It’s time to plan your next project with the right software. Whether you are looking to manage your team’s scheduling, or draft plans for a new build, or simply want to make sure your jobsite is always moving forward, you need construction and design software that can help you get the job done. In this article I will share my top picks for construction management and design technology that should keep any contractor or designer up to speed on the latest trends in technology.
In this guide, we review the aspects of Planning Software For Construction, top construction management software, types of construction software, and residential construction management software.
Planning Software For Construction
Construction and design software has come a long way in the last decade. When I started my own construction business back in 2002, we had to use paper drawings and physical models to show clients how their homes would look. But now, with all sorts of new technologies on the market—including project management software, estimating software, 2D drafting programs and 3D modeling programs—it’s easier than ever for contractors and designers alike to work together and provide an even more efficient service for our clients. In this article you’ll learn about some of my favorite design tools that help me build better houses so I can get back out on my lawnmower faster!
2-D drafting software
2-D drafting software is used to create drawings of buildings and structures. These drawings can be printed or saved as a PDF file. 2-D drafting software is used by architects, engineers, construction managers, and contractors to design the layout of a project before it’s built. The more advanced versions allow you to create 3-D models from scratch using your own designs or from existing architectural plans that have been imported into the program.
3-D modeling and visualization software
3-D modeling software is incredibly useful for visualizing and communicating your designs to others, as well as making sure that your drawings are accurate and up-to-date. Here’s how it works:
- The first step in using 3-D modeling software is to create a model of the project, which can be done either by drawing lines on a 2D plan or by importing an existing file (such as an AutoCAD drawing). As you move through the different phases of construction, you’ll add details like doors, windows and furniture. You also have the option to remove these items from your model if they’re not necessary for that stage.
- You can use different types of views in your 3D model—this includes top down (looking straight down), side view (looking at it from one side), front view (looking at it straight on) and perspective view (which makes objects appear smaller when they get farther back). This can help with visualizing how things fit together inside the house or building project without having to actually move around inside it!
Residential design software
- Residential design software. Whether you’re looking to create floor plans, elevations, or 3D models, the right residential design software will help you visualize your home and make it easier to communicate with contractors and builders.
- Residential rendering software. Creating renderings is an important part of marketing your property—especially when selling a new home that needs to be marketed remotely. The best rendering programs allow you to quickly and easily create professional-looking images that can be used in marketing materials like brochures, flyers and other promotional materials.
Landscaping design software
Landscaping Design Software
Landscaping design software is used to create landscape designs and plans. Landscape designers use landscaping design software to make accurate drawings of the landscape site, add details such as plants and trees, create an accurate bill of materials for the project, and generate a schedule for completing the project. A good landscaping design software will allow you to import CAD drawings, photos, and other images into your file so that you can incorporate them into your plan or model. Many programs also provide features like 3D models that allow you to visualize what your finished product will look like before it’s built.
Estimating and takeoff software
Estimating and takeoff software is used by construction companies to help them get an idea of how much a project will cost. These are very important because without them, a company might not be able to bid on jobs. Let’s talk about estimating first.
Estimating is the process of taking a client’s requirements, determining the materials and labor needed to complete the work and then coming up with an estimate for that job based on those factors. Now here’s where takeoff comes into play: takeoffs are estimates for individual items within a larger job such as cabinets or flooring materials among others so that you’re not paying for too much material for your customers’ homes or businesses!
Project management software
Project management software is software that helps you manage your projects, people, and processes. It tracks tasks and deadlines, organizes files and records, and provides reports so you can measure the progress of your project.
Project management software features vary depending on the type of project being managed. For example, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems often include scheduling capabilities within their core functionality. Project management software also includes some basic features like workflow automation which allows for an easy way to assign responsibilities for various tasks throughout the duration of a job or project
Building information modeling (BIM) software
Building information modeling (BIM) software is a type of 3D model that includes all the information needed to build a building. It’s used to plan, manage and document a construction project.
