Add Disclaimer To Material List


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Is there any way to add a DISCLAIMER to the Material List?  :mellow:


To clarify my question, I'm referring to a disclaimer like the one that is shown on page 1225 of the Chief Architect X6 Reference Manual:


"The Materials List is based on certain 

assumptions that may not match your
building style. Chief Architect makes no representation
as to the accuracy or reliability of the
Materials List generated by Chief Architect.
Always compare the Materials List with a manual
take-off before providing a quote or ordering
materials for a job." 
And yes, I could just take the time add the disclaimer to each of the exported lists, but, like many of the questions/requests you will see in the forum, my question is aimed at SAVING A LITTLE TIME on what would be a very simple task performed by the software.  
Does anyone have a suggestion that would actually answer my question??
Edited by William
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ahhhh  not quite Joey ,there are numerous errors with calculations , has been for years eg this thread from late last year , it is one of my pet peeves with CA, As a remodeler I had hoped to use this feature extensively but it is essentially a waste of time , since the program doesn't allow for many of the smaller items either , eg bolts, hangers , nails , glue and on an on.


I'm thinking a disclaimer is a good idea but it basically makes the ML useless ,certainly not good enough for Bidding, though I'd be happy if you or someone else can show me the error of my ways...

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The materials list is accurate to what is in the model


In my statement above.....there are no hangers, glue, etc in the model. It does however count anchor bolts based on the spacing you tell it to. What calculations are wrong? My builders use the list a lot...never a problem.


And Lew, enough already. If you are still using a bunch of "workarounds" to build your models than you need to switch to AutoCAD LT.

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CA states in the manual the ML is only as good as the model

with all the "workarounds" that Chief needs the OOB ML should be verified very carefully for accuracy

with lots of manual tweaking - then maybe ???


What does OOB stand for Lew?

I agree with Lew about the accuracy as I will do all my calculations manualy as well.

As to omition of all tiny Items, thats when estimating comes in.

You can always specify these inadequacies on you own disclamer an recomend a manual ckeck but I would think that any reasonable building contractor would do this anyway.

We are still asking Chief to give us more control over the ML so we can get a more complete and accurate ML.

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If you are still using a bunch of "workarounds" to build your models than you need to switch to AutoCAD LT




this is BS and you know it ....


there are a "zillion" workarounds in Chief

they have been discussed "ad naseum" on this forum


I've been on this forum for a decade and you are one of a handful

that find the ML to be "wonderful"


maybe you can do videos on how you use it

so others can learn


cause I hear nothing but complaints about it not being "accurate"

and "not ready for prime time"



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OOB = Out Of the Box   ie as setup by Chief automatically when 1st installed.



I guess you didn't read the thread I linked to above Joey ?  you will find others too if you do a quick search


at other times it completely misses things like the Studs on furred walls etc.


Unfortunately it doesn't follow Industry standard QS practices and since we can't in anyway "alter" how it calculates things ,we can't even fix it ourselves so, it is hard to trust. For example on a current Arbor project if I generate a "Buy" list for where I am going to buy a 14' 9 3/4"  3x8 for a Rafter?  Everybody knows you need to buy a 16' but that's not what is listed. If it had one or two bugs you knew about you could work around them but ,there is no good way to determine what it get right and doesn't , AFAIK anyway.... 


as I said I'd be happy to be shown it's "User Error" , since I had hoped this would be a major Time saver for me. 

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Could be user error!


I have no trouble getting the Material List to include a 16' piece of 3"x8" lumber for a 14' 93/4" rafter. 

Have you edited the Buy List to tell Chief what you can buy - Chief can't do it all for you! 


What is the problem with studs on furred walls?


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I admit I have not played with it in X7 , so don't know if it has improved or not ?  I literally just got X6 ( now X7 Beta) , and have not tried that particular plan again in either . The Thread linked above was in X6 back in Dec and Jan I think and there were issues with a simple test 10'x10' CBS/CBU building.


It could also be that I look at a materials list from a Builder's/ Contractor's point of view , not an Architect's which is likely different, though I am not the only one to make these comments , there is possibly a number of us that don't quite "get" CA's (poor) documentation about the ML.


Guess I should have another play in a test plan and check things out...



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Share on other sites I had not added my 3x8 to the Buy list however it was on the ML just not at the Buy length , this is fault is showing in my test plan below too , though I have not figured out why my spec'd 2x10 Rafters are in the ML and Framing overview as 2x4's  , too late tonight to delve deeper into that but I might need to go back to beginner school :)



Ok I had a play with a test 20'x20' with no foundation, and have not got my calculator out to test actual sqfts etc but some things straight off that don't meet a "buy list" or real world situation.


BTW there a default way to add waste? (called "extra" in ML I think) since no QS (or Builder) in the real world would do a take off with out it either?


