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The ease of integration, no software to install locally.
There is no 'back' button to help you correct mistakes - you have to rely on not saving changes which is not ideal.
Filter reviews (147)
Countfire - Pros and cond
Comments: Excellent, the online support is fantastic, as is the software. There have been some containment drawings that I simply could not have lifted off with Pen and paper, but Countfire has made it possible and easy to review. If in doubt do the trial on a big job and see how you get on!
Whats not to like? Not much. Its a fantastic tool for estimators, the more you use it the faster you get and the more confidence you gain. Automatic counts - Brilliant Manual Counts - When you cant use automatic counts this is still super fast compared to pen and paper Measurements - Brilliant Splits and multiples - essential and very helpfull I have been using it for a year now and would recommend it to anyone involved in estimating or any other form of take offs.
Every now and again you get a bad drawing where all the symbols are slightly different and its a pain. Just use manual count and safe yourself a lot of frustration! The cost is pretty high (but worth it in time saved) If I was self employed it could be out of price range.
CountFire Automated Take-Off Software
Comments: I could not be more pleased with CounFire. It is fast, accurate, easy to use, and has cut my time to perform a take-off by a factor of 10. Some may question a factor of 10, but try it and see that drawing symbols when counted on one drawing are also counted on all other drawings within the project drawing package automatically. Orientation is not an issue, and items not picked up are easily identified and added to the correct symbol list. Check drawings are also supplied as part of the final report to assure all errors have been resolved.
CountFire being a cloud based service gets you up and running quickly. CountFire Sales is there to get you started and introduce you to Technical Assistance and Training. The On-Line Help function is integral to the CountFire Platform allowing you to be able to function seamlessly as you work on projects. I can count drawing elements or make extremely accurate measurements in one tenth of the time I did manually without the cost of drawing reproduction. The Final Reports are perfectly formatted in MSExcel and ready for Bill of Material development.
I am still looking for a Con. I thought that since CountFire is in Great Britain that communications might be hampered by five, (5) time zones, but this was not the case. CountFire was there 24X7 to solve my self-inflicted start-up issues.
Reasons for Switching to Countfire: 1. Cloud Based, 2. Price, 3. Ease of Use, 4. Support
quality time saving product
Comments: excellent quality service provided at all times
The software has given us more time to produce quality accurate take-off's, enabling more productivity and scope to be successful with tender submissions
fast effective easy to use tools, could do with a duplication tool to add additional missed items to the existing plan using the same icon
4 weeks ago
Thanks Mark! Great that Countfire has allowed you to focus more on the nitty gritty of tender submissions! With adding symbols to an existing plan, we do have manual counting tools, though the symbols added with that are limited to a set of geometric shapes and wouldn't be identical to what was on the drawing. We do have a feature request related to this though, and I've added your vote towards it just now
When it works it's a real time saver, but holy cow it's very expensive
I found the customer support was second to none, there is a little chat box in the corner when you are doing take offs and if you are having any issues then you can talk on here and in my experience you get help normally within half an hour.
The first 2 drawings that were quite big the auto count feature didn't work and so I had to count manually and I had software already a lot cheaper that I could do that with.
When i had a drawing that worked, it worked well and saved a lot of time. But honestly the cost of this software you'd have to do a heck of a lot of estimating with drawings that work to make up for the huge cost.
The auto count feature when it works does save a lot of time. The customer support and training is excellent.
The cost is way too much. not all drawings work with the auto count feature.
Lume Electrical Solutions Review
Comments: Time Saving
Features seem easy to use. We like the way it downloads onto a excel spreadsheet. I t is then easy to send to suppliers for pricing.
I think just picking up the correct process on how to take off drawings is the hardest thing. Once this is in place I believe the program is very user friendly.
Best Software in the market
Comments: It has made our estimating more productive and accurate.
Its a lot more intelligent than other software's
The cost is slightly higher than we would like to pay.
Alternatives Considered: SketchUp
Reasons for Choosing Countfire: After our demo and because of the clunky software we previously had.
Switched From: Bluebeam Revu
Reasons for Switching to Countfire: It was more intelligent and you can breakdown sections easier.
Future of Estimating
Countfire is a dream to use. It does everything I wanted when I imagined a program to help automate the takeoff process, and they are still improving and adding more. The ability to hide the background and define zones are two features that make complicated plans go so much quicker. Out of the hundreds of projects we've completed already, very few have issues that hinder the programs functionality. But when something like that does pop up, there is always somebody to respond quickly and take a look. They always are happy to hear customer feedback and take suggestions. I can't say enough good about the team behind this software, they are going to change the industry. I can't believe a couple of months ago in 2021 I was still printing drawings and using a yellow highlighter.
