What’s the difference between proposal and estimate?

Proposals and Estimates within Buildertrend are different, but how? We’re outlining each feature and how they’re used to secure more business.

Chelsea Cole / Buildertrend

What’s the difference between Proposals and Estimates?

This is a popular question among Buildertrend customers, so we thought we’d take to the blog and break it all down. Although they’re very similar tools, Estimates and Proposals have different uses within the Buildertrend platform.

In order to bring you insider expertise on this topic, we spoke with Nick Pitsch, a customer success education coordinator here at Buildertrend. He’s sharing how these two tools, although similar in concept, are used differently within the construction estimate software to enhance your sales process.

What is a proposal?

A proposal is a plan or suggestion, especially a formal or written one, put forward for consideration or discussion by others.

Nick: The Proposal tool within Buildertrend lives in the Sales tab. Proposals are part of the sales process and can be used with other Sales features like Activities, Notes and Files.

What is an estimate?

An estimate is an approximate calculation or judgment of the value, number, quantity or extent of something.

Nick: Within Buildertrend, an Estimate, although similar to a Proposal, is part of a job and can be built using additional tools within the job. More specifically, bids from subcontractors, selection choices and allowances.

What are some of the similarities between the two features?

Nick: Proposals and Estimates in Buildertrend are very similar in functionality. Both are composed of a worksheet where line items are added with pricing information and details as well as a format page that allows the user to organize the pricing information with company information, terms and conditions, legal verbiage and more.

Both can also be electronically released to a client for electronic approval forming a legally binding contract.

How is each tool used differently within the platform?

Nick: By design the Proposal is part of the sales process. Since many of our clients use Bids, Selections and Allowances to generate a contract, they prefer to use a job and the Estimate feature.

This has allowed the opportunity for both tools to be used for different purposes – the Proposal as an initial design agreement and the Estimate as the final formal contract.

What are the key benefits for each tool?

Nick: The benefits of the Proposal is that customers can release multiple proposals to a prospective client. This provides them with multiple options to review before selecting one to approve.

The benefit of the Estimate tool is that it’s available in a variety of different features. General line items, Selections, Allowances and approved and budgeted bids can all be used with Estimates. This provides the flexibility to write contracts with pricing from many sources if necessary.

Create better construction estimates and proposals with Buildertrend

If you’d like to learn more about the differences between Proposals and Estimates or have questions on how to best implement them into your business, give us a call, and we can help.

And if you’re new here and think Buildertrend could help with managing your construction business, schedule a demo today.


About the Author

Chelsea Cole
Chelsea Cole

Chelsea Cole is a content marketing specialist at Buildertrend

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