Updating Material Costs

How do I keep up with changing material costs?

Keeping material prices updated can be the hardest part of estimating-- especially when prices are changing rapidly.

Goldenseal construction estimating software provides several ways to keep your material prices current.

Material Purchases

The easiest way to keep prices up-to-date is to enter them when you make Material Purchases. To do that, use an Items breakdown, and add each of the specific material Cost Items that you are buying. Goldenseal fills in the most recent price of the item, and if it has changed, just type in the current cost.

When you save the record, Goldenseal will automatically update the current Cost Item price for the listed materials, along with the cost of any Assemblies that include them.

HINT-- Goldenseal will also store the current vendor price in the Cost Item record, so you can easily compare prices between different vendors. To see the most recent prices for purchases from up to three different vendors, click the Vendor Prices button in the Cost Item record.

Vendor Price Quotes

You can also use Material Purchase records to enter price quotes from vendors, even if you aren't actually buying those materials.

Click here for more about getting vendor price quotes.

Vendor Price Importing

If your vendors will give you a text file containing material prices, you can import it into Goldenseal and save a ton of time. This is by far the fastest way to update prices, if you can get your vendors to give you the data.

Click here for more about importing material prices.

HINT-- If you can't get price imports from your vendor, now is the time to start pestering them to provide that service! In fact, if any major construction material supplier chains start providing importable price files, we will enter their SKU codes into Goldenseal so all our users can get quicker price updates.

Percentage Adjustments

When there are overall price changes that affect large numbers of different materials, you can make a quick price adjustment for all of them at once, instead of entering all the new prices individually.

For example, a construction company might want to adjust all plywood prices up by 25% each time a hurricane hits, or a plumber might want to adjust the price of all copper products, as commodity prices move up and down.

To adjust prices, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Cost Items from the Costs menu.
  2. Use the Find command to locate the items you'd like to adjust.
  3. Choose Replace All from the Edit menu.
  4. In the Replace field, choose Adjust by Amount or Adjust by Percentage.
  5. Enter the adjustment into the Adjust By field.
  6. Click OK.

Click here for more about percentage adjustments.

One-Time Updates

If you just want to enter an updated price for one item, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Cost Items from the Costs menu.
  2. Use the Find command to locate the item you'd like to adjust.
  3. Click on the Change Price button, and enter the latest price.

Inflation Allowance

Since prices may increase before you actually start work on a project, you may want to include an inflation factor (sometimes called escalation) in your estimates. That can also help cover any past price increases that may not be entered yet.

To add an inflation allowance to an Estimate, follow these steps:

  1. Click in the last row of the estimate's breakdowns (you may need to scroll down to get there).
  2. Hit the Enter key or Return key to add a new row.
  3. Enter Percent of Materials (Pcnt of Mat'l) into the Cost Area column.
  4. Type Inflation into the Cost Item column.
  5. Type a percentage into the Quantity (Qty) field.

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