A simple spreadsheet application that calculates construction costs for you and your construction team is an estimator. These applications can be invaluable for contractors, and builders, as well as other workers, as they help them to estimate the costs associated with all sorts of projects.
Estimating spreadsheets are easy to use, inexpensive, and offer tremendous help to both construction companies and their clients. By simply entering a few basic information into the spreadsheet application, the estimator will provide a simple and intuitive calculation that is based on the project’s complexity. It will then provide the estimated cost for the work involved in completing the project.
Before using an estimating spreadsheet, it is important to understand how estimating works. In its simplest form, estimating a construction project is similar to estimating a software purchase. You have a need, but you do not know precisely what type of software will meet your needs, so you make a choice based on cost. That is exactly what estimating spreadsheets do; they guide you through the process of choosing the right software for your needs, calculating costs for you and your business, and ultimately providing the best choice.
Estimating spreadsheets can be used for several projects. They can also be used for estimating the costs of furniture assembly, landscaping, paving, and even home remodeling. As their name suggests, estimators help with making comparisons among various projects, which is useful for home builders and contractors.
Estimating spreadsheet applications are available in many forms. Some are available as free downloads, while others require a nominal fee to access the database. There are also online applications, such as Economica Project Elance Pro, that require a fee to access the database.
When using an estimator, it is important to remember that most estimators will have a different structure than those used by many typical spreadsheet applications. The estimator is not a calculator, but rather a complex, interactive, and highly functional tool that allow you to determine the estimated cost of various projects. In other words, it is much more than a spread sheet.
If your business has a need that does not fit into any of the examples above, you should consider the most basic, or most common, estimator application. The most basic estimator application uses a slightly modified version of Microsoft Excel’s built-in formula builder, where you enter the project details for a particular category. Depending on the project type, you can enter a range of estimates, and the estimator will calculate the average.
The easiest estimator applications are the spread sheet based estimator applications. They are commonly called estimators and can easily be found in any spreadsheet or accounting program that supports spreadsheets.