Trevor Nobbs Homes - Tin Can Bay:

"An absolutely brilliant program we couldn't recommend more highly. If you are not using this program now, then you are wasting time. Do yourself a favour and arrange a demo NOW! You'll love it!"

Full Testimonial |


Veenman Constructions - Toowoomba:

"The system has impressed us with its versatility over a whole range of building requirements and is comprehensive to the smallest detail."

Full Testimonial


DACRO Constructions - Brisbane:

"With this program I am able to produce accurate detailed estimates with professional quotations & supporting documentation."

Full Testimonial


Constructive Homes - Brisbane:

"From the first use of this program I was aware that it was designed by a builder for builders. I thoroughly understand why so many builders use and recommend this software."

Full Testimonial


Correnti Homes Pty Ltd - Woody Point:

"I always knew this software was going to be an excellent product because it was designed by a builder, and who better to understand what is required than a person who has been through it all."

Full Testimonial |

A Word of Thanks

When confronted with the task of converting my original Buildercost Software from its DOS roots to the Windows platform, I must admit, I suffered on more than one occasion with spine tingling fear.


I was aware that the task ahead of me was huge based on my experience when creating its predecessor over about a six years period. If I had known then in detail what I know now, having come so far, perhaps I may not have proceeded any further than that first fleeting thought

As the project proceeded many unforseen hurdles seemingly appeared from nowhere. At times it all seemed way too hard. On many occasions all development ground to a complete stop and a working model of the program seemed eons away.

One night when relating my dilemma to a fellow computer junkie I received the following advice:

  • Don't panic.
  • Create a flowchart.
  • Tackle one piece at a time.
  • Don't rush things.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Forget about the Bells and Whistles and stick with the Nuts and Bolts.
  • Conceal your cleverness.
  • Be original and relevant.
  • Apply your building knowledge in the functionality of the program.
  • Ask for help when you need it.

These ten points of wisdom were given to me by my long time friend Bill Allen. Bill was a quietly spoken, shy and humble gentleman. A man with a brilliant analytical mind. A genuine master of the 'string' and wonderful coder.

Bill was (during the times of my deepest despair) a source of great encouragement and inspiration to me, and for this I will always be thankful. Bill was also exceedingly generous with his help with code I found to be too time consuming to deal with myself. I miss Bill since his passing and I will always treasure the friendship we shared.

My sincere thanks must also go to my dear wife Jacqueline for her encouragement and tolerance over such a long time.

Thank you also to the many loyal and longtime users of Buildercost. Your suggestions and comments are very much appreciated. Always remember - "From small beginnings do mighty programs grow".

I trust and hope that an ever increasing number of users benefit from this software. The times of despair notwithstanding, the pleasure has been all mine.

John F Hurren

John F Hurren

Email Address:
Buildercost Email Address

Street Address:
48 Bidder Street
Salisbury QLD 4107

Postal Address:
PO Box 260
Salisbury QLD 4107

Phone Number:
0413 832 270

Fax Number:
07 3277 9589

A wise and aging builder once told me that one should ‘Never Seek the Answer to a Simple Problem by Employing a Difficult or Complex Solution' - this proved to be excellent advice. 


At the time I was given this advice I was struggling to build a business for myself in the very competitive house building industry.

I was also told:

  • Be sure of where you are headed;
  • Always be aware of where you are at any point in time; and
  • Learn from where you have been. 

Simply put - always do a good and thorough estimate, always do meticulous job costing and always keep accurate and accessible historical records.

It became evident to me very early in my contracting years that a quick and accurate method of producing an estimate and subsequent quotation was most important if one was to remain in control.

The three most important things about an estimate are as follows:

  1. It must be quick to produce;
  2. It must be accurate in result; and
  3. It must be universally understood.


Speed is necessary because sadly builders are not successful with each and every tender or bid they submit. You may complete several estimates and quotations without winning a single project.

Accuracy is essential just in case your tender or bid is successful. After all, making a reasonable profit is the whole purpose of the exercise.

The estimate detail must be universally understood because the information contained within the estimate may need to be accessed and understood by several different individuals during the course of the project.

My Buildercost Software provides ALL of these necessities in one simple-to-use package.

John F Hurren


The business Buildercost Systems was borne out of the need of our local building industry for a quick and accurate drafting and estimating service. At the time Buildercost Systems became a registered business, our drafting and estimating service had been operational for approximately two years.


The sheer volume of work in the form or quantity takeoff and estimating we were engaged to undertake became impossible to manage using a manual system. Even though the amount of drafting had decreased (by choice) the estimating side of our business had increased tenfold.

It was clearly evident that radical changes were required. It was early 1982 when affordable personal computers became broadly available in the form of System 80s and Tandy TRS80s. I remember clearly my feelings of awe when I first witnessed the seemingly unlimited power of the TRS80 running Visicalc. Visicalc was the forerunner of programs such as Lotus 123, Quattro Pro and Excel, all of which are electronic spreadsheet programs. Nothing on earth, it seemed, could calculate, add and total like Visicalc.

It took me approximately five seconds to decide that a computer would be my salvation and departed the demo the proud owner of a new computer and printer. I remember the feelings I experienced and my thought that my problems would soon be over. Wrong! My problems had just begun.

What followed was months of gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair. To cut a long story short, approximately seven years passed before it became clear to me that there was a greater demand for my software than my estimating service. Out of this new need, our first commercial software was developed and sold. It was now early 1989.

From our original spreadsheet templates the program had evolved into a relational database package. The first release of the software was based on a DOS database program. Our latest Windows based software is also built on database software.

Buildercost the software, now at Version 10.0, has been a very successful package. We consider it to be very user friendly and comprehensive and the feedback from our users backs up this claim. Several hundred packages have been sold since its humble beginning.

We at Buildercost Systems are proud of our achievements with the development of this software and firmly believe it to be exceptional value for money.

John F Hurren