Best Construction Project Management Software 2021
Construction management tools enable project owners to effectively manage the schedule, job cost, quality, safety, scope, and function of their projects. Construction management software is a broad category of software solutions that provide construction project management, resource management, and customer management capabilities. These tools aid in the coordination of people, materials, and equipment, supporting the successful completion of construction projects.
Table of Contents
- Top Construction Management Software
- Construction Project Management Software Checklist
- What Is Construction Project Management Software?
- Construction Project Management Software Features
- Features for Small Businesses
- Features for Midsize Businesses
- Features for Enterprise Businesses
Top Construction Management Software
Construction project management software lets users manage and monitor all projects and clients, while enabling them to reduce administrative tasks and expenses. Our top recommendations allow construction project managers to build client trust and support team collaboration, no matter the location.
Construction Project Management Software Checklist
Construction management software has become essential for companies, helping them increase their efficiency and accountability. However, some construction companies hesitate to purchase a solution for reasons such as ease of use, price, cost of training, and the ability to integrate with other systems. The following checklist of questions can help a company narrow down its list of candidates and find the best construction software to match their needs.
- Vendor: What’s the vendor’s reputation in the market?
- Deployment: Is the solution installed on-premises, in the cloud, or is it capable of both?
- Platform: Is it web-based or a desktop app?
- Mobile: Does it have free mobile access?
- User Interface: Is it easy to use, or require specialized training?
- Cost: How does its price compare with similar solutions?
- Scalable: Does it offer tiered pricing plans?
- Fees: Are access fees or licenses payable annually or monthly?
- Migration: Is it easy to migrate existing data, or will it require additional services?
- Project Management: Is it capable of real-time project tracking and management?
- Multi-Tenancy: Does it support multiple users, projects, and clients?
- Automation: Can it streamline many construction management processes?
- Scope: Does it cover the whole construction cycle, or only some phases?
- Risk: Does it have risk management features?
- Collaboration: Is it capable of real-time communication and team collaboration?
- Accounting: Does it have accounting tools for bids, estimates, budgets, and forecasting?
- Integration: Does it offer direct integration to other popular applications?
- Security: Is the software compliant to transparency, privacy, and security standards and regulations?
- Support: What is the availability of customer support?
- Reliability: What is the average uptime of the system?
What Is Construction Project Management Software?
Construction project management is the procedures and tools that oversee the many different aspects of a construction project, ensuring its completion according to schedule, scope, budget, and quality. Construction software streamlines the project management process and helps facilitate daily communication, as well as the coordination of material deliveries, job schedules, construction tasks, status reports, punch lists, and other quality issues with the team, contractors, clients, and other stakeholders.
The best construction project management software provides users the tools and features for overall management of construction projects. Here is our list of the best construction software solutions for businesses of all sizes, in no particular order.
Autodesk Build is part of the Autodesk Construction Cloud solution that connects workflows, teams, and data. Build is construction management software that connects project management, field collaboration, and cost controls so teams can collaborate easily and deliver projects on time and budget. It includes tools that are easy to use and configure.
Autodesk Build offers construction software to manage schedules, which users can share with field and office teams. It lets users connect RFI documents to issues, change orders, and meeting minutes. The software also simplifies the creation, tracking, and organization of submittals and meeting records. Other features include issue management, change order management, centralized gallery, mobile access, document management and publishing, drawing markup tools, and 2D and 3D drawing navigation.
- Simple user interface
- Good project coordination tools
- Allows easy viewing of 3D drawings, regardless of skill level
- Clash detection in BIM could be improved
- Needs additional documentation
Procore enables communication and collaboration among teams, partners, and clients for the whole construction project lifecycle, from pre-construction to project closeout. Project owners, contractors, and subcontractors gain clear visibility of every process, with high accessibility from any device and real-time connectivity.
The Procore platform runs on a secure and trusted multi-zone cloud infrastructure that offers UI customization, custom workflows, powerful search, analytics, and integration. Features included in the platform are tender management, estimating, field productivity, financial management, quality and safety, design coordination, and BIM. This construction software solution provides mobile communication, centralized storage of up-to-date information, and project overview and tracking.
- Robust support for multiple users and viewers
- Highly accessible from different mobile platforms
- Good project organization and file centralization
- The punch list feature needs improvement
- Ideal for general contractors, but not so much for specialty contractors
Buildertrend is a construction project management tool and app for homebuilders, remodelers, specialty contractors, and commercial contractors. It provides users a modern tool for planning projects, tracking expenses, and building client relationships. It includes tools for pre-sales processes, project management, financial management, and customer management.
Buildertrend helps users manage leads and get more projects with built-in construction estimating software, as well as tools for bid requests, proposals, leads management, email marketing, and integrations. Project management tools give users access to daily logs, to-dos, scheduling, document storage, messaging, and plan markup. Other features included are invoicing, payment processing, budget, time clock, customer login, selections, and reviews.
