CUSTOMIZING the SPECIFICATIONS
- Most users will add between 30 to 100 customized specifications.
- You can add specifications to your Master SpecWriter File at any time.
- Use the F-2 key to edit a specification at any time.
- Use Checklist | Add Specification Line to insert a blank specification row at any point in the Checklist.
- Use Checklist | Delete Specification Lines(s) to remove the selected rows completely.
- Use Checklist | Insert Special Note to insert a new row with the text "Special Note:" in the beginning of the specification.
- Use Checklist | Insert New Category to insert an entire new, blank category description ready for further editing.
- Use Checklist | Insert Allowance to insert a blank allowance description at the bottom of the current category.
- Always keep your specifications to one row maximum. Break up long specifications into separate rows if needed.
- Always save the SpecWriter Master File after you've added new specifications.
USING the TAKEOFF
- The Takeoff page provides you with an area to calculate and record the Project's basic quantitative measurements.
- Based upon your entries, the Takeoff will perform calculations for masonry, roofing, drywall, etc.
- Once you've completed the Takeoff, you can access and transfer any of the figures from the Takeoff into the Estimate page by pressing "Control-L" from the Estimate page at any time.
CUSTOMIZING the TAKEOFF
- Open the Takeoff menu to view the menu options.
- You can add, edit or delete any row in the Takeoff.
- You can also insert a blank new section anywhere in the Takeoff.
USING the ESTIMATE
- The Estimate is a worksheet formatted to assist you in calculating and summarizing the many figures in a typical estimate.
- The Estimate worksheet contains the same specifications as the project specifications with two notable exceptions:
The idea here is to proceed down the worksheet, category by category, and enter your estimated cost for that category.
Your estimated cost might be calculated from historical unit costs, or it could be a bid or quote your received, or it could simply be a SWAG.
Use Estimate | Presentation Options to change the estimate to different formats as your situation may require.
Without regard to how you determined the estimated costs, the Estimate Summary will:
- The allowances are NOT grouped together. They are positioned with their applicable specifications.
- The estimate does not include the Options, the Owner's Tasks, or the Exclusions. The only thing the estimate is concerned with are the items you are going to pay for.
Please note that the Overhead and Profit dollar figures are a margin as a percent of the Total Price, NOT a markup on the costs.
- Total all the figures in each applicable column.
- Allow you to add percentages for Supervision and other project overhead costs.
- Allow you to enter percentages for Overhead and your Compensation (Profit).
- Total all the numbers.
USING the SCHEDULE OF VALUES
- The Schedule of Values is comprised of the headers you selected from the Checklist, with adjacent columns for entering costs, markup and price.
- The SOV is designed for commercial projects that require you to submit a Schedule of Values as part of a bid submission package.
- Some residential lenders also want a SOV with the loan application because they will utilize it as the basis for the draw schedule.
- Some Builders use the SOV to estimate their projects or simply as a "Preliminary Rough Estimate"
- You can always generate the SOV, view it, and then decide if it's of any use to you.
- If you don't need to use the SOV, just ignore it.
USING FIELD NOTES
- Field Notes are a document created from your Checklist that is specially formatted to be used to take notes during discussions with potential customers.
- When you return to your computer to write the specifications, your printed notes match your SpecWriter Checklist.
- When you select the menu command "Generate Field Notes" the program will copy the checklist in that file, exactly as you have it customized, exactly as you've collapsed it, to the Field Notes page, where it will go
through a process that will reformat the page, place checkboxes next to each specifications, and reduced the font size to create room for handwritten notes.
- I recommend generating and printing up Field Notes only when you've made changes to the Checklist since you're last printing.
- It's easier to bring the Field Notes to a print shop and have them print you multiple copies.
SAVING the MASTER FILE
- Always make any permanent changes to your SpecWriter Master File. (SpecWriter Master File.xls)
- After making any permanent changes, always save the SpecWriter Master File by using File | Save to Hard Disc to replace your previous copy of your SpecWriter Master File.
USING CHECKLIST TEMPLATES
- Templates are Checklist selections you decided to name and memorized as a group.
- In other words, you can memorize what you've tagged on the entire Checklist, give it a name, and later recall that template at any time.
- Templates are intended to allow you to pre-configure typical projects as a "quick start" for writing specifications for a new project.
- For example, you can memorize the basic specifications for a commercial tenant build-out (demo, metal stud walls, suspended ceiling, etc.) in your Master File, then use the template each time you are specifying that type of project.
- After selecting a template to get started, you should then proceed with reviewing the Checklist to make any necessary changes and additions.