Best Apps for Contractors – Our Selection for 2019
We use our smartphones for just about everything.
From video-chatting with our loved ones when we are out of town, to popping virtual bubble wrap, there are apps for almost every imaginable need…including contracting.
Whether you are looking for something that will help you manage the project better, saving you time and money, help you make advanced calculations on the field, or manage your team’s hours—there is an app that can help.
Below, we are featuring 14 different apps which can make managing your contracting projects easier (Check out this guide to finding the best apps for architects: “Best Apps for Architects – Our Selection for 2019”):
1. Dewalt Mobile Pro – Construction calculator
2. TSheets – Payroll and invoicing
3. Archisnapper – Field reports and punch lists
4. SmartBid – Bid management
5. Expensify – Expense tracking
6. Truckast – Orders and deliveries
7. GasBuddy – Gas Prices and stations
8. Truelook Photography – Site inspection: Cameras
9. Drone Deploy – Site inspection: Drones
10. Red Cross First Aid – First aid
11. Fall Safety Pro– Safety aid
12. CamScanner – Mobile scanner/editor
13. Waze – Road efficiency: avoid traffic jams
14. Calm – De-stress and relax: easy meditation
To help you decide which are the right apps for you and your business, we’ll give you helpful information about each app, including:
- What makes the app great. Exploring what the app does, and how it can help.
- Key functionality. A short list of the main tools that the app has, but please note these lists are non-exhaustive.
- Client reviews. Don’t just take our word for it! This is what real people in the field have to say about the app.
- Links. Where to find the app, and whether it is available for your smartphone’s operating system.
- Price. Links and info on pricing. Is it a free app (with in-app purchases) or does it have a monthly cost per user/amount of users?
14 Smartphone Apps for Contractors
Let’s jump into the top 14 apps for contractors.
1. DEWALT Mobile Pro
DeWalt Mobile Pro is an all-in-one calculator tool specifically made for construction professionals. The app includes both a construction and a scientific calculator, as well as calculator templates for figuring out everything from areas, to lengths, to volumes, to stud estimations, to concrete tabs.
What makes this app great
Not only is it free, but it is one of the most useful and well-designed tools, specifically designed for construction professionals.
It will provide accurate calculations, fast. You can store and share your calculations, making it easy to keep the team on the same page, allowing everyone to find the previous work quickly.
One of the more unique features that sets it apart from other calculators is that it uses many real-world examples to explain key concepts, and offers a wide range of trade-specific add-ons—so you only pay for what you actually need.
- Solve complex questions accurately and quickly on site, with its construction calculator, scientific calculator, and calculator templates.
- Remembers your calculations so you don’t have to. There is a customizable list of your favorite calculations for quick, easy access to those calculations used most often.
- Share your calculations. once you’ve made an important calculation, you have the ability to instantly email calculation results to your team, vendors, and clients.
- Uses real-world examples to explain calculations. There are five basic calculations with integrated reference materials specifically for construction, to offer insights, with examples and illustrations, which will help you visualize the situation more clearly.
- Only buy add-ons you need. The app can do a lot more when you get the add-ons specific to your needs, and is customizable to specific trades.
“As a contractor, it’s important to have tools at my disposal on the go. This is an essential calculator that you need when discussing projects. A must have for all those foremen on the job!”
“I used to have trouble with some of the numbers when I would work on any particular project. With this app, I am able to deal with the numbers much easier since it is more than just a calculator. The templates that allow me to figure out area and volume, as well as estimate things like studs and drywall, are simply amazing. It has made my work life much easier!”
Free, with in-app purchases and optional add-ons.
TSheets is a cloud-based scheduling and time tracking app that makes payroll and invoicing faster, cheaper, and more efficient.
Team members can clock in and out from the jobsite directly from their smartphone, which also accurately tracks GPS points even in non-service areas. TSheet’s excellent customer service is also worth mentioning since it greatly adds to their 20K five-star reviews!
