Estimating With Excel For The Small Contractor YouTube

 
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:07 PM   #21
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Re: Estimating With Excel For The Small Contractor YouTube


I just finished watching video 4-8. Thank you for your efforts again Rich! This will help a lot of start up guys to at least start some type of system.

DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED
as Rich starts getting into details (which are many) about how his particular spreadsheets are set up. He even lost me a couple times, but when I stuck with it I later saw what his aims were.

It obviously took him years to put his system together, and you may have different ideas on how to set yours up.

You can start with a simple one sheet workbook just adding up your costs for example. The trick is PLAY WITH THE EXCEL PROGRAM and learn how to make formulas. Excel is your best friend....really!

Rich, can you make a video outside of the series, that goes back to basics for some of our newer guys? Just showing how to set up a one sheet workbook (expenses ignored at this point) for a simple 8x12 exterior shed on a block footing with no utilities for example.

Also, it would be great if you could explain the difference between a new workbook and a template, and how to set one up in this simple instance. Rich's videos are about developing a system. Once you have a template in place, you don't have to go through all this formatting. You open a page and start inputting actual numbers. A real number for a project is only minutes away once you have this set up.

Thanks again Rich!
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:50 PM   #22
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Re: Estimating With Excel For The Small Contractor YouTube


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Originally Posted by smheidebrecht View Post
I think your mark up should be before the sales tax, otherwise you lose 7% on your markup to sales tax
This is only accurate if you add a specific amount like say $50 to an item. If you mark up by a set percentage, say 10% for example, then it does not matter when you tack on the tax or mark up.

I would guess most contractors use a set percentage across the board to mark up versus a line by line item mark up. For a special/extra trip for a specific item, a set fee or mark up amount imposed is more understandable. But then you don't use a spreadsheet for a quick trip.
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:13 PM   #23
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Re: Estimating With Excel For The Small Contractor YouTube


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Originally Posted by AutumnWood Inc. View Post
I have to say the same great thread very helpful ... Thank you ! I wonder if you use Excel to provide the proposal to the client ?
Yes, see the last video. Almost all my jobs are T&M. I do bid roofs and a few other things. But most of my proposals are estimates. I don't use Word anymore. Everything is done in Excel.

Most of my work is remodeling, inside and out. I do the the small jobs that most other contractors don't want. Most jobs are 1 day to 3 weeks. A large share of my work is from repeat customers.

If I worked in an environment where I needed a contract I would search out some language insert it into my Excel workbook. It doesn't have to look like my example. It's a blank sheet. If you can create a contract in Word you can create a contract in Excel.

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Old 02-02-2013, 11:37 PM   #24
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Re: Estimating With Excel For The Small Contractor YouTube


rselectric

A real number for a project is only minutes away once you have this set up.

With my roof worksheet I can come up with a number in minutes.

A interior bathroom remodel job with a number of variables can take hours. Granted some of that time is spent calling suppliers and tracking down various products.

Jobs like roofing, vinyl siding and drywall with a limited number of materials and tasks that are easy to translate into SF numbers can be automated into an Excel Worksheet.

The next couple of videos will be setting up a roof worksheet. I will build a couple of simple calculators and then use the results to automatically figure the materials for the job.

This can also be done for decks, basement remodels and additions. The more complicated the job the more difficult it gets to anticipate all the variables.

Rich, can you make a video outside of the series, that goes back to basics for some of our newer guys? Just showing how to set up a one sheet workbook (expenses ignored at this point) for a simple 8x12 exterior shed on a block footing with no utilities for example

I'll work on it.

I had one member PM me about this. I don't save my Estimating Workbook as a template. I open it, create a new job and Save As "Jones, Bob Bathroom". The original Estimating Workbook is still there and waiting to be used again. But I can see some advantages of saving it as a template.

I am starting to save Names and Addresses to my workbook. I would like to save them in a separate workbook like I do my materials list, but i don't know how to do Data Validation using 2 separate workbooks. So every time I entered a new address it would mean making a new template. I'll have to think this one through.

