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home building software (residential construction software)

Contributor(s): Cynthia Dugan

Home building software, also known as residential construction software, is a collection of programs, processes and information that lets residential construction contractors manage the construction process from home design and remodeling, to cost estimates and accounting, to project management and project completion.

As with commercial construction software, there are a variety of options available for construction companies interested in home building software. Options include design software, estimating software, job cost accounting software, and construction management software, or a combination of these programs.

CAD (computer-aided design) software includes exterior and interior design, 3D floor plans, walkthroughs, and landscaping, which contractors may then present to potential clients when competing for a job. Web-based versions of these programs often include the ability to upload plans and selections online, which are then available for home buyers to consider and peruse. Some design modules also allow users to create a representative model, then copy those base plans and options to a new model, making the design process more efficient. Many home building software companies offer custom selection modules that are integrated with estimating, accounting, and/or management software.

Typical functions for residential construction project management software include equipment management, inventory control, punch list management, contract writing, and purchase orders, in addition to solutions related to subcontracts, such as scheduling, change order tracking, and charge backs.

In addition to regular accounting functions, such as accounts payable and receivable, general ledgers, and payroll, job cost accounting and estimating software for home builders often include modules that allow contractors to calculate building material quantities and unit costs for items such as lumber, roofs, sheetrock and foundations. Add-on modules also allow contractors to track project expenses and overhead costs.

Some of the leading design software is produced by Punch! Software, Artifice, SelectionWare and Autodesk. Meanwhile, Sage, Primavera, Viewpoint, Goldenseal, Constellation, Comprotex, and BuilderTREND are leading companies that offer a combination of construction management and accounting software.

 

Learn More About IT:
> Construction Software Review.com offers information about numerous home building and residential construction software vendors.

This was last updated in March 2011

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