Sage Estimating

4 / 5 40 reviews

Who Uses This Software?

For construction companies of all sizes.


Average Ratings

40 Reviews
  • 4 / 5
    Overall
  • 3.5 / 5
    Ease of Use
  • 4 / 5
    Customer Service

Product Details

  • Deployment
    Installed - Windows
  • Training
    Documentation
    Webinars
    Live Online
    In Person
  • Support
    Online
    Business Hours

Vendor Details

  • Sage
  • www.sage.com/
  • Founded 1971
  • United States

About Sage Estimating

More than any other solution, Sage Estimating software provides construction firms large and small with the power and flexibility to significantly speed up the estimating process. Sage Estimating works the way you do, helping you to build bids more quickly, accurately, and confidently; and includes takeoff and cost databases. Then, once the job has been won, estimate details flow automatically into Sage business management software, eliminating redundant tasks and data entry errors.


Sage Estimating Features

  • Bid Management
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Building Product Database
  • Calculators
  • Change Orders
  • Contract Management
  • Cost Database
  • Customer Management
  • Job Costing
  • Price Data / Price Books
  • Project Management
  • Quote Management
  • Scheduling
  • Subcontractor Management
  • Takeoff

Sage Estimating Reviews Recently Reviewed!

Using this for estimating worked, but not as well as other options.

Oct 05, 2017
3/5
Overall
3 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
3 / 5
Customer Support
4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 6.0/10 Not
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Comments: Overall it works, but not my first choice.

Pros: Great for tracking, and is a fanatic database for historical information, but clunky to use and not as user friendly as other options.

Cons: Seems outdated, and reports are tricky to get right without knowing exactly what you need. Clunky interface with no options for improvement.

Sage 300

Oct 04, 2017
4/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
Likelihood to Recommend: 8.0/10 Not
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Pros: Sage is a very practical estimating software in the construction industry. It ensures everything is a accounted for and is much easier better than Excel

Cons: Sage is a little clunky sometimes - not the easiest program i've ever used

Nice product, integrates well with Sage 300 CRE

Aug 15, 2017
4/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
4 / 5
Customer Support
3 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 8.0/10 Not
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Comments: Overall, a nice addition for your Estimating team.

Pros: We used this product for our estimators in my last Commercial Construction company. Works well with Sage 300 CRE. Allows you to set certain standard prices like labor rates. Calculate burden, buys, etc.

Cons: A little on the pricey side but that's about it. Many good features like importing into your Sage Project Management software.

Hottest Estimating Software on the Market!

Jul 14, 2017
5/5
Overall
3 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
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Comments: This is probably the most flexible estimating software available today. Always a leader in the industry, Sage Estimating can fit the bill for entry level, single user needs and expand to an unlimited number of users. The estimating system can tie into one of the best accounting packages, as well.

Pros: Totally flexible - can be used by virtually any trade as well as GC. From basic estimating needs to a complex reporting system, this software can do it.

Cons: Takes time to set-up properly. The software is ready to go out of the box, but to fine tune to make it "hum" takes more than just starting it up.

Sage Timberline

Feb 21, 2017
3/5
Overall
3 / 5
Ease of Use
3 / 5
Features & Functionality
3 / 5
Customer Support
3 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 5.0/10 Not
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Comments: The product was easy to use out of the box. Had to customize some fields to be project specific, but software allowed us to do so quickly.

Pros: Quick to use if you already know estimating

Cons: Proprietary data was incomplete for specific projects

Recommendations to other buyers: Spend some time building out your project specific data before starting to estimate

Nice software

Feb 06, 2017
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 9.0/10 Not
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Comments: The software is easy to understand and also easy to use. Thank you.

Does what I need it to.

Feb 02, 2017
4/5
Overall
3 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
3 / 5
Customer Support
3 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 7.0/10 Not
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Comments: Very happy with Sage. It makes short work of my estimates, it's also very customizable.

Pros: Easy to use

Cons: Expensive

Cloud Based Need

Feb 01, 2017
3/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
3 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
2 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 5.0/10 Not
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Comments: We purchased this product in attempts to find a link between our estimating teams and production teams and to improve the job setup time. However, this product does not link to the systems in the manners we had hoped. We are currently working on workarounds, so hoping we can fix that issue. The other issue we have with the product is it is not cloud-based, so our team always needs to be connected to our servers to make updates which cause issues for our remote teams.