What makes this app great
The app is a dream-come-true for many contractors who want to save time when it comes to payroll. This digital alternative to a paper timesheet or punch cards integrates with different payroll and accounting platforms such as Xero, QuickBooks, Square, and Gusto so you can automate your processes more effectively.
TSheets helps create reports on labor expenses, including PTO, over time, and regular time, so that you can keep your project on budget. The customizable filters can help you see exact timesheet information sorted by team members, project, date, group, job code and payroll period at any given time.
The app also makes managing overtime easier by sending you alerts when a team member’s overtime starts. Alerts can be sent to other team members, administrators, or managers via text message, email, or Twitter.
- Easy time tracking. Team members can automatically track of their time in seven different ways. Once the time has been tracked, you, or the person in charge of payroll, simply approves and submits it for payroll.
- Manage entire teams. The app allows crew managers to clock in multiple employees at the same time as well as assign them a specific task, then the time can be tracked on how long it took. Reports can be made on this data, making providing estimates more accurate in the future.
- Reduce the risk of audits. The app eliminates the worry of being audited because its timesheets are DCAA and DOL compliant. It helps companies retrieve timesheet logs from team members to show exactly when they clocked in and out, and includes GPS data if the feature is enabled.
“TSheets has really helped our business and employees keep better track of billable hours. With all of our employees equipped with a smartphone, there is no reason why they can’t update which job they are on for accurate hours. The customer service TSheets provides is unbeatable! They’re polite and eager to help you succeed.”
“TSheets is simple to use. Very custom for a business I help run with [my] uncle … Using TSheets to help track our employees’ hours and [the] ability to adjust their clock in and out times [is] super easy. Adding jobs and activities for each site has never been easier. Shout out to Shannon with TSheets for assisting me on setting up a few other things with my employees and work groups. Very helpful and exceeded my expectations on my issues. She went above and beyond to help find the correct information and help with the add-ons.”
After the first free user, packages start from $4 per user per month up to $80 per month, depending on the business size.
This simple field reporting and punch list tool will save you hours of time and make sure your projects stay on track.
What makes this app great
Instead of struggling to find time to complete field reports, with ArchiSnapper your report will basically be finished when leaving the job site. ArchiSnapper is a simple tool designed specifically for reporting for small contractors, architects, and engineers.
You can add text and snap a photo to record observations or issues on site. Annotate on your photos or drawings. Locate your observations on PDF plans and assign them to contacts. Voice to text makes note entry fast and easy as you walk the site.
ArchiSnapper automatically generates a beautiful PDF field report or punch list that you can email to anyone with one click from the App or from your desktop.
- Create reports on site. Create your field reports or punch lists straight from your tablet or smartphone. You’d like to fine-tune your reports you can easily alter and add to the reports on your desktop before sending.
- Keep your documentation in one place. Collect important data, save pictures, and add comments and notes with your smartphone during site visits.
- Auto-generate reports. One of the key features of the app is to help create well-designed PDF reports which you can send directly to your team members and clients. They are incredibly simple to create and make you look great.
“We were looking for a way to make it easier to prepare and submit reports from the construction site via mobile device, and Archisnapper has served us well. For basic field reports and checklists, it is perfect. The cloud-based service has been reliable and works well on all devices. The overall value is great for the service it provides.”
“This is a great tool: add notes and take pictures, sketches, PDF annotations—on site. The reports are generated automatically and still editable from the desktop version. This app doesn’t only save me a lot of time: I had customers and other construction people congratulating me with the clear and professional field reports. I’ve tried a lot of field report and punch list tools, but this is by far the easiest to use I’ve found.”
Check pricing here. Free trials for all plans. Starting at $24/month, depending on the amount of users included in the plan.
SmartBid is a construction bid management app designed for contractors. It allows you to access and search your private network of subcontractors, and bid projects on the go.
What makes this app great
This cloud-based app helps you manage bids securely: bid invitations and related documents are available on multiple devices, wherever you are. SmartBid enables you to efficiently manage prequalification, subcontractor send out bid invitations, and track team collaboration.
Tap into your private sub-database contact list, and filter for qualified contract members. There is also integration to the SmartInsight construction network, so that you can select the most qualified subcontractors, and invite them to bid on your project.
