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What type of commercial pricing do you offer?
Craftsman publishes annually 11 databases, which include estimating data for commercial and industrial construction.
How many individual items are in your pricelists?
Craftsman offers a range of cost databases to suit your needs, including:
• General construction – approx. 30,000 cost items
• Repair & remodeling – approx. 6,000 cost items
• Renovation & insurance repair – approx. 12,000 cost items
• Electrical – approx. 9,000 cost items
• Plumbing & HVAC – approx. 8,000 cost items
• Home improvement – approx. 10,000 cost items
• Earthwork & heavy equipment – approx. 3,000 cost items
• Heavy construction – approx. 20,000 cost items
• Concrete & masonry – approx. 15,000 cost items
• Painting – approx. 5,000 cost items
• Framing & finish carpentry – approx. 5,000 cost items
What type of pricing services do you offer? (i.e. unit pricing, time & materials, etc)
Craftsman Book Company (“Craftsman”) has been a publisher of construction cost estimating references since 1952. Licensed Craftsman data shows the time (typical manhours per unit for installation), material cost per unit (including waste and coverage loss) and installed cost, based on an hourly labor rate (including taxes and insurance) appropriate for the locality. Overhead and profit are necessarily a function of the contractor performing the work, not the task.
Describe how you develop your estimating guidelines?
Estimating (including cat-loss adjusting) is an art, not a science. Good estimates are custom made for a particular project and a single contractor through judgment, analysis and experience. On many jobs the range between high and low bid will be 30% or more. There's room for legitimate disagreement on what the correct costs are, even when complete plans and specifications are available, the date and site are established, and labor and material costs are identical for all bidders. No one cost fits all jobs. There are better estimates and worse estimates. All good estimates are based on careful consideration of what’s included and what’s excluded. Without that, any price is the right price. That’s why Craftsman data includes robust explanations – a short essay anyone can use to evaluate how conditions on a particular job will affect costs.
How do you develop pricing?
Prices come from the same sources all professional estimators use: contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, analysis of plans, specifications, completed project costs, and both published and unpublished cost studies. In addition, Craftsman conducts nationwide mail, email and phone surveys and has the use of several major national estimating databases. Craftsman monitors prices for over 1,000 key construction materials in essentially all metropolitan areas in the US.
How do you verify pricing?
Prices are checked continually, both by Craftsman staff and by reports from the thousands of contractors who use Craftsman references when pricing construction and re-construction work.
How often do you update pricing?
Craftsman maintains a set of geographic modifiers for US zip codes and Canadian postal sortation areas. New modifiers are produced and distributed monthly, with other cost data adjustments distributed on a quarterly basis -- automatically on the Web.
Do you update pricing in a catastrophe, and if so how do you update prices?
Craftsman occasionally publishes regional (localized) editions which reflect experience of adjusters working in the communities affected by a catastrophe.
Does your pricing account for the amount items cost in particular geographic locations?
Yes. Geographic modification factors are revised and published monthly to account for relative changes in labor and material costs from area to area. Modification factors are available for essentially every US zip and more than 1,000 Canadian postal codes.
Are local prices surveyed on a regular basis? Do you call local contractors or is some other method utilized to determine local prices?
Yes. Craftsman receives, collects, processes and publishes thousands of construction material costs daily. The Craftsman support line receives over a hundred calls per week from contractors and construction professionals, many confirming prices Craftsman has published.
Do you consider feedback concerning inadequate pricing from area residents, contractors, company personnel in developing your guidelines? If so, how do you address this?
Yes. All inquiries are treated seriously. We research claims about inadequate or erroneous data and publish expanded or corrected information on the Web through the Craftsman Software Update (CSU) when appropriate.
Does increased demand for updated pricing result in increased frequency of pricing updates?
No. There has been no request for updating prices more often than quarterly.
Do you update pricing guidelines in reaction to local area items?
Yes. All pricing is based on local costs. As local costs change, we publish revisions.
How long does it take you to update pricing guidelines in reaction to discovering an item that is localized to a certain area?
Scheduled updates are published quarterly. Unscheduled updates can be published and distributed on the Web within 24 hours.
Does your software allow for minimum charges in all categories, for retail labor in all categories, for trip and/or preparation charges based on “pure labor” that can be adjusted to account for excessive drive or transportation times?
No. Driving times, trip, job preparation, supervision, mobilization, and demobilization costs (and all non-productive labor) are overhead costs which are properly considered separately from labor and material costs. Craftsman recommends minimum job charges for many trades and tasks. But labor and material cost estimates are based on typical installation rates and exclude non-productive time.
What type of data supports your pricing?
