Likelihood to Recommend Specific scenarios where GeneralCOST Estimator for Excel is well suited include: Small to medium sized contractor who typically works on small to medium sized projects with limited complexity Contractors who value low prices over full functionality (this software application is very affordably priced) A new contractor or new contracting accounting / finance professional who would appreciate the specific limitations imposed by the software Specific scenarios where GeneralCOST Estimator for Excel is not well suited include: Larger contractors who think about and price projects in line with typical commercial design and construction Residential projects (the software is much better suited for commercial lease buildouts, for instance) A contractor whose finance department already uses full-suite accounting software Read full review
WinEst is truly built for everyone. Their assemblies/database linking is perfect for self perform and subcontractors while their database management and custom reporting is perfect for GCs. While Excel set the bar, WinEst is on another planet. With the immediacy required by today's markets, WinEst allows you to deliver a superior product while being more accurate.
Read full review Pros Convenient estimating Streamlines the price quotation process Standard cost application Overhead calculation and pplication Read full review It's very flexible when building an estimate and selecting items to include. You can either click your way to the datebase or quickly copy and paste similar items. The numerous ways to view and estimate whether it's by CSI, Uniformat, Master Format, or any view you'd like to see. One of ours is by program area, i.e. Sitework, Tower, Parking Deck, etc. After that, you can sort by Bid Package, CSI, etc. Quick buttons can be created far all the views you'd need which allows changing between views a breeze. The visual interface is pleasing and easy to read. It's easy to create your own database using Excel. Once you tag an item with unit costs, sort codes, etc., Winest will import it. You can also build it manually within the program but Excel was faster. Read full review Cons Only CSI construction cost database data Only works with Microsoft Office (Excel) The online help system has limited functionality Read full review At times, WinEst controls feel counter intuitive. Also the tools available for actually developing the database can feel clunky. This means that if you do not take the time to create a robust import file, you will spend a serious amount of time fixing your errors. WinEst is also an object based database which means that it is difficult to do mass dumps of information (mainly takeoff) into the program. While this is great for ensuring that everything is done purposefully, it does lead to extended hours of data entry It takes hours upon hours of use before you begin to realize the true potential. The sheer number of tools is overwhelming and their help resources are very basic and only explain how to correctly enter the data but not the feature's best use cases. Read full review Support Rating
Doug Quinn was our trainer and travels all over the country. Whenever I have an issue I shoot him an email and he quickly responds as soon as his training gets a break.
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GeneralCOST Estimator for Excel is cheaper, easier to use, more streamlined and is easily installed and up and running. The flip side to the ease of use is the limited functionality, somewhat outdated cost bucketing profile and general lack of sophistication. The add-in also does not talk with full suite accounting software which requires additional reconciliations if used within a large organization.
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WinEst simply blows excel and Timberline out of the water. The shear depth of functionality is unparalleled. Not only does WinEst deliver a better product, it also shortens the amount of man hours required for each bid, alternate, pricing exercise, etc. On top of this, it has a number of redundant safeguards for catching errors that the others don't have.
Read full review Return on Investment Allows us to quickly bid on small projects Allows us to pay less for accounting / finance professionals Allows us to standardize our cost structure Read full review We've not measured the rate of return but WinEst has made us much more efficient and organized. Read full review ScreenShots