"Ballpark" Estimates with Goldenseal

How do I use Goldenseal for quick "ball park" rough estimates?

There are several different ways to use Goldenseal construction estimating software for "guesstimates" and very quick rough estimates.

Historic Estimates

Goldenseal estimating software includes very good access for your past records-- so If you have created previous estimates for similar projects, you can use them as a guide for current costs.

To find similar estimates, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Estimates from the Income menu.
  2. Choose Find from the Edit menu.
  3. Enter details for the projects you'd like to find. You can use the Job Type field, or you can type a range into the Net Price or Project Size fields. If you remember a specific project that is similar, you can also search by name or other details.
  4. Click the Find button.
  5. Goldenseal will show you all similar projects. Click on the browser 'book' at upper left to view them.

Click here for more about making historic estimates.

Using Templates

If you do the same type of work repeatedly, set up templates for each type of project that you do. That way you can start out with most of an estimate already filled in.

To create a template, follow these steps:

  1. Use the Find command to locate an estimate that you can use frequently.
  2. Choose Template this Item from the Options menu.
  3. Give the template a name, then click OK.

To use a template, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Estimates from the Income menu.
  2. Click the template button (the triangle to the right of the New button) and choose a template.

Click here for more about templates in the Getting Started manual.

Using Dimensions

If you use an items breakdown for your estimates, you can use dimensions to get a quick rough estimate that has a high degree of accuracy.

To do that, first create a template for the type of work you do. Give the template a Items breakdown, and include all the items that you normally include in this type of project.

To make a quick estimate from a template, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Estimates from the Income menu.
  2. Click the template button (the triangle to the right of the New button) and choose a template.
  3. Choose Estimate Dimensions from the Options menu, and choose the first dimension from the submenu.
  4. Change any measurements that are different for this project.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each dimension.
  6. Choose Estimate Dimensions from the Options menu, and choose Specifications from the submenu.
  7. Click the Update Quantities button, and Goldenseal will recalculate all quantities.
  8. Click the Update Prices button, and Goldenseal will use the most recent unit costs for each item.
  9. Change any line items that are different for this project.

Estimating Subcontractor Costs

If you subcontract most of your work, you can use unit costs for your rough estimating, and then replace it with firm subcontractor quotes when you are ready for a final price.

To create a bid that uses unit costs, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Bids from the Income menu.
  2. Click the New button.
  3. Choose Category or Items in the Breakdown field.
  4. Click in the first row of the breakdown table, and enter details for a cost.
  5. Press the Return key or Enter key to add a new row.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for each part of the bid work.
  7. Enter other details for the bid.
  8. Turn on the Rough Estimate button. HINT-- This is a new feature starting with Goldenseal 2.5.

To include the rough estimate bid in an itemized estimate that you've already started, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Estimates from the Income menu.
  2. Locate the estimate.
  3. Click in the bottom row, and hit the Return key or Enter key to add a row to the table.
  4. Click in the Cost Area cell and enter Bid.
  5. Click the Cost Item cell, and select the bid that you just created.

To enter subcontractor quotes for the work, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Bids from the Income menu.
  2. Click the New button.
  3. Enter the subcontractor giving the bid, and the amount of the bid.
  4. In the Competes With field, enter the rough estimate bid that you included in the estimate.
  5. Enter any other details for the bid.

When you enter actual bids that compete with a 'rough estimate' bid, Goldenseal uses the lowest actual bid, and ignores the rough estimate.

Click here to return to estimating topics.