- Easy workflow management
- User-friendly interface
- Mobile access
- Needs improvement in estimation functionality
- Needs better management of notifications
Smartsheet is flexible work collaboration software that construction companies use for managing projects. It provides a central platform and dynamic sheets to help users plan, coordinate, and execute a variety of construction projects in the agricultural, residential, commercial, industrial, and civil industries.
The software streamlines the construction project lifecycle by increasing efficiency, providing complete project visibility and improving safety. Smartsheet is applicable throughout the lifecycle, from pre-construction to closeout. It connects office and job site teams, subcontractors, inspectors, and other stakeholders. It offers pre-built and custom templates for pre-construction, safety management, field operations, resource management, quality control, and reporting.
- Customizable dashboards
- Good collaboration features
- Ready-to-use templates
- Designed for general project management, though it can be customized for construction projects
- The learning curve for new users can be high
Oracle Aconex is a construction project controls software that supports project visibility, control, reduced risk, and connected teams. Construction project management becomes easier with tools for design and construction coordination, project controls, cost management, document management, and field management. With this cloud-based software, users only need a web browser and login details.
Oracle Aconex gives users secure document management to easily manage documents and models of any size, type, or number of files. It has strict version control, automated custom workflows, and workflow tracking and reporting based on real-time analysis. Other features include advanced communication and forms, BIM model coordination, integrated cost management, automated quality and safety processes, and out-of-the-box reports and dashboards.
- Effective process controls
- Time tracking features
- Organization-wide cost management
- Needs an accounting system integration
- No equipment management and asset valuation
Fieldwire is jobsite management software for construction teams. Its users include general contractors, specialty contractors, owners, architects, and engineers. The software enables the construction project team, from the contractor foreman to the project manager, to collaborate and share information in real time.
Fieldwire improves jobsite coordination, tracks team performance, and reduces risk. With the software, users can assign tasks, work from the latest drawings, and align field and office teams from any device. Features also included are real-time messaging, tasks, punch list, inspection management, scheduling, and mobile plan viewing and markup. It also has digital forms for daily reports, timesheets, inspection requests, and RFIs.
- Good project monitoring and image documentation
- Easy project scheduling
- Mobile construction plan access
- Task management could be improved
- Users wish for the capability to export plans in Word or Excel for printing
CoConstruct is cloud-based construction management software for builders and remodelers. Teams manage projects, clients, and contractors from the office or the field. This construction scheduling software also has a simple drag-and-drop interface. Alerts and reminders keep the team and partners on track. It also has baselining and automatic updates when users shift a task.
CoConstruct includes ready-to-use schedule templates, or users can build their own or import from another system. Other features include client access for selections, costs, photos, and conversations. It also has financial tools for presenting specs, pricing, and files, as well as integration to QuickBooks. Jobsite activity and progress tracking, bidding, proposals, change orders, and mobile access features are also available.
- Selection groupings to view and select final finishes
- Built-in scheduling tool
- Responsive customer support
- Needs improvement in its time clock features
- Limited customization
eSUB is construction project management software for trade contractors. It provides a document and field management solution that centralizes information in a single place. A user-friendly mobile app enables foremen and supervisors to submit time and materials, complete daily reports, and schedule resources. It also has tools for field notes, RFIs, subcontracts, equipment rental, and meeting minutes.
eSUB project management helps users organize multiple projects with real-time updates. It is a flexible, modular system integrated into a single platform, so users use only what they need. It has offline mode, time tracking, project planning, and reporting features that include Gantt chart scheduling, issue tracking, reminders, and email integration.
- Easy to use
- Good document management and controls
- Responsive customer service
- Time card UI needs improvement for smoother daily reporting
- Users wish for purchase order integration with QuickBooks
RedTeam construction management software helps users face the day-to-day challenges of commercial construction. It is a collaborative solution that includes a free mobile app for iOS and Android devices. The software provides real-time updates, so teams can stay on track regardless of location. It supports paperless contracts, documents, and digital workflows to speed up contracting, compliance, and change management.
RedTeam covers the whole construction project lifecycle, from planning to closeout. The all-in-one software has tools for bidding, estimating, project management, submittals, change orders, RFIs, and scheduling. Users can easily access different reports, such as WIP, owner reports, and RFI logs. Per-month pricing, paid annually, includes support for unlimited users.
- Responsive customer service with real-time chat support
- Easy to use, with pre-built templates for contracting business
- Strong timekeeping, accounting, and financial management features
- Frequent product enhancements can sometimes confuse users
- Users would like to see additional reporting and analytics features
STACK is construction takeoff and estimating software. It focuses on the pre-construction stage to help contractors complete takeoffs and estimates faster, with the goal to increase bid volume. The software is ideal for trade subcontractors, home builders, general contractors, and construction material suppliers and manufacturers.
