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Rob
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I'm kind of just getting started and I'm trying to figure out the best way to give estimates and set up contracts and bill people. I guess I'm trying to decide if I should just buy some 2 or 3 part generic forms and just put the co. name on them (which might be a little too costly right now) or if I should just use some of the forms you guys have put up in here and just print off a bunch of them and just kind of hand write in the blanks. Or just go home at the end of the day and type the info into the forms and then e-mail them or whatever. The other question is how would I go about having a mobile way to maybe take pics of work in question and send estimates on the fly via e-mail or even just print them out in the truck. There may be more than one topic here and if so I'll break it down in another one later. Thanks;)
 

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Rob
Joined
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
also

I've also been checking out the estimator software thread and turbo-estimator looked interesting. I wonder if this might be the type of thing I am looking for. And just to clarify: I will probably be doing mostly small to medium scale finishing and handyman work so I don't really need some crazy multi-thousand dollar software that I'll spend a year learning. I just want something that is at least if not more professional looking than what everybody else is going to have that I could just go back to the truck and maybe print something out in like ten minutes. Thanks,
Rob
 

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MyOnlineToolbox cofounder
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1,072 Posts
OK, I'll bite, what do you have in mind?

I noticed that you had some good tags with the post. Assuming there is something else already on your mind, care to introduce what you are looking to introduce? Regards,
Brian
 

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Rob
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
not sure what you mean

I'm thinking maybe you mean what exactly am I trying to accomplish? Well, I was thinking it might be nice to maybe get a phone like the BB Tour or something like that where I could just access the web and some program or app that I could just enter in my numbers and either print something out in the truck or e-mail it or just go home later and print it out like that. The only problem is that I would like to be there to give them the estimate in person and I don't want to go home and then drive halfway across the county the next day to give it to them. Is this what you're asking? Thanks for the reply. Rob

Oh yeah, as far as the tags are concerned, I thought the tags were just for someone else to find this thread if they had the same kind of question.
 

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MyOnlineToolbox cofounder
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1,072 Posts
You are correct in your approach

Completely agree with you and glad to see that you understand. Send me a private message if you would like further dialogue (since your private communications is not turned on at the momment).
 

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Sean
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5,518 Posts
FYI - PM's don't work till after 15 posts, you can still do the email member routine though

I would suggest using a laptop or netbook with internet access, instead of a phone - you can have design software on there to show the HO's, easier to browse vendors sites for prices, etc...

For the handyman portion, I would probably go with a 2 or 3 part form - for a full bathroom or kitchen remodel, then a professionally prepared & printed document would generally be preferred
 

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Rob
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I thought about checking out the netbooks but didn't know if they were powerful enough. I guess maybe I just need to do a little more research on the whole thing. I agree with you about using the 3-parts for one day-ers and something else for bigger stuff. Very helpful. There's just so much on these forums that my head is kind of swimming with info. Been reading it for days. Keep em coming.
 

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Registered
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2 Posts
netbooks

I just purchased a hp netbook....love it! its small and light weight. I just went through the same thing. a three part form can be expensive and I way I write I might as well buy them by the 100's. I bring my netbook in my truck and use quikbooks to generate invoices. I have a small printer that I run off my cig lighter with a inverter. very inexpensive set up and pro style too! as far as the netbook being powerful enough well I find it better than my ibm t61 duo core. hope this helps
cheers,
sean
 

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Registered
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178 Posts
If you want to start with a printed form - you can go to the Office Supply store and buy 3 part paper in bulk. Then design your form in Word and go to a local copy shop and copy off your forms on the 3 part. Avoids expensive print runs. Run maybe 50 or so sets and test your form.

Although I don't use a computer in my car - I have seen here that some have a car adaptor to run your laptop computer and a small printer.

You could do you bid in your truck before you leave , print it and have it saved on your computer. Could walk back in the house and deliver your price.

Or how about carrying your laptop and small printer into the customer's home if your proposals can be done that quickly.

Terry
 
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