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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 348
ITO Offline
I use a completely different method and system for estimating, but I really like this setup and wished it were available when I started out:

For $50 it’s a good way to see how it all comes together, has some labor units that you can start tweaking, and is a neat way to break it all down.

The whole program is basically excel, and has a free demo that works up to 1 1/2" pipe sizes.

101° Rx = + /_\
Latest Estimating Cost Guides & Software:
ITO #169769 10/15/07 12:30 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,335
I use RS Means, MS Excel and and personal past performance. RS Means is not bad product but it has its limitations. It is targeted fo general contractors and the like. For me anyways, their labor times and material costs are for the most part on the money, even for remote Alaska if you apply the correct mulipliers. The problem I have with it is some areas are lacking in the line items and others they go overboard. RS Means covers all aspect of construction so it is not as definitive as you would expect from a electrican specific software.

The beauty of RS Means is that the data is compiled from nationwide sampling. That is why I like to use it for the labor time. If for some reason a particuar task is taking longer then the national average, I know I have a problem that needs addressing. It is an excellent reference to see how your labor times add up to industry averages.

By combining both RS Means and Excel, I can get a good estimate. In the same workbook, everything is broken down automatically by catagory for cost tracking during the project so I can see what is working and what is not.

I prefer Excel over Access. In my mind it is simpler to use and more people have it on their computer then Access if you share data electronically. If you really know how to use Excel, you can customize it where works best for you. Excel is one powerful program for crunching numbers.

"Live Awesome!" - Kevin Carosa
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 11
I went to our city library today, to check out some of the books mentioned, well they got quite a selection with many copies of each, but not one was available, all were checked out. Tommorrow I am going to one of the local Community College and check their selection out.

Thanks for the help.

Last edited by waterdog; 10/16/07 10:44 PM.
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 201
Has anybody here used or using Vision Infosoft software for estimating?

Last edited by ayrton; 10/24/07 05:01 PM.
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 14
I started with Means for about 2 years your expeance is the best way of estimating.
If you want to get a good program cheek out Conest we have been on it for 9 years.
Like any thing you have to get it the way you want it but it is easy to work with.You still have to know your costs to enter them it to the program.


Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,722
Broom Pusher and

Has anybody here used or using Vision Infosoft software for estimating?

We use EBM.

It's nice.

Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!
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