The more I do this video thing the more I research so that I don't look like an idiot who just discovered that 1+1 =2, and then thinks he should make a YouTube to show the world the new discovery.

I am trying to get better at Excel, and this is a journey to find better ways to organize my office time. Better ways to work Excel than I did in the past.

Sometimes I have or someone suggests an idea and it is a paradigm shift in thinking. Why didn't I ever see things that way before.

Rich

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Old 02-02-2013, 11:45 PM   #25
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Re: Estimating With Excel For The Small Contractor YouTube


Hi Rich,

If you're still tweaking your process I'd be happy to send you my worksheet so you could see if there's anything helpful for you in there. I haven't made it overly fancy because I'm the only one seeing it but it's pretty self-explanatory. Just send me a PM if you do.
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:48 PM   #26
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Hi Rich,

If you're still tweaking your process I'd be happy to send you my worksheet so you could see if there's anything helpful for you in there. I haven't made it overly fancy because I'm the only one seeing it but it's pretty self-explanatory. Just send me a PM if you do.
Good idea. I will send you mine as well if you are interested.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:14 AM   #27
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Re: Estimating With Excel For The Small Contractor YouTube


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Hi Rich,

If you're still tweaking your process I'd be happy to send you my worksheet so you could see if there's anything helpful for you in there. I haven't made it overly fancy because I'm the only one seeing it but it's pretty self-explanatory. Just send me a PM if you do.
Ethan

I never stop tweaking. That is why I don't make it a template.

made it overly fancy because I'm the only one seeing it but it's

That is what I have always thought, but someday I want my son's to use the system and my bookkeeper wife needs to get in there once in a while to look up something.

The main structure of my workbooks is always understandable to myself a year later, but the rabbit trails and the one of a kind things I do,can be a bit confusing. Sometimes I have to split up invoices for Energy credits or something. I will move hours or materials from one BWS to another. I now try to leave notes to explain to myself what I did.

I have also taken the Workbook on a job to a client's house and worked through an estimate. If your budget is this than we need to start cutting some things. And we work our way through line by line.

Of course you have to up front about markup.

Rich
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:14 AM   #28
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Re: Estimating With Excel For The Small Contractor YouTube


You can make the markup invisible and built in if you want. Just have a markup cell that you build into the formula for all the totals or subtotals and hide it. Mine is visible but it's two clicks to hide it if a customer was going to be sitting with me. The only things that wouldn't be hidden that a customer could nit-pick are the Overhead and Profit and if they want me to change those they can find another contractor.

Cleaning up the spreadsheet for a template isn't hard but I add to mine all the time so it would just be a pain in the butt. As it is, if I create a estimate for a job that I need to add new materials or services too I can just save it as the template and clear all the quantities. In remodeling I'm frequently adding new items.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:21 AM   #29
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Re: Estimating With Excel For The Small Contractor YouTube


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rselectric

A real number for a project is only minutes away once you have this set up.

With my roof worksheet I can come up with a number in minutes.

A interior bathroom remodel job with a number of variables can take hours. Granted some of that time is spent calling suppliers and tracking down various products.

Jobs like roofing, vinyl siding and drywall with a limited number of materials and tasks that are easy to translate into SF numbers can be automated into an Excel Worksheet.

The next couple of videos will be setting up a roof worksheet. I will build a couple of simple calculators and then use the results to automatically figure the materials for the job.

This can also be done for decks, basement remodels and additions. The more complicated the job the more difficult it gets to anticipate all the variables.

Rich, can you make a video outside of the series, that goes back to basics for some of our newer guys? Just showing how to set up a one sheet workbook (expenses ignored at this point) for a simple 8x12 exterior shed on a block footing with no utilities for example

I'll work on it.

