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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    boston, ma
    Posts
    94

    Default Hometech software

    Has anyone out there used or checked out Hometech estimating software and they're books? I am interested to hear your experiences. thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Meadow Vista, CA
    Posts
    2,148

    Default Re: Hometech software

    I have been a fan of the HomeTech estimating system for many years. With it you can prepare an accurate estimate in a short period of time, mostly through the use of assembly pricing and unit costs. Every job I have taken using their methods has been profitable.

    However, I have developed many of my own numbers using my own experience and HomeTech's outline. That's the only way to produce estimates that are acurate for myself.

    I used the software a while but a mistake I made after an upgrade cost me several thousand dollars in OH&P. Now I use an excel spreadsheet formatted similar to the HomeTech book and I buy the book each year to check pricing on items I haven't done in a while.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    boston, ma
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Hometech software

    Thanks for your input, I heard they're pricing tends to be on the high side, have you looked at the Handyman edition?
    Last edited by beetlej; 12-01-2007 at 04:18 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Holly Springs, GA
    Posts
    3,287

    Default Re: Hometech software

    Take a look at Clear Estimates- it's a newer product, but the estimating system has all of the capabilities of Hometech with one feature that Hometech doesn't- you can change your labor rate in one location, and all items that use that labor rate are automatically updated- that's a HUGE benefit. There's also a built-in spec writing section that allows you to easily print proposals and contracts that incorporate all of the data from the estimate.

    The program is populated with data from RemodelMax, which is a firm that provides price books like Hometech's, and from what I've seen to date, the pricing seems to be pretty spot-on (at least for this area).

    Hometech lost the guy who wrote the software several years ago (he passed away), and the software really hasn't seen much change since. Clear Estimates, on the other hand, is currently in version 2.0, with 2.5 due out sometime next year. I've spoken with the guys at CE and RemodelMax, and their both anxious to get feedback on the software from the users so they can incorporate any requested features into the new version.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Meadow Vista, CA
    Posts
    2,148

    Default Re: Hometech software

    Too high is a judgement best left to the customer. Our job as estimators is to develop a price that will return the profit we desire. I think we shoot ourselves in the foot when we are afraid to ask for that price because of our own perceptions about how high it is.

    I think there are two judgements that will result in either mediocre success or even failure in this business:
    1: That price is too high.
    2: This is the going rate.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    in my own world
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Hometech software

    To ALL

    Has anyone tried the Priosoft "Contractors office 6.0, it has an estimating sytem which is run using the Remodel Max program, plus it has many more features and everything is tied together with by the system. client info, estimates, proposals, invoices etc.. all with a couple of clicks of the mouse. They have a tutorial video on their site. I use it and love it.

    I don't know how to get the link here, but if u go to www.priosoft.com and then click on construction management, there is a " watch the presentation" to click on, at least worth a watch. Let me know what you guys think, love to hear your thoughts on the program.

    Work

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Hastings, Minnesota
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Hometech software

    Just some additional input to Bob Kovacs comments on Clear Estimates. I purchased Clear Estimates at the JLC Live event here in Minneapolis October of 2006. The creator of Clear Estimates, Nolan Orfield is a very bright young man and I believe he has a very good product. When I purchased the product I did not follow Joe Stoddard advice on making sure you purchase the training that goes along with the software. And that is the problem with Clear Estimates there is NO training available. So if you are going to purchase the software make sure you have the "free time" available to teach yourself the software because Clear Estimates has a few 2-3 minute videos on their website that blows through items from a sales perspective but nothing from a training perspective.
    Us 50 something contractors need training. Now it looks like my version is obsolete because I have to subscribe to RemodelMax for $59/month.
    Finally, to validate what I am saying is that I am a user of Excel, Chief Architect and Act. Each of those programs I purchased training to be able to use. The Act training was done by one of the Act consultants cost me $235 for a all day session and they offer anyone who takes the training to return once more within a year for free for reinforcement. I took them up on it for the afternoon session and I am a commited Act user.
    These software people need to realize that they need to SELL the training because then they would have satisfied customers. No one is asking them to give the training, but make sure it is available.
    I should say I have tried to make an attempt to contact Mr. Orfield to arrange some kind of training but we just can't seem to get our schedules to connect. He always seems to call me back on my cell when I'm in the field. Not the perfect time to open my computer and remember what my question was.
    So, maybe I'll make another effort to lock myself in my office between Christmas and New Years to see if I can learn it on my own.
    So, in summary I am not cutting the program I believe it is great. I just need the time to learn it since there is no guidance or training.

    Marty Vietoris
    Martin Joseph Design and Construction, Inc.
    St. Paul, Minnesota

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    St. Paul, MInnesota
    Posts
    164

    Default Re: Hometech software

    Hometech software works great if you want to estimate from unit price averages. I like the fact you can create a proposal once you're done. Walt has been around for years and have taught many of us how to estimate.

