Looking for residential rehab estimating software

I’m interested in trying to automate the job of estimating residential rehab repair work.

Anybody found useful software for this purpose? I’m aware of some products that can generate a purchase order with SKU numbers that correspond with products sold by Home Depot, Lowes, etc.

I’d like to use this software to help me when making offers, to control costs, reduce trips to the supplier, and to keep better records of material expenses on each project for tax purposes and to calculate profits.


How many homes are you rehabing each year? Do you have a construction background? General Contractor?

When you purchase a construction estimating software you have to be the one to actually set it up and run it, you insert your area’s wage rate, your insurance rate, your states withholding taxes and SSI. If this number changes you have to go in and change it, and this means entering information for every trade, this is a huge laborous task that most businesses using this software have someone who makes adjustments every week on every trade.

Material prices vary, if you want the program to spit out quantities it will, however that forces you to manually get specific product pricing based on your quantity! If you want the program to spit out quantities and price you have to enter the price for every material item you use so if copper wire goes up one week you will have to go in and manually adjust the price against quantity based on square footage, square yards, squares, or linear feet!

The software will handle the proper equations however it is only as good as the data you entered for your town / city and state and for the cost for instance of a sheet of drywall in your area! In reality unless your doing hundreds of homes a year your going to have more time involved in data entry than in rehabing!

I have a construction management background and have worked in the industry for 32 plus years and we have been rehabing about 20 homes a year in 07, 08, 09 and 10 and have handled our estimates manually using RS Means and current material take off prices! It has worked pretty well, but I have been doing this all my life and it has become pretty normal for me! Even with Means books we have to calculate our own trades cost’s and enter the reflexion of our local market!

But it will be much harder for you especially if your doing major rehabs!

Good luck,


Hi Gold River,

Thanks for the response. I am a real estate broker with building experience but do not have your background in construction management. During the year, I usually buy 3-5 distressed properties to rehab and resell. I went to the RS Means website and spoke with one of the sales staff. Their company does have a 2012 CD for Residential Repair & Remodeling. Great.

I thought I knew quite a bit about remodeling until I looked at the level of detail involved in preparing an estimate. I’ll have to review this info with the general contractor that works with me to see if the product is something he would agree to use. I can appreciate the fact that the nature of this work requires a lot of data input to develop an estimate as well as the need to keep it current.

Since I’m working with a small number of properties I might be able to streamline a part of the process by developing a standard menu of materials by manufacturer and size (i.e. Kraftmaid kitchen cabinets, etc.) that I select from when doing a remodeling job in a particular price range.

The benefit to using the RS Means software is its a large company with an established track record which offers yearly updates. One other program I’m aware of goes the extra step of linking the materials list with the big box stores to generate a purchase offer but then I’m dependent on the developer keeping the material price list up-to-date and it also does not include the ability to enter labor rates.


It will definitely help you to use the same materials for different homes in a certain price point. That’s what we do for our rentals. It makes things easy when I already know what particular products I’m using for rehabs.