This tab is where you add your customer details, customer name, billing information and so on. To use a pre-existing client record, click the 'Find' button. To add a new contact, or import a client from your MS Outlook client list, click 'New'. To edit the details for a client already selected click the 'Edit' button. See Adding or Modifying Clients for more information on this topic.
Use the 'Outlook Appt' button to create an appointment in Outlook for the estimate. The appointment will include client details, job details and the text in the Appt Note field (see Using Outlook for more information on this topic). The Appt Note or Billing Note field can also be used as an open field to add notes to a proposal.
Click the 'Email' button to send an email to the current client where a valid email address is available. This feature uses the default email application on your computer.
This tab is where you add your construction site address, descriptive information and so on. Click the 'Copy Billing Information' button to use the address for the client selected on the Client Information tab. The site address field is required for the estimate to be saved.
The 'Comments' field displays the text that is printed on the Work Order report for use by the job foreman and/or crew.
This tab is where you enter all the detail information for the job items to be completed for each area.
Select Room/Area Description - Select an appropriate description for the area or room. If the description you want isn't in the list, you can either type the description you want right into the field or add a new default description to the list by clicking on the list with the right mouse button and adding the entry to the 'Edit Area Descriptions' form that pops up.
Select Room Sizes (Interior form) - Enter the room dimensions by typing into the boxes, or using the spin buttons. The total wall and ceiling sizes will be calculated automatically. The total wall and ceiling dimensions can also be edited by typing into the appropriate boxes. These dimensions are used in the reports and to enter a default quantity for the individual items selected for that room.
Wall/Gable Width x Height (Exterior form) - Enter the area dimensions by typing into the boxes, or using the spin buttons. The total wall (or deck) area will be calculated automatically. The total wall/deck area can also be edited by typing into the appropriate box. These dimensions are used in the reports and to enter a default quantity for the individual items selected for that area.
Select Job Items - For each room or area on the estimate, select the individual items for the area. The fields are described below:
- Select Type - Select the type of item first as this controls the list of items that are loaded into the Select Description field as well as the default units.
- Select Description - Select the item from the list. The rest of the fields in the row will automatically be completed with the default rates for the item selected. To edit the defaults in these lists, either click on the row after the item Type has already been selected with the right mouse button or select the appropriate type on the 'Rates and Settings' tab.
- Qty - The quantity field will be automatically completed according to the total area dimensions and the Type of item selected. This field can be edited by clicking on the field and typing in a new quantity, or selecting a new quantity from the drop-down list.
- Wall, Ceiling, Floor default quantities are based on the total sq.ft. or sq.m. amounts in the room/area sizes.
- Trim, Baseboard (Interior) default quantities are based on the total lineal measurement of the room.
- Trim, Soffit (Exterior) default quantities are based on the lineal width of the wall or the length of the gable if the gable measurements are completed.
- Windows, Doors and Extra quantities are per each.
- Unit - The units for the Type selected.
- Coats - The number of coats for the application selected. If you don't want the number of coats to appear on the printed estimate/contract, select 'n/a' from the list. The calculations will be made as though one coat was selected, but the amount will not be printed.
- Rate - The price per unit for the item. This can be edited for this item by clicking on the Rate field and typing a new rate.
- Adj - The adjustment factor for the item. The cost for items can be adjusted based on the difficulty of the item The adjustment amount is based on the percentage defined on the Company Information form (see Setting Company Defaults for more info).
- Color or Comment - A free text field to enter an information (max 255 chars).
- Hours - A calculated field based on the application rate for the item as set on the Materials and Rate Settings form.
- Total - The total calculated amount for the item.
Load System - For each room or area on the estimate, select a pre-defined list of materials and rates. If you adjust the room dimensions after loading the system/assembly, click the 'Update Items' button to reload the quantities for each item.
Set System - Set a pre-defined system or assembly based on the list of items for the current room/area. The new system/assembly will include the materials descriptions, rates and number of coats per the current room/area.
Update Items - Click to reload the quantities of the job items based on the current room/area dimensions where the item quantities are based on square or lineal measurements.
Payments & Dates
Payment Dates and Amounts - Up to four different draws are available to be set on each contract. The default draws are initialized with the settings configured on the Company Information form (see Setting Company Defaults for more info). The default settings can be overwritten by clicking the spin buttons.
Estimate Dates - Date fields can be completed by clicking the calendar icon next to the date to be selected. The date fields are defined below:
- Print Date - The date that will be printed on the current estimate or contract.
- Start Date - The date that the contract will be started. This appointment date can be exported to MS Outlook by clicking the 'Add Dates to Outlook' button. If the End Date field is also completed, the appointment will extend from the start date to the end date.
- End Date - The date that the contract will be completed.
Exporting Dates to Outlook - Contracts can be managed using your MS Outlook scheduling feature. To view your Outlook Calendar prior to confirming a contract start date, click the 'View Outlook Calendar' button. Once a contract start date is confirmed, the appointment can be added to Outlook by clicking the the 'Add Dates to Outlook' button once the date is selected. The program will automatically complete fields in Outlook such as the client and job site address and will open the Outlook appointment form for you to confirm the information. Note: You must have a full version of Microsoft Outlook 97 or later to use this feature - it will not work with Outlook Express.
