Buildertrend vs CoConstruct vs CostCertified
Mar 1, 2022 12:00:00 AM
Most construction company owners and managers these days realize that there is technology out there (like construction cost estimating software) that can help them to be more efficient and profitable. Unfortunately, it can be hard to figure out which ones are the right ones for your company.
Different construction cost estimating software platforms have different features, price points, pros, and cons. Some do it all, while others focus on specific aspects of the construction process.
Let’s take a closer look at three of the most comprehensive options on the market: Buildertrend vs CoConstruct vs CostCertified. Here’s what you need to know.
Construction Cost Estimating Software Basics
Before we get into the side-by-side comparison of Buildertrend vs CoConstruct vs CostCertified, there are a few things that are always non-negotiable when you are choosing construction software. They are:
Any software you choose to use to automate and improve your construction business processes should be cloud based. Construction companies generally have large teams that aren’t all located in a central office and using a cloud-based solution means they can all connect, collaborate, and work together with ease.
Construction software should always be multi user enabled. When they said “it takes a village” they were talking about the construction world, and you’re going to need to have many different people accessing your software solution.
Granular Security Tiers
The third non-negotiable feature for any construction software platform you choose to use is that it must have granular security tiers. That means that you can set different access options for different kinds of employees, and control who can see and do what on the platform.
Support and Onboarding
Switching to any new system is tough – especially when you’re trying to run a construction company at the same time. So, one of the most important things you need to consider when you’re choosing software is whether you will get the technical support and onboarding help you need to get set up and transition from your current system to whichever platform you choose to use in future.
Now that we’ve gone over the most basic requirements for any construction estimating software or platform, let’s look how these three options stack up.
While Buildertrend, CoConstruct and CostCertified include roughly similar features in their base option, the price for CostCertified is considerably lower per month than either of the other two platforms. In fact, you can get a professional package at CostCertified for less than you would spend on the basic package with either of the other two companies.
So, Buildertrend, CoConstruct and CostCertified do most of the same things, and are all comprehensive options for managing estimating and sales, pre-construction, and project management. Let’s take a closer look at what they do, how they do it, and what the pros and cons of each option are.
Buildertrend was started in Omaha in 2006, which means they’ve been building and adding to their platform for a while. Their software is targeted at contractors and construction companies of all sizes, with tools for residential, commercial, and industrial construction estimating and management.
Estimating and Sales
Buildertrend relies quite heavily on integration with Excel, but it does integrate the option of creating bid requests and sending them to subcontractors. The estimating and sales portion of the platform is more geared towards B2B companies and is not setup specifically for interacting with B2C end users.
Buildertrend is strong in the project management department, but a lot simpler to use than tools like MS Project. Instead of updating Gantt charts, Buildertrend allows you to create and manage daily tasks and task reports.
The system also allows for use in the field to report progress, in the project management office to measure progress against targets, and for pushing progress reports to customers.
Billing and Finance
Buildertrend allows users to generate progress bills directly from their line-item estimates, which speeds up the process and eliminates some of the extra steps in the process.
It integrates with both QuickBooks and Xero, which are two of the most popular accounting packages, and it does also allow for budget tracking and project costing.
CoConstruct was created in 2004 in Charlottesville. Unlike Buildertrend, which is suitable for construction companies of all sizes, this platform is tailored for SME contractors and remodelers.
Estimating and Sales
CoConstruct also uses a bid request and submission system, which is more suited to B2B applications than direct to customer situations. There is an automated proposal process, and you can manage all your leads from the system dashboard.
CoConstruct also uses a daily task and reporting system to keep everyone in the loop, and is user friendly for field crews, project managers and clients. You can flag problems in the system, and there are notes feature that includes a speech to text option, which is a nice feature for the field.
Billing and Finance
CoConstruct allows users to bill by line item or by percentage, and it does integrate directly with QuickBooks, which makes invoicing and financial management quite easy for your admin team. There are also built-in budgeting and time tracking tools that make costing your jobs fairly easy.
CostCertified is a start-up, but it was created by people who have many years of hands-on experience owning and operating construction company. So, you could say they have the inside track on what construction companies actually need.
The system works for construction companies and trades of all sizes but is particularly useful for small and mid-sized contractors who need to streamline and automate processes as they grow.
Estimating and Sales
The CostCertified cost estimating software is the heart of the system and is what really sets this platform apart. Interactive and easy to use quotes allow customers to view options and add ons in real time, and the line item-based pricing engine means pricing is always as accurate as possible.
The granular permissions and easy to manage task system of the CostCertified platform does make managing jobs easier for everyone involved. It’s a lot easier for field crews to report progress, and easy to spot problems when they arise. There’s also a built-in file management system that allows you to store specifications, drawings, and other data right in the system for easy “single point of truth” access.
Billing and Finance
CostCertified has “plug and play” integration with QuickBooks, and an easy to implement API that can be integrated with most other accounting packages.
Invoicing is as simple as entering a quantity or percentage completion, and while the system can handle change orders with ease, the option for real time upgrades and changes before quote acceptance, they’re rarely required.
Buildertrend and CoConstruct have both been around a long time, and they do offer many of the kinds of features construction businesses need. They’re great construction project management tools, and they work well for commercial contractors. However, with recent, hands-on experience in the construction industry, the founders, and creators of CostCertified have a finger on the pulse of what is needed right now.
That’s why they’ve created tools like CostCertified Capital, so companies who use their platform can also get funding for their projects right from the same place they manage their projects.
While Buildertrend and CoConstruct require significant hands-on input from your sales team and estimators, once the template-based unit rate quote is completed on CostCertified, the process is largely customer driven, which makes it perfect for contractors who specialize in servicing the consumer market, where there’s a higher likelihood that clients will want to review several options before making a decision.
In fact, with CostCertified, since options are preprogrammed into the system, there’s no need to update your quotes at all. Simply give your clients all the information upfront and let them customize their quote as they need to in the virtual showroom that is CostCertified. So, you can get more construction leads, quote them faster, and convert them into orders without leaving the platform.
When you have a newer, feature packed tool to compare with older, more established systems like these, sometimes the best thing to do is to see for yourself. So, the best answer to the question of whether you should choose Buildertrend vs CoConstruct vs CostCertified is probably just to book a demo with each, and to see what they can do for you.
In fact, while older technologies like Buildertrend and CoConstruct might offer some assistance in managing projects, new technology like CostCertified makes the process of quoting and selling construction projects a seamless, frictionless e-commerce like experience. Which means it’s hard to compare them at all – because they’re really such different things.
The good news for contractors is, there are a lot more technological solutions for construction than ever before. But you still need to be sure you’re investing in the right platform, so you can get maximum benefit.