Pros: I like the ease and functionality

Cons: It isn't cloud based.

A must use software for construction industry !!

Feb 01, 2017
4/5
Overall
3 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
4 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 8.0/10 Not
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Comments: Estimating project while bidding this software is a great help. It has does estimate exactly 90% - 95% of the actual budget of the project. But, depending upon the level of detail calculation you do, It has almost everything you need for estimating. Easy to learn and get used to it. the only draw back is the user interface, I would enjoy to use it more if the made it look a bit more organized and neat. Still, a must use software for the construction industry.

Always like Timberline

Jan 23, 2017
4/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
Likelihood to Recommend: 7.0/10 Not
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Comments: I've used Sage/Timberline products for a number of years and have found the programs fairly intuitive. I'm an estimating novice so I appreciate the ease of use. I did find that this software helped me to build cleaner estimates.

Timberline Software

Jan 19, 2017
3/5
Overall
3 / 5
Ease of Use
3 / 5
Features & Functionality
1 / 5
Customer Support
3 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 5.0/10 Not
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Comments: I worked as a project estimator/project coordinator with the Timberline product.

Pros: I liked the ability to submit journal entries when putting together the buyout for projects.

Cons: There are not as many query options as I would like any looking at the cost production of a project as it progresses.

Powerful product that is well integrated

Jan 19, 2017
5/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 9.0/10 Not
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Comments: For project estimates that are all inclusive and cover all aspects of a project you are bidding or developing a project budget for, there is no product more powerful than Sage Estimating. With its powerful ability to create well-defined estimates, it also has the ability to connect to many other facets of Project Management, Accounting and Construction. The product is capable of being enterprise-wide for a contractor or construction management firm, with the ability to bring in information from external sources.

Pros: Plenty of customization is available to have the output look and feel the way you want it, many modules to attach to and the ability to draw from database pricing information from external sources.

Cons: There is a steep learning curve for the beginning user. This is not a product for the occasional user.

Recommendations to other buyers: Determine if this much power is needed, but if it is, this is the ultimate product and it is well supported.

Sage-Timberline Estimating Review

Dec 08, 2016
3/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
3 / 5
Features & Functionality
Likelihood to Recommend: 7.0/10 Not
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Comments: Been using this product for 20 years- fairly simple

Pros: Familiarity

Cons: Lack of flexibility

The most dynamic

Nov 04, 2016
5/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
3 / 5
Customer Support
4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Comments: Sage estimating software allows companies and their individual users to literally make exactly the database that perfectly fits their needs. The only limitation is their ability to create tables, variables and formulas that will create the outcomes that they desire.

Pros: Total control, flexibility, and no "canned" locked in formating. Adding, changing and maneuvering existing data is made easy with "Database Manager".

Cons: The biggest con is the cost per user and the maintenance fee. Smaller companies can manage these cost with two or three estimators but larger world users such as cost consulting firms with large numbers of users find the initial investment and sustainability are over the top.

Recommendations to other buyers: To have all the advantages of this estimating product and keep the cost down you can purchase One database and put it on a server that can be accessed from anywhere and a minimal amount of uses per office that can be shared.

Sage timberline

Nov 02, 2016
3/5
Overall
2 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
3 / 5
Customer Support
3 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 5.0/10 Not
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Comments: Sage has lots of capabilities, but it can be cumbersome to use. Lots of error messages and restarts required.

Timberline

Oct 27, 2016
3/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
3 / 5
Customer Support
3 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 7.0/10 Not
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Comments: Timberline is a good old program that can be utilized for estimating however, you need to have a good database of prices to make it effective and you need to update these prices often to make it effective.

Pros: Good once you have learned it. It does complex estimating.

Cons: It has old features that are hard to change. Timberline does not change the programming technology to make it easier to use..

Recommendations to other buyers: It is expensive. Excel can replace this program.

