Using QB For Kitch/bath Remod Estimates? Format You Use? - Kitchens & Baths - Contractor Talk

Using QB For Kitch/bath Remod Estimates? Format You Use?

 
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Old 05-17-2006, 01:17 AM   #1
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Using QB For Kitch/bath Remod Estimates? Format You Use?


So far we type them up in Word. Then c&p into an Excel spreadsheet, then figure each line item by labor/mat, add a markup, then come to a grand total and enter that number into our word doc and hand that to the customer.

I have thought about setting it all up in Quick Books, but it would be a real chore, and seems like there are too many variables anyway, plus wouldn't make figuring estimates much easier or more acurate, and I don't think the format is good for the customer to read. Of course I'm always looking to find something better than what we have, because it's kind of a pain!

What do you guys think? What format do you use?
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Old 05-17-2006, 06:49 AM   #2
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Re: Using QB For Kitch/bath Remod Estimates? Format You Use?


I love my Quick Books for the many things it offers on the money side of it all and ability to track everything, but I do agree when doing complex estimates, meaning jobs such as kitchen/bath remodels when you have such a variety of components it can be over whelming to look at even when broken down into a line by line set-up.

When we do garages I had a hot streak of them a few years ago so I just went in and did a "item" that said "Garage" and under that I had listed every aspect from concrete material to roof vents, but set it up in a way that when it showed on the screen it was a "fill in the blanks" format. For example when I hit the "garage item "button it states "Build ___' x ____' garage"

Slab to be ___" thick, yada yada yada

takes a lil while longer to do it this way but still easier than doing each one from scratch for each one. This is about the only way I could see having QB set-up for "mass production/mass components" types of work with alot of different information.

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Old 05-17-2006, 08:23 AM   #3
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Re: Using QB For Kitch/bath Remod Estimates? Format You Use?


I would like to learn how to use QuickBooks for estimating also. I still do it like Melissa and I know there has got to be a better way.
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Old 05-17-2006, 02:39 PM   #4
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Re: Using QB For Kitch/bath Remod Estimates? Format You Use?


I could see using quickbooks for your own spreadsheets of figuring costs, because it does that well... however I would never use the form it generates as the estimate my customers would sign.
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Old 05-17-2006, 02:50 PM   #5
 
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Re: Using QB For Kitch/bath Remod Estimates? Format You Use?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpy
I could see using quickbooks for your own spreadsheets of figuring costs, because it does that well... however I would never use the form it generates as the estimate my customers would sign.

Ditto.

I've tried QB out every way possible for estimates.. putting in each item and letting it do the calculations, and then as a per service item when the first failed. IF there is a way to get it to do a decent looking estimate, I havent found it in all my years of dealing with it. Even using it to design a custom estimate sheet didn't look as good as when I did it with Word or Excel. We've been trying out estimating software of all kinds, (prices are ) but so far, I haven't found anything better than a custom designed Excel workbook. I throw the final estimate number over into QB strictly to keep everything reconciled, other than that, until some one smarter than I have failed in doing can figure out way to get QB to estimate accurately and look good while doing it... I'm stuck like everyone else. lol
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Old 05-17-2006, 04:55 PM   #6
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Re: Using QB For Kitch/bath Remod Estimates? Format You Use?


Over the years, esspecially when i first started out I went through so called "estimating software" like dirty socks, and at $29.99 on up it get's expensive "trying them out" to find one that works per your standards.

I use the QB for all estimating and invoices naturally, but I'm not an in home salesman and could'nt close a deal johnny on the spot if I had to...just always missed the salesman gene. So for me having something right then and there for a signature is a non-issue so my QB estimates work fine for all practical purposes of telling what they're getting and pricing. If they're serious they'll call back and I'll write up an even more in depth contract.

Most in home salemen I've ever seen just have a blank "general" contract with all the fine print and 2 carbon copies. They make the verbal sale, then just write down what they've sold verbally, quickly before minds change and get a signature.(and then leave out a bunch agreements in writing-chicken scratches so it's illegable- to charge more again later when they play stupid) This method "estimates" works great for replacement windows, siding, and roofing or even 1 aspect of construction like tile, or drywall, etc...but tasks as complex and multi facited as remodels/additions, etc...that in home salesman quick estimate/contract would'nt work....WAAAY too many variables and price fluctuation to ba able to give a "set price" johnny on the spot bid since everybody always wants different colors, manufactures, options on components, etc...
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Old 05-17-2006, 09:26 PM   #7
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Re: Using QB For Kitch/bath Remod Estimates? Format You Use?


I've never been able to get quick books to do estimates that I was happy with. A couple years ago I started using Quick Bid and have been really happy with it. It takes a little time to get proficent with but once your there you can do complex estimate fairly quick.
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Old 06-08-2006, 09:28 PM   #8
 
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Re: Using QB For Kitch/bath Remod Estimates? Format You Use?


Have you tried saving the Excel file as an html document?

It may take some time to get the look and feel you want but, you can create a template, enter your data and calculations and then save it as an html file.
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Old 06-08-2006, 10:33 PM   #9
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Re: Using QB For Kitch/bath Remod Estimates? Format You Use?


I have QB but depend on a walkthrough and discussion. I could go back to paper in a heartbeat.
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Old 06-09-2006, 10:02 AM   #10
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Re: Using QB For Kitch/bath Remod Estimates? Format You Use?


I just ordered a new product from Quickbooks called Easy Estimates. Here is the sale info.
http://quickbooks.intuit.com/commerc...ode=3921300000
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Old 07-30-2006, 02:47 AM   #11
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Re: Using QB For Kitch/bath Remod Estimates? Format You Use?


For those of you that have tried Easy Estimates and Quickbooks, does it use the same type of "Items" that Quickbooks does? If it does, I hate it already.

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