2014 Craftsman Costbooks are Available in Version 2.0

Version 2.0 of Construction Cost Estimator is now available. This update includes the option to purchase the 2014 Craftsman costbooks as in-app purchases for $49.99 each. The Craftsman costbooks are the industry-standard source for material and labor costs for over 30,000 common construction items. The costs are also localized to your area based on your Zip Code in the US or your Postal Code in Canada. The Craftsman Book Company has been doing this for over 60 years, so the costs are very accurate and complete.


Version 2.0 of the Construction Cost Estimator app has also been completely updated for the new look and feel of iOS 7. We're also working on some great new features, so keep an eye out for more announcements soon.

Video Interview on FlipNerd.com

My friend Mike Hambright recently started a new video interview series at FlipNerd.com. Mike is an experienced investor who has bought hundreds of investment properties, and trained thousands of other investors in person and online. Plus he’s a super-nice guy.


Mike just interviewed me and we talked about the how to use technology for real estate investing. We also talked about how I made the transition from an aerospace engineer designing airplanes to an independent entrepreneur creating apps for real estate investors and construction contractors. So if you’re interested in technology or entrepreneurship, go check it out!


You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here:


2013 Craftsman Costbooks are Available in Version 1.6

Version 1.6 of Construction Cost Estimator is now available. This update includes the option to purchase the 2013 Craftsman costbooks as in-app purchases. If you already purchased the 2012 Craftsman costbooks, the 2013 update is free. Version 1.6 is also the last update that will support iOS 5. Version 1.6.1 will require iOS 6.0 or greater.


The 2013 Craftsman costbook data has been updated to include the top-level categories, such as Demolition, Electrical, and Painting. This makes it much easier to browse through the cost items in the same way that you would browse the Table of Contents in a printed book.

The costbook search algorithm has also been significantly improved to search through all levels of the hierarchy to find matching cost items. Additionally, all of the parents and children of those matching items are shown in the search results as well. So if you search for "painting", you would see the top-level category called "Painting and Finishing" and all of the sub-folders and individual cost items within the Painting folder. You would also see an individual cost item called "Touch-up Painting", along with the following parent folders in the hierarchy: Doors -> Exterior Doors -> Door Repairs. This will make it much easier to quickly find the cost items you are looking for.


Version 1.6 also includes some other new features that customers have been asking for, such as the ability to show or hide the Material, Labor, Other, or Subcontract columns individually, the ability to assign a default Cost Category the the cost items in your custom costbook, and the ability to display the total labor hours at the bottom of the estimate.

Version 1.6.1 should be available sometime next week, with a few bug fixes and the ability to delete the associated cost items from the estimate when you delete a Phase or Area from a project. Note that version 1.6.1 will require iOS 6.0 or greater.

Video Interview with TUAW

TUAW just posted a video interview that we filmed last summer. I talked about how the apps came about, and discussed some my design philosophy.


Construction Cost Estimator for the Mac

Construction Cost Estimator is now available for Mac OS X. The world of construction cost estimating software has long been dominated by complex and expensive Windows software and ugly spreadsheets. Many of them cost over $1,000, and they’re not very user-friendly. Many contractors have been moving from PCs to Macs over the last few years, but they have been disappointed by the lack of high-quality business software. We would like to change that.


The Mac version of Construction Cost Estimator is designed to be simple and intuitive so you can get your estimate out the door as fast as possible. You can quickly search through 3 Craftsman costbooks available within the app to get the material and labor costs for over 30,000 common construction items. You can also create your own custom costbook to save the cost items that you use the most. When you’re done creating your estimate, you can email it to your customer directly from the app.


Take a look at the sample estimate below. It’s clean and simple, and you can customize the layout to suit your needs. If this would save you time and money, go buy a copy today from the Mac App Store.