Rafters lengths are showing as 22'10", which you can't buy at least not here, special order ?, though I think this is actually the sub fascia though not called that


Rafters lengths are showing as  7'8 5/8"  ,should be 8' on a buy list


Ridges are actually the hip rafters I think since there is no ridge ...


I have never seen 6"x96" wall insulation

not sure where they typically insulate floors with 12" Batt but maybe an anomaly since I didn't build the Foundation to keep the ML simple.


On a 20x20 , you would buy 10' sheets of drywall for both the Ceiling and walls to reduce butt joints , seems everything is calculate in 4'x8' sheets, here the wall sheets would also be 54"x120" sheets too since 9' stud height


why does it show the Ceiling sqft "Color" and not the Wall sqft "Color" , which is the Paint I assume ,which ITRW would typically get 3 coats not one too.


The Test plan

ML Test Plan_X6.plan



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You really need to delve into the tools you are describing above and learn to use them properly - which you are not presently doing.

You are expecting too much of Chief to give it all to you in the format you want without a bit of preparation.

How is Chief meant to know what your buy lengths are or the size of your drywall panels? You need to tell Chief these things if the defaults aren't what you want. 

You need to learn how to set up the defaults so that when you ask for the information from Chief, you get what you want.




You need to edit the default Buy List or create a new one so that it reports the information in the manner you want.

You can manually add waste in the Extra column.

Your roof is only built with the smaller rafters. 

The paint color is in the Ceiling Finish spec. 

There is no paint finish on the walls, so why would you expect that in a ML?

If you want more colors or coats - add them.

If you want a different drywall size - define the material with the correct size.


etc, etc.....


As far as I can tell the material list is reporting exactly what Chief is set up to report.

If you don't want it that way, you need to set things up to suit your situation so that materials get reported the way you want.

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in a thread from 2009 you stated:


I am going to be completely honest, and this will hurt.

 For those that keep telling users that an accurate model is to hard to achieve, do us a favor and delete your account, sell your copy of Chief, and go to work selling Kirby vacuums or some such s*@t. I am so over hearing that load of crap...that I **** near just threw my laptop across the f'in room.

 It may take you an hour...maybe...and after a few models, that time will shrink accordingly. So if you are posting tens of thousands of post, have worked with Chief since version 1 or 2 or whatever, and still believe that perfect models are only created by peter pan, or leprechauns at the end of the rainbow...then please do us a frigin favor and quit!!


this "debate" was on-going when I joined the forum in 2004

and is still going on


if the ML was as you state then when so many threads about its short-comings ???


These are just some of the threads from the old forum

there are many, many more


I don't use the ML - never have

and now that I'm retired  - never will


my only interest is to get CA to recognize that the ML has issues

and has had issues for over a decade


I think it is wonderful that it works for you

but others should be aware that the ML has short-comings

and without a lot of manual tweaking may not be reliable



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Where do I sign up??  :)

First we need a guru who will volunteer to teach it.  Anybody available?  If no one is available,  I will try to figure it out in the next couple of weeks and put it together.  I am having more clients ask for this.  The real reason that I have been so hesitant to learn it is I do mostly remodels.  It seems like it would be twice the work since somehow I need to be able to distiguish between new rafters and existing rafters,  or new concrete footings and existing.  A lot more work with setting  up the model.

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I know there is some info for energy calc's in the ML, useful for the calc's, Other than that, I really haven't used it at all. Also, it's almost too much, to set it up to be accurate for remodels. I have my new walls and existing walls but there is much more setup for those. Not sure if I could ever get remodels very accurate. Yes good topic for a workshop to learn all about it.

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Chief will not report something that isn't there, and will report everything that is there. It's that simple.




that is the whole point


if it was THAT simple then why do so many users have so many problems ???


I didn't say the ML was worthless or forever inaccurate


I said it may not be reliable OOB and

will probably need lots of manual tweaks to be accurate


and each workaround adds to the probability of "issues"



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The materials list doesn't need "that many tweeks" if the model is accurate. One example is in the post above somewhere about drywall. Of course his materials list was wrong....he modeled it that way. If you model with the defaults set up like you want to build the structure, then the materials list will be correct.


Your turning user error and frustration into statements of fact, and it isn't fair to CA or to those that want to use the information. You can't personally attest to the accuracy or ease of use of the tool, so stop insinuating that it's worthless. Many...MANY..of the frustrations with the Material List are in fact user error, and poor modeling. Now that statement I present as fact...none of yours are.

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IN remodeling using the material list would be impractical.  I often draw things in for presentation that are not going to be touched at all except MAYBE a fresh coat of paint.  Recently designed a deck using polyline solids for beams and stone pillars.  That would not present in the material list.  I actually tried using framed walls with a stone finish "just to see" and it played havoc with things.  I am not faulting Chief.  I accept it.  The program can't be all things for all people.  What it gives in one are it takes away in another.  (The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away).  ;o)

See the attached render references above and let me know if there is an accurate way to construct the stone columns and boxed beams and have the material in the material list.



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