It provides a central hub for plan management, cloud-based takeoff and estimating, proposal customization, and real-time collaboration. STACK’s plan, spec, and document management tools allow users to review and revise plans and identify changes without having to redo takeoffs. Users can organize plans into folders with drag-and-drop functionality, and find files quickly with a powerful search tool. The software also has markup and measuring tools, automation, templates, bill of materials, labor and materials incorporation, custom proposals, version control, call-outs, and shareable plans.
- Multi-screen comparison and layover feature
- Easy to use and navigate
- Web-based and platform-agnostic
- Needs shortcut key commands
- Some users find the per-user pricing a bit high
Construction Project Management Software Features
Individuals and teams working on construction projects use construction management software as their primary tool to share information and collaborate on documents. There is no standard feature set, as the construction industry is still in the process of adopting digital solutions. However, these core features are vital for solving common problems and managing risk:
Construction teams, owners, and other partners work with many documents in the course of a given construction project. The software provides a central and secure storage space that allows for simultaneous viewing of documents like project plans, contracts, and receipts. It also allows users to organize blueprints, permits, specs, and other documentation needed for the project.
Construction projects need software to manage schedules, tasks, assignments, work duration, deadlines, dependencies, milestones, and issues. Built-in project management tools make it easy for users to prioritize, track, and report all construction activities and coordinate with the responsible teams.
Contractors send submittal documents to architects or designers, which contain information on materials or equipment before purchasing. Submittal features in these kinds of software automate the approval workflow process.
Request for information (RFI)
Request for information is a formal, written document used in the construction industry to indicate the need for clarification or additional information. RFIs are usually sent to designers, architects, or engineers about a question on the project plan. RFI features in construction management software help document communication, and can be useful in case of conflicts.
A change order is another important document, signifying an agreement to add or subtract work, or othewrwise alter, revise, or deviate in some way from the original plan. As with RFIs, construction management software provides special handling of these types of documents.
Construction projects work with drawings and blueprints. The best solutions include tools to view and annotate drawings clearly. Markup tools provide additional notes without having to redraft the original plans. Some solutions offer advanced tools for 3D models, which can identify inconsistencies, called clash detection.
Daily logs are essential in construction project management to help track and monitor progress of an ongoing project. Software that provides easier completion of daily logs streamlines the status reporting process.
The ability to collect, organize, and itemize punch lists is essential in construction management software. Punch lists are work issues that did not conform to specifications, so the contractor must resolve it to receive final payment. Software solutions should be able to list, track, and label these items correctly.
Project owners and managers constantly look at summary reports and statistics to evaluate progress, cost, budget, schedule, quality, and safety. Construction management software needs to generate different reports, both summarized and detailed, on demand.
Construction teams work at different locations, so the best solution should be able to instantly sync information between computers and mobile devices to provide the latest documents and reports. Cloud-based solutions can implement this as long as there is internet connectivity.
Construction management software that can integrate to other systems is more scalable. Some of the systems these tools integrate with are accounting, CRM, ERP, HR, and other, more specialized tools like legal or estimating tools.
Features for Small Business
Small construction businesses, like small renovation contractors, have different needs than larger operations. For instance, they may require less estimating, and work with a smaller team.
- Affordable plans: Smaller businesses have less capital, so they need to invest in solutions that offer affordable pricing.
- All-in-one solution: Construction management software that includes all essential features — such as document management, drawing markup, project scheduling, and accounting — is more practical.
- Ease of use: A solution that is easy to deploy and use, with good support for implementation, can get a small business up and running more quickly.
Features for Midsize Businesses
Midsize construction firms work on more complex projects and with larger teams, which may include subcontractors. Builder-owners, general contractors, and alteration or specialty contractors need more robust solutions.
- Centralized platform: Different teams need to work on the same up-to-date documents to have a single source of truth.
- Mobile access: Construction professionals in the field should be able to complete tasks like managing change orders, and provide reports as they happen.
- Integrated financial tools: The software should provide tools to help construction managers track invoices, manage costs, and improve bidding data.
Features for Enterprise Businesses
Large construction companies like real estate developers, commercial developers, and government-funded companies can work on projects that take years, or involve huge amounts of capital. These major players in the construction industry need specialized tools.
- Increased security features: Enterprises that work on big projects need to make sure that documents, communications, financials, storage, and access are highly secured to prevent theft, breach, or any other costly disruption.
- Streamlined communications: With numerous teams and individuals involved, the solution should have robust communication and collaboration tools that allow attachment and sharing of important documents.
- Powerful drawing and markup tools: Teams will be constantly working on 2D and 3D drawings, so the software should handle the enormous load of displaying and updating different drawing plans.