User friendly

Oct 11, 2016
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
4 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 9.0/10 Not
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Comments: As an estimator, I use Timberline to estimate projects with value of $1M+. The platform is very user friendly. I can perform quick takeoff or more detailed item takeoff with just a click of a mouse. The autosave mode ensures that my work is saved every five minutes minimizing the risk of losing the data. The extended version of the software came with a sample database that we customized for the needs of our company. The reports function is absolutely amazing as it allows me to send the estimates to customers, project managers, superintendents, and fellow estimators for cross checking by just selecting the items that they want to see. It saves me plenty of time! I would highly recommend Sage Estimating (Timberline) to companies that are looking for an efficient estimating tool.

Pros: User friendly Data autosave Customizable reports

Recommendations to other buyers: Highly recommend it if your projects are $1M+, otherwise it may be quite costly for your office.

I have used Timberline for over 17 years.

Sep 07, 2016
5/5
Overall
4.5 / 5
Ease of Use
4.5 / 5
Features & Functionality
4.5 / 5
Customer Support
4.5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 8.0/10 Not
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Pros: I have used it for many years and I am very fast with it. You dont have to be a computer programmer to use it. Once you learn a few simple steps you can build an estimate in half the time it takes using an office spreadsheet...

Cons: There are a few quirks with some assemblies that you have to work out...

Recommendations to other buyers: Pick one and stick with it... Dont keep switching you will never get really good at any of them that way.

I set up and used the product for 12 years

Aug 25, 2016
5/5
Overall
4.5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: A stable, robust, customizable, construction estimating software

Cons: The initial setup can be complicated. The databases available at the time of purchase were not of much help for my specific use

Recommendations to other buyers: Have a datbase plan structure planned out. Follow the industry standatrds divisions of labor.

Sage Review

Aug 18, 2016
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: Ease of Use is the best thing and full customization.

Cons: Nothing Really it works great and does everything we need it to do.

Recommendations to other buyers: Go Through the tutorial first. To make sure you like it and that it will work for you.

sage estimating software

Aug 18, 2016
4/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
2.5 / 5
Customer Support
Likelihood to Recommend: 8.0/10 Not
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Pros: it is user friendly and looks like an excel spreadsheet

Cons: cannot buy the product directly you must go through a distributor

Recommendations to other buyers: there is a lot of information to absorb the videos are helpful

OVERVIEW SATISFACTION

Mar 29, 2016
4/5
Overall
1.5 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
Likelihood to Recommend: 5.0/10 Not
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Pros: it is very detail oriented which gives you good tracking and reporting

Cons: not user friendly you have to use the list very often to accommodate data . almost impossible to create reports unless you are an expert in all the codes.

Recommendations to other buyers: training is critical in all aspects using the university takes a lot of time and effort

Intuitive & Time Saving Necessity for Estimating

Jul 16, 2015
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: The more data the user puts in, the more streamlined of a machine this tool can become for your company. I have to say the formulaic calculations are also very helpful especially when it comes to breaking out specific trade items in a proposal.

Cons: The updates process. I wish the install and update deployment was easier for the end user - especially for users migrating to a different machine. The UI could be also be "modernized", but when you look at the functional aspects of this products, as there many, it just performs well compared to other estimating tools on the market.

Recommendations to other buyers: Figure out exactly how this program can mesh with the objectives for your company overall. Then spend the time upfront training on those aspects and then developing the unique database to support your workflow. In short, forget the components that are superfluous for your objectives and focus on only the components that can push your company forward in the short and long-term.

Error free, but long processing times.

Jun 24, 2015
3/5
Overall
3.5 / 5
Ease of Use
3 / 5
Features & Functionality
Likelihood to Recommend: 5.0/10 Not
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Pros: This product automatically saves after every key stroke, and the built-in formula's never make a mistake.

Cons: This software is often very slow to respond (drag and fill commands can take several minutes to complete, and trying to insert rows into an estimate can be tricky). There is also no quick or easy undo button in case the wrong command or key is pressed.

Recommendations to other buyers: It would be good to try similar software from others to understand where to improve.

Sage Estimating! The key to succesful project victories!

Jun 11, 2015
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: I love sage products best they represent the best of breed. New features are always being developed and the ease of use is excellent especially in construction is important. Service is amazing as well

Cons: I am not a fan of the license manager. They need to develop another way of licensing machines.

