Still using Excel for estimating?

Discover the Top 4 Reasons to Show Excel the Door

Show Excel the Door: Reason #1

Accounting, scheduling and estimating should work together,
but Excel can’t integrate them.

Show Excel the Door: Reason #2

Standardizing processes is good business management,
but Excel can’t handle it.

Show Excel the Door: Reason #3

Accurate estimates can boost profits and win more business,
but Excel isn’t always reliable.

Show Excel the Door: Reason #4

You need a dedicated team of construction estimating experts,
but Excel doesn’t have one.

Construction Estimating Software

Is your construction estimating software costing you time, money and job opportunities? With award-winning ProEst software, you’ll never lose revenue due to inaccurate and inefficient estimating again.

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ProEst is an innovative construction estimating solution that combines the power of SQL with the intuitive look-and-feel of Microsoft Office, which lessens the learning curve to speed adoption. With ProEst, you can create estimates, perform digital takeoffs, manage the bid day process and quickly generate detailed reports and professional proposals. In addition, adjustable markups allow you to refine each bid to take full advantage of project opportunities.

ProEst is built using the latest Microsoft technology, including a SQL database and .NET development platform. This allows us to regularly enhance our construction estimating software to keep pace with changing industry requirements. Cutting edge capabilities are designed to increase efficiencies, and integration with common business tools, leading construction accounting systems and online plan rooms extend the power of ProEst well beyond estimating.

Compare Your ProEst Options

compareProEst is available in three affordable options: Standard, Professional and Enterprise. Each ProEst construction estimating software subscription delivers:

  • A single solution with one database for storing all of your valuable estimate data, so you’ll never have to search for a missing estimate or drawing file again
  • A standardized estimating process that increases efficiency, eliminates errors and presents a consistent and professional company brand
  • Worry free maintenance that includes unlimited telephone and e-mail support, along with all product updates and enhancements

Customer Case Studies

Find out why over 8,000 leading general and specialized construction firms have selected ProEst as their construction estimating software. Our case studies give you real-world examples of how ProEst is used every day to quickly create accurate estimates.

  • With ProEst construction estimating software, Good & Roberts revolutionized its estimating processes to save 800 staff hours a year.
  • Terra Firma Landscape uses ProEst construction estimating software to cut material costs by 3% and gain a competitive advantage in a challenging construction market.
  • By using ProEst construction estimating software to increase efficiencies, GBC Construction nearly doubles their estimating output while reducing administrative overhead and divisional costs by 18%.

Industries We Service

While many construction estimating software products are designed for a single trade, ProEst is a flexible solution that contractors of all types to accurately calculate the cost of any size project – quickly and easily. Hit the ground running with an industry-specific materials database that includes pre-built items and assemblies that can easily be customized to meet your company’s unique construction estimating software requirements. Then, save time and increase accuracy by taking advantage of features and options developed specifically for your trade. Each ProEst subscription includes our entire line of materials databases. This saves you thousands of dollars when compared to other construction estimating software solutions.

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in the news

SpecWave Composer Puts Engineering Specs Front and Center

In construction projects, codes, standards, and engineering specifications are some of the most important information involved in the entire process.

But the documents that contain this information often don’t receive the scrutiny they deserve, usually being relegated to email attachments as PDF or Word documents. With each new project, designers either have to create these files from scratch or edit these largely text-based documents, leaving room for errors.

But, Leon Gorbaty, director of product management with Bentley Systems, has invented software that puts engineering specifications front and center and allows the rest of the work to flow from these governing rules.

Leon Gorbaty, director of product management with Bentley Systems

Leon Gorbaty, director of product management with Bentley Systems

That software is SpecWave Composer, which Gorbaty describes as being essentially an object-oriented word processing software. But, rather than being completely text based, the software is compartmentalized in such a way that it can be connected to building information models and can be connected to other workflows like procurement and construction.

“We’ve essentially created a system to take engineering specs and make them interactive and modelled right up front so the written word can now be used on a project the same way the geometrical shapes and other design elements can be,” Gorbaty said in a recent interview.

SpecWave Composer works by importing specification documents (or creating new ones) and “modeling” them according to a strict set of rules defined by formal “SpecWave Templates”. Content can be “Multi-Purposed”, tagged, and/or linked to other content and workflows as required by the user. From a usability point of view, SpecWave Composer works much like other office/desktop applications, meaning most users will likely become familiar with it quickly.

Gorbaty, a firm believer in interoperability between tools, also gave SpecWave Composer the ability to integrate with Bentley’s project collaboration and AECO information management software ProjectWise. Plus, SpecWave has its own file format, SPECX, which was developed as an open and non-proprietary file format, making integration with other tools relatively easy.

SpecWave Composer is garnering a lot of attention throughout the construction industry, having been recognized by Constructech Magazine with their “Top Product” Award in the “New Product” category.

