Designed to save its users both time and money, Clear Estimates software comes pre-loaded with details for 12,000 parts including regionally focused material and labor costs. With such a robust offering from the start, users don't have to spend tedious hours entering the information on their own. "If you have a list of 50 or 100 parts for a project, no one want's to type all that out," says Jack Dean, director of sales for Clear Estimates. "Some people have set up good workarounds with copy-and-pasting Excel cells, but that's still cumbersome."

By selecting parts from the pre-loaded list, users can create an estimate with almost no typing needed, and can customize reports with your company logo, contact information, and payment schedules. The products database is further customizable for users that want to call out items they use on a regular basis. Clear Estimates' partner company RemodelMax updates the data on material prices and labor every quarter for 400 regions around the U.S. so users can be sure they're estimates are accurate for their area.

Easy Templates

For even easier estimating, Clear Estimates features dozens of room templates, such as "bathroom remodel, premium grade," with a pre-set and customizable parts list. The tool lets users select the square footage of the space and the program calculates all the necessary products and pricing based on the selected level of finish. "If you have templates set up the way you like, you can create an estimate in 5 minutes," Dean says. "That's the biggest thing we hear - that people are sick of spending hours to put together an estimate. Getting the work done quicker gives a better chance of winning the bid." Other features include:

  • Subcontractor bid requests
  • Change order processing to show how changes will affect project cost
  • Cost Status Reports to track the changing cost of the project and payments made by your customer
  • Detailed line-item or summarized tabular reports
  • Integration with Quickbooks Pro
  • Customer contacts management

Familiar Tool

The idea of preset room templates may sound familiar to readers of Remodeling magazine's Cost vs. Value report. The annual look at remodeling projects' return on investment is built around pre-determined scopes of work for a selection of mid-range and upscale remodeling work. RemodelMax uses Clear Estimates software to create an estimate for each Cost vs. Value project in each region. Read more about the methodology here. The Cost vs. Value project uses the latest version of Clear Estimates, which has recently moved from desktop-only to the cloud. "The software is now fully online, and we can make updates regularly without asking users to download a new version," Dean says. "You can also use it on any device, whether you're on a tablet, Mac, PC, phone, or anything. We have people who make estimates for their clients right in the field on iPads and give them to the homeowner before they leave the site. It's gotten even easier."