If you have multi-lingual subcontractors, you might be happy to here Smartbid havs Spanish and French subcontractor portals as well.
- Manage bids. The whole bidding process is made easier with this app. You can create a list of your own subcontractors, or use the integrated database. Invite subcontractors, manage proposals and review quotes from the app.
- Make sure you hire the right person. View side by side subcontractor comparisons, as well as subcontractor’s compliance ratings, so that when it comes to hiring, you can feel confident you are making the right choice.
- Store everything online. As a web-based system, all communications, files, project and subcontractor data are stored in a secure online portal.
- Useful integrations. SmartBid features exclusive integrations with STACK Estimating and Takeoff, Citrix ShareFile, the Virtual PlanRoom Network and the SmartInsight online subcontractors network.
“As a general contractor/construction management firm, we use SmartBid on almost all of our projects. It’s a great tool to let our subcontractors and suppliers know what projects we’re bidding on, and ensure we have proper coverage for the scope of work involved. We used to make a “call list” and someone would actually call up to a few hundred subs and suppliers for every project we bid. WOW. I can’t believe we wasted so much time! Now, just a few clicks of a button and all of our bidding documents are in one, easily accessible place, and all the appropriate subs and suppliers are notified.”
“SmartBid is an awesome app for general contractors. It allows you to bid projects wherever you are, and is extremely user-friendly.”
This app was not designed specifically for contractors, but we really love it and it’s a real productivity booster for anyone who’s struggling with expenses.
What makes this app great
Contractors are often on the road, making expenses (lunch, travel, fuel, …). Keeping track of all these expenses can be a pain. Expensify automates every step from receipt scanning through reimbursement.
Expense reports are finished in just one click: simply take a photo of a receipt and put your phone away.
Expensify automatically reads and transcribes the receipt data then adds it to an expense report, which can automatically be submitted, approved, and even reimbursed the very next day.
- Track receipts in just one click. Just snap a picture of any receipt, and Expensify automatically transcribes the receipt data and stores it as long as you need.
- Report expenses automatically. Build custom reports – with simple, powerful formulas – for easy export and use outside of Expensify.
- Reimburse the next day. Delight employees and impress interview candidates by reimbursing expense reports as soon as the next day.
- Useful integrations. Easy integration with all major accounting softwares. Connect Expensify to apps such as Uber, Lyft, and HotelTonight for automatic receipt import and transcription.
“If you spend more than half an hour a week sorting your expenses, just get Expensify. For businesses with a number of reps, Expensify will pay for itself in no time. Simplifies the approval process and lots of reporting options to keep everyone happy – from management to the accountant.”
“It saves me a lot of time and hassle on doing the paperwork including keeping the receipts. It is easy and timely. The scanned receipts are kept in Expensify for me to log later. With the feature of the scanned receipts, there is no more need to keep stacks of paper receipts!”
“Check out the pricing here. Free trials for all plans and plans start at $4.99.”
Truckast is perfect for small contractors for delivery and order transparency, as well as increased knowledge of supplier product offerings.
What makes this app great
This app allows you to set up your ready-mix concrete order directly from your smartphone. Once the order is placed, you gain access to track delivery times and have an exact idea of when the concrete trucks will be arriving on site.
The app also keeps a complete record of how much concrete has been placed, how much is on its way.
- Gain transparent and trustworthy information instantaneously. The app always provides accurate real-time information.
- Improve crew utilization and job management. Because of its accuracy, this app will help you decrease downtime and delays at the project site and helps improve job communication, planning and utilization.
- Track your trucks and chat with sales or dispatch at any time. Truckast offers accurate truck and real-time order arrival information. No more downtime, delays or job site stress!
- Place orders without wasting time with phone calls. You don’t need to wait on hold anymore since you can use the 24/7 ordering and order review.
“Truckast is helping us communicate better with our customers… it creates new level of mutual performance and trust.”
“With TRUCKAST I instantly and always know what is happening – no more sitting around guessing, wishing, hoping and wasting money – now guys take lunch or work on another part of the project.”