BIM software is most often used in architecture, engineering and construction (AEC). This can include creating models for buildings or other structures like bridges or dams. BIM has many benefits when it comes to planning your project and keeping track of it throughout its lifetime.
top construction management software
Construction projects are built from many smaller deliverables and subprojects, all of which a company needs to track so it can meet promised deadlines, work within a budget, and stay within scope. Construction project management software provides a single, secure platform that enables users to manage project plans, phases, schedules, budgets, and risks. More importantly, it provides a collaborative environment that simplifies communication and coordination, aligning all teams’ goals to a common vision: a successfully completed project.
Recommended Project Management Software
In a hurry? Then check out these top-rated project management software solutions. 1 Smartsheet Visit website Learn more about Smartsheet 2 Wrike Visit website Learn more about Wrike 3 Kintone Visit website Learn more about Kintone 4 Corecon Visit website Learn more about Corecon 5 monday.com Visit website Learn more about monday.com
Top Project Management Software for Construction
Let’s go into deeper detail on several solutions that are particularly suited to the challenges of managing construction projects.
monday.com is a cloud-based platform that provides project management tools for a variety of use cases, including construction management. It enables users to connect all the moving parts in construction projects to drive impact and allow teams to reach goals faster. The platform works across devices to simplify managing and collaboration between office teams and field teams.
monday.com is for architects, builders, general contractors, and engineers. Users can easily collaborate and share files, images, updates, RFIs, and feedback. Built-in progress tracking automatically monitors, calculates, and updates information on budgets, timelines, and resources at every stage with high-level dashboards and charts. Other features include ready-to-use construction templates, financial management, portfolio management, and document management.
Smartsheet is a modern project and work management platform that enables companies to manage projects and automate processes. It is applicable to a wide selection of roles and industries, including the construction industry. It helps streamline the construction project lifecycle with pre-built solutions, templates, and custom solutions such as for preconstruction, safety management, field operations, resource management, quality control, and reporting.
Smartsheet allows users to collaborate, brainstorm project requirements, and track initial cost estimates in a sheet. Teams can centralize project requirements and keep track of documentation with attachments. It also has dashboards and portals to highlight specific key visual information. Other features include project cost calculations, forms, and reports.
Fieldwire is a jobsite management software solution for construction teams. It is an ideal software for architects, general contractors, specialty contractors, owners, and engineers. It enables the construction project team, from the contractor foreman to the project manager, to collaborate and share information in real time.
Fieldwire provides real-time messaging where team members can connect conversations with specific tasks for faster decision-making and issue resolution. Users can track all construction tasks, activities, and issues. They can record issues and update plans with notes, photos, and videos. The construction project management software also has schedules, reports, and mobile apps. Field teams can easily update plans and create digital forms.
Procore is construction management software built for owners, main contractors, and subcontractors. It connects the site and office for real-time visibility and improved efficiency. Aside from project management, it also has products specific for preconstruction, resource management, and financial management. It provides an all-in-one solution that simplifies construction project work from tendering to close-out.
Procore construction project management software includes mobile collaboration tools that promote clarity of tasks, helping teams stay on schedule and avoid rework. It captures all project correspondence and makes it accessible. Real-time update of information increases visibility and mitigates risks. The software provides a project overview, tracks all steps, and speeds up the approval process with features like contact directory, documents, spec management, integrated scheduling, task management, RFIs, drawings, time cards, and emails.
eSUB is a cloud-based construction project management software built specifically for trade contractors. It has a user-friendly mobile app that allows foremen and supervisors to submit logs, reports, and schedules easily on the field. It provides users access to all their project documents and data in single, secure cloud-based workspace.
eSUB has project management tools that increase project visibility, labor productivity, and business profitability. It includes tools for scheduling, resource management, daily reporting, and RFIs for detailed project management and reporting. Other features include unlimited data storage, Gantt chart, meeting minutes, contacts & vendors, and equipment rental.
Autodesk Build is part of the Autodesk Construction Cloud solution that connects field and project management workflows. It has tools for project management, quality management, safety management, and cost control that unifies teams, workflows, and data. Field and office teams can manage, share, and collaborate on project schedules to help eliminate delays and reduce miscommunication.
