By Steve Zurier. Every builder is looking for that elusive integrated software solution, but Terry Covington, president of Covington Construction and Construction Advice Central in Hoschton, Ga., convinced two software companies to help him build one.

Covington had developers from Cadsoft and Contractor Software Group integrate Cadsoft's APDesign and CadsoftBuild with Contractor Software's TakeOff Plus estimating program and its JobAccounting Plus accounting system.

Here's how it works: When Covington draws a wall in Cadsoft, the specs from the design flow directly to TakeOff Plus, which lists the precise number of studs, exterior sheathing, plywood, insulation, and plumbing needed to complete the job.

Covington says the integrated system can net a 5 percent to 7.5 percent decrease in direct construction and administrative costs. For example, by improving data accuracy and overall efficiency, decreasing waste, and reducing pilferage, a builder can save at least $10,000 to $15,000 on a $370,000 construction loan, after subtracting $65,000 in fixed land costs.

Covington says the full software system, including hardware and installation, costs under $20,000. For more information, call 770-867-2527.