If I was going to buy an estimating program, it would be "Accubid". They have a web site. I built my own program using Microsoft Excel. As I stated in the other thread, I will send it to you if you are interested. I have used it to bid $1.5 million dollar jobs.
I have used Conest HTTP://WWW.CONEST.COM for about the last 4 years, it works well for me. It was also the one I learned on. You can customize it to suit your needs and you can also update all of your prices through trade services. You can adjust all of your labor factors and material prices during your take-off and customize your bid recap sheet. All of the items are categorized in a library format which makes locating them pretty simple. You can also make your own items and assemblies that you can use for the job you are bidding on or keep them for future jobs. It is a bit on the expensive side though. I have also used Pulsar which is basically a means database and it seems very cumbersome to me. Another I have tried is Visions Software, for a very short time though so I don’t feel I could give a fair analysis on it. Remember when you use these that you get out what you put into them. Spend sometime tweaking them before you start bidding with them. Most of the companies have classes you can attend which helps you understand there product. I highly recommend going to one of these after you have used it for a few weeks. Bill
[This message has been edited by wirewiz (edited 03-23-2002).]