“I needed to know if we’re being efficient with our concrete orders, and TRUCKAST gives me the information to figure that out.”
GasBuddy saves business owners time and money by finding the least expensive gas for their fleets, using a robust community to report on prices, stations, and distance.
What makes this app great
In construction, the price of fuel can quickly add up. Since gas is such a huge factor in your bottom line, it’s important to be as mindful as possible in where you get your fuel. Don’t be alarmed by high gas prices next time you roll into a gas station to fuel up. Find the best gas prices closest to your location.
- Find the the least expensive gas is in relation to your location through the Gas Price Map.
- Automatically updated, real-time information. You will never miss out the best prices.
- Enter and win free gas. The more you use the app, the better your chances.
- Earn points and achievements for your involvement level in the GasBuddy community.
“I LOVE this app. It helps me find the cheapest gas no matter where I am. The fuel log is extremely helpful since it shows the mileage per gallon for highway and in town. This app is such a money saver with the GasBuddy card, I save every time I use it. “
“GasBuddy is a great app that is free to download and saved me a lot of money traveling and getting me the best price on fuel! I highly recommend this app to anyone who is budgeting or wants to save a few bucks on gasoline.”
8. TrueLook Photography
TrueLook sells and sets up interactive cameras connected to an app to view your project live anytime, anywhere and quickly share updates with your team. Check in on subcontractors, deliveries, weather conditions, and more.
What makes this app great
The app allows you to give full or limited camera access to clients, team members, or investors, allowing them to keep up with your project progress. You can also schedule automated emails with image updates. Truelook gives you the ability to remotely monitor your live jobsites, time-lapse your projects, and investigate incidents with 24/7 security recording.
- Live viewing. TrueLook construction cameras let you view LIVE images and streaming video from your jobsite. Share your project’s progress with investors, customers, and other interested parties.
- Custom time-lapsing. Create beautiful time-lapse videos of your projects, or revisit any past time from your project to justify weather delays or check on your team activities.
- 24/7 security recording. All cameras automatically record video 24/7 on a 7-day loop. Should any incident occur, you can watch or download HD video clips directly from the web.
- Photo albums and notes. Save images from your webcam to a hosted TrueLook photo album. Add comments and notes, then view your photo album anytime.
- Share on your website. Optionally, you may embed a specially designed version of our interface on your own website. Promote your project to the world by sharing a live view, time-lapse videos, photo albums, and more.
- Sharing tools. Images can be saved or shared quickly and easily. Send emails to team members or post image updates to social media. Markup tools can be used to draw or add notes directly to your image.
“It is rare, to say the least, to work with a company that responds as quickly as TrueLook.”
“Plugged in the camera for the first time, and just like you said…it’s up and running. So easy to use.”
“What a great product…it’s very easy. This will be on every job from now on”
The app is free. For prices on cameras, contact the company here.
9. Drone Deploy
Drone Deploy is an application that is linked to a drone to assure aerial site surveyance. It allows you to retrieve high-resolution photos and images without having to be there yourself. Great for measuring and monitoring your projects from a distance!
What makes this app great
You can plan and assign flights in a few simple steps to improve site control with real-time images which can improve communication and trust with your clients.
Drone Deploy allows you to accurately estimate the cost of earthmoving during bid pursuit and keep projects on schedule, report progress and efficiently manage logistics.
- Easy-to-use software. Schedule flights to collect drone intelligence in a few simple steps. You can measure and monitor your projects with drone imagery.
- Instant insights. Capture data in real-time as the drone flies with Live Map. You can use this feature to simplify pre-construction site planning and design.
- Monitor progress. Evaluate your project with a visual timeline of a job site. This will help you track and communicate progress at any stage.
- Centralized platform. Organize all site data for easy sharing and straightforward decision making. You can easily compare actual conditions to pre-construction designs.
- Fly safely. Analyze and mitigate risks without walking dangerous areas.
- Best-in-class ecosystem. Build a custom workflow with software integrations for easy exportation of your data (BIM, CAD, GIS, etc.)
