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Pro's Picks: Software for Thorough, Transparent Estimating

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Pro's Picks: Software for Thorough, Transparent Estimating

This pro recommends a robust estimating software 

June 7, 2023
clear estimates
Clear Estimates
This article first appeared in the May/June 2023 issue of Pro Remodeler.


kali sudbrook estimating softwareKali Sudbrook

Beachside Interiors

Long Beach, Calif.

Clear Estimates


I currently do small-scale remodels, but as my company expands, I needed an estimating software that offered more than what I used previously, QuickBooks

What’s great about Clear Estimates is that I can get super granular with a written proposal. I can itemize everything, be detailed with pricing, add multiple parts of a project, and add alternate materials. Customers want more transparency nowadays. So, do I give my client a QuickBooks estimate with materials and labor lumped into one large sum, or do I give a proposal with a line item for all materials and labor? I feel more confident proving an accurate, thorough estimate.

With QuickBooks, it was painstaking work to keep track of labor and materials for each project area in a separate spreadsheet. Let’s say I’m pricing out shower waterproofing. In Clear Estimates, I can enter a general line item for waterproofing and break it down into costs for the thinset and Kerdiboard, as well as my labor. The software can pull data from your location. It will automatically populate $70 an hour for carpentry as a default for me, but I can also change that rate. Clear Estimates helps to organize each aspect of a remodel with 30-plus job categories. Within each category, there are 200-plus parts to choose from. I’ve added my own categories and custom parts to the library which can be expanded as I go.

The price of QuickBooks and Clear Estimates is equivalent, but Clear Estimates does not replace Quickbooks since it can’t track my P&L or income statements. I pay for both because they help me achieve different goals in my business.

Like any estimating software, it requires some legwork to get it up and running. It took me a week or two to figure out, but it’s worth it to have the clarity and robustness that I can achieve with Clear Estimates.


Comments (1)

  • Submitted by Edward M. Blankley (not verified) on Sat, 09/23/2023 - 14:37


    I am interested in purchasing and learning to use. Cost and where can it be purchased? Estimating in construction remodeling cost is your self contracting business? I would like to explore the option. Thank you for your insight and information. Ed Blankley emblankley@gmail.com

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