    If you're a contractor/builder who wants to estimate the job, create a proposal and once your customer's proposal is signed have it automatically generate purchase orders, subcontracts, it will not work for you. The reason is that you can't order anything from an average unit price. It has to be exact. That is why we are advocates of getting true costs in your estimating system so that you can estimate the job, create a proposal and once the job is signed automatically generate purchase orders and subcontract agreements to your vendors.
    Jeff Knutson
    President
    Contractors Software Group
    www.csgsoftware.com
    "Taking Builders to the next level with automation"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Hometech software

    I have been a homtech user for years. Yes, the software hasnt changed much for a number of years. However, I have heard version 5.0 is coming soon. That being said, i am comfortable with it. The costs for materials has been dead on, but sometimes the labor has been a bit low. Not sure if its the databases fault or the fact we have an aging crew! Also, there are some items you may come across that may need to be included in your bid that you have to create "user items" for. No big deal. All in all, im happy with it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    234

    Default Re: Hometech software

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Kovacs View Post
    Take a look at Clear Estimates- it's a newer product, but the estimating system has all of the capabilities of Hometech with one feature that Hometech doesn't- you can change your labor rate in one location, and all items that use that labor rate are automatically updated- that's a HUGE benefit. There's also a built-in spec writing section that allows you to easily print proposals and contracts that incorporate all of the data from the estimate.

    The program is populated with data from RemodelMax, which is a firm that provides price books like Hometech's, and from what I've seen to date, the pricing seems to be pretty spot-on (at least for this area).

    Hometech lost the guy who wrote the software several years ago (he passed away), and the software really hasn't seen much change since. Clear Estimates, on the other hand, is currently in version 2.0, with 2.5 due out sometime next year. I've spoken with the guys at CE and RemodelMax, and their both anxious to get feedback on the software from the users so they can incorporate any requested features into the new version.
    I am using this software and am very happy with it. Nolan is very quick with a response either by phone or email to any questions I have. My jobs are profitable and best of all I don't labor over estimates like I used to. Hats off to ClearEstimates.
    John

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Hometech software

    Marty, do I understand correctly that you purchased Clear Estimate as a software program? I thought it was only available by monthly subscription using the Remodel Max pricing.

    Regards,

    Tom

    [/QUOTE]Just some additional input to Bob Kovacs comments on Clear Estimates. I purchased Clear Estimates at the JLC Live event here in Minneapolis October of 2006. The creator of Clear Estimates, Nolan Orfield is a very bright young man and I believe he has a very good product. When I purchased the product I did not follow Joe Stoddard advice on making sure you purchase the training that goes along with the software. And that is the problem with Clear Estimates there is NO training available. So if you are going to purchase the software make sure you have the "free time" available to teach yourself the software because Clear Estimates has a few 2-3 minute videos on their website that blows through items from a sales perspective but nothing from a training perspective.
    Us 50 something contractors need training. Now it looks like my version is obsolete because I have to subscribe to RemodelMax for $59/month.

    Marty Vietoris
    Martin Joseph Design and Construction, Inc.
    St. Paul, Minnesota[/QUOTE]>>

    Marty, do I understand correctly that you purchased Clear Estimate as a software program? I thought it was only available by monthly subscription using the Remodel Max pricing.

    Regards,

    Tom

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Holly Springs, GA
    Posts
    3,287

    Default Re: Hometech software

    Prior to Remodelmax, it was available for outright purchase, and I believe they had a deal going for people who had purchased it prior to upgrade without going to the subscription program. They may still have it available if you ask Nolan.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Hastings, Minnesota
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Hometech software

    Tom,

    I did purchase clear estimates prior to their association with RemodelMax. Good Luck if you decide to purchase.

    Marty V.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Hometech software

    Hi all
    I have been following the threads on the estimating software and what I have come to conclusion is that the smaller generals need a simple but effective system. I know there has been a conversation regarding lorins madera soft
    His system is far superior to any thing out there for the 300 dollars
    you must do a goto meeting with him and let him demo over the net
    I have been using for 2 years and I estimate plumbing and HVAC for a major mechanical contractor. I do projects up to 60 million using it.
    It makes assemblies, and the labor rates and taxes are in location and when you change them all sheets are updated the small commercial version is outstanding
    Try it out and you will be surprised

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: Hometech software

    bid4build is the program I have been using and what sounds like the key here is being able to use your own cost information. bid4build uses the craftsman cost information which is probably similar to remodel max, but i like the fact iI can create and maintain my own cost information in excel and then just import it into the program whenever I do an estimate, They also now integrate with the virtual boss scheudling which i just downloaded for free on their website. bid4build has scheduling as well, but this virtual boss software looks pretty good and with this new bid4build feature I can just click a button and have my estimate show up in the virtual boss software. I am starting to look out how I can manage my estimates when they become a job using virtual boss and do scheduling as well. Seems fairly straight forward but I think I am still going to need some training to really make this work well.

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