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Thread: Software To Create a Construction Estimating Database

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2020

    Software To Create a Construction Estimating Database

    I am a contractor and looking to create an estimating database and am looking into Access. I"ve attached some screenshots and an excel file of what I'm trying to accomplish. My goals are:

    • Have a form that is broken into 8 categories (general conditions, excavation, concrete, framing, etc.) Within each category, I populate a description and unit cost which is from a table I can create storing these items.
    • Once I have all my line items, then go back in and enter the actual units
    • I then can print a detail report showing all the descriptions with units, which would be my Scope of Work
    • Then a second report that shows the summary costs by just the main categories

    Sample Estimate.zipSample Estimate.zipSample Estimate.zipScope of Work (1).jpg

    Before I start diving into the learning process, what would be the best software to create this with? Access? LibreBase? I would like a desktop application and not web-based.

    Currently, I do this in Excel; however, I have issues with a tieing in a general database, links breaking, I can't lock the worksheet but also expand and contract, etc.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Largo, FL.
    Have you looked at all the Construction Estimating softwares that are available?

    I would think it'd be worth the investment to purchase one of them.... I'd also think that bankers etc are used to seeing estimates in certain formats....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Yes, I have. I'm trying to build my own for:

    1. All of the estimating software out there come with national databases of prices built into the software, which I don't need, not do I want to pay for a recurring subscription for. I subcontract all of my work, so I need something I can build my own database of costs and utilize
    2. The reports with the estimating software applications out there only partially customizable. The ones I've looked into do not have the ability to break out my costs and cost categories as I need them. So it seems that the only way I can get that, is to do it myself
    3. I need a way to create a portfolio of items that clients have to select (plumbing fixtures, lighting, flooring, etc.) I'd like to send them a report that has a picture of each product, model, color, size, cost, etc. This will report will then go in the project contract.
    4. There will be other things that I'd like to create in the future, so it seems only natural to learn how to do it now.

    I was recently introduced to Filemaker Pro, which seems that it would be the best/easiest way to accomplish what I need, for the learning curve seem smaller than the bare database applications (Acces, LibreBase). Do you have any thoughts on this Steve?


    PS I only work directly with the clients, so I tailor everything to what they want to see.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    I agree with admin, It is better to buy the paid version of any software that will be good for your needs. Or, it is even better to hire developers and make your own software. In this case, you will be independent. But it will cost too much.

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