Builder’s Buddy Calculator – app review

by Greg on January 18, 2012

Builder's Buddy Calculator

For all those of you thinking about building a house, or renovating an existing one there’s a nice iPhone app by Home Design Directory, which will help you calculate the costs of your project.
It is most helpful when you know approximately the costs per square meter for each space (bedroom, kitchen, etc.) and you want to juggle the numbers by changing the number of rooms and their areas to see the total cost.
The app has a great help section to help you setup and use the calculator for the most accurate results, and even though they have default settings it is highly advisable to change them so that they would match the costs in your particular area.

This is the main screen of the app:

Builder's Calculator iPhone app

From here you can go to settings, start calculating, get help, and more.

Worth noting is the “Further Reading” section. It contains links to online articles explaining various home building related topics such as site preparation, floor/wall/roof construction, roofing materials, electrical, and much more.

Moving on to the Builder’s Buddy calculator itself, here’s how it works: when you first open the app, you will need to set up the calculator. On the setup page you will have to choose units of measure (meters or feet), whether your project is building a new home or renovating an existing one, site conditions, various costs (such as garage cost per square meter), and more. If you have trouble with the setup, head straight to the help page – it will explain everything you need to know in simple language.

When finished setting up, you can start calculating the cost of your project. Here is the calculator:

Builder's Calculator iPhone app

What you see on the screenshot above is only part of the items that you can customise. Scrolling down you will get entries for bedrooms, laundry, storage spaces, other rooms, indoor circulation, garages, and verandahs.

As you can see from the screenshot, for each entry you can change the quantity (let’s say you want to have two bathrooms) and the area of that space. To change simply tap on arrows – the estimated cost will increase or decrease automatically after each tap. Or tap-and-hold to accelerate the rate at which the values increase or decrease.

There is one issue though – if, for example, you want to have two bathrooms, each bathroom being different size – you can’t. The app creator’s solution is to use an average size, which in my opinion is fine, because this calculator is intended to give you an estimate on your project and not its exact cost.

Check out the cost estimate at the top right corner, and you will see it changing when you change the parameters. This is a very convenient way to see how much will adding, let’s say, a second bathroom or another garage cost you.

In conclusion, even though a bit pricey at $4.49 it is a nice tool to have when planning to build a new home or renovate. You can download Builder’s Buddy calculator from the Apple store directly to your mobile device.

What are your killer tips to estimate building or renovating costs?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Judith April 12, 2015 at 2:27 pm

I would like to download the builder’s buddy calculator on to my android tablet, but cannot see any reference to cost on your website. Please advise whether there is a cost for this app, or whether it is free

Thanks – Judith

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