How Mobile Apps Simplify Calculations for Contractors

By The GoCanvas Team on January 15, 2022

Many contractors today need to calculate square footage when taking on projects. For example, as a painting service business, you would need an accurate estimate of a building’s total square footage to calculate the cost of materials and labor. It’s entirely possible for contractors to do the math by hand, but there are more digital tools available today that can simplify the process and perform automatic calculations instead.

The Challenge with Calculations

Square footage calculations or really any calculations that need to be done on a job site can be measured simply using pen and paper. But basic mistakes or miscalculations can lead to inaccurate totals when calculating time or materials. Unfortunately, these issues can be difficult to spot right away and they only end up being discovered later on when the miscalculation is too late. This may be in the form of an inaccurate estimate or bill, or not providing the exact materials needed. All of this can lead to rework that needs to be done at a later date and costs your business time and money. 

How Digital Apps Help with Calculations

More contractors are switching to digital apps and mobile form solutions to their job sites. This technology is easy-to-use and works by filling out forms using a mobile device or tablet. Since mobile forms don’t require an internet connection, they are an ideal solution for contractors without WiFi who need to work from a tablet to collect information on a job site.

When it comes to making calculations, mobile form solutions provide a standard set of fields to capture. Employees can enter the required information, and a calculation is automatically performed on the back end without having to perform any math. The best part is that mobile form builders are completely customizable to your business. You can also leverage pre-built templates for your specific use case that already have calculations built-in, like square footage.

Calculations are one example of using digital technology on the job site to ensure accurate data is collected. While it may be a shift from how things have been done, this change can transform how information is collected in the field and shared to the office. 

How GoCanvas Apps Help with Calculations [+Examples]

GoCanvas is a leading provider of work process software for the construction industry. With thousands of pre-built forms for contractors, we make it easy to shift from paper processes to digital forms and automation. Our goal is to help contractors modernize their operations to achieve speed, efficiency, and growth. When it comes to making calculations, GoCanvas is a helpful tool for capturing data and automatically calculating an output. Here are some of the ways GoCanvas calculations are used in practice:

Room Measurement App

The room measurement calculator on the GoCanvas app store can be used to replace the manual process of measuring rooms by hand. You can use this app to automatically track surface area and calculate square footage as part of a room layout. This helps contractors save time when calculating the area of a space and taking the measurements of a room. The app can be used to track square footage calculations of any residential unit and you can easily customize the data captured in the app to fit your unique business needs. Plus, you can collect and attach photos using a mobile device to add another level of detail when documenting the space.

Estimates and Invoices

Other common examples of calculations needed on the job site are estimates and invoices. The GoCanvas estimate mobile app makes it easy to create electronic labor estimates from the job site using your smartphone or tablet. This app automatically calculates materials, parts, labor, materials, parts, and other work details. GoCanvas helps ensure the required fields are collected and accurate estimates are generated for the client. Once work has been completed, leverage the invoice app from GoCanvas for digital invoices and faster payments.


Timesheets are another simple example of a calculation that needs to take place on the job. The time card app from GoCanvas helps contractors, sub contractors, trade specialists and others fill out construction timesheets to track when they start work each day, which project they are working on, their lunch break, and their ending time. Instead of using an excel spreadsheet to calculate time cards, this mobile app allows employees to use a digital form that is synced automatically to the cloud. Integrate with Quickbooks or accounting software to further automate payroll and eliminate manual tasks.

Looking for something else? Search the GoCanvas app store for thousands of customizable apps for the construction industry.