Chapter Corner

Paul Wheaton

Electrical Estimating in the Digital Age

In recent years, electrical contractors have begun receiving the bulk of their drawings from architects in PDF or digital form. It is now up to the contractor to figure out what to do with these digital plans. The old “go to” process was to print the whole set and get to work estimating; measuring and counting manually with a set of highlighters and other manual tools. This took up valuable time, and the possibility for mistakes was high. Contractors needed a better, faster, more consistent way of doing their takeoff; thus, the demand and need for an easy on screen takeoff program was born. Estimating software companies were great at calculating the bid, but they did not have a way of counting and measuring from a digital plan.

The Latest Tools and Trends in Estimating

Estimating software is no longer a luxury; it is a must-have tool in the old tool belt. Contractors who are bidding new business are spending countless hours of wasted time if they are not using some sort of estimating tool. In the past, estimating software was a luxury; an expensive one. But with today’s market and with software developers recognizing the need for a less expensive software, it is a cinch to purchase one and get it up and going in no time. Most software companies now offer several levels to their software, making it a lot more affordable and doable. They even offer some sort of trade-up program so that you are not stuck with a smaller version of the software forever.