Need estimate forms
Anyone have a resource for downloadable estimating sheets for stone or solid-surface countertops? I’m working on updating several different worksheets I use, and I don’t have anything for tops other than laminate. Now that I’m back to selling the total project, I need a form that’s easily used and understood so that my showroom manager isn’t looking at a bunch of hand-scratched notes if I’m not available. Thought I could save time by using something already worked out for me.
I’ve checked some of the business form sites and NKBA – lots of estimate forms, but I really need the worksheet for footage, cutouts, etc. Didn’t see anything on the Natural Stone Council or Marble Assoc. websites.
I don't know of any, but I would make my own with Excel.
Did you change jobs?
Yeah, changed showrooms in the past 4 months. For my previous showroom I was just freelancing, and there had been some problems with my orders getting processed and delivered. Late last year that owner asked me to come back under my previous arrangement, and he was going to provide me an installer again instead of my having to wrestle with finding one for my jobs. He was going to get the showroom into shape also.
Then, however, he lost a major account, his brother who'd been helping with the business died, and then his wife wanted a divorce. He decided to cut back to minimal staff and work with the remaining account alone(which still leaves him doing about 1 million per year). So I was out.
Then a colleague left her employer after a major disagreement and decided to open a showroom. She asked me if I wanted to do outside sales for her and maybe cover the showroom a bit in the future. We have the same approach to this business, so it sounded like a good bet. She pays for my samples and similar expenses, the advertising, etc. Previously that was all my expense.
So I'm starting over again, which means I'll have to find another part-time job until I can get some jobs rolling. But I think my chances are better with her than anyone else I've met in this area.
How's things with you??
Sounds like one of those difficult-at-the-time transitions that will work out for the best in the end. I like the stuff you came up with for Madscientist. If you wanted to move up to Maine I think we could find room for you in the design office here.
We're fairly busy, and I've been really busy with a new house and a big remodel in progress right now (I'm doing design and project management, with the occasional carpentry item).
We advertise in a lot of the local magazines, and are working on a new ad focusing on kitchen remodels since it's an area we do well in and there are a lot of reasonably-priced local woodworkers.
Which brings me back around to your original question. We just use Word-generated proposals, Excel-generated estimating spreadsheets, and use Quickbooks for billing. I can't share them with you, my boss has some "secret" formulas in there, but it's not too hard to generate your own if you know how to use Excel.
Glad you like what I did for Daniel. It was just a matter of getting rid of a redundant door to free up some room for cabinets. Space planning is my favorite part of any project!
Mike, right now I'd love to move anyplace where I could have a future. I think I'm a really good designer, but HSV just isn't big enough to have the employers I need. I'm hoping to get my Associate K&B certification in the spring so that I can sit for the CKD exam in the fall.
We're just trapped until my husband retires, which should be in a couple of years. Then I'll be looking around the country, even tho I'd hate leaving my friends here. It beats not having money to retire on..
Haven't considered Maine, but who knows?
Sounds like you are doing well, and I'm happy for you!
Re the forms, I use some standard NKBA forms for estimating. These are just the type you fill out, and that works fine for me. I have my own worksheet for cabinets, but I just fill it out by hand as it works better for me. I've used Excel some, but no pro, for sure.
BTW, what are you guys drawing with?
As a Maine resident I'm supposed to tell people not to move here, but it is a nice place to live.
We're drawing with Autocad LT, but want to learn to use Sketchup better to create 3D images. We do everything from custom furniture to multi-million dollar homes and everything in between, new and remodeling, so flexibility is key. I'd like to learn one of the object-based programs but it's a significant investment.
I'll keep your secret about Maine :)
Right now I'm drawing on AutoCad LT myself. I lost my 20-20 key when I changed showrooms, and the ProKitchen software we tried for the new business was just too early in the development stages to be much help. It was much cheaper than 20-20, but pretty restrictive.
20-20 with 2 keys is going to run over $7000 - way too much in my opinion. I got the Punch Arch 3 software awhile back, but I haven't devoted much time to learning it yet, so I don't know how valuable it is. Never tried Sketch-Up, but I know lots of BT'ers use it.
If I come across anything that looks like a good bet, I'll sure let you know!
20-20 with 2 keys is going to run over $7000 - way too much in my opinion.