“We’ve created a much more efficient process. We can literally take weeks out of the schedule, our projects are much higher quality than before, and they’re safer.”
“Live Map helps me end each day with confidence knowing where a project stands and what our subcontractors have completed so that we can provide the best product for our clients.”
“By using drones… we have increased our field productivity by 50–75%.”
Plans start at 99$/month. Check prices here.
10. Red Cross First Aid
Whether you live in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Belgium, or anywhere else, most countries have a Red Cross App. In case of accidents on site, this app will guide you in a very intuitive manner through the actions to take.
What makes this app great
Red Cross First Aid puts essential first-responder skills at your fingertips.
Get videos and step-by-step instructions on how to care for broken bones, strains, sprains, and more.
- Step-by-step illustrated instructions and videos to help you through every emergency scenario. When professional help is more than a few minutes away, you can rest assured that every worker on your job site can perform basic (and potentially lifesaving) first aid.
- A 911 integration means you can call for emergency services anytime, directly from the app.
- Interactive quizzes are provided to test your and your workers’ life-saving knowledge.
- Additional safety tips for everything from heat waves to chemical exposure to help you prepare for emergencies.
- Locate the nearest hospital quickly using your current location
“Great help in an emergency, especially in a stress related situation when shock can stump your memory.. even the most skilled can forget when stressed. works great, well developed, interactive and quizzes to test your knowledge. highly recommended”
“This app is informative and easy to use, both while administering first aid and as a tool to keep your knowledge current.”
Search for ‘First Aid Red Cross’ in the Google Play or iOS store and download your local Red Cross App.
FallSafety Pro is a mobile application that monitors for falls on a construction site. Built specifically for those who work at height, WorkerSafety Pro is the most strenuously tested fall detection and response app on the market today for iPhone and Android.
What makes this app great
Apart from safety instructions and protocols, this app automatically notifies emergency contacts according to safety protocols. It has an advanced detection technology that proactively prevents false alarms.
- Easy to use. Individuals or staff safety administrator can setup one or hundreds of accounts in just minutes. FallSafety Pro runs effortlessly in the background, sipping resources while remaining alert for emergencies.
- Fall and worker-down detection. Protect against risks specific to extreme work environments by detecting falls and inactivity, and automatically sending alerts for workers in distress.
- Safety alerts. Your organization or personal emergency contacts are notified after a countdown allowing you to control the alarm and notifications.
- Siren alarm. The iPhone speaker plays a siren alarm sound even when headphones are plugged in to help people find you.
“This app is both functional and very user friendly. Very intuitive to use, and could be a huge game changer for companies and individuals worried about safety while doing strenuous tasks. Overall, I’m very impressed.”
“I can’t speak highly enough of this app! I make sure this is on whenever I am working more than a few feet off the ground, which where I work is quite often.
You don’t have to look into the statistics of falls very hard to learn that response time is everything after an accident. This app gives me some piece of mind and more importantly, allows my wife to sleep at night.”
FallSafety Pro is priced at $0.99 per person per month. For prices on their different safety solutions for organizations and individuals, click here.
CamScanner is an incredible app that allows you to scan in high resolution and crop documents and/or images on the go.
They are also easily shared afterwards via email, WhatsApp, WeChat or linked to other social networks, and you can have others collaborate on them in real-time.
As you can see here, it’s also possible to edit or sign off scanned documents with this app.
- Auto edge cropping. Capture documents by phone, remove busy background and generate high-resolution PJEG or PDF files.
- Print wireless. Fax globally. Support wireless printing. You can fax to more than 30 countries and regions.
- OCR, Convert image to text. Convert images to text files. And have them translated easily into 16 different languages including Dutch, French, German and English.
- Have it everywhere. Synchronizes your documents instantly so that they are available on all your devices, whenever and wherever you are.
- Share and collaborate. Share with your friends by collaborating, or via email, whatsapp, wechat or and via link to other social networks.
“I scan and send a lot of docs to my clients,That is why I have been using CamScanner heavily. It can detect the document edges and crop off the background. That is amazing. You have to try it!”