Craftsman is acknowledged as a leader in publishing backup data for estimates – offering an item by item breakdown of all components in each assembly – including typical waste and coverage factors.
Is the data readily available for access when needed to support your pricing?
Yes. Craftsman includes a summary of all the cost components side-by-side with most estimates
How do you monitor new products in the market place and how or when are they added to your program?
Craftsman publishes about 50,000 pages of construction cost estimating data annually. About 200 pages of new data are added each year. This information comes from the same sources all contractors, architects and engineers use: product catalogs, trade press, manufacturer press releases, and reports from building material dealers. New products are generally added during annual revisions but can be added with any monthly update.
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The purpose of this lesson is to get you an overview of the 360 Estimator and show you how it can help grow your construction business.
360 Estimator is a simple but powerful construction estimating software that integrates with Craftsman Book Company’s cost books to give you the ability to add over 100 thousand cost items for any of your project needs. Using 360 Estimator you can manage your construction projects from initial concept through to the end.
Here is a proposed workflow that will assist you to estimate your projects and finish them in time and within budget.
First, you can add a project
From the main menu, press the Add project button, enter the project name, for example, Standard foundation, and press Enter to open the project.
You also can create a multi-level Project by Adding Divisions and Subdivisions to your project or use a Uniformat Template to automatically create your work breakdown structure.
If you want to link a customer for your project, from the bottom left corner, press the Settings button, and choose the Partners page.
Enter the name of the company, for example, TAS Company, Enter the name of your contact, for example, David Smith, end the email address, for example, email@example.com and press Save button.
If you want to set the Area of your project in order to be able to apply the Area Modification Factor
Second, you can add cost items in your project, the works you want to execute.
Press Enter to open the project.
You can search for items by name or symbol. The program has access to Craftsman Books, a database with over 100,000 cost items for construction and installation works.
Cost items are the basics of an estimate, representing the quantity of work that needs to be done. A cost item has a symbol, description, material costs, labor costs, and equipment costs for one unit.
If you want to search for a unit item in a specific catalog
If you want to send the proposal to your customer, from the top right corner, press the Reports button, choose Estimate and press Export
Thirds, you can Upload your blueprints and takeoff quantities
Fourth, you can modify your cost items
Fifth, you can generate a Gantt Chart and calculate how long it will take you to finish the project
Sixth, you can track the progress of your project using Cost Reports and Gantt chart
The Cost report is connected to your Gantt chart and if you move on your Gantt chart you can see the percent completed for each activity in your project.
If you want to create the Final Cost Report?
Finally, you can go back to your customer page and see the information about your project updated in the history section of your customer. Customer Relationship Management is there to help you to keep the records of all contacts and projects for your customers.
Also, you can go back to your dashboard page and get a 360 view of your projects..
All the information from your panels is linked to the Project module so you can see the details about your project simply by pressing one click.
You can download the Estimator app on your mobile phone from Google Play or App Store. It connects with the web system and can either be used by itself or integrated so that all your work is in one place.
Estimates are the basic units of a project and are created using cost items.
1. How to create a simple Estimate?
2. How to create a multi-level Project?
2. How to create a Project using Uniformat Templates?
3. How to add cost items in an Estimate?
4. How to set the Area of your project in order to be able to apply the Area Modification Factor?
5. How to search for a unit item in a specific catalog?
6. How to change the position of a line item in your estimate?
7. How to set up the WBS for your project?
8. How to print the Proposal
Quantity takeoff from drawings can be carried out by using the On-Screen Digital Takeoff. The purpose of measuring is to establish the correct amount of work that needs to be carried out.
1. How to load a blueprint
2. How to set the scale
3. How to takeoff areas?
4. How to takeoff lines?
5. How to takeoff points?
6. How to create a formula and calculate quantities?
7. How to print the Schematic Design Estimate?
The key guide to pricing is to make sure it's accurate, reliable, that it takes on broad market conditions, location factors and is project specific.
2. How to modify the Soft costs?
Soft costs are indirect costs that are normally added to the hard ones. Generally, these are, builder overhead and profit which are carried out on a percentage basis of your hard costs.
If you want to add special soft costs for a project, open the Items left panel, from the Soft Costs section, select Special soft costs, press the plus button in front of the Soft Cost you want to add.
3. How to modify prices using percents?
You can use a percent to modify the prices for your materials, labor and equipment and modify the value of your project or you can set a final value for your project.
4. How to create and use price collections?
Price collections are unique selections of prices for materials, labor and equipment. A price collection can be used to transfer prices from one project to another.
Unit items or cost lines are the basic parts of an estimate, representing quantities of various items of work that need to be done. A unit item has a symbol, description, material costs, labor costs, and equipment costs for one unit.
