Build Star for Estimates

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Have you ever gone to get a bid from a contractor only to realize you get something scribbled down with pencil and paper?

As a general contractor that gets called to jobs ranging from counter tops, to historical remodels, I need a strong program to not only help estimate the cost of the project, but to relay that information to the client in a professional manner.  Enter Build Star : my choice for this job.  I even have a login box for Build Star on our Business Home Page. Below is a list or reasons why I chose this program.

Why I use Buildstar?

1. Speed: It enables me to create preliminary estimates for a job anywhere from 2 -6 hours.  The recurring charge  is minimal compared to the service it provides.  You can base new projects off of past projects you have completed that are close in scope.  This really speeds things up.  Your accuracy increases over time as well if you track your actual expenditures and adjust the costs manually.  Just as a note though, don’t rely on just the program for the pricing solely, it is up to you to verify square footage pricing, or per job costs and include them in the estimating forms.

2. Completely Online: Not only can I gain access from any computer in the world, so can my clients, managers, and well anyone that we give access.  The other added benefit is there are no worries about the computer crashing or being dropped on site. When given a bid from a sub, its easy to access bid amounts online to see  how much is budgeted for that item.  P.S. I carry a planner and my laptop. That is all I need. Well maybe a few books and a briefcase too!

3. Detail: Buildstar can break down an estimate into as many as 90 categories. My clients receive a very detailed bid that specs out every cost from framing to a chandelier fixture. This shows that we have thought everything out, and have eliminated the need for “surprise” costs down the road. Clients appreciate the professionalism, I like the clarity.

4. Bid Requests: The one other main function I use.  After uploading plans attached to each job, I can send out multiple bid requests for each item to many different sub contractors.  It takes about 30 min to send out 10 bid requests to 30+ subs all while giving them complete access to online plans.

Now there are other features that I don’t use.  A few inlcude client questionaires, accounting, etc. I choose to use other programs that work better for ongoing managment.

This works well for me and saves an amazing amount of time.  Time I like to spend well doing other activities.

What does your contractor use to supply a bid?

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One Response to Build Star for Estimates

  1. Eva Ulian February 11, 2009 at 2:17 PM #

    I will be returning to this site as there is some useful information about home building materials which interests me.

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