SpecWave Composer

The software has also won a Construction Computing Award in the category of “One to Watch Product,” which is a product that is predicted to become a hit within a year.

Gorbaty, who joined Bentley when it acquired his former company The Engineering Essentials Company (TEEC) in 2012, says he feels the awards have given validation to the young technology. Perhaps even more validating, though, has been its rapid adoption by companies and organizations in the construction industry. For example, Fiatech, a global organization dedicated to developing the best technology for the construction industry, has adopted the SPECX file format for creating automated project specifications.

But, Gorbaty admits, there is still a lot of work to do for SpecWave Composer to be adopted industry-wide.

Looking Ahead

With a background in mechanical engineering and software development, Gorbaty has been involved in the engineering and engineering IT industry for about 25 years and he’s been intimately involved with codes, standards and specifications management for about 10 years now.

The biggest change he’s seen in that time is the concept of building information modelling (BIM), which started out in architecture but is expanding into all types of construction and other areas of engineering.

SpecWave, with its ability to not just author documents, but model them, is a perfect companion to BIM.

“SpecWave fits well with all the changes that we’ve seen with building information modelling,” Gorbaty said. “It fits right in.”

As for the future, Gorbaty predicts that companies will begin making their software tools more compatible with each other, particularly in the area of BIM.

“I guess the way that I really believe that the industry is going to go is there is going to be more emphasis on building information modelling and general information modelling, but also on the harmonization in the way in which these models are created,” he said.

For more information on SpecWave Composer, click here.

Drones Likely to Become Regular Piece of Construction Equipment in Future

The field of construction has continually embraced technology as a means to improve productivity and output quality. Take the case of drones, which have earned a bad reputation for their covert – and sometimes privacy-violating – use in military surveillance.

Drones belong to a class of machines called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) that perform things above and beyond our visual perspective. In short, drones can reach high and tall areas by flying.

They may not be used by many construction companies now (probably due to their prohibitive price tag) but drones are starting to reshape the way construction projects are being done. One of the jobs long been considered as difficult to do in construction works is aerial presentation, or the act of capturing construction work from above. Aerial captures can help a construction company assess the entire project better and faster, because anyone involved can see the progress by just looking at aerial videos and photos.

It is nearly impossible for any construction worker to get aerial shots without some sort of equipment. Sure, someone can bring a camera and be lifted up on the end of a crane, but that scenario poses a lot of safety risks.

The solution? Drones.

All you need is a drone operator who can maneuver the flying vehicle and a camera to strap to it and you can start taking pictures or recording video.

Here are some of the advantages and future benefits of using drones to capture aerial shots in construction projects:

  • Highly advanced drones can be hooked to a nearby receiver that can feed the camera captures in real time.
  • Drones can be programmed to capture shots of the building from various angles so that 3D modeling software can construct a virtual image of the project.
  • Aerial videos may be taken by drones and saved for future use, possibly in archiving or in presenting the project to investors and stakeholders.

Because of the drone’s aerial scope, they are technically subject to regulations by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). However, current FAA laws are murky when it comes to regulating drones. While the FAA claims to have jurisdiction over these aerial vehicles, drone manufacturers and supporters say the agency has no authority because of loose regulations. So far, Congress has passed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act in 2012, which includes legalization of UAVs by 2015, but this hasn’t stopped commercial drone users from continuing to use the flying machines.

Whether or not regulations are coming, the impact of drones on the construction industry cannot be denied. It’s only a matter of time before drones become a staple equipment in construction firms.

You’re Invited to the SoCal Construction Technology Expo

ProEst is proud to be a sponsor of The Associated General Contractors’ Southern California Construction Technology Expo Oct. 14 from 12 noon – 7:30 p.m. at the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina and we invite you to attend.

You can network with industry professionals and attend the educational breakout seminars, the technology trade show and the industry mixer all for free, which, you have to admit, is a pretty good deal.

The event has been designed to present the Southern California construction industry with overviews of the latest in technology advances.


  • Opening Session: Construction Technology Forecast

1:00 – 2:00 PM in Marriott Hall

Featuring the industry’s leading technologist James BenhamJBKnowledge, Inc., presenting a Construction Technology Forecast with a focus on collaboration, integration, and cloud computing.

  • All In – Leveraging BIM Beyond Visualization

2:30 – 3:30 PM in San Diego Ballroom C

Thai Nguyen, Corporate VDC Manager, Hensel Phelps, will share his perspective and company experiences on how VDC and BIM can be used effectively across design, build and beyond with actual project examples.

  • Cloud Computing: Insurance for the Construction Industry

2:30 – 3:30 PM in Presidio Room

Dave McCary, Cloud Solutions Advisor, Zumasys, will present a high-level overview on the business basics of cloud computing. Make an educated decision on how the cloud might apply to your firm

  • Where’s Mobile Going? Technologies to Enable Your Jobsite

4:00 – 5:00 PM in San Diego Ballroom C

A distinguished panel of industry experts will share their visions of where mobile is going followed by a moderated Q and A session with the audience.