Autodesk Build lets users create RFIs, manage the review processes, and connect RFIs to issues, change orders, or meeting minutes. It can simplify submittals and improve meetings by tracking items and commitments. Other features include centralized issue management, cross-device compatibility and sync, markup tools for drawings, and 2D drawing and 3d model viewing tools.
Houzz Pro is an all-in-one business software for contractors and design professionals. It enables users to attract more clients, run profitable projects, and deliver an exceptional customer experience with one software solution. It is designed to meet the needs of builders and remodelers, interior designers, architects, and specialty contractors. It comes with marketing tools to help build the business’s brand, as well as visual modeling tools to share ideas and give clients 3D tours.
Houzz Pro includes project management features that allow users to save time while maximizing profit. Users can manage follow-ups, schedule meetings, and convert leads to turn prospects into projects. They can also create accurate estimates and bids within minutes with the help of local material and cost libraries. Other features are templates, client dashboards, and smart PM tools like visual timelines, task management, file management, and mobile apps.
RedTeam is a construction management and collaboration software preferred by many commercial general construction companies. It provides the tools to help companies develop their construction business. The software covers the whole project lifecycle, from preconstruction, to managing projects on and off the field, to financials. Users can collaborate easily with a free mobile app, real-time updates, and paperless documents and contracts.
RedTeam construction project management software lets teams create requests and submittal packages. Users can easily receive, review, share, and track RFIs with an accurate and up-to-date log. Change order features enables users to request notes from vendors, select vendors, and issue change orders. It also has a Gantt scheduling tool that can import and export Microsoft Project files.
Buildertrend is a construction project management software and app that connects teams and improves efficiency to increase profits. It is ideal for home builders, specialty contractors, remodelers, and commercial contractors. The software helps with every stage of the build lifecycle, from sales and project planning to financial tracking and client communication.
Buildertrend project management tools include daily logs, change orders, schedules, selections, time clocks, to-dos, and warranty. Users can document and share information with team members, contractors, and clients. They can make notes with voice-to-text, automatically record weather updates, manage change orders on the go, get approvals with e-signatures, and collect payments online. Moreover, the software has tools and features for managing leads, bids, and invoices. It also has a built-in client portal and email marketing.
CoConstruct is a construction management software for builders and remodelers. Although a Buildertrend company, it is a complementary provider of project, financial, and client management software geared towards independent builders in the residential construction industry. It helps companies stay in control of their projects and business.
CoConstruct’s simplified construction project management includes a Schedule feature with Gantt chart and other views to keep all jobs on track. Users can create, assign, and track to-do’s to team members and subs, or set reminders to clients. They can add a to-do using voice-to-text, attach docs and photos, and send automatic notifications. The PM software also has built-in communication tools for clients and trade partners, financials for estimating and forecasting, bidding and proposals, timesheet, and integration.
What is Construction Project Management Software?
Construction project management software is a centralized and collaborative platform that enables users to oversee all involved stakeholders and moving components in a construction project. It simplifies the coordination of teams, subs, partners, and clients, as well as materials, equipment, and other resources needed in a construction project, through automatic tracking and reporting tools.
Construction project management software enables companies and teams to complete projects within scope, budget, and schedule by providing tools that streamline processes, repetitive tasks, and communications. Furthermore, it has special features to accommodate unique construction management requirements such as contracts and permits, submittals, RFIs, blueprints and drawings, punch lists, quality and safety, and warranty.
Important Features of Construction Project Management Software
Companies use construction project management software to give teams the tools to find, share, and update project information both onsite and offsite. Which means that access, ease of use, and document control are essential features of any construction project management software. In addition, the following features are important in improving efficiency, boosting team productivity, and increasing profitability.
Construction teams, owners, and other partners work with many documents in the course of a given construction project. The software provides a central and secure storage space that allows for simultaneous viewing of documents like project plans, contracts, and receipts. It also allows users to organize blueprints, permits, specs, and other documentation needed for the project.