I had one member PM me about this. I don't save my Estimating Workbook as a template. I open it, create a new job and Save As "Jones, Bob Bathroom". The original Estimating Workbook is still there and waiting to be used again. But I can see some advantages of saving it as a template.

I am starting to save Names and Addresses to my workbook. I would like to save them in a separate workbook like I do my materials list, but i don't know how to do Data Validation using 2 separate workbooks. So every time I entered a new address it would mean making a new template. I'll have to think this one through.

The more I do this video thing the more I research so that I don't look like an idiot who just discovered that 1+1 =2, and then thinks he should make a YouTube to show the world the new discovery.

I am trying to get better at Excel, and this is a journey to find better ways to organize my office time. Better ways to work Excel than I did in the past.

Sometimes I have or someone suggests an idea and it is a paradigm shift in thinking. Why didn't I ever see things that way before.

Rich
I would pay for a workbook on decks ...?
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:51 PM   #30
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Re: Estimating With Excel For The Small Contractor YouTube


Autumn

I would pay for a workbook on decks ...?


I would have to know how you build first. Around here most decks are fairly simple, unlike the deck in your picture.

Watch the videos and afterwards maybe we can build it together. I would rather teach you to fish than give you a fish.

Rich

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Old 02-03-2013, 09:56 PM   #31
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Re: Estimating With Excel For The Small Contractor YouTube


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Old 02-04-2013, 10:20 AM   #32
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Re: Estimating With Excel For The Small Contractor YouTube


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Old 02-04-2013, 03:29 PM   #33
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Or 2200 times !
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:04 AM   #34
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Re: Estimating With Excel For The Small Contractor YouTube


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I just finished watching video 4-8. Thank you for your efforts again Rich! This will help a lot of start up guys to at least start some type of system.

DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED
as Rich starts getting into details (which are many) about how his particular spreadsheets are set up. He even lost me a couple times, but when I stuck with it I later saw what his aims were.

It obviously took him years to put his system together, and you may have different ideas on how to set yours up.

You can start with a simple one sheet workbook just adding up your costs for example. The trick is PLAY WITH THE EXCEL PROGRAM and learn how to make formulas. Excel is your best friend....really!

Rich, can you make a video outside of the series, that goes back to basics for some of our newer guys? Just showing how to set up a one sheet workbook (expenses ignored at this point) for a simple 8x12 exterior shed on a block footing with no utilities for example.

Also, it would be great if you could explain the difference between a new workbook and a template, and how to set one up in this simple instance. Rich's videos are about developing a system. Once you have a template in place, you don't have to go through all this formatting. You open a page and start inputting actual numbers. A real number for a project is only minutes away once you have this set up.

Thanks again Rich!
RS


Rich, can you make a video outside of the series, that goes back to basics for some of our newer guys? Just showing how to set up a one sheet workbook (expenses ignored at this point) for a simple 8x12 exterior shed on a block footing with no utilities for example.

a one sheet workbook


Like the 1st video?

(expenses ignored at this point)

I am confused, Excel is all about tracking expenses. Do you mean a workbook that calculates from 20 LF of wall you will get 16 studs, 60 lf of plate, 5 pieces of sheathing and so forth?

Thank you

Rich
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:02 AM   #35
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Re: Estimating With Excel For The Small Contractor YouTube


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RS

Rich, can you make a video outside of the series, that goes back to basics for some of our newer guys? Just showing how to set up a one sheet workbook (expenses ignored at this point) for a simple 8x12 exterior shed on a block footing with no utilities for example.

a one sheet workbook

Like the 1st video?

(expenses ignored at this point)

I am confused, Excel is all about tracking expenses. Do you mean a workbook that calculates from 20 LF of wall you will get 16 studs, 60 lf of plate, 5 pieces of sheathing and so forth?

Thank you

Rich
It's all about the math. I have built a sheet that I could plug a few numbers into and it would spit out how many posts and related hardware, nailers, pickets, weed eater boards I would need for a fence. It didn't matter side by side or board on board.

