The Best Construction Management Software for Small Businesses

Construction management software includes many different types of platforms, from all-encompassing solutions to tools that focus on one aspect of construction. This guide will help you find some of the best construction software platforms out there and provide everything you need to know about which solution may be best suited for your business.

The right construction management software can help your business:

  • Manage your bidding process
  • Design buildings with 2D and 3D modeling
  • Manage your firm's financials
  • Keep your blueprints, drawings, and other documents in order
  • Monitor and manage the job site

Our Top Picks

Ranking construction management software isn’t easy because in this industry, everyone needs something different.

Construction management software is a broad category. Some platforms — like Procore and RedTeam — are all-encompassing solutions that cover every aspect of construction management, from bidding to the last coat of paint.

Others, like Raken and BIM 360, focus on one aspect of construction such as daily reporting, document management, or building design. While they handle these tasks well, you might be disappointed if you were hoping for a construction project management solution that can handle all aspects of your job — or, at the very least, you'll have to pay extra to get other software that can supplement it.

And still others, like CoConstruct, are focused on only certain types of construction. As a result, a solution may include some construction management tools you don't need yet and be lacking in some you do.

All of that is to say that, while we can rank these software solutions by how well they do as general construction management platforms, it's important for you to dive into the reviews to determine which solution best fits your business.

For example, CoConstruct may get a higher overall rating, but if you're a commercial contractor looking for architectural and engineering software, BIM 360 will be the better choice.

Let's take a look at our top-rated software for contractor and subcontractor firms and what makes each stand out.

Here are our top picks for the best construction management software options:

Top Picks

Our top eight picks for the best construction management software

What are the best construction software options? It’s not quite cut-and-dry, as it depends on your needs. For example, while BIM 360 is a fantastic solution for architects and engineers, it may not have enough features for those who want a broader construction management platform.

Here are our picks for the best of the best in construction software based on a number of factors including ease of use, customer support, pricing, and features.

1. CoConstruct

CoConstruct is currently our top-rated construction software option thanks to the fact that it's very easy to use, covers all aspects of construction management, and offers good customer support. CoConstruct is packed with features, and most companies should be able to afford its price tag.

CoConstruct is aimed at homebuilders and remodelers, so those in commercial construction may not get as much out of the software.

However, many of its features are based on what every construction manager needs, such as bids, change orders, project scheduling, communication with clients and subcontractors, documentation, and more.

CoConstruct’s change orders feature

CoConstruct’s change orders page.

Key feature: Change orders can be a pain, so one of the welcome aspects of CoConstruct is the fact that it's easy to create change orders. Also, you can get sign-offs from clients virtually, preventing unnecessary hold-ups.

2. PlanGrid

While PlanGrid isn't a comprehensive construction management platform — instead focusing more on the document management aspect of things — it's a strong software option for those looking to more easily store, share, and edit blueprints and drawings.

The software is easy to use and boasts solid customer support. If you need a platform that can manage a mess of paperwork, you can't do much better than PlanGrid. Just be prepared to pay for additional software that can handle other aspects of construction management to supplement it.

PlanGrid’s blueprint editing feature

PlanGrid’s blueprint editing tool.

Key feature: The ability to mark up plans and drawings is definitely a standout feature. The software eliminates the need to pass around PDFs via email and helps manage the clutter every construction manager has to deal with.

3. Raken

Raken is primarily focused on tracking a project and daily reporting, so it may not handle all aspects of construction management, but it will help any manager stay on top of an ongoing project. It also scores well in terms of ease of use, and it will help with time cards and safety training as well.

You can sign up for a free trial, and it's relatively inexpensive, so it's a good option for those with a limited budget who want to make sure they're making the right choice before fully committing. The software integrates well with other construction platforms such as Procore or Oracle’s Aconex.

It also has one of the best construction project management apps out there if you prefer to operate off your mobile device.

Raken’s activity feed

Raken’s main activity feed.

Key feature: Daily reports are the bread and butter of Raken. You'll be able to track time and products, upload photos of the job site, and make notes, all while operating from the cloud.

4. Procore

When it comes to features, Procore can't be beat. This giant in the construction software industry offers powerful software that will help any construction manager handle complex projects. It's expensive, but there are few options out there that do a better job of managing all aspects of a construction project.

Procore may actually offer too much if you're just a small construction company with just a couple of people, so it's best to get a demo first to determine if it suits your needs.

Procore’s custom reports feature

Procore’s custom reports tool.

Key feature: Procore's custom reports are impressive. You can create reports by dragging and dropping specific data points, which means there are nearly unlimited ways to break down data and spot opportunities for improving your business.

5. RedTeam

RedTeam is another all-encompassing construction management solution that can help you with everything from managing your bids to actually running the project.

Its price tag makes this option more suitable for large enterprises, but if you can afford it, it offers the features you'll need to run a construction project end to end.

RedTeam is primarily geared toward those in commercial construction and offers features ranging from financials and design to scheduling and field reporting.

