About 6x6Builder.com Construction Estimating and Job Management System
We all know there are so many variables in construction, especially for New Construction and Remodeling contractors. Since 6x6Builder is more than just estimating, we have developed some helpful information to get you started on the path to success using the system.
Some Contractors are looking for a quick and easy way to Estimate, even using numbers for labor and materials from outside sources, or databases. By using their “quick and easy” methods, they are stuck providing estimates that are in reality...”guesses”...not estimates. The best Estimates come from hard work, and homework. This is where we can help.
Each job is broken down into Sections and Section Types. When creating your “Jobs Master” and within each Section Type, you can create a list of materials, that you would most likely need every time you built this Section Type (ie: subfloor, exterior walls and interior walls, etc..) You do this when you set up your Job Master Files so it is available for you on every job you create in the future. When estimating you will be reminded, “do you need this item”, if so, you will add the quantity needed for each item. When you add a quantity, the average price for this item will appear. (and the average price is computed from pricing you have received from your suppliers)
If you want, you can choose a particular supplier using the drop down feature. If you do not need an item, you just remove it. This does not affect your Master. You are only in one Job and one Section at any time. Whatever you do, will not affect any other job.
Creating a detail list of material can reduce your trips to the supplier. Missing items cost more than you think. You will use your estimate list of Mat for your P.O.s Add or Remove items at any time.
If you need an item that does not appear on your estimate list, click the add item button. You can Search for items several ways. By Category, Mfgs, Suppliers, Keywords, item #, upc code, sku # almost any way you can think of. Click and the item will appear on your estimate. If you cannot find an item in the system, You can create your own.
In today’s environment, customers are searching the web and finding Custom Items. When estimating you can simply create a custom item. For instance, a special Faucet, Light fixture, etc. Create a description, add a qty. and price. When you create a Custom Item, it is only for the job you are working in. If you want to use an item multiple times, in multiple jobs..you will actually need to create an item...which is easy to do.
Total Material Quotes
You may already utilize Total Material quotes for Truss or TJI packages, or you may want to itemize each item. Eventually you will need to make a materials list, so why not do it when you are estimating? Some say this is too time consuming, but it is easier than you think. You can create a list of Materials needed in your Master for each type of roofing, such as shingles, slate, tile, etc. By creating a detailed list including the small items such as hook utility blades or caulk, you enable these items to automatically appear in your estimates, and you decide if you need them or not. Just simply remove the items you do not need. Add the quantity and your price will appear from your local supplier, (if you have already requested pricing from them for these items before...if not simply create and send a Request for Quote for pricing) Creating itemized lists will help produce accurate Estimates, and reduce the amount of trips to suppliers, along with unwanted cost overruns.
Let’s say your Client knows they want a stainless sink, but they have no idea yet, of the size, quality, gauge, etc. When estimating in 6x6 you would place this item in the Allowances section, and give them the best guestimate as to price, making notes to qualify your numbers. Once they decide exactly what they want, you enter the item description and the price. You will be able to keep track of the costs (plus or minus) for each section. How much did they over run their Plumbing Fixtures, Lighting, Cabinets, etc?
Review or Print a job report at anytime. You can copy and paste custom items from manufacturer’s websites, right into your estimate or POs. In your Master file, you can pre-program each section to address all allowances.
Example Kitchen sinks. Good Kit-sink $ 200, Better Sink $300, Best Sink $400.00. When the customer finds what they want, simply add the item to the Allowance, using the Custom Item feature. Remember, Custom items are for this job only; you may never need to use the item again so there is no need to update your Master. When submitting your bid to your customer. You can give them a copy of the allowance report for their review. Using the 6x6 system, it is so easy to keep track of all the allowances. You are able to click and review at any time to see whether your customer is over or under, your estimated costs.
Give instructions to your Subcontractors, and Employees. Add building Codes, Safety Codes so your subs and employees know. Instructions are created in a Master file so they appear on every job you create by each section. This will help so you are not constantly repeating yourself. Add and remove instruction for each phase.
No job is the same. This also reduces extra charges from your subs, because you forgot to tell him to install certain items.
Ex: Rough-in sizes for windows, doors etc.
Ex: Add special request from your customers.