There were about five numbers I had to provide and that was it. That computer took a dump and I haven't bothered trying to get the data of its drive yet so I don't have it to pull up right now.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:44 PM   #36
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Re: Estimating With Excel For The Small Contractor YouTube


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RS


Rich, can you make a video outside of the series, that goes back to basics for some of our newer guys? Just showing how to set up a one sheet workbook (expenses ignored at this point) for a simple 8x12 exterior shed on a block footing with no utilities for example.

a one sheet workbook


Like the 1st video?
Actually I had in mind a video even more basic than the first one. Just one that slowly shows the multiplication formula, auto fill, and auto sum.

Once some of these guys see how great Excel is, they can play around with it and practice.

For example:

A 4 column sheet. A-Item B-Cost C-Quantity D-Subtotal (with only 3 or 4 rows of data) I'm talking BASIC.

I think this will cause some guys to play around Excel and want to go back and re watch your videos for more practical advice. I am guessing that even on the first video, some started to get lost because they didn't know the bare bones basics.

Just a thought.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:50 PM   #37
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Re: Estimating With Excel For The Small Contractor YouTube


I think this will cause some guys to play around Excel and want to go back and re watch your videos for more practical advice. I am guessing that even on the first video, some started to get lost because they didn't know the bare bones basics.

Thanks for the feedback RS. I thought I covered that in the 1st video. Clear as mud, eh.

I like the feedback. It's like proofreading your own document. The mistake can be glaring but you look right past it.

I am guessing that even on the first video, some started to get lost because they didn't know the bare bones basics.

You are probably right.

I'll do video #0 as a starter course.

Rich
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:19 PM   #38
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Re: Estimating With Excel For The Small Contractor YouTube


For anyone that doesn't have Excel and wants to try some of this OpenOffice Calc is a solid free piece of software that is pretty similar and can import and export Excel files.

http://www.openoffice.org/index1-pas....google.com%2F
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:59 AM   #39
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Re: Estimating With Excel For The Small Contractor YouTube


All

I have uploaded 4 more videos to YouTube.

In Video #9 I will start to teach you how to use the basic Estimating Worksheet (EWS) to build a Roofing Worksheet. I use some SF calculators to figure roof Squares. Plus calculators to figure metal, I&W, Hip and Ridge ect. Once you have entered the data then Excel will figure materials for you in the materials list below. This is going to take at least 3 videos. It's not hard. You do these calculations every time you figure a job. I just try to automate this process. This can also be done with any building project that has a limited number of materials and tasks. The more complex the job the more difficult it is to automate the process. But it can be done. The principles involved can also be applied to vinyl siding, building decks, building a garage, drywall, suspended ceilings and so forth.

Video #10 is a continuation of the roofing worksheet building. In my worksheets I often will have the roofing worksheet as a separate worksheet within a workbook, then the roofing materials and labor will show up as a line item in the EWS.


Video # 11 More work on the roofing worksheet.

Video #12 More work on the roofing worksheet. Once you build a automated worksheet it will simplify the repetive tasks of estimating and writing a estimate/bid proposal. Simple roof can be estimated by entering a limited number of numbers in cells. The estimate letter/ bid proposal can be a standard template so that you don't have to reinvent the wheel every time you want to put out an estimate. The principles in this roofing worksheet can be applied to other areas.

Rich

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Old 02-09-2013, 11:18 AM   #40
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For anyone that doesn't have Excel and wants to try some of this OpenOffice Calc is a solid free piece of software that is pretty similar and can import and export Excel files.

http://www.openoffice.org/index1-pas....google.com%2F
There are many differences in how these two behave. Some may not be that significant while others are very significant.

One is the type of separators used in formulas. Excel allows the use of either a comma (,) or a semicolon ( whereas Calc only allows a semicolon. You can find a list of the differences at this link...

http://wiki.openoffice.org/wiki/Docu...Calc_and_Excel

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