Since I cannot do much actual work anymore I have been helping others with estimates, bids and contracts. I had some time over the weekend and went online to play with some of the construction calculators and estimating applications. I have to say I was more than a little impressed by a couple.
One even adjusted for local costs but tied in with some sort of proprietary contractor referral service. I can see it being helpful for questions we get here about how much things should cost. It provided a good starting point.
The other I really liked did a great job of calculating things like paint, concrete, roofing material and even railing spindles needed. It was a free Android smartphone app ($1.99 for a key to get rid of advertising).
Just wondering what others have found and are using?
I use a combination of Chief Architect, QuickBooks Contractor Premium and Construction Suite ... but the overall cost for these would probably scare you Just the architecture software was around $2500.
I have the BuildCalc app on my iPhone & iPad as well as a specific TileCalculator. Construction Suite has local standard pricing which I can use to get started with ball park numbers but ultimately I'm always checking pricing with my suppliers as it seems to change on some stuff like the direction of the wind while other stuff is very static.