Better Cost Book Data For Construction Estimates

Experienced cost estimators know the cost of bad data. Even the earliest design plans have budget estimates that need to be accurate, but a lot of data books suffer from outdated, inaccurate construction cost estimates. Meanwhile, everything else in construction is becoming state-of-the-art in efficiency.

That’s how PT&C was born. A team of experienced, certified cost estimators created the data and estimation software they wish existed: CostBook and CostPro. CostBook by PT&C offers robust cost book data with up-to-date accuracy that includes the latest technology, and it’s supported by CostPro, an intuitive, collaborative, web-based platform.

As estimators, CostBook and CostPro are tools we use ourselves. We’re not just putting our reputations on the line, we’re putting our business on the line. We’re not just developing the construction cost estimates, we’re using them every day.

And we’re excited to share this game-changer with cost estimators who, like us, are tired of the same old problems.

Construction Cost Estimates Specific to Location and Season

If you’re building in Detroit, the construction cost estimates will be significantly different than a similar project in San Diego. If you’re building in Detroit during the winter, costs will be different than building in the same place during the summer. 

CostPro is an estimation software that utilizes CostBook to provide accurate material, equipment, and labor costs specific to location and season, not the national average for all times of the year.

This is a tool that takes into account concrete pour times in rainy environments. If you need to add a certain amount of calcium to that concrete, you can add that to the estimate with the click of the button. In general, you can add all the materials you need directly from your shopping cart onto the CostPro estimation software, including add-ons like calcium, finishes, and so on.

Construction crew members

Realistic Crew Expectations

If an estimation software says a job requires one worker when it really requires two, your estimate can be off by as much as 50% right there. You can even get all the way to the worker standing at the site and realizing they can’t do it alone. 

This can be incredibly costly, and it’s one of an infinite number of headache possibilities cost estimators can experience with inaccurate data.

At PT&C, we’re looking at the most accurate construction cost estimates for labor needs. The numbers are realistic specific to location as well as the number of workers needed.

We also stay on the cutting edge of technology to ensure you’re aware of the latest equipment that can reduce labor times and the number of workers. For example, a job that required four workers last year could nowadays require one worker and a machine. 

Of course, brand-new technology may not be cost-effective, which is why you can quickly and easily check if last year’s way of doing it still makes the most sense.

While other cost estimation software is making the general claim that labor went up by X percent, the PT&C team makes the calls, does the research, and goes to construction sites to look far deeper than general trends.

The Latest Technology That Gives You the Edge

PT&C’s cost estimators are in the field more than they’re in the office, so you’ll know about the latest technology as it rolls out, keeping you a step ahead of the competition. Before it goes mainstream, you’ll know about it with CostBook.

But beyond the cost book data, CostPro is a web-based software that itself is an innovative new platform designed to skyrocket productivity. 

We don’t list each component part across hundreds of pages, everything is intuitively streamlined. Cost estimators can select the type of walls and choose the finish separately. If there’s any risk in specific areas, such as a chemical lab, you can add that to the estimate with a click or two. This is a platform that’s as simple as you want it or as in-depth as you need it.

With CostPro, cost estimators are in control. With CostBook, every cost estimator on the project has the cost data they need to get the most out of a collaborative, streamlined approach.

Cost Book Data Points In Construction

Benefits of Seeing Where Cost Book Data Comes From

CostBook doesn’t just show the material, labor, and equipment costs. You can dig deeper to see where this data comes from and how recently it was updated. This is a level of transparency brand-new to the world of construction cost estimates. And it gives you the ability to tweak line items accordingly.

How many times have you explored the real cost of materials or labor after utilizing estimation software, only to find completely different numbers? Then you add the accurate numbers on your end, and you reuse that data for the next project. Guess what? You just manually created a cost book despite paying for one.

How many times have you asked, “Where did they get this number?” We answer that question the moment you want to know with a single click, but keep it in the background to make things as smooth and uncluttered as possible.

Collaborative Platform

Let’s start with the old way of doing things, where each engineer goes their separate ways to create their own estimates.

For example, the civil engineer will come up with estimates on their own spreadsheet. The electrical engineer will do the same on another spreadsheet. The mechanical engineer will do a third spreadsheet, and so on. Everyone has to download the estimation software too, which can come with its own host of problems.

Meanwhile, the project manager doesn’t know the progress of each engineer without interrupting them and disrupting the workflow. Then all the engineers send their data to the project manager, who summarizes everything manually.

With CostPro, you can assign roles and tasks to allow everyone to work on a single platform. Engineers can get their construction cost estimates done while the project manager can enjoy the project task completion bar. Along the way, you can provide status reports with up-to-the-second estimates, such as, “We’re about 80% done and so far it’s $60k.” 

Because it’s web-based, cost estimators can generate everything collaboratively from anywhere, whether they’re working from home, in the office, or in the field. This is a multi-user environment that doesn’t exist anywhere else.

Estimate Software Built for the Future

If you look at how technology has innovated industries, construction and farming are lagging behind. Thousands of cost estimators are doing their work on ledgers and using highlighters and faxing things.

For some reason, the technology we’re so ready to use in the field isn’t reflected in how we do things in the office. But just because it’s the way it’s always been done doesn’t mean it’s the way it should always be done.

While other sources for construction cost estimates still list fluorescent lights and lead flashing, we list only what’s being used in modern construction. While others are still listing VHS players, we flag green products to give clients an advantage.

The CostPro estimation software makes it easy to utilize CostBook data to play around with various “what if” scenarios without wasting time. And you can use that information to give your clients different versions of your estimates, a service that would otherwise require investing a ton in man-hours.

Everything in CostBook is based on current data and current methods – with an eye on continuous growth and leading into the future.

Made By Cost Estimators – Schedule a Free Demo Today

CostBook and CostPro from PT&C are designed with cost estimators in mind. You no longer have to adjust all the line items to reflect reality, with construction cost estimates based on location rather than the national average. You can add items from your shopping cart directly to the cost estimation platform, no need to type everything in manually.

This web-based cost estimation software isn’t for everyone. You still need to be specialized in cost engineering. But PT&C gives everyone on the team everything they need to be more productive and more accurate – in ways that make the most sense.

Ready to take your workflow to the next level? Schedule a free demo today.


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