Flooring Estimating Software Buyers Guide
Last updated: December 04, 2023
Submitting bid proposals for a flooring project can be an uphill task if done manually. Getting accurate dimensions of the floor for curved or odd shaped rooms can present you with a challenge. You may also face problems while computing the square footage of certain rooms if you handle the process manually. To improve your chances of winning flooring project bids, it’s pivotal that you rely on a flooring estimating software. It helps simplify the tasks involved in calculating the number of supplies and man hours that may be required for the flooring project.
Whether you are looking to invest in a software for flooring contractors for the first time or upgrading your current system, this flooring estimating software guide can help you get started. It presents a basic framework for selecting and evaluating the best flooring estimating software so that you can avoid buyer’s remorse. We will take a data-driven look at the needs of flooring contractors and outline the key aspects they should look for as you evaluate a flooring estimating software. It will also walk you through the core features of electrical flooring estimating applications and suggests a direction to move when selecting the right platform.
What you'll find inside:
- Understanding flooring estimating software
- Benefits of flooring estimating software
- Tips on how to identify your needs
- Salient features of flooring estimating software
- Assessing the expenses
- Popular flooring estimating software
Understanding Flooring Estimating Software
What is flooring estimating software? It is a software application that helps flooring contractors accurately estimate the cost of materials and labor required for a project and then create a professional bid proposal. These technology-driven tools allow you to perform fast, accurate takeoffs and estimates. You can use a pre-built library of materials or add custom flooring supplies to your project estimates and account for waste, labor, and other costs. For example, flooring contractors can easily account for stairs, baseboards, and doors; define add-ons, such as nail strips, adhesive, or carpet pads, so that they create custom tile patterns. Moreover, using a flooring estimating platform to perform estimating and takeoff means that labor, material, and all your corresponding costs are centralized. The software also enables users to recalculate and revise costs if plan changes are requested during negotiations. Overall, you can rely on these technologies to provide accurate cost estimates and improve communication between all parties.
Benefits of Flooring Estimating Software
The key benefits of flooring estimating software applications include, but are not limited to:
- Improved efficiency
- Reduced rework
- Cost control and efficiency
- Reduced waste and material costs
- Accurate estimates
- Improved collaboration
- Faster results
- Enhanced field services
- Improved customer satisfaction
- Organized work orders and invoices
- Professional bid proposals
Goal Setting: Areas You Want to Improve
Not all flooring estimating software systems are created equal, so make sure you end up with the one that meets your needs precisely. You should make a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves to understand what exactly you need in a flooring estimating solution. Before reaching out to the vendor, you must set smart business goals. Have a solid plan, one that will let you measure if a software fits well to your entire team and can help you win more flooring project bids in a way that maximizes profits while boosting the professionalism of your business. You should also research and analyze your options, know your budget, and talk to peers to get their recommendations. We’d also suggest that you do your homework on the technology advancements and popular features of flooring estimating software.
Define Your Current Problems Before Seeking a Solution
Not all flooring estimating applications solve the same problems. That's why a crucial step when selecting software for flooring contractors is identifying your specific pain points and challenges. You are not just looking for a new system just because you have to. There must be some information you need to manage, a process you want to automate, or some problems you need to get rid of. You should analyze and gather all of that by making a list of the current challenges and constraints you're facing. Wherever the problems lie, try to be as specific as possible. This will help you understand which of the options are potential fits and which aren’t worth your attention. Also evaluate the potential features and functionality of a software solution, so you can properly identify the ones that correspond the most to your processes. Lastly, don’t forget to ask detailed questions during sales discussions and product demos.
Vendor Shopping: Features to Look For
You should embark on your flooring estimating software shopping with a solid understanding of what features and functionalities you need to improve your current processes. As a flooring contractor, you would like it to have all functionalities that make it easier for you to submit accurate bids and collaborate with your team members within and outside your company. Keep a few features of flooring estimating software in mind as you evaluate the potential options. A rule of thumb says that you should involve your team to know what they want and then shortlist the best features. You should ask around before finalizing any product or features.
If you know someone who is in the same business as you, ask them because they might help you make a wise decision. The right software application will offer all the tools you need to submit accurate bid proposals for your projects while optimizing your entire workflow efficiency. Conduct due diligence to make sure that you don’t sign up for a system that doesn’t let you submit bid proposals accurately or lacks any fundamental features.
Flooring estimating solutions, also known as flooring takeoff software, are crossing boundaries with their diverse range of functionalities. You should pick the software features based on your unique estimating needs and the type of your flooring contracting business. Make sure that the product you choose to implement for your business allows you to generate reliable estimates and track various project phases before you lock yourself into a contract with the vendor.
When exploring flooring estimating tools for your projects, be sure it comes with the following features:
- Floor plan database
- Tile visualizations
- Trade-specific cost and material database
- Cost estimation
- Integration with takeoff
- Assembly library
- Proposal generator
- Reporting and analytics:
- Bid templates
Floor plan database: This allows you to import pre-existing architectural layouts and floor plans from a digital catalog so that you can draw the floor plan as quickly as possible.
Trade-specific cost and material database: The best flooring estimating applications give you access to trade-specific databases of associated labor and common materials costs to auto-fill pricing for carpet, tile, hardwood, etc.
Cost estimation: You can rely on these technologies to calculate total cost of a particular project and view itemized costs for labor and material. This also includes fees for overhead, takes, and markup for profit. You can even adjust markup to account for change orders and offer discounts, ensuring quote is both profitable and competitive.
Tile visualizations: This is one of the staples of software for flooring contractors. You can use pre-built designs to create 3D representations of tile floor patterns and share them with clients during the estimate process.
Proposal generator: The best flooring estimating software lets you create professional looking bid proposals for your projects. You can quote with detailed data about project costs. It even gives you options to customize your company logo and branding.
Integration with takeoff: This is a must-have feature as it allows you to automate material and labor costs based on calculations taken from takeoff. You can use digitizer tools or import digital plans to draw the floor plan, calculate labor, and select area for material.
Assembly library: You can choose from a library of pre-designed assemblies for standard job tasks, or save and customize assemblies in a library for future job tasks.
Assessing the Expenses
The deployment method you choose to implement can drastically affect the amount you end up paying for a flooring estimating software system. Some vendors that offer perpetual licenses require you to pay a heavy upfront amount, while others that provide subscription-based products ask you for monthly charges. Be sure to consider the long-term cost of the software, and always ask the technology provider if they provide monthly or lifetime access. The cost of flooring estimating software also varies depending on the factors discussed below.
- Number of users supported
- Implementation processes
- Customer support
- Contract terms
Contractors looking for cloud-based, subscription-based software services, can expect to pay around $150 per user per month. This means that for 2-5 users, they're planning to spend an annual amount ranging from $3,600 to $9,000. This does not include costs associated with setup, support, and maintenance.
Contractors looking for on-premise, perpetual license flooring estimating software, can expect to pay around $5,000 or more per user license. This means that for 2-5 users, they’re planning to pay upfront costs ranging from $10,000 to $25,000.
The Top Flooring Estimating Software
The following integrated flooring estimating applications have positioned themselves as market leaders:
- Clear Estimates
Choosing What's Best for Your Company
Picking the best flooring estimating software application is a daunting task. Since these technology-driven systems are costly, you will have to be very careful about your software purchase. The right flooring estimating software will help significantly improve your bid output as well as project win rate. You can rely on these systems to finish flooring estimates quickly by accurately calculating labor, materials, profit margin, and overhead. So, it’s time to Say goodbye to your digitizer, scale ruler, and manual estimating methods and start growing your business with the right flooring estimating software!