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April 24, 2018

Why do Construction Estimators Use Microsoft Excel for Construction Estimating?

When it comes to construction estimating software, one name stands out:estimatingxcel Microsoft Excel.

Excel is arguably the most powerful product in the Microsoft Office suite, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s one of the most common and long-standing programs in existence. From complex computing to custom sheets and organization, this single program can be used for every aspect of construction estimation.

The benefits are clear:

Easy to Use

If you have a basic knowledge of spreadsheets, you can use Microsoft Excel. It’s the most popular program of its kind, offering a similar look and feel to other Microsoft programs that make for a shorter learning curve.

The program contains no shortage of suggestions, guidance, and support to help you navigate its features. There are also tons of forums, videos, and how-to guides online that can help you accomplish any task you don’t know how to do.

Flexibility

Now that Microsoft Office has made its way into the cloud, using Excel remotely has never been easier. You can access your Excel documents from any computer when you save them to the OneDrive. This has also made it easier to share and collaborate on spreadsheets for estimation teams.

Templates

When you open Excel, you’re greeted with a ton of customizable templates that fit just about any application. You can take advantage of someone else’s design work and get a nice-looking, functional layout to save you valuable man-hours from creating your own.

Mathematical Control

One of Excel’s biggest selling points is its ability to compute complex mathematical formulas quickly and accurately. They offer a variety of functions and formats for your data that allow you to input repetitive data with minimal effort.

But the benefits don’t stop there. Excel offers built-in data modeling that can transform your data in a multitude of graphs, charts, and other compilations.

It’s also a surefire way to ensure you have the right calculations the first time. Excel is a highly accurate program that lets you know if a formula or data set is missing something or seems to be off (usually denoted by a small yellow square with an exclamation point). This gives you a chance to recheck your entries to ensure you’re not missing any crucial details.

Anything you can do with a graphing calculator, you can do with Excel. Its biggest advantage over your calculator is that you can repeat functions and formulas without having to type each one individually, plus you don’t have the laborious task of writing each one by hand to keep a record.

The Biggest Drawback to Microsoft Excel

There’s no doubt that Excel offers a powerful solution for construction estimators. But does that make it the best solution?

There is one drawback to using Excel in your estimation projects, and that’s the fact that it’s a multi-use program for industries and users of all types. It doesn’t cater specifically to the construction industry, which means you could be missing key functionality when it comes to your unique needs.

That doesn’t necessarily make it a bad option, either. It’s potent enough to service a variety of needs, from accounting and estimations to sales and data collection.

If you’re curious to know if it’s your best option, make sure you consider the short- and long-term benefits of using the program. Whatever you choose, you want it to continue delivering the best results as your company grows.

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