Recommendations to other buyers: Give it a try and you will see the power of sage. Try the assemblies function and you will absolutely love it.

Concrete Estimation

Jun 09, 2015
5/5
Overall
3.5 / 5
Ease of Use
4.5 / 5
Features & Functionality
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: Lots of customization. User friendly, and very detailed estimates.

Cons: The database building and assembly building is complex. There is support available for this however.

Recommendations to other buyers: Evaluate the size of your company. There is a lot of upfront setup and ongoing maintenance with the database in order to remain accurate. Take advantage of any training you can.

Estimating with Sage/Timberline

May 05, 2015
4/5
Overall
3.5 / 5
Ease of Use
3.5 / 5
Features & Functionality
3.5 / 5
Customer Support
Likelihood to Recommend: 9.0/10 Not
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Pros: I know that the spreadsheet adds up correctly. This is key when it comes to bidding work. We have built our own databases, and use them quite a bit for concrete, masonry, and drywall.

Cons: Upgrades with pervasive can be cumbersome. It would be useful if the download was something that could be pushed down to users. Granted right now I am behind on my upgrades because our IT department does not like to deal with the upgrades.

Recommendations to other buyers: Every estimating software has commonalities, Timberline/Sage is a tried and true product

Sage Estimating for Facilities Project Planning

Apr 23, 2015
5/5
Overall
2.5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: Customer support is the most extensive I have ever seen, and they were extremely patient with me. The product is extremely powerful and almost intimidating at first, but the help folks knew their job well, and got me up and running. I am able to produce project estimates for planning on campus renovation projects large and small.

Cons: The help system is extensive so you get forwarded around a bit, but I did get to the people I needed to get to, it just took a little time.

Recommendations to other buyers: Be aware that you need to do the training on line by yourself when you won't be distracted. The information is great, but there is a lot.

Think twice

Feb 28, 2015
1/5
Overall
1 / 5
Ease of Use
1 / 5
Features & Functionality
1 / 5
Customer Support
Likelihood to Recommend: 1.0/10 Not
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Pros: I like all the functions of this dinosaur. The software still uses fox pro old arcane DOS language.

Cons: I dislike the amount of money they want yearly. I hate their amount of money I have to spend every year to maintain this software with limited tech support.

Recommendations to other buyers: Don't buy this software, it's like a broken boat. I keep throwing money at it, and it's never quite working.

Sage Estimating - A Powerful Construction Estimating Package!

Feb 14, 2015
5/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
4.5 / 5
Customer Support
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: There are many construction estimating software packages on the market, but none is better at breaking down an estimate in all the ways that are needed. Sage Estimating can handle multi-building estimates, multiple work breakdown structures, and any other bid breakdowns that are needed. For us, most bids require some sort of cost breakdown, but rarely is it completely the same from estimate to estimate. Sage Estimating handles all these variables with ease. Also, the ability to handle variable cost add-ons at the estimate "totals page" is a huge plus. Cost add-ons such as overtime hours or material cost escalations can be added via the database or on a estimate-by-estimate basis. When it comes to providing breakdowns to our GC clients, any cost add-ons can be spread throughout all or a few of the estimate items. This is a great feature. Sage has been a very good vendor. The support they've provided over many years has been great and they've done a great job with software upgrades. The upgrades, adding new features and feature enhancements have kept Sage Estimating at the head of the construction estimating pack.

Cons: I've used Sage (and previously Timberline) for nearly 20 years, and the only consistent gripe I have is that installation of the program is tedious and has always required the help of an IT expert.

Recommendations to other buyers: Sage Estimating is a fantastic estimating tool, but be prepared for an arduous installation process and be willing to do some serious customization of the database. It's difficult to find a software program that does everything exactly like your company wants. With Sage Estimating, you can get the program to estimate and price work exactly as you want to, but it will require manipulation of the very robust standard database (many trade-specific databases are available for purchase).

I have used Sage Estimating for 20 years

Jan 30, 2015
5/5
Overall
4.5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: They are always developing the product and always on the cutting edge of technology. Around 2000, they had a product called the CAD Integrator; it was BIM before anyone understood what BIM was. They do not try to do everything (anymore). Instead of being decent at everything, they set the focus on the estimating product to make it great. Then they create partnerships with other dedicated software products that are also determined to make their piece of the pie the best. It allows for an integrated product that is the best of all worlds. The product is very easy to use and customizable to the user.

