[Rookie's Friends] Construction Apps—10 Ways to Build Your Contracting Business From Your Phone
Want to grow your construction business? There’s an app for that. Thanks to modern technology, it’s possible to update blueprints, create and sign contracts, and care for your construction workers from your smartphone. To help take your company to the next level, check out these top construction apps.
Whether you’re building your business from the ground up or finetuning your workflow, one thing’s for sure: You’re just a few taps and swipes away from making your mark in the construction industry.
Ready to build your company's portfolio and work on some impressive projects? Well, a lot needs to happen before your team steps foot on a construction site. As one of the top bidding apps for general contractors, SmartBid helps streamline the entire preconstruction process. This app offers a secure platform to track your bid status with subcontractors and other companies. Not only does SmartBid help you get the job, but it also keeps your project organized from the very start.
As the old adage goes, Rome wasn't built in a day—and neither was your latest construction project. PlanGrid uses Autodesk BIM (or building information modeling) to monitor your project as it changes. From punch lists, to blueprints, to progress photos, this app is designed to keep your team in sync throughout the entire construction process.
There’s more to running a successful construction company than updating floor plans and calculating roof pitches; it’s important to track and compensate your employees for the time they spend working. Fortunately, Hourly is here to help make time tracking and administering payroll easy. The app uses GPS and geofencing to ensure your employees are at the correct construction site—and only lets them clock in once they’ve arrived. Keep your contractors on schedule by creating custom rules such as enforcing an eight-hour workday, granting a 30-minute lunch break, and setting a mandatory start time. Have a few team members who are burning the midnight oil? Hourly will automatically calculate overtime pay based on your company’s local labor laws, and add it to your employees' timesheets.
From driving to the job site each day to schlepping around construction materials, general contractors are always on the go. Since they're often on the road, construction businesses wind up spending a lot of money on gas. That's exactly why every contracting company should download GasBuddy. This platform uses a smartphone's location services to find the closest and most affordable gas station. According to the app, GasBuddy can help you save up to 25 cents per gallon.
DEWALT Mobile Pro
How many slate shingles do you need to build a gable and valley roof? Or how many studs for a 3,200 square-foot home? That's where DEWALT Mobile Pro comes in. The tool company has created a construction calculator to determine the materials your general contractors will need for their next project. Simply enter your dimensions and DEWALT Mobile Pro will do the math for you.
With so little time and so many construction projects, the very last thing you need to do is to spend a superfluous amount of time sifting through old paperwork. If you want to be as efficient as possible, download GoCanvas. Instead of turning your filing cabinet upside down, GoCanvas will let you store, organize, and share important data and documents from its mobile app.
Consider Procore your one-stop construction management app. From sharing accurate BIM data with your team, to receiving real-time productivity updates, to staying in the loop about potential safety hazards, Procore empowers project managers to stay connected with their mobile devices. You can also use this app to keep tabs on RFIs, inspections, daily reports, and more. Unlike many construction apps, which require an Internet connection, Procore lets construction managers access and save their work in offline mode. In other words, this app is a great match for managers who either travel often or work on a job site with a poor signal.
Red Cross First Aid
Accidents are bound to happen, regardless of your construction team's skillset. Unfortunately, falls and fatalities are more common in smaller businesses. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly half of the deaths that occur on construction sites are from companies with ten or fewer employees. While downloading Red Cross' First Aid app won't guarantee your project will be accident-proof, it will help construction professionals know what to do if an emergency strikes.
Thanks to DroneDeploy, your project team can get a lay of the land before arriving at the construction site. Compatible with both iPhones and Androids, this app uses drones to survey a job site on your behalf. Once the drone collects and interprets the data, the app sends over real-time drone maps and 3D models. Since launching in 2013, DroneDeploy has served 5,000 companies nationwide and surveyed 100 million acres of land. Not only can DroneDeploy save time and money, but it can also help you streamline your construction project.
Download DroneDeploy on the App Store and Google Play.
Forms by LegalShield
Want to add a new client to your growing roster? It’s important to agree on all the fine print before you step foot on the job site. That’s where Forms by LegalShield—formerly Shake—comes in. Once you and your client have set the terms for the project, simply enter a few basic facts into one of the app’s legal templates. From there, Forms by LegalShield will whip up a contract (complete with legal jargon, of course) for both parties to sign. While the app does offer legal counsel for an additional fee, you can skip the trip to a fancy law office and make a deal from your iPad.