“CamScanner is a great app for auditors. You know when you are facing tons of books and statements, CamScanner makes your life a lot easier.”
Check pricing here. Basic plan is free and paying plans start at $4.99/month.
Waze is a free navigation app that makes sure you will never waste your time in traffic.
What makes this app great
It uses user feedback — like mentions of traffic jams, police locations, and roadblocks — to find better routes for your next trip. Waze (or Google Maps, which is very similar) is a must-have, especially for architects, contractors, and construction engineers who are often on the road.
Let’s not forget: Time is your most valuable asset, so being stuck in the middle of traffic is a huge pain. Not to mention, traffic jams are stressful! (More about avoiding stress below.)
Watch this video to see Waze in action.
- Fastest route to a destination. Get the best route with help from fellow drivers who report accidents, construction, and more in real-time.
- Reminder for when to leave, based on actual traffic conditions. Drive like a local with shortcuts and live traffic updates.
- Find the cheapest, closest gas. The app displays correct info based on info from fellow drivers.
- Get alerts when you’re over the speed limit.
“Best navigation app available! Waze has been a lifesaver more times than I can count.”
“The best navigation for everyday driving and vacations. Great app for people who drive a lot. It dynamically adjusts your to avoid traffic jams, and that feature has saved me hours of travel time to and from work.
If all these apps can’t help you save time and reduce stress, and you’re desperate for a bit of peace of mind, we hav one more app we can recommend.
Calm uses mindfulness and meditation to bring more clarity, joy, and peace to your daily life.
What makes this app great
Whether you’re an experienced meditator or a beginner, there are sessions for you on Calm. A subscription gives you access to a new inspiration and meditation session every day, along with multi-day themed programs and individual guided and unguided meditations.
Calm has more than 200K reviews and is ranked in the top 5 health and fitness apps, so it’s a safe choice for anyone hoping to get started with meditation.
Get started with your first 10 minutes of mindful meditation.
- Learn to meditate. Learn the life-changing skill of meditation.Calm is the perfect mindfulness app for beginners, but also includes hundreds of programs for intermediate and advanced users.
- Sleep better. Get more restful sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. Listen to soothing tales read by well-known voices to help people unwind and fall into a deep sleep each evening.
- Stretch it out. Video lessons on mindful movement and gentle stretching to release tension in your body and recharge the mind.
- Play music. Exclusive music to help you focus, relax, and sleep. Calm Music includes original compositions, nature sounds, white noise and much more.
“This app has completely changed my life. Ever since I started using it, I now sleep all night without waking up once. Before I would wake up to battle with thoughts about the day ahead of me or past mistakes or even excited about the next day and wouldn’t get the rest I needed to face the day. Also the daily meditations have helped me stay focused at work when I need to and give me boost to finish my day without feeling overwhelmed and super tired. The more you practice the more mindful and present you become and this brings you a sense of peace, joy that I had never experienced before.”
“I’ve tried a lot of different meditation apps but this is by far my favorite. It’s simple to use but effective and the guided meditations voice is super calming. I’m really glad it exists and I’m thankful for it. It’s part of my arsenal in the pursuit of becoming a better person. Recommend.”
7-day free trial, $59.99/year or $399.99 for life (forever, billed once).
A few more great apps
Don’t forget to complement your full suite of architecture apps with important day-to-day tools like:
- Google Drive or Dropbox for cloud storage,
- Asana or Toggl for task- and time-tracking,
- FreshBooks for cloud accounting,
- Free Invoice Creator or Invoice Ninja for simple and free invoicing
- Trello for project management.
What to read next
Want to read more articles from us? Here are some suggestions:
- 17 Free Construction Apps You Need to Download Right Now
- Best Apps for Architects – Our selection for 2019
- More creativity, less admin: 50 apps and tools that will save you time
- Work Smart, Not More: Time Management for Architects
- 11 Ways to Make Your iPhone or iPad Your Best Construction Tool
- 11 Tips that made me an Insanely Productive Person
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