Let’s look at a few examples of the tools I’ve built, along with the efficiencies and opportunities they’re providing. So, what are some common things to consider when generating an accurate estimate?
- Visual Measurement Tools
- Equipment Tracking
- Monitoring Project Phases
- Revision Documentation
- QA/QC Reporting
0:24 Visual Estimation Markups – There are great measurement tools included in Revu allowing you to calculate the area of slabs, the volume of isolated pad footings, or linear footage of strip footings, but why take measurements scribbling separate notes and running cost calculations when Revu can do all of that for you in the background. It’s like drawing in a coloring book that has a concrete estimate calculator included. Standard measurement tools can be built with colors, hatch patterns, and labels built in to clearly mark materials or finishes. With these tools, you can quickly color in the lines of the drawings and have quantities calculated automatically. In this video, you’ll see we are not only calculating the volume of concrete, but also the steel reinforcing inside the concrete. The ability to sort and filter our markups also allows us to build categories like design mix, hand-formed, or machine and add calculations for fiber mesh or welded-wire-fabric without adding additional markups. Sounds like a pretty complete concrete slab cost estimator tool.
9:45 Equipment Required – When certain equipment is required for a job like forms, trucks, curb & crosspan machines, or any rental equipment. If you create custom markups for each of these, you could allocate a cost per day and indicate the number of days required. These costs will also roll up in the total estimate for that Phase. Wouldn’t it be great if you had a list of all the areas on the job site requiring rental equipment so you can jump from one to the other avoiding repeat rental contracts and partial days?
11:04 Project Phases are always important to ensure the correct equipment, materials and crews are on-site when scheduled. In Revu we can designate certain areas of a development plan with phases. Inside these areas, we do our typical estimate markups, but they are categorized by the phase name in the markups list. Furthermore, we can use the Status column in the markups list to indicate when pours are complete which can filter those out of the phase until completion.
Finish Requirements – Just like some of the other parameters listed above we can apply different types of finishes when required. If there is a 5% increase in labor costs because the slab surface is stamped and stained to look like wood panels, this can be built into all the formulas so all you need to do is select the finish. If you know there are 300 linear feet of saw cut required on-site, maybe the saw is $700 a day and the labor is 125 feet per day. This can be captured with a little creativity in the custom tools. These can also be differentiated visually by adding hatch patterns or colored highlights to the markup of that area. For some General Contractors having a bid delivered with a clear visual understanding of the project gives them confidence you understand the scope and price it with every detail in mind. It also shows your commitment to the deliverable. Clear markups and detail scopes also reduce the risk in the field of applying the wrong finish or simply forming something by hand when it was estimated using a machine.
14:32 Revisions and Scope Changes – There are a few tools that are a game-changer for a lot of my customers. One is developing Sets to allow for Slip Sheeting when revisions are submitted. The others are Document Compare and Overlay Pages. Combining these tools, we can slip revised drawings into our stack of PDFs, keep the previous version underneath for reference, and even stamp the old one superseded. Then like magic, all the estimating markups copy onto the new drawing. After comparing the drawings to find where all the changes are and overlaying them to see what changes were made, simply adjust your existing markups to fit the new wall or slab layout. All your measurements will update along with all your calculations. You also have a plan with all the changed areas you can include in your revised fee and scope of work. No more trying to figure out how you calculated that slab 4 weeks ago and what fuzzy math you applied, it’s all in the markups.
16:37 QA/QC – When the project is complete and you perform a final walk-through, you can do a punch list noting any damage caused by other subs. Maybe a sidewalk was cracked by the truck delivering landscaping stones. You can mark the plan by adding notes, images, or even a video of it happening.
Bluebeam, Revu, eXtreme, Bluebeam Vu, Studio, Batch Link, and Punchkey, are registered trademarks of Bluebeam Inc., used under license.