Cons: I would like it to have a better proposal output. However, most people I talk to say that it's not a big deal for them because every owner wants a proposal on their form.

Recommendations to other buyers: I have tried most of the softwares out there. I see a lot of the other companies heading down the same path Sage went down and trying to put everything in one product. It does not work, and you will be left with less of a product. You may have a product that is decent at a lot of things but not great at any - knowledgable in all trades but a master of none. By leveraging the best products on the market and integrating them, you end up with a much better product. It also allows the end user to have choices.

I have used Timberline Estimating since the mid 1990s.

Jan 12, 2015
5/5
Overall
4.5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
Likelihood to Recommend: 8.0/10 Not
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Pros: Precision Estimating is exactly what it sounds like--the most exact way to estimate a project! Sage is easy to work with, and their technical support staff is fantastic.

Cons: The most difficult part of using the software is in the initial setup.

Recommendations to other buyers: You get out of the software what you put into it, so it is best to allow plenty of time for your estimating staff to set it up, check it for accuracy, and then implement! It took me about a year to become completely comfortable with it, but I haven't seen another estimating package that even comes close to Timberline.

Sometimes great, sometimes very frustrating.

Sep 19, 2014
4/5
Overall
2.5 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
3.5 / 5
Customer Support
Likelihood to Recommend: 7.0/10 Not
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Pros: It is excellent for sending info from one module to the others. It is very helpful during the cost analysis process.

Cons: It is not user-friendly. You can't "read the screen" and muddle through on Sage like you can with other accounting software.

Recommendations to other buyers: Make sure you have a savvy person to run the software. It is very involved and not something you can just jump into and teach yourself as you go.

20+ year user review

Sep 05, 2014
4/5
Overall
3 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
2.5 / 5
Customer Support
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: It offers the flexibility to price anything you could dream up in detail and break it out any way you want.

Cons: The base databases are unreliable unless you develop them.

Recommendations to other buyers: Get some basic training, read the help manuals, and don't be afraid to click buttons.

Easy to use, very few difficulties

Sep 05, 2014
3/5
Overall
3.5 / 5
Ease of Use
3 / 5
Features & Functionality
2.5 / 5
Customer Support
Likelihood to Recommend: 5.0/10 Not
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Pros: It's easy to use and works well with Digitizer.

Cons: There are issues after updates. If you skip a few updates, it seems that some things don't work as well when you finally do update.

Recommendations to other buyers: It's not always easy to get the address book to keep working.

AVI Inc - Review

Aug 26, 2014
3/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
3.5 / 5
Features & Functionality
1 / 5
Customer Support
Likelihood to Recommend: 8.0/10 Not
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Pros: I like that it has more options for reports, forms, and queries than QuickBooks. Also, the program links between different areas of accounting and production, like work orders to invoicing and purchase orders. It performs well with Job Costing as well. I also like the functionality and organization that Sage Contractor provides.

Cons: The customer support is too expensive for the limited support we are granted. We pay for an outside consultant as well, who assists us more with the program than the customer support we sometimes get. It is also very expensive to add users, especially as a smaller business that does a lot of volume.

Recommendations to other buyers: Hire a consultant to help you in the beginning process, and hire an employee to do the technical sides of this to update parts, reports, forms, etc.

Teaching Sage to the workforce

Aug 25, 2014
5/5
Overall
4.5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: Sage's Timberline Estimating allows more flexibility in all aspects of estimating. From building specific items to substituting items, working with smart assemblies, and modeling, there is no other system that I have used that lets me customize the materials, subcontractors, and crews the way Sage does. The support received from Sage is top-notch.

Cons: The upfront time in loading in and customizing the database consumes a lot of time. Once in place, the time savings are incredible!

Recommendations to other buyers: Look over the available databases to see how well they fit your particular business. If one is not available, build your own!

Sage Estimating Review

Aug 25, 2014
2/5
Overall
1.5 / 5
Ease of Use
2 / 5
Features & Functionality
1 / 5
Customer Support
Likelihood to Recommend: 5.0/10 Not
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Pros: The software is okay, but it needs work.

