GreenBeans

Using Chief Architect as an Estimating Software

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I would like to know if Chief Architect can be used as an estimating software to potentially replace our current estimating system, QuickBooks. It would be ideal to use ONE program for our designs, buy lists, and estimates for customers. Is Chief Architect capable of doing this?

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maybe

 

your should contact CA's sales team and discuss your needs

 

Lew

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On 3/29/2018 at 2:33 PM, GreenBeans said:
I would like to know if Chief Architect can be used as an estimating software to potentially replace our current estimating system, QuickBooks. It would be ideal to use ONE program for our designs, buy lists, and estimates for customers. Is Chief Architect capable of doing this?

 

I would say NO , since Chief's ML only has in it EXACTLY what you Model , if it's not in the model it's not in the ML , and it does not estimate like any Industry Standard Program or use Industry standard methods, it calculates square footages, lengths , volumes etc.....I would not use it to Bid a Job that's for sure.

C.A. needs to collaborate with a Good Quantity Surveyor to expand the ML and make it work as expected by Industry Professionals , this year we gained the ability to add our own macros to the ML but it isn't for the faint of Heart , since you need a working knowledge of the Ruby Programming Code.

 

One simple example , in my current Kitchen Reno, the Room is 205sqft , so that's how much tile it allows for in the ML , except for the fact there is 30 sqft of Cabinets etc in the Room with no tile under them...

 

It calculates all drywall as 4x8 sheets , unless you use 10ft, 12ft etc sheets in the model ....who has time for that? the program should know a 10ft wall get a 10' sheet etc etc.

 

The opposite of that is Concrete Blocks which it usually underestimates as it only calculates the Square footage in the model, haven't check that in the latest version actually, maybe they have fixed that one?

 

Currently there is still no way to use a Template for the ML either so you can't set up a Base system and have it just fill in the numbers, each ML is attached to each Plan File , you can import Line Items from the Master File but you have to do that for EACH and EVERY Plan.

 

M.

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an alternative is to create the model in Chief

 

then create floorplans and elevations etc as .JPG's or maybe .PDF's

 

and use them with Planswift to do the estimating

 

not sure if CADEST is still in business, it used to have interface with Chief

 

Lew

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I have spoken with several users of Chief recently that use Chief for estimating and take-off estimation. The make break of such use is YOUR competent and methodical use of Chief in terms of carefully creating your .plan file. Your resulting materials list's veracity will depend upon how well it mirrors your actual, real-world structure. Most of us use Chief to create plans and 3D renderings and as such those do not require near perfection to serve their purpose, whereas for a Materials List the 3D construct must be near perfect to do so. If you are willing to learn Chief to a high degree of competence then, yes, go for it, otherwise leave that job to professional take-of specialists.

 

DJP

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On ‎3‎/‎31‎/‎2018 at 7:46 PM, DavidJPotter said:

I have spoken with several users of Chief recently that use Chief for estimating and take-off estimation. The make break of such use is YOUR competent and methodical use of Chief in terms of carefully creating your .plan file. Your resulting materials list's veracity will depend upon how well it mirrors your actual, real-world structure. Most of us use Chief to create plans and 3D renderings and as such those do not require near perfection to serve their purpose, whereas for a Materials List the 3D construct must be near perfect to do so. If you are willing to learn Chief to a high degree of competence then, yes, go for it, otherwise leave that job to professional take-of specialists.

 

DJP

Well said & true.

 

To the original poster - using chief for takeoffs can actually work pretty well, but you need to be meticulous, and be familiar with the use of macros.  Also you will need to put in the time for set up and maintenance.  That said, I personally don't take full advantage because of the time involved, and mainly use it for small projects for spot needs like calculating sq.ft. of roofing, or drywall, or a stud count, etc.

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If you are still interested in trying to use Chief's Material List for estimating etc

 

then contact Joey Martin as I believe he has a method worked out that involves meticulous detail

and then exporting to Excel for extensive massaging of the data - but he claims it works and is worth it

 

Lew

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