Excel Sheet For Estimating

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by jg244888, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. jg244888

    jg244888 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    Does anyone have a excel sheet you could post that you just fill in to figure out your exact costs
  2. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,569

    You may buy my super duper estimating system for $500.00. Pretty good stuff.

    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. SDLandscapes VT

    SDLandscapes VT LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 581

    well said DVS--why should we give away something we ve worked a long time on.....well I should say continue to work on each and every estimate improving the sheet and learning more about each and every job.
  4. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    I'm not sure anyone has exactly what you are asking for. You're asking for something where you could just plug in length and width and then this magic formula would tell you exactly how many pavers you need, what variety of pavers, how much gravel to go underneath, how much sand, how much joint sand, how much snap edge, how much labor, etc.???

    If that's what you're asking for, that doesn't exist. And if it does, it's not accurate. Every job is unique. There are too many variable from one job to the next to do it this way. Some large patios have a lot of area that is bordered with snap edge, some have very little (because maybe it's bordered by the house foundation on one end and retaining wall on another....) Some varieties of pavers (e.g. tumbled) use up twice as much joint sand as other varieties that have tight joints. Some jobs will require you to factor in just 8% extra pavers for cutting, etc. while others will require up to maybe 15% extra to get the job done.

    Every proposal is fairly unique to itself. I will "cut and paste" a lot in my previous proposals, if it's the exact same variety of paver and exact same pattern. Then I'll go through and change my quantities for all of the items. But there's no magic spreadsheet that just does all this for you. Each project needs to be given a lot more thought than what a program like that would do.

    Now, if you want to see some of my excel spreadsheets how I work up a hardscape proposal, no problem. Just PM me your email address. But don't use this as a template for every job you estimate. It is just to give you an idea of what yours could look like after you're done creating your own custom proposal.
  5. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,569

    I CAN ASSURE you that 90% of what you just explained DOES exist.

    And you're right, there are variables, that no software will ever calculate. But my system makes it easy to hand calculate.

    It also writes the proposal AS you build the job :) And it orders the materials! And it calculates for borders!

    I've spent about 8 years perfecting this. I wasn't kidding about $500.00

    I have also been thinking about a winter service where I custom build spreadsheets for forum members. You name it, I can create it.

  6. jg244888

    jg244888 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    pm sent Thanks a lot
  7. 4Russl5

    4Russl5 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160

    DVS you would give this away for $500? Seems cheap to me....
  8. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,569

    At this time I would. Because for it to work, you have to cost out jobs and recover overhead the same way I do. So the user would be having to change their way of doing things.

    I would consider selling the materi calculation portion for $250.00. It's pretty slick. I may post a PDF of it. Or maybe I won't. The codes are hidden, so it would be nearly impossible for one to reproduce it.

    To create something like this you need to know the business inside and out. I've spent countless nights fro
    10pm to 2 am creating this.

    Posted tvia Mobile Device
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011
  9. 4Russl5

    4Russl5 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160

    They are great tools for the people that develop their own for their company. A close friend and mentor here gave me his that he developed for his company, and he chuckled. I have a crew of 3 full time guys doing hardscaping, he has a full time crew of between 15-18 providing the spectrum of services. It was more of a labyrinth than a help even though he explains it to me from time to time. I do things my way based on how I think, work, etc...
    You have learn to crawl before you walk, walk before you run...
    Still seems cheap.
  10. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,569

    Thats my exact saying! We have a former Sheriff that used that statement frequently, whom I learned it from. I think I've written that a time or two on here!

    If you had an ice cream stand and I had an ice cream stand - most likely we could both very easily learn and quickly adapt to software for the ice cream stand business, as we're buying product and selling product.

    But in construction, no two companies price work the same way. Yeah, in the scheme of things we may end up at the same digits, but we had different methods of getting us there.

    My job costing is derived from a method that an industry consultant whom I had hired, had showed me.

    Here is a question:

    How much time do you guys spend calculating how many square feet of pavers are needed for a soldier course border and then calculating how many square feet of pavers are needed for the field? 5 minutes? 10 minutes? 7 minutes?

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