up-to-date prices in your pricebook

Once an estimate is complete, it can be printed, emailed, or exported in PDF format and sent to the client. Additional estimates can be created as needed throughout the project.

Initiate Requisition and Purchase Orders within Your Estimate

When the estimate is sold, all of the details you’ve set up in the estimate are automatically integrated into the rest of the project management workflow. For example, you can initiate a requisition of equipment and materials right from within your sold estimate.

For example, let’s say at the beginning of a project, you want to start the process of ordering your permits and materials for the job — you can select those items right from your estimate, which will lead you through a workflow to create the purchase orders you’ll need. 

In the purchase order workflow, the line items are automatically populated from your estimate. You can simply select your vendors and shipping locations for each material to complete your order details. 

Then, you can save that order to create a transaction and send those purchase orders to your vendors — all within the same user interface. 

Automate Project Financials and Job Costing

As you progress through a job — creating purchase orders, logging labor hours, processing change orders, receiving progress payments, and so on — ServiceTitan automatically provides up-to-date project costs and financials.

Instead of constantly needing to update a series of spreadsheets every time labor costs and material costs are incurred, this is done automatically for you in real-time, based on work that’s completed and entered into the system. 

If we continue with our example from above, and you’ve made your initial purchase order of permits and materials, your project summary table is updated to reflect those expenses:

Furthermore, you can view a more detailed breakdown of your actual costs versus your budgeted construction costs.

This will automatically update as you accumulate expenses from materials, equipment, and labor hours. It will display your margins in dollar and percent form to help you track job costs and profitability throughout your project. 

You can also access a table breaking down your expenses in further detail:

You can click on any line item and see the exact source of where that expense came from (which technician logged those hours, or which purchase orders and vendors a given set of materials came from). This allows you to easily check your numbers and feel confident in your data.

When it comes time to send applications for payment and invoices at each stage of progress billing, this can also be easily accomplished from the project overview dashboard.

Automate Progress Billing and Invoicing

The initial estimate you created also informs and populates your continuation sheet in your application for payment:

No more reinventing the wheel for every asset that needs to be created throughout your project. When sending a payment application, you can easily generate one by selecting the billing period and the percent of each line item you want to bill for.

Then, you can generate a PDF payment application with the details automatically filled out, and send it off to your client for review. The detail of the continuation sheet makes for a bill that’s much easier to defend in the event of pushback from construction companies or general contractors. As a result, subcontractors can get paid faster and avoid cash flow issues.

When applications are accepted, it’s just as easy to generate an invoice for that progress payment. And, when payments come in, you can update your accounts receivable through our Viewpoint, Sage, QuickBooks, and CSV accounting software integrations. 

The #1 newsletter for the trades.

Get a Personalized Demo of ServiceTitan Construction Estimating Software

What we’ve covered above is just a sampling of the desktop features that ServiceTitan offers for streamlining the estimating process and construction project management. We also offer a mobile app (available on The App Store and Google Play) for crew members and project managers to track time, use forms and checklists from the job site, create daily reports, and more. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how ServiceTitan can help you manage and grow profitability in your contracting business, schedule a call with us for a live, one-on-one walk-through of the features and functionality we’ve discussed throughout this post. 

Other Construction Estimating Apps

2. Buildertrend

Buildertrend is a comprehensive construction project management solution built for home builders, remodelers, and specialty contractors. The platform offers a wide array of features including scheduling and project planning, financial management, CRM, estimating, and sales management. 

With its estimating tools, users have access to their takeoff solution that streamlines the quantification of materials from project plans, automated proposals that eliminate the need for redundant data entry, and user-friendly estimating templates that speed up the process while ensuring consistency.

You can find BuilderTrend on:

3. Procore

Procore is a construction management software solution designed to serve a wide range of customers including civil and infrastructure, general contractors, owners, public agencies, and specialty contractors. Procore offers comprehensive tools for preconstruction, project management, quality and safety, construction financials, and more. 

With their estimating and takeoff software, users can extract quantities from drawings and models, access cost databases, and create estimates using one solution. They can move from takeoff to completed estimate seamlessly, apply historical rate tables to move quickly and accurately, and easily update to support shifting labor and material costs. 

The platform also includes expansive integration capabilities with other software and provides extensive training resources and customer support, ensuring users can maximize the software's potential. 

You can find Procore on:

4. Contractor Foreman

Contractor Foreman is another comprehensive construction management software designed primarily for small to mid-sized contractors and construction firms. This platform offers a wide range of features including project scheduling, estimates, time tracking, document and financial management, crew management, and more. 

Contractor Foreman emphasizes its affordability and user-friendly interface, as well as free training and support.

You can find Contractor Foreman on:

5. Construction Estimator App

The Construction Estimator app is a lightweight Android app designed for contractors, service companies, salespeople, and estimators to quickly create on-site estimates for construction and repair projects. The app allows users to quantify material, labor, and other costs needed to complete a construction project. It will also do calculations, so once all the data is entered, the user will get the total estimated project cost. Tax can be included in the estimated cost at the user's option.

The Construction Estimator app lets you create a project estimate while you're on-site, and then email a PDF to your customer, print a hardcopy, share it to cloud storage such as Dropbox and Google Drive, and leverage other sharing options available on the device.

You can find the Construction Estimator App on:

6. Construction Cost Estimator

The Construction Cost Estimator is a lightweight iOS mobile estimating app (for iPhone/iPad) that enables contractors to generate on-site estimates for construction and repair projects, allowing for immediate emailing of estimates as PDFs or printing for clients. It simplifies cost breakdown into categories such as Material, Labor, and Subcontract costs, and features a custom costbook for frequently used items. Additionally, users can purchase Craftsman costbooks within the app, offering detailed costs for over 30,000 construction items.

Targeting a broad range of construction professionals, the app streamlines estimate creation with customizable PDF reports and company branding. It supports project-specific customization for costs, overhead, and taxes, and includes international currency and unit support. The Craftsman costbooks provide localized cost data for the US and Canada, enhancing estimate accuracy for various project types.

You can find the Construction Cost Estimator app on:

7. Joist

Joist streamlines the estimate and invoice creation process for all types of contractors, allowing for customization with company information and logos. It supports on-site contract signing and enables acceptance of credit card and PayPal payments through the app. 

Users can build a list of frequently used items, services, and materials, and even attach photos to their estimates and invoices for clearer communication. 

Before sending, estimates and invoices can be previewed, printed, or emailed directly to clients, with the option to include personal messages. The app facilitates converting estimates into invoices, tracks customer payments, and manages client information efficiently. Additionally, it allows users to set tax rates and export data into accounting programs, potentially reducing bookkeeping costs.

You can find Joist on:

Ready to Try ServiceTitan’s Construction Estimating Solution?

There’s no question that as more and more of the construction industry embraces tech-forward solutions to old obstacles, it will become increasingly difficult for business owners to compete without an estimating solution in their tool belt. Contractors can benefit significantly from selecting an option that integrates estimating with the other essential elements of their business — project management, inventory management, business reporting, etc.  

If you’d like to learn more about how ServiceTitan can help your contracting business become more efficient and grow revenue through improved estimating processes, schedule a call today.

ServiceTitan Software

ServiceTitan is a comprehensive software solution built specifically to help service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and substantially elevate the trajectory of their business. Our comprehensive, cloud-based platform is used by thousands of electrical, HVAC, plumbing, garage door, and chimney sweep shops across the country—and has increased their revenue by an average of 25% in just their first year with us.

Learn More

Related posts