Lesson 23--Custom Dimensions
Goldenseal construction estimating software lets you create your own dimension measurements, if there isn't a Starter File that suits your estimating needs. You can also make changes to an existing set of dimensions.
The four classes of dimensions calculators provide the logic that converts simple project measurements into actual quantities of labor and materials. You can use them to calculate construction quantities, or any other project dimensions.
Basic dimensions are simple measurements that you type in for each estimate. To create a new basic dimension, follow these steps:
Location dimensions are very similar to basic dimensions, but they apply to each location in an estimate. For example, in the Sample Company File, location dimensions apply to each room in a construction project.
To enter location dimensions, follow these steps:
You will fill in location dimensions for each location when you add locations to an estimate (see page 29).
Calculated locations are quantities that are calculated from other measurements within the same location. They only apply to one location.
To enter calculated locations, follow these steps:
When you add locations to an estimate, Goldenseal will calculate the value of each calculated location.
HINT: If you start with a Starter File), you'll already have a set of dimensions, and you may not need to make many changes to them to match your type of business. If there is no Starter File for your type of business, contact Turtle Creek-- we offer free customizing help.
Calculated dimensions calculate a value from any type of dimensions, or from other calculated dimensions.
HINT: The Sample Company file includes several hundred Calculated Dimensions that convert simple project measurements into construction quantities like baseboard length.
To enter calculated dimensions, follow these steps:
List and Checkbox Calculations
If you enter a list dimension into the Starts With field, Goldenseal will show six values, which correspond to each of the six possible items in the list. For each choice, you can enter a constant number, a dimension value, or a calculated dimension.
EXAMPLE: If the dimension in the Starts With field has the second item selected, the value of this calculated dimension will be equal to whatever you've entered into the '2nd Adjustment' fields.
If you enter a checkbox dimension into the Starts With field, Goldenseal shows two values, which correspond to the 'on' and 'off' values for the checkbox. For each choice you can enter a constant number, a dimension value, or a calculated dimension.
Use Dimension layouts to control what you see on the screen when you choose dimensions in an estimate. The dimension layouts can calculate construction measurements, or any other project quantities.
To change the location dimensions layout, choose Custom Layouts from the Options menu, and choose Location Dimensions from the submenu. There is only one location dimension layout.
To enter dimension layouts, follow these steps:
To use a dimension, enter it into the Suggested Quantity field in a Cost Item (see Lesson 13) or an Assembly (see Lesson 14). The Suggested Quantity field determines the quantity for each item when you first enter it into an item breakdown, or when you click the Update Quantities button.
You can also use dimensions in the Labor Multiplier and Material Multiplier fields to adjust just some of the components in an Assembly.
Once you've set up dimension calculators in cost items and assemblies, the dimension will automatically apply when you include those items in an estimate that has an item breakdown.
Some dimension quantities are easy to calculate, and don't vary much between projects. You might want to double-check them the first few times you use them, but you can then trust them to be accurate.
Other dimension quantities are guesses, and the actual quantity will vary between projects. You can use the suggested number for quick rough estimates, but for accurate bids you'll need to adjust them every time.
This lesson has explained how to set up dimension calculators that will calculate quantities for your estimating projects.
Dimensions are a good way to store 'business smarts'. They often make it possible for a relatively inexperienced estimator to create an accurate estimate very quickly.
Were you thinking of taking a break now? How could you? There are just two lessons to go in the Estimating manual, and you couldn't possibly want to leave. No matter how tempting those yummy leftovers in the fridge might be, and how many overdue videos you have, it is time to move onto the next lesson. Briskly.
Don't even think about chocolate, or ice cream. Not to mention the double-chocolate ice cream that is just overflowing from the freezer shelves at your local convenience store, just down the block. It may even be on sale. They may even be giving away free samples today.