Amen to that, and it really only pays if the product line is fully supported in 20-20, otherwise, it's often as much work as drawing it your ownself.Occupational hazard of my occupation not being around (sorry Bubba)
I'll bet you've shared my frustration with mfr's catalogs that don't work properly and so don't accurately price either. Not 20-20's problem, but a frustrating by product.
I had the best luck with Woodharbor and Wellborn catalogs; everyone else's I had required hand-pricing.
I will say that 20-20 has come a long way since I started with it, and they've made many improvements. And, being pretty much the only game in town, they can get away with charging what they like.
I think that ProKitchen will give them a run for it in a few years. They have good customer service, but right now they are focused on their graphics, which are good, but not all-important to many.
I'll bet you've shared my frustration with mfr's catalogs that don't work properly and so don't accurately price either. Not 20-20's problem, but a frustrating by product
Actually, my primary experience is in being the manufacturer, but one that does not build to the "normal" box model, and with a completely detached pricing model. While also up agains a management positions of "everybody else can" despite the fact that the company was following a business model used by less than 1% of the industry (and was not going to change any aspect of the business model they were using--and yes, a number of them had pointy hair).Occupational hazard of my occupation not being around (sorry Bubba)
Yeah, 20-20 fails there. If you're not adapted to the "catalog" format, the program then becomes just a handy, but way overpriced drawing tool.
The 2 lines I work with now both have stand alone pricing software, so I can at least enter my info into their programs and get accurate pricing without flipping catalog pages.
While we're talking software, what are you drawing 3-D with? My new boss and I are looking for something in lieu of 20-20.
While we're talking software, what are you drawing 3-D with?
Well, technically, I've been out of that game for most of a decade--flat gave up beating my head against production needs versus unrealistic expectations bu management.
I had started developing a scheme to use Solid Works to model the parts needed for the production process. That would havebeen a real money maker--if managment had really wasnt ed change from their automated yellow-legal-pad cutlist methodology.
I had a half-decent pseudo-catalog built for CabinetVision, but the sales force wanted it to be smarter than all of the employees, and to price, too, and to cipher in how to CYA when the sales weenie strecthed 48" sheet goods out to 50, 54" wide, too. Management would not change from the red & blue pencil pseudo-automated pricing system, either--so that was a no-go.
If I need custom case work, I'll use ACAD to draw it as needed, mostly because I have it, and can use it with some skill. If I really want to, I can actually use the same model information to make shop-style drawings, or a quick-n-dirty rendering.Occupational hazard of my occupation not being around (sorry Bubba)
Yeah, I'm back to AutoCad LT for now. At least I'm beginning to get my block library built back up again, so it's moving faster.
Still, I do miss the instant 3-D from 20-20, but my customers seem to be OK with just the elevations. Maybe it's just me who likes the pretty pictures :)
customers seem to be OK with just the elevations
Can be better. Ever try to do a whiz-bang 3D shot of a minimal 14' x 18' with the required micro-island in it?
Or one of the barge-kitchens with aircraft-carrier islands? Almost as bad.Occupational hazard of my occupation not being around (sorry Bubba)
Or one of the barge-kitchens with aircraft-carrier islands
I love that description!! I did a kitchen last year with an l-shaped configuration and an l-shaped island to match that was 10'+ each leg. I think that one qualifies!
I've actually had to copy drawings in 20-20 and remove walls to get the perspectives I needed, but generally it's because the spaces are small!
Do you need an Excel worksheet to do the calculations?
Or do you need a paper form that you can fill out with jobsite measurments and notes?
I did a thread on step by step designing simple Excel worksheets.
It just shows you how to work alot of basic Excel tools. But I am no pro either.
If you like any of the formats there you can just copy and paste on to a open excel worksheet and use it.
In Excel help there are a number of downloadable templates. I doudt there is any thing for countertops but there are alot of templates.
I don't work much with stone countertops. I am in general remodeling and repair.
Thanks a bunch!
I was looking for a form to fill-out by hand similar to the one I used when I worked at HD. It was practically fool-proof and was easy to understand. I may see if I can beg one from someone in the kitchen dept. next time I'm there.
Ideally, I'd like a form that could be in Excel also for those times when I'm entering things on the computer, which I don't do much now.