What I like least about the software is the output excel file is a bit complicated compared to what we are used to. I only count devices of one discipline at a time, there is really no reason for more than one sheet. After I download the take off from countfire I always delete about half the rows / columns and transpose the x and y.
Alternatives Considered: STACK
Reasons for Switching to Countfire: Stack was mostly manual counting, and charged extra for the auto count that was slow and rarely worked.
Comments: Using countfire has completely changed the way I do my job. I have gone from old school drawings and highlighters to paperless and streamlined. I would guess that it has increased my productivity by a factor of 3. Every day I learn of a new feature and if I have any questions or issues, they are dealt with quickly and efficiently by one of the superb and knowledgeable customer service gurus. I love that they are paying attention to what I am doing constantly and suggesting ways to improve how I'm doing it. Overall, this is a really great tool with FLAWLESS customer service, regardless of timezone issues. Thank you Countfire team.
It's easy to use, functions really well and they've thought of (almost!) everything! It's really great that it puts all the information into a nice, neat Excel spreadsheet so I can easily add my costings and work out my prices.
I'm only a couple of months into using countfire but there's nothing I don't like about it. I have made a couple of suggestions for features - I need to be able to switch from imperial to metric measurements at will being the main one. Autosave another. I think that these have been taken on board.
Alternatives Considered: STACK
Reasons for Switching to Countfire: Autocount was far superior in Countfire and they didn't seem too concerned when I raised the issue.
Countfire 2 Year Review
Central storage of all takeoff documents. No more boxes of rolled-up plans cluttering my office. I would typically fill 1-2 boxes every month, so it really has reduced clutter and the overall appearance of my office. It definitely saves money when you consider that you no longer have to plot jobs that you don't win. That is a lot of paper, toner, and wear on your plotter. The software is very easy to use and you can be fully trained on all of the keyboard shortcuts and navigation in less than a week. After about 5 jobs, you will very confident that you aren't missing any devices during takeoff and will have your own workflow for getting a takeoff done. The developers are constantly making improvements, adding features, bug fixes, and you get pretty routine feedback when one of your feature requests are considered or implemented. Customer and Tech support is top-notch and very responsive, and everyone seems to be very well trained on the product. It is also a very small team, so you will typically be speaking (texting) with someone you're familiar with.
The software is 100% cloud-based, and from my early conversations with the sales team, is the heart of their mission and will never change. That alone is not a negative, however, I feel that some of the processing could (and should) be done on your local machine and then pushed to the cloud to create the "output package". Moving between pages of a PDF is not as fast as scrolling in your preferred PDF reader. It's not slow, but there is definitely a pause before you're ready to work on the next sheet. It seems they could have better control of the user interface if there was a PC-based client option. If you need support, the time difference from Eastern US to the UK can sometimes be a challenge, but the support team is absolutely great and will respond back to you outside of their normal working hours, assuming they aren't sleeping. All support is initially done through an in-app chat bot that will recommend that you go read articles based on your questions. I will admit that most of the time, the recommended articles DO contain your answers, but I personally just like to call and talk to someone. I realize this would put a strain on their resources though, so I rate this as a very small negative. I would rather support maintain their current level of quality than be burdened with phone calls over minor issues. If you do have a major issue or prefer to speak to someone, you can ask for a call and they will call you.
Be lost without it.
Ease of use, Support on hand, knowledge of product excellent, pleasant and polite staff.
Currently zero cons but at times due to drawing imperfections it does seem confused with some legends and their images.
Thanks very much for your kind review Neil! Really glad to hear you're getting on with Countfire so well. Legends can be a little tricky in that often the symbols used in the legend are drawn slightly differently (EG: they're larger or smaller etc) meaning from the perspective of the software, they're seen as different symbols. Generally we'd recommend ignoring symbols in the legend and instead prefer selecting symbols used on the drawing's floor planthat way you're giving Countfire the best information to work with.
Best Estimating Takeoff Software
Comments: I've only been using it for a month or so but it has been very nice. The support team is phenomenal. They are very good at fixing any problems you might face. There is also a feature request page that you can request new features and everyone can vote on them and then the Countfire team will work on implementing that feature. The Countfire team is very active and always looking for new ways to make the experience better.
