Cmiller

Estimating

Recommended Posts

47 minutes ago, Cmiller said:

Has anyone used Chief for estimating? How accurate is the takeoff?


it depends ENTIRELY on how accurate your model is and whether you configure all the various settings appropriately or not so that the material list can properly report what you want it to and how you want it to.  Quick example...

 

Forget to actually frame the floor system and your floor framing portion of the estimate will be completely wrong.  Or, frame and model everything perfectly and set your walls not to report to the material list and your wall framing portion of the estimate will be totally wrong.  
 

All modeling and settings done correctly and appropriately, I’ve found Chief to be quite accurate.  There are a few areas where their calculation methods are a little debatable, but all within an acceptable margin of error as far as I’m concerned.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, it look to me like it will take a lot of time to set it up and could be prone to errors. Is there a way to upload vendors, pricing etc from excel as well as calculation formulas? Does Chief provide any sort of instructional that would walk one through the setup process? 

Thanks again

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Cmiller said:
  1. it look to me like it will take a lot of time to set it up
  2. and could be prone to errors.
  3. Is there a way to upload vendors pricing etc from excel
  4. as well as calculation formulas
  5. Does Chief provide any sort of instructional that would walk one through the setup process? 

 

Thanks again

 

I think you'll find the Answers are

  1. Yes
  2. Yes
  3. No     (copy and paste only)
  4. No     (copy and paste only)
  5. No... not a step by step but there are a few short Tutorials and Videos though

 

https://www.chiefarchitect.com/support/category/59/materials-list.html

or

https://www.chiefarchitect.com/videos/playlists/104/24-materials-lists.html

 

 

Be aware too that the ML is not dynamic , it does NOT update as you build the Model and is basically a snapshot in time.

 

*Several Members do Cost Estimating like Basketball Man , see the Offering Forum , I think he also teaches how to do it...

 

M.

 

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

another consideration is use software like Planswift

and coordinate with Chief 

 

Lew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the help guys, I will check out the videos and try to find this Basketball Man

Clint

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also get hung up on the pricing. Client's ask all the time what this will cost. I hate the generic "standard minimum construction costs are $185 per sf". It would be great to give a semi-accurate price and some basic material takeoffs. But what's the best resource for prices?

 

Means books have gotten crazy expensive. Craftsman National Estimator are more reasonable and has a direct export line item program free with their book. You can also buy the online Suite of estimating programs I think for $200, with updates for the year.

 

Those resources still aren't very accurate for local conditions. And it's hard to find prices for, and keep them up to date, for non-standard items, or specific manufactuers. Most lumber yards have garbage websites with no listed prices. Using the web to search Home Depot and Lowes only gets you so far. I had to use Menard's website (midwest) to price out I-joist's because no one locally has listed prices. I guess one way to go is grab a set of your drawings and occasionally send them to the local yard for pricing ($150 to $300 fee). Then take their estimate and add it's line items to your Chief Master Price list. But that seems pretty stupid.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a builder I have prices per square foot, or linear foot from all of my subs.  All I do with Chief is get theses square and linear footages.

For electrical fixtures, plumbing fixtures, cabinetry, fireplaces etc, I give my customers budget amounts for them not to exceed when shopping.

Of course, you have to have already built a few homes to gain this info.  You also have to keep track of project costs for future reference.

I'm assuming most of you are not building so in that case I would just call up a few sub-trades in your area and ask them their rates.

For the fixtures, you can visit showrooms and pick out what you would need for a project or get them to quote based off a plan.  

I can't imagine the horror show it must be if you would try to play with Chief's estimating tools for this purpose.

 I would not feel confident giving a client a price based on software wizardry. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

  • Member Statistics

    28009
    Total Members
    6254
    Most Online
    MattBlanc
    Newest Member
    MattBlanc
    Joined