  • Carmen Vann, Project Executive, Turner Construction;
  • Bill Dixon, Vice President, Marketing & Sales, OpenRoute;
  • Bob Swelgin, Channel Marketing Manager, Knaack;
  • Stuart Themudo, Senior Industry Specialist, Bluebeam;
  • Moderated by: Roland Soohoo, President and General Manager, Sceanario Virtual Project Delivery
  • Protecting Your Ass(ets) – IT Strategies for Disaster Recovery &  Business Continuity

4:00 – 5:00 PM in Presidio Room

Protecting and preserving critical business functions in the event of an emergency, internally or externally, is an on-going process. This highly-qualified panel of presenters will share best practices and tools available to the construction industry to help protect your company’s critical business processes.

5:00 – 7:30 PM

Free drinks and food while you view the Exposition and the Rapid Fire Tech Demonstrations.

Come and join us at the SoCal Construction Technology Expo. If you’re in the construction industry, there is lots to learn and it’s all free!

New York City Builders Turn Attention to Housing

Attention is shifting away from commercial buildings and toward housing, according to a recent New York Times article.

And that’s music to our collective ears here at ProEst because it coincides perfectly with the release of a new residential database for our software that will be coming within the next 2 weeks. It’s a market we were strong in in the past and we want to rekindle it.

According to the Times, the Durst family, who built an empire with office towers in Manhattan, are now undertaking a project that will see a sprawling $1.5 billion residential development erected on the waterfront in Queens, specifically on a peninsula in Astoria where the East and Harlem Rivers meet.

This marks a trend in New York that is seeing real estate moguls taking advantage of the demand for luxury housing rather than building office towers. Both the cost of land and the price of high-end apartments are soaring, prompting once commercial-minded developers to explore housing as a means to turn a profit.


Check this out:

  • Longtime commercial developer Brookfield is putting down $1 billion for nearly 4,000 apartments in northern Manhattan and on Roosevelt Island.
  • Tishman Speyer Properties, another major player in commercial property, is planning to build a rental complex with 1,600 apartments in Queens.
  • Tishman Speyer is also bidding against Vornado Realty and other developers for a former Macy’s property on Fulton and Hoyt Streets in downtown Brooklyn to turn it into a residential project.
  • The Fisher real estate family, which is also known for its office towers, is developing a 950-foot-tall condominium tower in TriBeCa and a 37-story apartment building on the East Side.

Why is this happening?

As the Times article puts it:

“The changing economics of the real estate market have made housing more appealing. Land costs have doubled and tripled in recent years to $600 a square foot and more as residential developers snapped up one site after another. Commercial developers have often found themselves priced out of the market. High-end apartments in Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn sell for $4,000 or more per square foot, far more than most commercial tenants are willing to pay.”


3 Things to Remember When You Talk to Your Teams About Errors

Nobody’s perfect. No matter how well-planned and systematic a construction project is or how skillful the workers are, some things are really out of our control and are bound to go downhill. Teams are composed of human beings who make mistakes. As a project owner or manager, you have to accept this reality.

While any error is bad, it can be magnified further when people involved in the construction work don’t realize that the error has occurred until it comes to a point when irreparable damage has been done. If it’s not addressed as soon as possible, it can become the major reason for failure of a project.

Faced with these two realities – that errors may occur, and that they should be addressed immediately – the first thing to do when a team is faced with errors is to talk about it. This is, of course, easier said than done, as group discussions may lead to finger-pointing and personal judgment rather than coming up with solutions. If you lead a project team, here are some tips on how to discuss errors with your members:

1. Set the tone of the discussion. People directly involved in the incident may become defensive and will tend to want to cover their butts. Assure everyone on the team that you’re having the discussion to address the problem, and not to deal with the problem makers. As you start the discussion, the error should already have been identified and everyone made aware of it so that your team is not in an agitated and panicked mindset. During the discussions, do not linger on the negative effects of the error. Rather, focus on the root causes so that you can come up with preventive measures for the future.

2. Brainstorm solutions to the problem with your team without dismissing any ideas in the beginning. Brainstorming involves collecting the members’ ideas without filtering anything out, no matter how outrageous they may sound. Once you’ve exhausted the ideas, you can start discussing the points one by one.

3. Make a report. More than just a paper to present to the big bosses, an incident report contains the error, its root causes, the corrective actions made, and any preventive measures that you want to put in place. This allows not only your team but also the entire organization to learn from what happened.

Errors may be painful and costly, but in the end, they can be seen as opportunities for the company to improve on current practices. They also provide venues for employees to provide suggestions and give them ownership of their jobs. Mistakes, we all make ‘em and we can all learn from ‘em.