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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! I am not a contractor, I'm a web designer. A buddy of mine asked me to track down some software for him to use in estimating jobs. He works for someone else and wants to be able to take his laptop with him to make a better impression on customers and make his job easier.

He prices renovations mostly and wants to be able to input room dimensions and wall height and have the software spit out material estimates. (How many sheets of drywall, etc.)

It seems like this forum gets a lot of ... ahem... questionable posts about software quality. I'd like to hear from some of the members here what they use to price jobs. (Even if it's just a spreadsheet.)

If you work for a software company, please send me a private message with the link to your site. No need to post links in the thread. Me and my favorite search engine can track down the stuff that sounds good. ;)
 

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General Contractor
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Excel :)
If you can do the formulas by hand then I know excel can do it. I've got quite a few calculators (web based) but have ported a few of them to Excel for certain people. Email me or PM and let me know what your friend is looking for.
I personally don't care for "estimating" programs as they hinder you IMO. Some database created by some guy at RS Means or in some backoffice can not predict what the cost of steel is right now, or how long it takes a crew of 3 versus a crew of 4 to frame a wall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I had read a post by Grumpy(I think?) that mentioned an excel spreadsheet.

My buddy described it to me as (and I'm sure he was breaking it down Barney-level for me), "If the room is 16' by 16' with 8' ceilings, then the program should be able to figure out how many sheets of drywall it would take to do the walls and it should figure that the rate is $XX.xx per sheet to install, finish, paint, etc. It should also be able to calc the square feet of the floor and based on what type of flooring I pick, generate the total estimate." (He went into more detail, that's just a couple generalized examples.)

I have some basic experience with building relational databases, so I figured I could always write something for him where he could adjust his costs based on current materials and labor prices. I would just rather avoid having to write something if there's already a better solution out there.
 

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I have a basic setup in excel where you can input your material and labor costs in one sheet. It then pops up in a dialog box in the main estimating sheet and you can insert the items. Then you just have to update the sf of each item (this is where another calculator would be needed).
I would be willing to modify what I have for whatever you need. Email me with any parameters that you want it to have and I'll let you know what it would cost (I work pretty cheap :) )
builder AT construction-resource DOT com
 

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Excel is the best because any off the shelf program I have tinkered with is a pile of junk. Excell can be programmed to do anything you want it to do, and be programmed to do it the way you want it to be done.

The math to figure the square footage of a wall is easy. Total Length x height = sq ft / .32 = sheets of drywall.
 

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Would be a huge number - I guess I would just hope they went for it :)
I'm thinking about making this estimator just for fun.. and if it looks good maybe someone will pay me for my fine work :)
 

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LOL - yep. I'm notorious for getting deeper and deeper over my head. I have so much going on right now I don't know where to begin on half of it. But I'd be bored if it was any other way.
 

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I really enjoy writing Excel Spreadsheet formula's and I am self taught...lol. I've created quite a few elaborate formula's. I'm interested in what you're doing Hatchet.

-Martin :)
 

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I can do a great demo of Master Builder at no obligation...don't believe all the negative comments you hear here...I can show you how it's supposed to work and I can help you get there too. I have references who like the software.
 

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Martin said:
I really enjoy writing Excel Spreadsheet formula's and I am self taught...lol. I've created quite a few elaborate formula's. I'm interested in what you're doing Hatchet.

-Martin :)
I'm self taught also - just started into VB and Excel about 2 months ago. I actually haven't had much of a chance to work on my little system lately.. trying to get another website going.
 

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National Estimator 32

Stop by local Home Depot Pro Desk and ask for pricelist on CD-ROM. It will come with free copy of National Estimator 32. It’s as fancy as Windows 3.11 but sure gets the job done. There are also few cost books you can use with reference on prices for deferent states. You can also change your own price per hour of work of certain trade.

I do not like it, because it’s too simple and not flexible and printouts are .txt files but it does the work. It also a good reference on new project. And the best part it FREE! :Thumbs:
 

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Hometech. If you subscribe, they will also send you quarterly price updates.
 
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