Ex: add rough-in instruction for Plumbing, Electrical etc. By Sections
Use as an inspection checklist when each Phase is completed. All builders have some sort of Standard Operating Procedures (S.O.P) As you work with so many different Subcontractors and Employees, you need to give them specific instructions on what material to use when and where. Each job is different. If not they may use the material differently than the way it was estimated. this may cause you to return items or order more material. This can cause downtime or you may need to drop everything and make a special trip to the supplier. This will cost you, time and money. Add instructions in your master files to address any circumstance, on any job. They will appear when estimating. Review and Remove the instructions that do not pertain to this job. Not only will this remind you what you need to address, but also it will save you from missing something that is important. There are many times when a customer asks you to do something special. Example; Add a receptacle in the master bedroom closet, or install a hose bib at the bottom garage door. These are request that need to
be addressed when your Subs are roughing in the electrical or plumbing. If you add these request, to your instructions then you won’t forget about them. They will be added to your Subs Contract if using the 6x6 Contract feature.
Create a binding contract with the dollar Amount, Add Instructions, and a list of Material, with the Qty. (but without prices,) so your sub can confirm the delivery is complete. Don’t share your special materials price with anyone.
Create a contract by Labor only, Labor and Material, or by each Component. Such as, number of blocks to install or number of windows to install etc.
Keep track of man-hours by each phase of construction. How much time does it take an employee to install a door or window etc., this helps you schedule the time you need to complete each phase of the job.
How much time did you allow for trips to the supplier? You should address this Time, when estimating all of your work.
Keep track of construction notes by each section, add the different formulas you use when estimating. Keep or create these notes in your Masters files, they will appear when estimating. When sending for a material quote, add a note for your rep, ie: (can you have these prices back to me by Wed?) How long are these prices good for? As you create a new job, you add special job notes to remind you of situations that are not normal. There are times when only you know you need to address a situation that requires special items or labor. Keeping job notes organized can be very confusing but if you keep them by each job and by section, they appear when you are estimating or ordering material. These notes can also help your Rep or estimator produce a more accurate estimate. Also, add special request from your customers. Many times when you bid a job, it can take the customer months to decide but when you review the job, your notes appear.
Using the Master Notes feature. You can create formulas for the way you calculate your estimate. We all have different ways of estimating. When estimating you need to have a clear head and it is easy to look and review your formulas to help. (Example) how many blocks can you lay with one 80 lb bag of mortar? (40-42) How many bags do you need to lay 2000 blocks? (50 bags.) How much sand do you need? Using a 3 to 1 mix, you will need 240 lb of sand for one bag of mortar. So 50 x 240 = 12000 lb converted into tonnage = 6 ton. Allow for waste. As you use the 6x6 system, you will be able to create formulas for any phase of construction. Therefore you may not need to rely on others to do your take-offs. As your company grows, training an estimator can be so much easier and less time consuming.
Creating a job
Create as many Jobs as you want (there are no limits and no extra charges) Keep track of all jobs (by job # or Property address) Directions to the job/project. (how many times do you tell your suppliers or subs where your job is?)
Job Memo (Who is my client. How can I contact them, what is their ph# or email?) Start by choosing the Sections and Types that pertain to this Job. Always choose a Type. WARNING, if you do not choose a Type, your Material or other information will NOT appear when estimating!
View all of my Jobs
At any time, you can click and review any job. Let us say you did a job 5 yrs ago. (your customer called and needs to know. “What color are my shingles?”) Open their Job # and go to the detail screen. Click on roofing. You will view the Color, Mfg. and supplier. There are many other benefits when reviewing Jobs. When did I do this Job? Who was my Subcontractor? What employee did I use? Etc.
Copy Jobs or Models
There are many times when jobs a very similar, to save time estimating simply copy the job and create a new job. Your pricing will be updated immediately. Then you can modify or customize each section for colors and other items.
Once you have created a new job, you began estimating. Click on Details. choose any section and begin working. You can estimate all Material, Allowance, create Job instruction, and address Subcontractors and Company Labor all at one time, or you can choose to estimate Material only, and then do your allowances, instructions, Subs, and Labor Individually. It is your choice. As you complete your estimate, you will mark it as Estimate complete, needs new pricing. On the other hand, if pricing has been updated recently then you mark it as Estimate Complete. While you were creating your job you added notes to each section, now whoever is estimating this section will be able to review your notes by each section. You can also review your Master notes with formulas on how you want to estimate each section. You can show or hide these notes. It is your choice.
At any time you can review a total price for all your Material, Allowances, Subcontractors and Labor, or you can click and view each section for price totals.
