Looking for project management and estimating software for your building company?
If you truly want to systemise the processes in your building company, this kind of software is a must. If you’re managing your jobs and estimates in a spreadsheet, you’ll be surprised how a construction project management and estimating software can save you a significant amount of time, and help automate and systemise the process of running a building company.
CoConstruct is one of the top options to choose from. There are currently thousands of builders in the world using the system, including a large number of members of the Association of Professional Builders. Here’s our CoConstruct review.
In a nutshell, CoConstruct is an all in one project, client and financial management software designed specifically for independent home builders and remodelers. The features available to builders cover everything from pre-construction and project management to financials and administration, providing a ‘single source of truth’ for builders. But more on that later…
The CoConstruct Story
We recently caught up with the founder of CoConstruct, Donny Wyatt, and he shared with us the story behind the creation of CoConstruct. Donny and his wife hired a custom home builder for their new home. The process was exhausting and such a mess that his wife said, “I’m never building a house again’!
But Donny, eager to build another home in the future, knew there had to be something that could help ensure that others don’t have the same experience. He spoke to the builder who built his home, along with a number of other custom home builders and remodelers, to find out that issues experienced when building his custom home were common but avoidable with the correct processes and practices in place.
It was the early 2000s and the obvious solution was to hone into technology and create something that made the home building processes smarter and easier for both the builder and the consumer. So Donny created the first concept for CoConstruct and tested the waters with a handful of builders before setting off to the International Builders Show in 2006.
Despite being in a small booth, tucked away in the back of the room, Donny went home with more than 100 leads from builders interested in using his product. It was at that point he bit the bullet, quit his day job and put 100% focus on creating this system to help builders and their consumers.
CoConstruct’s mission is similar to ours at the Association of Professional Builders (APB). They want to share a system that helps improve the experience of building a new home for both the builder and their consumers. CoConstruct is created specifically for custom home builders and renovation specialists. This is one of the major factors that makes CoConstruct different from other construction project management systems. Just like APB, what they’ve created isn’t for commercial builders, developers or subcontractors. Users of CoConstruct build or renovate 3-100 residential homes per year.
What's Included In CoConstruct
So, you’re probably wondering what CoConstruct actually includes. If you signed up today, you’d be able to take advantage of...
✓ CRM functionality to keep track of your leads and opportunities.
✓ Templates for estimating, selections and proposals.
✓ Cost catalogues to store costs you commonly use.
✓ Client selection management to handle choices, deadlines and reminders.
✓ Spreadsheet estimating to build your estimates directly into the software.
✓ Functionality to send clients contracts for electronic approval.
Project Management Features
✓ Project scheduling so you can assign tasks to trades or staff members.
✓ Communication management between everyone involved in the project.
✓ Labour tracking so you can see how many hours were worked compared to the estimate.
✓ Daily job logs to keep track of job site activity.
✓ Manage punch list items and warranty requests.
✓ Budget tracking that can be shared with clients for open-book projects.
✓ Create bid requests.
✓ Create change orders and have them approved within the system.
✓ Integrated purchase orders.
✓ Create professional invoices for clients.
✓ Receive payments from clients.
✓ Share the process with clients with files, photos and communication.
✓ Automatically log trade partner communication.
✓ Track your trades' insurance certificates and licenses.
There’s also a mobile app that you, your team, your clients and your trades can access at any time from anywhere so everyone is kept up to date.
What Makes CoConstruct Different?
So, if the features are in line with most other construction project management software, then what makes CoConstruct different? The key standout for us is, as we mentioned before, it’s specifically for custom home builders and renovation specialists. It doesn’t have features that a roofer needs, or functionality that a commercial builder is looking for. It’s designed exactly around your business model, rather than to suit the masses.
Donny also highlighted the streamlined process of estimating with CoConstruct. A lot of other estimating software is typically done by importing completed spreadsheets - so if something changes, you have to repeat the import process. CoConstruct’s estimating function acts like a spreadsheet within the software, so instead of importing, you can build your estimates straight into the system and easily tie it together with specs, selections and budget.
APB Members CoConstruct Review
APB Member, Neil from NEDS Projects, uses CoConstruct to manage his building company’s renovation projects. In his opinion, the top feature is the templates available. “I use them mainly for estimating and proposals. It allows for line items so I can really break each specification down into as many details as needed”.
Matt from Trademark Construction told us he uses CoConstruct for everything. “It’s a great selling point for clients too, to be able to give them a personal login to their project to see everything in one place from the schedule to invoicing”. The only thing Matt isn’t a fan of is CoConstruct’s file saving abilities. The software operates file saving with a tag system, rather than files, which can be hard to adapt to.
Robert from Carroll Construction said CoConstruct is the backbone to his sales pitch. He takes advantages of all the functionalities to address his clients' concerns. “We highlight the transparency of the financial summary page. We tell them about their ability to see our job calendar. We explain how we use the system to help them make selections with full knowledge of the cost and/or savings".
It’s not always all rosy. Sean from S&C Construction started out by using CoConstruct but switched to another solution after struggling to get a hold of customer support.
The pricing model for CoConstruct is structured around how many projects you have active at one time. The price ranges from $299 to $499 per month, depending on how many projects you need to be managing at once. There’s no free trial to test the waters, but you can pay a one-off $49 for unlimited usage for 2 months so you can learn the basics and decide if CoConstruct is the right solution for your building company.
But, if you’re curious, there is a free demonstration video. You just need to go to the CoConstruct website and click the button in the top right corner.
In conclusion, if you’re a new home building company, or a large scale renovation specialist, the features in CoConstruct are tailored specifically to businesses like yours. So CoConstruct might just be exactly what you’re looking for when it comes to project management and estimating software.