Features that I like the best: The Support: User Interface: I really like the clean simple user interface. It looks very nice and up to date unlike a lot of the competition. Autocount: In comparison to other software such as Livecount, Planswift, Bluebeam, eTakeoff, etc. Countfire is by far faster. I've used Livecount & Planswift the most. Countfire can do in 2 seconds what Livecount & Planswift takes 3 minutes to do. I can select a fixture type to autocount and it will find every fixture with extreme accuracy on every plan page in 2 seconds or less (Tested with a plan set of 120+ pages) Background Hide: Countfire has the ability to hide the background on a drawing. This is very useful when you have a messy plan set or when all the furniture and details are on the same page as the electrical. You can toggle it on and off. You can also define what is a part of the background and it will hide it. This makes it so much easier to see only the electrical stuff. Hide Counted Symbols. (Only works for symbols counted with autocount). This is a feature that most of the estimating takeoff software has but this does it in a much different way. It will actually hide the symbols that have been counted not just the digitizer count itself. This allows you to toggle off everything that has been counted and now you can see what hasn't been. This only works on the symbols that are counted with autocount. You can still hide the manual digitizer counts but it won't hide the symbol.
The estimating side isn't as advanced as some of the other competitors but they are currently working on a big update that will fix most of that.
Security Take Off and Estimating
Comments: I am very happy with the overall experience of Countfire and would recommend to anyone within the estimating field.
Countfire makes the process of estimating so much easier. Take off and drawing review can now take minutes rather than hours allowing myself and the other staff more time to build our relationships with clients. The drawings output is easy to read and check for any areas missed by designers. The software is modern and easy to use. When I have had to speak to support on the rare occasion it was easy and any issues solved within minutes.
I would like to be able to group the takeoffs into a "folder" whereby a certain client or consultant information can be together to make it easier to find once you have alot of live or pending projects. Otherwise I cant fault it.
Countfire is a lifesaver!
From a user perspective, Countfire is a lifesaver. You upload your drawings simply and easily and within minutes you can have a scaled, marked up set of drawings with all measurements documented in an excel spreadsheet. I take this output and use it to accurately build quotes and check quantities on all projects from single residential to large scale hotels and commercial. For us it means that we can have accurate information to supply alongside our quotes to give us peace of mind that our measurements are completely transparent to clients without sending physical copies of marked up drawings. The guys at Countfire are beyond helpful and have put a huge amount of work into making the software work for us, they are always easily contactable and jump right in to help whenever there may be a problem.
It's dramatically reduced the time we spend on quoting, and in turn improved our workflow and relationship with clients. I couldn't recommend it more.
Easy and simple to use for a process that is inherently complex and difficult.
Countfire used to be heavily geared towards counting references and not linear measurements. There have been HUGE steps by the guys at Countfire to improve the linear side of things with many new additions to the software for this purpose. Some drawings on a large scale (1:200+) are hard to measure small lengths under 300mm, but this is a very minor issue that the support staff will help with on a project by project basis.
Comments: Labour & cost saving, great product
Very efficient, software very easy to use, great support team, would not want to be without it.
Having correct symbols for design purposes, this is in the pipeline.
Alternatives Considered: AutoCAD
Reasons for Choosing Countfire: Countfire is much more efficient and has additional benefits
Switched From: Bluebeam Revu
Reasons for Switching to Countfire: Much easy to use and the counting quantities is much more efficient with the download
One Year In Review
The system is very easy to use which makes the familiarisation process quire easy.
With any new software you have to familiarise yourself with the peculiarities of the system and work with it to get the best from it which is what we have found with Countfire.
The first thing you notice is the speed and responsiveness of the auto count system which is so much better than other systems we have tried.
We have found Countfire to suit our business needs but there are improvements to be made and hopefully we will see this product develop further.
Easy to use, fast, useful for auto counting from certain revised drawings such as lighting. Demarcation of drawings is a good feature.
There is no 'back' button to help you correct mistakes - you have to rely on not saving changes which is not ideal. Recognition of different orientation of symbols is limited to 90 degrees only - expanding this would be useful. Typical small power symbol auto count can be time consuming because of how symbols are recognised by the system, this makes the auto count process unreliable particularly across multiple drawings - a manual count often becomes the best option which defeats the object.
Makes life very easy.
Countfire makes doing takeoffs extremely easy and the amount of time it saves leaves more time to do other things that need doing.
not enough colours in the palette, When you measure & ask for itemised it measures every click not just start to finish giving far to many reults
Rapid Tender Response
5 years ago
Thanks Terry! I wanted to let you know we released an update recently to include more colours. With measurements and how they're saved into the Excel spreadsheet, you have a choice between not itemised (just the overall total) and itemised (each individual measurement). Itemising does definitely result in a larger spreadsheet because there's just a lot more information to represent within Excel, however, I also wanted to point you towards a workaround we have which allows you to round & summarise those measurements towards specific lengths (EG: set busbar lengths etc. There's more here: http://help.countfire.com/workarounds/summarising-measurement-items
Comments: My overall experience has been great.
