Construction cost estimator

Prepare winning bids and reduce construction costs with this affordable tool.

Accurately estimating construction costs is the key to preparing bids that win contracts without bankrupting the contractor. Misronet's e-STM8 Construction Estimating Software is a useful tool for estimating job costs and submitting winning bids, but it can also manage jobs, material costs, and subcontracting. It's suitable for both the U.S. and international construction markets, too.

The efficient interface is typical of Windows utilities: File menu, icon-based toolbars, left-hand tree view for navigation and selecting functions, and a main display window subdivided into smaller windows, entry fields, and other features as needed. A Help menu and useful examples explain how to use e-STM8, and the software's functions are clearly labeled and fairly self-explanatory. For instance, clicking the Labor tab called up a list of common construction jobs and fields for entering hours, rates, expenses, and other factors, which e-STM8 automatically totals. Other tabs contain fields for Plant, Materials, and Subcontractors. It's especially handy to be able to automatically and accurately summarize and estimate diverse costs like equipment rental, depreciation, and maintenance. A nice extra is the ability to prepare documents like reports and letters. The developer's Web site offers a lot of specialized advice on controlling construction costs, too.

Though professionals will get the most from e-STM8 Construction, it's also useful for homeowners or anyone who needs to track construction costs. Its potential to save costs on just one job would make it worth the price of professional software, but at less than $40, it's a drop in the mud bucket for the smallest construction job.

Editors' note: This is a review of the full version of eSTM8 Construction Estimating Software 2.2.1. The trial version is limited to 15 days only.

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