Cons: It's not intuitive. I wish it was all in one instead of three different pieces to do job cost, estimating, and purchase orders.

Recommendations to other buyers: Use it before committing if possible.

Dec 30, 2011
5/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support

Comments: Why choose Timberline estimating over Excel or the Big Chief notepad? 1. Integration, Integration, Integration a. Dynamic link to Onscreen takeoff tools (I can be in the estimate quantity field and jump to the plans, measure the quantity while color coding it using the mouse, and it inserts the quantity in the estimate). b. Quotation/Procurement - one of the most important add-ons. Allows the user to create quote sheets from takeoff items, email them to vendors, negotiate prices, then choose to use that quote in the estimate budget or push it through to a purchase order or subcontract. Remarkably powerful integration tool, plus you develop a bid history library. c. CAD - beyond onscreen takeoff (which is only an image of the drawing where you still measure quantities). CAD integration uses CAD item libraries to electronically feed CAD driven quantities from the drawings (but you still have to "estimate" the work to be performed). CAD primarily provides the material components and quantities. d. Scheduling Integration - the ability to generate a text file recap of the estimate sorted by a schedule activity, or export the recap to a Microsoft Project Schedule native file format, or to create a Primavera native file format. NOTE - it is not a scheduling program; it is a utility to convert the estimate to specific data file format used by specific scheduling software products. 2. Reduction in errors. a. Database formulas work every time and warn you when something is missing. Excel can break formula links, fields, worksheet links, and references and become too complex to manage and generate a wrong calculation with no warning. b. Database estimates can be sorted in almost unlimited ways using "WBS codes" (work breakdown structures). This is a fancy name for tagging an item with a sortable field such as material class, building number, floor number, alternate, and then sorting the estimate by those tags in a multiple level sequence - on the fly. Very important with so many cuts and adds taking place in today's estimating processes. It also quickly generates field-oriented docs (bill of materials; by floor, by area, etc.), Budgets - sort by job cost summary instantly, etc. c. Cuts and Adds are a given in today's fast paced estimate environment, recalling a scope section and revising it repeatedly is a reality. This is the most common cause of estimating errors when bidding. Having an audit trail of changes and to quickly make a revision to all components by answering simple questions is very powerful (see smart assemblies and Modeling as well). d. Parametric estimates - increase the production of an estimator without increased rework or errors. Answer a set of parametric scope questions and the assembly generates all detail components for the estimator. Eliminates errors, reduces rework, ends the "takeoff for a bid - then takeoff again to build it" issue. 3. Database standards a. A standard item library for everyone in the company to use creating ease of assimilating new estimators, improving cross training of roles, having common logic that can be reviewed easily to see how the result was generated. How many times has an excel estimate template morphed into multiple complicated versions within a company? Not with a database central price book and takeoff system. b. Flexibility - allows the estimating "artist" to be flexible with their style of results. The assemblies will allow scope questions to be used differently by each estimator (one wants unit price, another wants man-hours, another wants total Square Footage). They can get all of that with a single common system setup. c. Pricing - many cost pricing service products integrate and can be combined with a company's own in-house price components. Run into that goofy system you have no idea what it costs - look it up in the pricing service system (and by regional pricing in the market). Have your own factors - apply them to the pricing. There are many other reasons to consider a database driven integrated estimating system. The above are just a few that show why excel or paper are outdated for today's fast paced estimating demands. It is not just the takeoff - it is all the other integration of "clerical / admin" grunt work stuff that an integrated solution improves within an organization. Four stars - there is no PERFECT system... but no others come close to this overall solution.

Jun 04, 2011
5/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
5 / 5
Customer Support

Comments: I have been estimating commercial construction projects for the past 15 years. If you are on the fence with estimating software, look no further than Timberline. I have tried them all and none of them are as fast and refined as Timberline. Other companies put on a good sales show but the application doesn't measure up. We actually spent about $15k on a company's software licenses, and after using it we found it to be slow and klunky. How good is Sage Timberline Estimating? Well, we walked away from $15k to use Timberline. Yeah, it's that good.