I think it is easy to use and faster then doing a count by printing and manually counting. I like the background drop it makes it easy to see all the things that need to be counted. Another pro is that by using CountFire i don't have to be printing the drawings which helps the environment.
sometimes drawings take to long to upload in to the software. I would like to see improvements in the unjoining and joining symbols, the improvement could be that we the users had a choice in which parts of drawings we join or unjoin.
Don’t bother with the others, countfire outshines them all
Countfire has been a breeze from start to finish, the help team have always been on hand to help out and implementing and training on the software was seamless!
I love countfire, you will too.
I’m impressed, countfire allowed me to do a take off in 28mins... the other guy in the office actually had the take off and got out his fluro’s and a pad...he had allowed himself 2 days... It’s brilliant, simple and easy to use. The wholesalers love me because the take off is easy to read!
The cost is high, but the amount of time I saved means it’s worth the large cost!!
Comments: Well worth the effort to try out. I would really allocate this to only one or two persons in an office and let them develop the skills necessary to be productive and create accurate take offs. I enjoy using it and continue to be surprised how well the end result evolves. Practice makes perfect, it can only get better.
As a Lighting Engineer with some knowledge of construction software and the difficulties one can experience in quickly getting up to speed with new programs, I was pleasantly surprised to find that even without reading any tutorials, I was able to navigate and complete a number of projects on my desk over a 24hr period. The guys at Countfire patiently watched me and offered advice how to improve my takeoff but I just kept going and only when I got into some bother did I read their suggestions. What this means is that a novice with some practical experience of popular programs such as Microsoft Paint etc. will quickly get a handle on the basics of this take off program. As with most things today..easy to learn..to master, takes time.
Nothing to do with the software but it does pick up some inconsistencies amongst Architects and Drafts-persons, some who clearly do not anticipate a computer checking their work. Some very sloppy drawings out there. I check the drawings now prior to uploading so that I have an idea of where I need to look closely. Again, it's not an issue with Countfire.
Amazing & Friendly Staff
Comments: Countfire has saved me tons of time performing takeoffs. It is also very helpful in accomplishing a set of takeoffs for a project with a quick turn around time.
I absolutely love the quick response from the members of the Countfire Staff. They are quick to respond and help resolve any issues you may have.
I love everything about the Countfire Program.
Comments: As noted above and the benefit of having a fully totalled excel spread sheet.
This software not only saves time estimating with automated counting, but also saves on the need to print off large layout drawings.
Think it would be helpful to be able to add / remove layout drawings within the main count off screen instead of coming out and going to the project log in screen. Would be good if the system to could remember the last drawing that you're taking off when you first log on.
Great take off software
Comments: More accurate estimates and better records of take offs
Its very easy to use and speeds up the take off the process substantially. The info you get afterwards speeds up inputting of tenders.
I would like a great selection of colours when do very large take offs.
Countfire has made things a lot more efficient for me especially during lockdown. My printing costs and time printing documents has drastically reduced and enables me to do a lot more costing.
There are no cons to this software. Occasionally you may get a set of drawings that does not allowed you use use the software to its full potential ( Not Countfire fault) but there is a solution 99% of the time.
Personal view of Countfire after 3 weeks
Comments: Its quick and easy to use. There are a few things which can be done to make it even better but overall its far more efficient than using paper and coloured pens.
It is pretty easy to use once you are using it on a daily basis. It makes the take-off process a lot quicker and doesn't require the need for printing off a Forrest worth of trees for drawings, plus you don't need to keep a whole range of coloured pens handy.
I have found that I have gone back to drawings that I have taken off first time around and noticed symbols which I did take off were not highlighted. That could be simply down to me not saving each time. However, I have had to go back through each drawing to make sure I haven't missed anything. There should be something in place to highlight anything that has been missed. It would also be helpful to have an option to pick regularly used symbols and containment so that you can save time not having to manually type them in.
Comments: I have worked in the industry for many many years in directorship and management and used many costing / take off software. I can honestly say this is the best I have worked with. the level of detail you are with once you process a project is fantastic and it is very user friendly. And last but no means least the team are constantly on hand to help whenever needed and go above and beyond to ensure your experience with the software is positive. Thats not just an initial help that always.
I like near all features of the software but really like how user friendly it is and the level of customer care you get.
Not really come across anything that I dislike yet