Make your estimate templates work for you

Repeatedly entering the same data into a construction estimate is time you could spend on a construction project instead of being glued to a screen. Buildxact allows you to customize estimate templates to include your own categories and items with your specific costs and quantities. This will save you a huge amount of time when calculating project costs, as there will be no more data double up and having to start estimates for labor and material costs from scratch. It is also possible to set up multiple templates for all your different types of projects to ease the cost estimation task. Completing accurate cost estimates gives you a better idea of your soft and hard costs, indirect costs, labor hours, labor costs and any additional costs. It will provide a clear roadmap to start working based on the project’s budget. Construction estimation can be hard. There are many factors like estimated costs, direct costs and indirect costs that make it complicated. It is important to be as accurate as possible so that your approximate cost ends up being close to, if not exactly what your actual cost ends up being in the end.

Setting up templates in Buildxact 

Construction cost estimate templates are a game-changer and Buildxact offers them for free. At Buildxact, we designed a simple way to set up construction estimate templates and customize each one to suit your different construction projects. A free template helps you get some inspiration to get started, and later on, you can customize however you like or create a completely new one. There are four ways this can be done:

  1. create an estimate template from scratch
  2. create an estimate template from an imported Microsoft Excel file
  3. create an estimate template from an existing construction estimate
  4. create an estimate template from a Buildxact template

No matter which method you choose, these will all be added to the ‘Templates’ section under “Estimates” in Buildxact to help you with your construction estimates and ensure an accurate estimate every time. Knowing your cost estimates for a construction project is crucial to ensure your construction company is making a profit. At the end of a project, you can go in and compare your construction estimate to your actual costs. Construction estimating software, like Buildxact, helps you know your numbers at all times. It is a lifesaver for any project manager

Once you have created the perfect template for your construction project, you can set it as your default estimate template to use on all of your future construction projects. Customize it to fit your needs so you can calculate the labor cost and construction costs.

Create a construction cost estimate from scratch

This option to help you calculate the estimated cost of a project is great for builders who have an idea of what their ultimate estimate template would look like for a specific construction project. They can calculate their estimated budget using automatic calculations. Builders have a blank canvas to build their template inside Buildxact from scratch to be able to use on multiple estimates.

First, click on “Estimates” in the left-hand navigation menu. Then, in the second menu that pops out, click on “Templates”. From there, click the green “Create New” button.

A dialog box will appear, enter the “Template Description” and “Building Type”, and click “OK”.

Populate all the estimate template details under the “Estimate Costings” tab by clicking the green plus icon. You can also populate other areas of the estimate if needed.

The template will now be saved in the template section. To view the template you just created and use it again. Click on “Estimates” in the left-hand navigation menu, in the second menu that pops out click on “Templates.”

Create a construction cost estimate template from an imported excel file

This option is useful for builders who have an existing estimate they use in Microsoft Excel that they want to import and use in Buildxact.

The first step is to click on “Estimates” in the left-hand navigation menu. Then, in the second menu that pops up, click on “Estimates”. There, you will click the green “Create New” button.

You will see a dialog box pop up. Please fill out “Description,” “Building Type,” “Customer Name,” and then check the box “Import items from my Excel spreadsheet”. After you have done that, click “OK.”

You will see another dialog box that will pop up with four steps you will need to complete. Start by selecting the spreadsheet you want to upload.

The second step is to match up the data in the spreadsheet to the correct heading using the drop-down menus, then click “Next.”

From there, check all or some of the line items you want to import and click on the “Import estimate items” button.

You will see the estimate open. Click on the “Estimate costings” tab and check everything has imported correctly. Be sure to make any necessary changes. Then, in the top right-hand corner change the estimate from “Draft” to “Template”.

You did it! The estimate template will now live in the template section. You can view the template you created and use it again or set it as the default template. You can view your new template by clicking on “Estimates” in the left-hand navigation menu. Click on “Templates” in the second menu that pops up and click on “Templates” to see or use the newly created template.

Create a construction cost estimate template from an existing estimate

This option is useful if you want to use an estimate you previously created. It is very simple to do! You need to copy the previous estimate and then save it as a template.

First, click on “Estimates” in the left-hand navigation menu. Then, click on “Estimates” again in the second menu that pops up. This will show you the list of your current estimates. Look for the estimate you want to create a template from and click the blue “Copy” button to create a copy of the estimate.

A dialog box will pop out. Go ahead and fill out “Description”, “Building Type”, and enter an example “Customer Name.” Then, select the items that you would like to copy across to the template and click “OK.”

Go ahead and make any necessary updates to the estimate, and go to the top right-hand corner and change the status of the estimate to “Template”.

The template will now live in the template section. You can view the template and use it again or set it as the default template by clicking on “Estimates” in the left-hand navigation menu. Click on “Templates” in the second menu that pops up. Your new template should be showing at the top of the list.

Create a construction cost estimate template from a Buildxact template

This option is perfect if you like the Buildxact template, but you would like to make it more customized to your business. You can access and copy any of the Buildxact estimate templates to make your own.

Start by clicking on “Estimate” in the left-hand navigation menu. In the second menu that pops up, click on “Templates” and see the list of Buildxact estimates templates and find the estimate template you want to create a template from. Then, click the green plus (+) button to copy the Buildxact template you want to copy.

A dialog box will pop out. Fill out Description, Building Type, and enter an example Customer Name. Tick the items that you would like to copy across to the template. Click OK.

Make any necessary updates to the estimate, and go to the top right-hand corner and change the status of the estimate to “Template”.

The template will now be saved in the template section. To view the template you just created and use it again or set it as the default template. Click on “Estimates” in the left-hand navigation menu, in the second menu that pops out click on “Templates”, your new template should be showing at the top of the list.

Save time with customized construction estimate templates

Speed and accuracy are a custom home builder’s keys to success. Speed allows them to move through projects quickly to be able to take on more work and make more money, but accuracy is important because construction projects need to be completed the way the customer wants to ensure good customer satisfaction.

Just click on “Estimates/Templates” and choose from an existing construction estimate form and tweak it accordingly.  Or if you want to create a new construction estimate template, just click on the “New Template” green button on the right-hand side, and away you go.

Buildxact’s free estimate templates are a great tool to get you started. Once you work on more projects, you will be able to create custom templates based on what each construction project requires. Templates are a great way to make the construction project management process a bit simpler.

For more information about creating templates and answers to some FAQs, see: http://help.buildxact.com/en/articles/3038614-3-ways-to-create-a-template

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