The Top 5 Construction Software Platforms

The construction software market is jam-packed with options for every possible task on a construction site. How do you cut through the noise and decide what the best options are for you?

Make it easy: browse our top construction software recommendations and then take a look at our construction software buying guide.

Best Blueprint Management Software: Plangrid

Who it's for

General Contractors, Owners, and Architects

What they do best

PlanGrid is a relative newcomer to the construction software industry, but they have made a quick and distinct impression as being the leader in blueprint management. Their software eliminates the need to lug drawings between sites, and ensures everyone works off the most up-to-date construction documents.

Why you should use them

There are a number of features that help PlanGrid distinguish itself:

  • Simple measurements and markup capabilities
  • Intuitive user interface for easy navigation
  • Pre-rendered sheets for quick load times
Cost

$39/Month/User for 550 Sheets

$59/Month/User for 5,000 Sheets

$119/Month/User for Unlimited Sheets

How to sign up

You can go here to try a free trial or sign up for a plan that fits your budget.

Best Daily Reporting Software: Raken

Who it's for

General Contractors, Subcontractors, Owners

What they do best

Raken gets rid of the paperwork associated with daily reporting on construction sites. With their app, construction firms no longer need to write daily reports and then upload them to a computer. Everything that needs to be recorded on site is input into smart phones and then instantly sent to the cloud for secure storage.

Why you should use them
  • Provides key information from daily reports in one location
  • Instant company-branded reports exportable as PDFs
  • "Super-daily reports" provide all your subcontractor reports in one document
Cost

$12/Month/User for Starter Plan

$30/Month/User for Basic Plan

$37/Month/User for Professional Plan

How to sign up

Go here for a 15 day free trial or to get started on one of their plans.

Best BIM Collaboration Software: Bluebeam

Who it's for

Owners, Architects, General Contractors, Engineer, Estimator, Superintendent

What they do best

BLUEBEAM REVU is similar to PlanGrid in that their software enables teams to easily collaborate over plans. They differ in that Bluebeam offers more advanced functionality and the ability to integrate with 3D models.

Why you should use them
  • Able to convert CAD documents into 2D and 3D PDFs
  • Straightforward markup and measurement tools for document collaboration
  • Simplified design review process to get construction started faster and more accurately
Cost

$349/Seat Revu Standard

$399/Seat Revu CAD

$499/Seat Revu Extreme

How to sign up

Go here to download a trial version of your preferred package.

Best Multi-Purpose Software: Procore

Who it's for

General Contractors, Project Managers, Superintendents, Accountants

What they do best

Procore labels itself as a ‘Construction OS.’ The company offers a software package designed to replace the old pen and paper processes of the construction business. From payroll to punchlists, Procore has created a digital form and provided a central repository in which to organize it.

Why you should use them
  • Simple integration with a wide amount of software
  • Digital processes for the entire project lifecycle
  • Robust support team
Cost

Variable pricing based on your requirements.

How to sign up

Go here to download a trial version of your preferred package.

Best Equipment Management Software: HCSS Innovative Software

Who it's for

General Contractors, Project Managers, Superintendents, Accountants

What they do best

HCSS is a construction industry veteran, and has developed a suite of products meant to streamline construction management. Their software is unique in offering a number of solutions for fleet and equipment management including fuel and GPS tracking, dispatching, and maintenance.

Why you should use them
  • Automated workflows eliminates the need to track down equipment statuses and locations
  • Eliminate fuel waste with an affordable, simple fuel management solution
  • See the total cost of your equipment including maintenance, fuel, and depreciation to know how much you’re actually spending
Cost

Variable pricing based on which solutions you need.

How to sign up

Go here for a free demo and price quote.

Construction Software Buying Guide

There’s a massive load of software on the market. Not only can it be expensive, if it doesn’t fit well into your workflow, it can have disastrous consequences. To make sure you purchase the best solution for your team, ask yourself the following questions:

What are the pain points in your workflow?

What is the most frustrating, complicated, or expensive part of your workday? There’s likely a software solution out there designed to eliminate this issue. Make a list of the problems you want to address, and then use that as a reference point when looking at software options.

Is there a process you’re spending more money on then you want to?

One of the biggest advantages of construction software is its ability to organize and track expenditures. If you feel like you are spending more money than your competitors in a specific area, then it is likely that the right software could help you identify and resolve the problem.

Is there a specific aspect of your business you want to improve?

You don’t have to be having a problem to look for construction software. You may just want to expand your capacity to take on projects. In this case, you need to look at what aspects of your business are limiting your ability to grow. Look for a software solution that will address as many of those workflows as possible.

Who needs access to the software?

Many construction software companies charge per user, so it’s important to determine who needs access to the platform. If you want to bring your entire organization onto the software, it might not make sense to opt for a platform that charges per person.


Steps to take before purchasing software

  1. Do your research
  2. Identify your issues and needs, then turn to Google and your professional network to see what solutions are out there. Create a spreadsheet that identifies the features you want in your software, and visit the websites of each company to see how they address each of your wants.

  3. Ask your team what they want
  4. Don’t skip this step! If your team doesn’t like a piece of software, they’re not going to use it to its full capacity. It won’t matter what features they offer, without the willingness to adopt the technology, you’re money will be going to waste. Bring your team a couple of options, see what they think, and then take their feedback to heart and refine your search.

  5. Get an online demo
  6. Once you’ve identified the handful of platforms you’re interested in, request online demos from each company. They will walk you through the software, explain how it will fit into your workflow, and give you a price quote. You shouldn’t pay for any software until you see it in action, and this hands-on demo will give you a good feel for how you will like the software.

  7. Do a cost/benefit analysis
  8. By this time you should have narrowed your search down to two options, and you should have the data to compare how much the software will cost and how much it will save you. Perform a brief analysis to see which software will offer the most value.

  9. Run it back by your team
  10. Even if you have found your favorite, run both options back by your team and see what they like. Remember, that even if one software looks like it will save you more money, if your team doesn’t use or like it, those benefits won’t exist for you.

  11. Try the Software on a Test Project
  12. Once you have made a final decision, DON'T roll it out to all of your projects. It's tempting, but you need to test it on a real project to see how well your team adopts it, and to see if it performs as expected. This way, if you encounter a problem, you can avoid it affecting all your projects. After an initial trial, you should have a good idea whether the software is right for you or if you should look for other options.


Conclusion

Construction software should save you time, money, and energy. It should make your life easier and your company more profitable. You should feel more organized and less stressed because it’s solving your problems. Unfortunately, the wrong software can have the opposite effect. If you follow our basic guide to purchasing construction software, you should end up with the best solution for your business.

Remember:
  1. Do your research
  2. Talk to your team
  3. Get a demo
  4. See how the software fits your workflow
  5. Talk to your team again
  6. Try it out on a project before rolling it out company wide

If you’re interested in how technology can benefit your business, be sure to check out our product page and some of our other blog posts: How to Get Started with Drones in Construction and How to Streamline Construction Communication.