Goldenseal Estimating Software

Goldenseal is estimating software that gives you fast, accurate cost estimating for any type of project. It works well for construction, and many other business types.

The Goldenseal estimating program includes many cost estimation features that help you to increase the accuracy of your project estimates, and reduce the time it takes to prepare a bid:

  • smart dimensions calculate quantities for you from a few simple measurements
  • unit costs and assemblies calculate an accurate cost for the work you do-- and update automatically when prices change
  • competitive bid tracking handles price quotes from suppliers and subcontractors
  • project templates make it easy to estimate your "standard" types of projects

Once you've created a Goldenseal estimate, you can automatically get other useful information from it-- including a project schedule, contracts and material takeoff lists. Goldenseal estimating software has many features that are simply not available in other estimating programs for construction and other fields.

HINT-- Goldenseal includes estimating templates for many types of businesses-- including remodeling, general construction, property development, property management, drywall, framing and painting.

Unit Cost Estimating Software

Goldenseal includes unit costs and assemblies which calculate prices from the "sticks and bricks" components, without making you look at each individual item when you make a cost estimate.

Assemblies combine material costs and labor costs into actual items of work that you'll use in projects. They are a convenient way to automatically "remember" the amount of labor and materials that is included in each type of work that you do, so you can get an accurate job estimate as soon as you enter quantities for each item.

HINT-- for a listing of the construction unit costs included in Goldenseal, click here.

The Goldenseal project estimation software starts out with several sets of "starter" unit costs. You can change any of the costs and add as many new unit cost items as you need.

  • The Construction Starter File includes over 2000 unit costs designed for building cost estimates for new construction, remodeling and repair estimates.
  • The Paint Starter File includes over 1000 unit costs for painting and paint preparation.
  • The Drywall Starter File includes unit costs for drywall, taping, plaster and stucco estimating.
  • The Framing Starter File includes unit costs for framing contractors doing wood and metal stud framing.
  • We are currently working on estimators for roofing, masonry, electrical and plumbing work.

Goldenseal also lets you add "one of a kind" items by just typing them into the estimate.

Smart Dimensions

The Goldenseal project estimator program includes "smart dimensions" which take simple project measurements, and convert them into actual quantities for the items in your estimates. Goldenseal currently includes two sets of dimensions (with more in the works):

  • General Construction-- for new construction, remodeling and repairs. You can enter dimensions for the whole project at once, or "room by room".
  • Paint and Drywall-- for painting, drywall, plaster and stucco work. You can enter dimensions for the whole project at once, or "room by room".

Estimate Breakdowns

The Goldenseal cost estimator software lets you use two different types of breakdowns to itemize the work in estimates:

  • Category breakdowns are a simple list where you can type in the items you'll include in a job, and divide them by cost category. They work well for small projects or very "ballpark" estimates.
  • Item breakdowns include Cost Items and Assemblies. They are usually faster and more accurate, since they calculate costs based on the actual labor and materials that go into a job.

You can also include the following items in an estimate:

  • Allowances-- a fixed price for items with uncertain specs
  • Bids-- quotes that you get from suppliers and subcontractors
  • Purchase Orders-- price quotes from suppliers
  • Soft Costs-- a percentage or a dollar amount that you add to cover overhead, profit, contingencies and other indirect costs
  • Work Orders-- price quotes from subcontractors
  • Unlisted Items-- one of a kind items that you type directly into an estimate.

Project Templates

The Goldenseal estimator software lets you set up templates for your "standard" projects. To use a template, click on the template button (to the right of the New button) and choose the template you'd like to use. That way you can start out with most of the project details already filled in.

You can turn any estimate into a template for future use-- just choose Template This Item from the options menu.

Goldenseal keeps a record of all your past estimates, so it's also easy to look up similar projects if you want to use "historical" data when preparing a rough estimate.

Competitive Bid Tracking Software

Goldenseal is bid tracking software that lets you log in each of the bids that you get from suppliers or subcontractors.

You can start with a guess at the price, so the estimate starts out with a "ballpark" number for each bid. The Goldenseal bidding software automatically fills in the latest price as you hear from each bidder. Goldenseal also tracks the status of each bid.

Automatic Price Updates

The Goldenseal cost estimation software automatically updates estimating prices when you enter material purchases or price quotes from vendors. For each unit cost you can use the most recent pricing, or take an average of recent prices.

The Goldenseal cost estimates software doesn't change pricing in estimates that are already entered (since you may have already given them to the client). If you do want to use current prices in an existing estimate, just click on the Update Prices button.


Goldenseal is one of the only estimating programs that lets you track allowances in estimates, and then bill for them separately.

Use allowances when you need to give a firm price quote on items that don't have exact specifications. Goldenseal includes the allowance amount in with the main project estimate. When you do allowance billing, it will automatically charge for the difference between actual costs and the original allowance.

Project Scheduling

Goldenseal is project scheduling software that automatically calculates the start date for each item in an estimate. It calculates the duration of each item by getting the total labor hours from the Assembly, adjusted for the crew size. You can assign different working hours to the project and see how that affects the completion date.

Material Takeoff Lists

Goldenseal is takeoff software that automatically calculates a list of the materials you'll need to actually do the work in an estimate (also called a bill of materials). Goldenseal calculates the material quantities from Assembly components, and includes an optional waste factor.

To see a simple material takeoff for a whole project or for a date range, choose Estimates from the Reports menu, and choose Bill of Materials from the submenu.

To see a material list itemized for each work item, choose Estimates from the Reports menu, and choose Bill of Materials By Item from the submenu.

Contract Writing

The Goldenseal cost estimating software also creates contracts, subcontracts and spec sheets from the project details in an estimate. It "builds" each contract from three types of info:

  • The text you type into a Contract record.
  • "Boilerplate" clauses that you enter into Contract Clauses and Contract Packages.
  • Detailed "scope of work" descriptions that come from the estimate.

Goldenseal uses "smart" text processing to fill in project info such as the price, start date and deposit amount. It even handles singular and plural quantities properly.

For more about contract-writing, click here.

Reports and Printed Forms

The Goldenseal cost estimate software includes several reports that show estimate breakdowns organized by category, subcategory or location (room, lot or any other project division).

You can also use the Print Forms command to print an estimate to give to the customer. There are several different forms available that show the items included, or a breakdown by category, subcategory or room.

Links to Job Costs

The Goldenseal estimation software tracks expenses for each project and gives you an "estimated versus actual" report on project costs.

For more about job costing, click here.

Goldenseal is Customizable

The Goldenseal cost estimation program is fully customizable. You can change any of the following items so estimates will match your needs more closely:

  • Dimension data entry screens
  • Dimension calculations
  • Unit costs and assemblies
  • Contract clauses
  • Printed forms
  • Reports

Other Estimating Links

For more about estimating in the Getting Started manual, click here.
For more about estimating in the Reference manual, click here.
For more about estimating in Special Topics, click here.