Construction projects need software to manage schedules, tasks, assignments, work duration, deadlines, dependencies, milestones, and issues. Built-in project management tools make it easy for users to prioritize, track, and report all construction activities and coordinate with the responsible teams.
Contractors send submittal documents to architects or designers, which contain information on materials or equipment before purchasing. Submittal features in these kinds of software automate the approval workflow process.
Request for Information (RFI)
A Request for Information is a formal, written document used in the construction industry to indicate the need for clarification or additional information. RFIs are usually sent to designers, architects, or engineers about a question on the project plan. RFI features in construction management software help document communication and can be useful in case of conflicts.
A change order is another important document, signifying an agreement to add or subtract work, or otherwise alter, revise, or deviate in some way from the original plan. As with RFIs, construction management software provides special handling of these types of documents.
types of construction software
Whether you’re transitioning from a paper- or spreadsheet-based system or you want to upgrade from the construction management software you’re currently using, it can be daunting trying to figure out which option to choose. Construction managers often want to know which software options are the most popular—after all, popularity shows that other construction managers have used the product and found it useful.
But you also want to know whether the software will work for your specific needs. After all, software that is great for a large construction project manager may not work for a home remodeler. So we crunched the numbers and figured out which software options in our Construction Management FrontRunners have the highest average monthly search volume, and then examined the features they offer to help you figure out which one is for you.
Here are those seven options—listed in order of search traffic from highest to lowest—and what they offer to construction managers:
4.48 out of 5 stars 2,349 reviews
Procore is the big dog of construction software. The company is worth more than $3 billion, hosts a major annual construction technology conference, and has by far the most search traffic compared to all other construction software options. Procore aims to be the all-in-one solution for construction managers, helping them manage projects, resources, and financials from start to finish.
Key feature: The Procore App Marketplace has more than 150 solutions dealing with everything from document management to drones, from partners that integrate with the Procore platform.
Who should use this software: Construction managers who are willing to spend a little more for an all-in-one solution with a sterling reputation.
4.48 out of 5 stars 1,331 reviews
For small contractors and home remodelers, Buildertrend offers a web-based construction software option that combines all facets of management into one place, from project management to financial management to customer management. Because it’s cloud-based, you can access it from anywhere—helpful for contractors who are constantly on the job site.
Key feature: A built-in customer relationship management (CRM) system.
Who should use this software: Home builders, remodelers, and specialty contractors.
4.62 out of 5 stars 565 reviews
PlanGrid’s construction management option is for people who want constant access to project drawings and progress photos. PlanGrid has a suite of tools that track work assignments, create field reports, and help share necessary information with all stakeholders. And all of it is linked to documentation, making it easier to find files when you need them.
Key feature: A tool that submits requests for information (RFIs) straight from the field and links to relevant documentation.
Who should use this software: General contractors, specialty contractors, design teams, and owners.
4.74 out of 5 stars 779 reviews
CoConstruct aims to give contractors in the homebuilding and remodeling industries their own project and financial management system. Because contractors who use this type of software are typically part of small firms or even one-man shops, it has client management capabilities as well, for contractors who have to do it all. Users can manage their projects from anywhere with a mobile app.
Key feature: Seamless integration with QuickBooks and double-entry elimination.
Who should use this software: Homebuilders and remodelers.
4.16 out of 5 stars 1,341 reviews
BIM 360 is a top player in the construction software space for building information modeling (BIM). It is a cloud-based solution that is meant for businesses of all sizes, and it allows users to interact with models and drawings of a project. The software supports many different file formats, allowing you to upload and process drawings from outside sources. You can also manage roles and permissions, limiting access to certain drawings.
Key feature: Employees and clients can view, comment, and even edit uploaded designs.
Who should use this software: Any construction firm that needs detailed models and drawings.
4.65 out of 5 stars 388 reviews
If you’re looking for software that integrates CRM and project management into one place, JobNimbus is a solid choice. It is geared toward small and midsize businesses that want to manage all their contacts in one place, while also allowing project managers to monitor job progress and update all stakeholders.