Contract Acceptance Warranty - To mark the estimate as being accepted as a contract, click the 'Contract Accepted' checkbox. The current estimate/contract will now be flagged as a contract for reporting purposes. To include a warranty term, select from the 'Warranty Terms' selection box. This field can be overwritten by typing into the selection box for the current estimate. To add/modify the default selections, click with the right mouse button on the selection box. The 'Estimate/Contract status' field can also be selected and updated at any time. This field can be used for reporting so that estimators, job foremen etc can schedule or follow up on current estimates or jobs.
Cost Multiplier - is a multiplier used to adjust the final total of the estimate. The Cost Multiplier designates a percentage cost. By increasing this value to 110% your have now added 10 % to the total fee structure by decreasing the value to 95 % you are giving a 5% discount.
Details & TotalsThis tab is where you can select to include various contract details, add extra charges, view the estimate totals and print the estimate or contract documents.
Included Items - check or un-check the Included Items check boxes to have the related text appear on the estimate/contract documents. These selections do not affect the rates or prices on the estimate. To view or edit the related text that appears on the documents, click with your right mouse button on any of the checkboxes or click the 'Include Comments' button on the Rates & Settings tab.
Excluded Items - check or un-check the Excluded Items check boxes to have the related text appear on the estimate/contract documents. These selections do not affect the rates or prices on the estimate. To view or edit the related text that appears on the documents, click with your right mouse button on any of the checkboxes or click the 'Exclude Comments' button on the Rates & Settings tab.
Extra Fees - use this section to add extra charges to the estimate. This is useful for extras such as sub-contracting charges, equipment rentals or travel to the job site. Amounts selected here are not included in the setup/cleanup factor amount. To select items from the defaults list, click the 'Add Fee from List' button then select from the drop down list. To edit this list of defaults, click the 'Defaults' button. For a one-time fee, click the 'Add One Time Fee' button then type in the description and amount for this charge.
Fees and Charges - this area displays the current totals for the estimate and allows you to adjust the setup factor and tax amounts.
- Setup/Cleanup Factor - A percentage factor to adjust the estimate by to allow for setup, cleanup and/or overhead amounts. This is defined on the Company Information form (see Setting Company Defaults for more info) but can be edited for the current estimate.
- Taxes - Checking or un-checking the Tax check boxes lets you calculate with or without taxes. The default tax descriptions and amounts are defined on the Company Information form (see Setting Company Defaults for more info).
Rates & SettingsDocument File Path - this section displays the complete file path for proposal, estimate and contract documents already created for the current estimate. Double click on the file name to open/edit the document in the text editor window.
Edit Descriptions and Prices - this section is where you setup your default material description and rates and text defaults for the text that is written on the estimate and contract documents.
- Paint Coverings, Doors, Windows, Ceiling, Baseboards, Trim, Soffits, Fascia, Floors/Decks - see Setting Item Rates for more information on setting the rates for these items.
- Area Descriptions - Edit defaults for the Area/Room Description drop down boxes on the 'Area/Room Details' tab.
- Site Descriptions - Edit defaults for the Site Description drop down box on the 'Work Site' tab.
- Warranty Comments - Edit defaults for the Warranty Comments drop down box on the 'Payments & Dates' tab.
- Include Comments - Edit defaults for the Included Items check boxes on the 'Details & Totals' tab.
- Exclude Comments - Edit defaults for the Excluded Items check boxes on the 'Details & Totals' tab.
Use the buttons on the bottom of the estimator forms to manage your saved estimate/contracts.
- New - Completely clear the screen of manually inputted data and resets the default selections to allow you to begin a new estimate.
- Open - Find an existing estimate or contract record and open it for modification or viewing.
- Save - Saves all modifications to the current estimate/contract.
- Delete - Deletes the currently selected estimate/contract.
- Print - Opens the Print dialog box where you can
select a proposal document to print or internal reports (Detail and Work
order reports) that are generated in Crystal Report format and are opened in
the Crystal Report viewer window. The document file path for documents that
are created here are also displayed on the 'Rates and Settings'
tab for future reference.
- Documents - Select from the available proposal documents to create a printed document to give to your client. Choices for the format of the Estimate Details section include adding the details, costs and comments for each room/area, or writing a summary of all items. The area summary is designed for exterior estimates where each exterior wall/section was entered separately, but you want the client to see only the total of all items. See Document Templates for more information on creating or editing template documents. Headers and footers can also be added to the document (see Styles and Font Settings for more info).
- Reports - Select from the available detail and work order reports to create an internal report in Crystal Reports format. The detail report contains all details regarding the rates and materials for the current estimate. If application rates, material coverage fields etc are completed on the Materials and Rate Settings form , this report will include estimated materials amounts, costs and hours required for the job. The work order report contains similar information but does not include the rates. It is suitable for distributing to work crews or sub-contractors. See Reports for more information on Estimate Works reports.