RedTeam’s Manage Opportunities feature

RedTeam’s manage opportunities tool

Key feature: Unlike a lot of construction software solutions, RedTeam offers sales and construction marketing tools, including an "Opportunities" section that allow you to manage customers.

6. Buildertrend

Buildertrend handles all aspects of a construction business and has an intuitive dashboard that you'll pick up quickly. Its customer support is a big selling point, as you'll get assigned a coach who will help with onboarding and technical issues.

For mid-sized firms to large enterprises, the pricing is attractive — but for very small contractors, it's a bit on the high end. This software is ideal for juggling multiple jobs at once, with a dashboard that makes it easy to manage a team of workers.

Buildertrend also has a sales module, which is not something offered by all software platforms.

Buildertrend’s Dashboard

BuilderTrend’s project dashboard.

Key feature: Builderetrend's jobs menu does a great job of putting everything you need to know about a project in front of you. It's easy to navigate between jobs, and you can always dive into more detail if you want to.

7. Sage 300 Construction

Sage 300 Construction is packed with powerful features, although it does come with a steep price tag.

It's a Windows-based platform rather than cloud-based, which may be a dealbreaker for some construction managers, but it will offer just about every functionality you might need as a construction manager, whether that be change orders or human resources or even inventory management.

Sage 300 Construction's Dashboard

Sage 300’s main dashboard. Source:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOLcLTgqVqk

.

Key feature: Sage's financial tools make life a lot easier for construction managers. You can get an overview of your financial performance, and the software will send you an alert if, for example, the project drops below a profitability threshold.

8. BIM 360

BIM 360 is narrowly focused on the architectural and engineering side of construction, so it won't meet all the needs of a construction manager.

However, it handles its core function really well, allowing you to do extensive modeling of your project and ensuring everything is designed properly at the outset so you don't run into problems in the middle of the project. There's a bit of a learning curve, but fortunately, it has strong customer support to help you.

BIM 360's Project Admin page

BIM 360’s project management page.

Key feature: BIM 360's publishing and viewing functions are top notch. The software can handle any file type, and you can share these files with anyone who has the proper permissions. The software also enables you to track updates and view previous versions.

Considerations

What The Blueprint looks for in a great construction management software

Construction management software tends to vary greatly — some focus on being an all-encompassing solution for construction managers, while others aim at excelling in one particular area, such as document management or job monitoring.

As a result, comparing them can be tough. However, we’ve settled on these three aspects in particular when it comes to our reviews.

Project management

The job responsibilities of construction managers can vary significantly, but almost all of them deal with project management. As a result, we look for software that handles important aspects of project management such as scheduling and job site monitoring.

Software that doesn't deal with project management because it focuses more narrowly in other areas won’t score as highly in our "features" category, even though those solutions may have plenty of customers who are perfectly happy with the product.

Pricing

More than many other software categories, construction software varies widely in terms of pricing — not just in terms of how expensive it ultimately is, but also in the pricing structure.

Some sell monthly subscription fees, others make you pay an annual fee based on how many users you have, and still others will let you just purchase the software and price it based on how many "modules" you buy.

We'll break down the pricing for each option so you can figure out how much you’ll probably end up paying.

Ease of use

No matter the industry, ease of use is of the utmost importance when it comes to software. It doesn’t matter how powerful it is — if you can’t figure out how to use it (or if it will take months to get your crew to figure it out), the software will be a net negative for your business.

A total of 40% of the score for each of the software options is based solely on how easy and intuitive we found that platform to be.

Benefits

How your business can benefit from using construction management software

Why spring for construction management software? Why not just keep using a spreadsheet? There are a number of tremendous benefits you might not know about.

Saves time

The ability of construction software to handle document management alone will save a huge amount of time. Many software options will manage your blueprints and permits in one place, and make it easy to share them so you’re not passing around PDFs or PNGs via email.

Saves money

When a project runs into a problem, such as necessary materials being unavailable or not enough workers for a project on a specific day, you end up with delays, and that means money wasted.

If you want to increase your bottom line, the best way to do it is to implement a software solution that will make you more organized and efficient.

Saves headaches

Have you ever made a huge mistake with payroll, or misplaced a permit you need in order to proceed with a project? That can cause major problems for your business. Software keeps all of this organized and ensures you’re not missing anything.

FAQ

Construction Management Software Frequently Asked Questions

Which software is the highest rated?

CoConstruct scored solid marks across the board, getting nine out of 10 in ease of use, support, and pricing, and an eight in features. This software is meant for home builders and remodelers, handling everything from project management to financial documentation.

Which software is easiest to use?

It's a three-way tie so far for ease of use, with CoConstruct, PlanGrid, and Raken each scoring a nine out of 10 in this category. However, CoConstruct is the only one focused on all aspects of construction management, while PlanGrid and Raken are focused on narrower areas (document management and job site monitoring, respectively).

Which software has the strongest features?

Sage 300 Construction has a learning curve — and it's expensive — but as far as we've seen, it can't be beat in terms of features. This software will handle everything a construction manager needs, even HR.

The Motley Fool has a Disclosure Policy. The Author and/or The Motley Fool may have an interest in companies mentioned. Click here for more information.