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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Here is a an excel workbook that I created to do estimates. It is probably my 4th attempt to make something that works.

If you like it, your are more than welcome to use it. If you need help post an example of an estimate and I will show you how to use this workbook.
 

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General Contractor
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Pretty nice - one improvement I can see (at least for me) would be to have the labor, material, and equipment costs on one line for each line item. My job costing items are all on one line so I'm not trying to flip between labor, materials, and equipment for just one item - if I'm looking at a formwork item I'm seeing the labor, materials, and equipment needed for that item only and all in the same place.
Like I said - that's just the way I like to do it.
Another item that I'm not sure about (and this might just be how you set it up) is the total quantities. Like next to the Total Material Cost: you have a colored cell - is that a sum of line item quantities? If so - it may not work for all items - one could be a square foot quantity and the other could be a lineal footage. If that colored cell is building square footage then have it auto fill so nobody gets confused.
I like the layout of the pages - makes total sense.

I've attached one that I've developed which can be easily customized or downsized to be whatever you want. It also does billing (if you don't have anything to do that in) by filling in the Total to Date column only. Before doing the monthly bill copy from the TTD into the Previous column (make sure it's values only). It'll auto update current amount.
You can also modify it to add in overhead and profits to the bottom line pretty easily - I typically have those amounts already figured into the unit costs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Your spreadsheet is great and more geared toward general contractors.

My spreadsheet is more for the specialty contractor, and I use it for a per trade type pricing. I plug in the total sf of surface area to get an average unit per sf to see if I am in the ballpark.

I have attached a sample estimate. This is a sample, material or labor prices are bogus.
 

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Hmm - so it's more of a quick check then? Where do you get your unit prices from? Are you doing the estimates or just checking a subcontractors estimate?
Yes - mine is more for general contractors - but if you disect the principles in it you'll see it can be adapted to a job costing system for any trade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
hatchet said:
Hmm - so it's more of a quick check then?
It is a quick check for me. I have a pretty good idea of what a project should go for per surface area. If the unit I see is way out of whack I know something is wrong with my estimate.

hatchet said:
Where do you get your unit prices from?
My unit prices come from all of my materials or labor added up devided by the quantity.

hatchet said:
Are you doing the estimates or just checking a subcontractors estimate?
I am doing the estimates. I usually use QuickBid, but I also wanted something that I could do in excel for quick and dirty take-off on the run.
 

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New Job, New Responsibilities

I recently started working for a company that designs Kit houses utilizing SIPS panels, ICF's and myriad types of new construction technology. The initial battle was the lack of capital and suitable software to match our needs. Never having used excel before I had to learn quickly.

The problems that I see with some of the estimate examples I've seen is that placing totals in the in the middle of calculations makes it harder to adjust the fields around it. Just a suggestion. Place all totals to one side or the other so as you develop your spreadsheet there will be minimal movement.

My Estimates workbook has exploded into nearly 20 sheets covering from the Schedule of Values right down to the cost of a 2x4x8. When it's done I'll post an example for you to comment on.
 

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Flooring Guru
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I have an excel spreadsheet I use for flooring with one of my builders. I will post it when I get to work.
 

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Flooring Guru
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Here are 2 sheets I use with a big builder in town.
He wants me to have this so he can have detailed info on per room measurements and materials sizes and prices.
If he wasn't such a huge amount of income for me, I would be irritated by this, but he is a fantastic builder and an all around good guy.
This sheet takes up a huge amount of my time, but I am getting much better at it as time goes on.

I do not have the capability to zip up my excel file...can anyone do this for me so I can post it?
 

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Heads up on Excel documents

If there are other members of your business that use the same spreadsheets as you, you might want to consider protecting those sheets so that formulas can't be changed.

This may be a irrelevant since I don't know everyone's experiences, but I know that when my boss used my "work in progress" workbook to do a quick estimate it took me about an hour to find all his changes and fix it...
 
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