Key feature: A document management tool, which allows for better organization of all project-related documents, photos, and drawings.
Who should use this software: Managers at small construction firms who have both sales and project management responsibilities.
4.4 out of 5 stars 268 reviews
E-Builder is a construction management platform based entirely in the cloud. It’s meant to help facility owners manage the entire construction lifecycle, from capital planning to scheduling and document management. Owners can track the costs of a project as it progresses, as well as review critical updates through reports and dashboards. They can also view the schedule and any relevant documents.
Key feature: Various modules that allow users to create customized reports showing how much you spent on materials or what the average cost for labor was.
Who should use this software: Facility owners who need to manage all aspects of a construction project.
Ready to give one of these products a try?
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residential construction management software
Get the best home builder software for your business. Compare product reviews, pricing below. Read our buyer’s guide for more help.
These frequently asked questions (FAQ) about home builder software can help ensure you are choosing the right software for your needs.
What is Home Builder Software?What Are The Features Of Home Builder Software?What Are The Benefits Of Home Builder Software?
What is Home Builder Software?
Home builder software is a construction management software that operates as part home design software, home construction, and interior design software. Homeowners can be given access via customer portals that allow them to view the status of their new homes–ensuring the construction project is streamlined, stays within budget, and is completed on time.
Home builder software is primarily used by residential construction companies, custom home builders, and general contractors for project management, estimating, job costing, scheduling, and purchasing. Mobile capabilities allow home builder software to be used on job sites via field service management tools, such as on-site eSignatures on newly created purchase orders and service agreements.
While builders can get away with using general contractor software, there are many vendors offering dedicated home building software with specific project management tools. Specialized systems often include databases with vendor information for parts or materials for home projects like appliances, plumbing fixtures, or flooring materials. Some systems also include home design functionalities to assist with creating blueprints and 3D models.
Home builder software can come as a single platform that offers an all-in-one software solution alternative to manual methods such as spreadsheets. Other types may include integrations with popular accounting software such as QuickBooks–allowing you to get the non-financial features you desire, such as project management, while continuing to use the financial solution you’re used to.
What Are The Features Of Home Builder Software?
What Are The Benefits Of Home Builder Software?
The benefits offered by most home builder software include:
Improve Your Estimating Processes
If your estimates are too low, you risk upsetting clients over unexpected price increases. If your estimates are too high, you’re likely losing out on a lot of potential projects. Construction estimating software functionality assists with creating an accurate quote based on the costs of labor, subcontractors, materials, and equipment needed to build the home. Accurate quotes will help you land more jobs, keep customers happy, and increase ROI.
As the project goes on, customers might change their mind about certain aspects of their home’s interior or exterior design. The estimate will automatically be adjusted for things like appliance upgrades, countertop material changes, or fixture updates.
Digital takeoff is also an important part of estimating to ensure your quotes are as accurate as possible. Digital takeoff assigns costs to lumber and steel, as well as light fixtures, pipes, and cabling. A detailed price list of the materials required for the project is created based on dimensional information extracted from the blueprints.
Scheduling Enhancements That Allow For More Jobs
Scheduling in home builder software helps you assign labor and resources to particular tasks. The system will alert you if there are any conflicts in the schedule, so you can make changes as needed to prevent delays. Having a schedule laid out for all of the labor and resources will also help you calculate an accurate completion date. The completion date will be automatically adjusted if any issues arise, so your customers won’t be left in the dark about schedule changes.
Some home builder systems also provide custom schedule views including Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and calendar views. These views will help you visualize the labor, materials, and equipment being used at particular times in the construction process.
Create Accurate and Timely Purchase Orders
Purchase order management in home builder software allows you to create orders for services, raw materials, and products that are needed for a project. The system will keep track of vendor contact information, purchase quantities, delivery times, and costs. When the price and quantities are approved by the vendor, you can save time by collecting the approval signatures electronically.
Purchase order management also includes the scope of work documents that include materials, description of project deliverables, cost codes, and payment schedules.