You need to know where you are going and where you have been at all times. Just “Click it”
Material Quotes and RFQs
Sending for updated Material prices is very simple. Click on Quotes, Select a Section or many sections, another screen will appear with a list of your materials. Add a Note to your supplier: such as (please price these items asap, or How long are these prices good for). Any note that relates to this request. Then choose a supplier from a drop down screen. You can choose several suppliers if you want. Click and choose Email or Fax. Your supplier will receive an email with your notes and instructions on what they need to do. They open a link and add the prices, then send it back to you. You are notified on your control center page. Open the file to review prices if you like what you see, click the accept button and your prices are updated from this particular supplier. Also any job you have in the estimate mode, the system will updated prices automatically. This keeps all your jobs updated. Note; there are many times when your customers delay their project for months so this system keeps your entire job pricing updated. Remember these prices are from your local supplier and they are not regional or ball park.
Keep in Mind
The system has two ways to update your material prices. Fax or Email
Click on Quotes, Choose the section you need updated prices for, Choose your supplier, Choose Fax or Email.
If you choose Fax you need to print out your material list then fax it to your supplier when they return your quote you will need to up-date your prices manually. This is time consuming and unnecessary. There are too many chances for human error. Faxing has become obsolete. If your Supplier insist on faxing, let him do it, but keep hounding him to start using email, and explain all the benefits of doing so. If you choose Email, you simply choose the section or sections you want updated prices. Then choose the supplier or suppliers. Add a note; Click and Send quote. Your supplier will receive an email with a Link, and any note or information you want them to address. They open the link, add the price of each item and send the quote back to you via. You will be notified on your control center page. Open and review the quote, look for errors. Accept, Reject, or View later. If you accept, your new item prices will be updated automatically by each supplier. Yes you can compare prices from different suppliers with just a click. No your supplier does not need to have an account with 6x6.
Your Supplier, Subs, Superintendent, anybody that knows a particular phase of construction, can use the Take Offs feature. This works the same way as the Quote feature, except your Rep can add Qtys. and the price. You will be notified on the control center page when you receive it back. Click the accept button and your section is updated. If you send a take-off to several Reps you can compare them for accuracy. When you use this feature you will be sending a complete list of items for their review. This will reduce missing items that can be overlooked when estimating. Ie; screws nails etc. This also reduces trips to the suppliers for those items you may have missed when estimating solo.
Take-Offs by Sections or Phases
Trying to do a take-off of the complete Framing project can be very complicated.
If you break it down into different Sections then it is much easier, because you are only thinking of the Subfloor or Exterior walls or Interior walls. You created a complete and complex list of material that you may use on any Section in your master file. You may have 25 or more items that you want to address. No job is the same, there are too many variables. When doing a take-off all the items appear. This reminds you; if you need the item, add the quantity or if you do not need an item, click and remove the item. When you add the quantity, the price from your local supplier will appear.
Review and print a General Job cost report. Review or print an Allowance report.
Or you can print any page in the system, it’s your choice. Keep in mind paper hard copies are not necessary in today’s environment.
Keep track of the costs plus or minus for all your jobs. You can review anytime; do not wait until the end of the month or when the job is completed. It is too late to adjust. Also keep in mind your estimate can be used for your P.O.s but you can add and remove items at any time.
This is where you store your information by each Section and Type or Phase of any project. You can create as many Masters as you choose. You may have Model Homes or different sizes of garages, decks, etc.
What is a Section?
A Section is a Phase of any construction project, such as Excavation, Foundation, Framing, Roofing, Siding, Plumbing, Electrical, HVAC, Cabinets etc.
6x6 has created over one hundred different sections for you to consider. If you do not find what you need you can create your own Phase, so you are not limited.
Trying to estimate a complete frame can be confusing. Therefore, you break it down into more Sections, such as First Sub Floor, Exterior Walls First Floor, Interior Walls First Floor, Second Sub Floor, Exterior Walls Second Floor etc.
What is a Type?
A Type is part of a Section. Such as Subfloor. You create different Types of subfloors such as 10” conventional, 12” conventional, 9 ½” TJIs, 11 7/8” TJIs . When creating a project you choose the Section and all the different Types appear, then you decide which Type you need for this project. When you click on 10” conventional all the material you need will appear when you are estimating. These items come from your master that you have created, do not miss those misc. items. Include nails, screws, saw blades and staples.
We have attempted to cover most every aspect of the system within this detail page, and or the site videos. But please, feel free to email Nick, if you are stuck or have any questions about the system, estimating, the thought process, etc.
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