1. How to modify an existing unit item?
2. How to create a new unit item?
Note: If the unit item will be found in the cost database, but you still want to add a new one, you should click the edit name box and press Enter
3. How to add resources in a unit item?
Note: The price for the unit item materials, labor price, and equipment price will be calculated from the resources and it will be no longer be available for direct edit. If you want to alter the price of a resource's based unit item you should expand it and edit the unit price of the resources that compose the unit item.
4. How to save a custom unit item?
The new unit item will be saved in Custom items, Unit items database and will be available for your next projects
5. How to create an Assembly?
Note: The new Assembly will be saved in Custom items, Assemblies database and will be available for your next projects
The Gantt Chart and S Curve will help you with meeting deadlines for inspections and sign offs or getting the right materials, equipment and labor on the site at the right time.
1. How to set the start date for your project?
2. How to change the order of your activities?
You can create your work breakdown structure by rearranging your activities in the order in which you will execute them.
3. How to modify the time lapse for your activities?
The time lapse in days for your activities is calculated from the labor hours divided by the number of workers and working hours per day.
4. How to create an Activity Precedence Diagram for your project?
Note: If you want to add a lag between two related activities, double clck on the relation arrow and enter the lag in days. The critical path is the longest period of time in which a project’s tasks will be completed.
5. How to use S Curve to level the resources?
6. How to print the Gantt Report?
7. How to export your project?
We are now in the post-contract the phase of the project. Successful projects are delivered with the required quality standards, on time and within budget. One of the most important cost control actions is submitting regular, monthly in general, up-to-date and accurate cost reports.
1. How to create a Cost Report?
2. How to create the Final Cost Report?
The Cost report is connected to your Gantt chart and if you move on your Gantt chart you can see the percent completed for each activity in your project.
3. How to print a Cost report?
You can use Export function to send your project to a partner, or Import function to import a project received from a partner.
1. How to export a project to send it to a partner?
2. How to import a project received from a partner?
3. How to export a project for Microsoft Project Manager
Note: If you want to setup an existing customer for your Project, use the Search button to find him in your CRM Database.
2. How to send your proposals and cost reports by email
3. How to keep a record of your emails, phones or customer visits related to your client
4. How to add a project for your customers
The Dashboard is helping you get a 360 view of your projects.
The standard panels on your Dashboard are:
All the information from your panels are linked to the Estimates module so you can see the details about your project simply by pressing one click.
1. How to to hide and view the panels on your dashboard?
2. How to set-up your panels?
You can configure users for your application depending on the number of Subscriptions you purchased.
1. How to add a new user?
2. How to configure an existing user?
You can download the Estimator app on your mobile phone from or and use it as an alternative to viewing your projects created in 360 Estimator or as a stand-alone app for simple projects. Use your 360 Estimator user and password to log in or create a new one.
1. How to add the Customer?
Press the + button at the bottom right corner, enter the customer's name, for example, John Smith, and press the Save button.
2. How to add the Project?
In the projects section, press + button, enter the project name, for example, the Standard foundation and press the Save button
3. How to add Cost Items?
You can search for the cost items by name or symbol. The program has access to Craftsman Books, a database with over 100,000 cost items for construction and installation works.
Press the + button from the bottom right corner and enter a keyword, for example, Excavation. Choose the right item, enter the quantity, for example, 2 Cubic Yards and press the Add button.
Press the + button on the bottom right of the screen again and enter the search criteria, for example, Concrete form. Choose the right item, enter the quantity, 15, and click the Add button.
Press the + button on the bottom right of the screen again and enter the search criteria, for example, Concrete footings Choose the right item, enter the quantity, for example, 2 cubic yards and press the Add button.
4. How to modify the cost items?
If you want to modify the cost items, select the item you want to modify, press click, change the name, cost of materials, labor, equipment or quantity and click the Save button.
5. How to use On-site Quantity Takeoff?
If you want to use On-site Quantity Takeoff select the item for which you want to modify the quantity, press click to open it, press the Takeoff button from the right of the Quantity and use the Augmented Reality to measure. Edit the formula if is needed and press the Save button.
6. How to delete a cost Item?
If you want to delete an item, drag the item to the left, and confirm the deletion.
7. How to edit the project details?
The fourth step is to make changes to the project details. Click the Edit Project button at the top right corner, press show more, change the project details, for example, set the Overhead and profit to 8% and click the Close button.
8. How to send the proposal to your customer?
The program allows you to send the proposal in PDF format. Press the PDf button in the top right corner, choose a Summary report or Proposal report.