Bidding Program/spreadsheet


From original questioner:

I know someone posted something similar to this a while back, and I contacted the original poster through email, but I have not received a response.

What does everyone use to bid jobs? We are a commercial shop, and we use CabnetWare for design software. It has a built in estimating function, but the way we price cabinets and how it is set up on CabnetWare do not really work well together.

I wrote a spreadsheet pricing program a few years ago that I can use to input the type of cabinet, depth, height, and width, and it will cross reference a pricing chart on another sheet, but it is kind of basic. I don't know much about Excel, and when I wrote this, I was only successful with A LOT of help from members of Excel forums. I told them what I was trying to do and they worked on it and sent me formulas to try.

I was curious to see what others are using, and if you have some kind of spread sheet that you don't mind sharing, I would like to compare mine to others to see if I could add anything to make it more efficient for what we need.


From contributor Da

We use Cabinet Vision Solid to do our bids. Before that we used Cabinetware Detailer.

From contributor Jo

We have been with ProjectPak for a number of years. Not a free Excel spreadsheet, and there will be a learning curve and time to populate your library. But I get so much more, proposals, change orders, much flexibility in how to prepare bids, on and on. Very good, responsive support also.

From contributor Ma

Cabnetware works great if you have a "companion" software to help with the estimates. Cabnetware has everything you need as long as you have setup your parameters and materials properly. We use a software called Detail Binder to do our estimates that eliminates the accessories and applicables inside cabnetware.
The way it works is...
1. The projects are entered into Detail Binder (Job Name,Room name etc.)
2.Selections are made (finishes, Installation,style,accessories etc.)
3.Cabnetware items are imported and combines it with selections made with Detail Binder and adds applicables for finish, Install, Style etc.
The only data it uses from cabnetware is room name,quantity,item name,labor cost,materials.cost.
Some of the other things included are....
1. Time Clock (web based) I phone,Anroid Etc.
2. Schedule (calendar of jobs in progress)
3. Accessory library
4. Touch screen selection of cabinet styles, finishes etc. (with user uploaded photos)
5. Finish Calculator for mixing finishes and reporting costs.
6. Customers' selections reports
7. Company snapshot (compares actual labor costs with estimated labor by department or phase)
8. Track Finances (receivables, Invoices, Purchase orders etc.)
We have been the exclusive beta tester for this software and have been using it for about 2 years now.
The software is being setup for sale to the public and will be ready for the masses in early June from what I understand.
It is web based and will be sold as a subscription (monthly or yearly)
I'll try to post more information and screen shots when I get some time and or as it becomes available.
Also, It is being adjusted to accept info from other software as well...(Sketchup, Vision Etc.)

From contributor Ja


That Detail Binder sounds like an interesting program. I know there are other programs available that would be a lot better for bidding work than the simple Excel spreadsheets that I set up. They are a lot cleaner and easier to read than the pencil and printed blank spread sheet method we used to use though.

When you bid a job, do you bid directly into Detail binder from the architectural prints you are viewing online or in print form, or do you take the job off on paper and then transfer it into the program?

I take it off on paper and then input everything into the computer now. It takes longer, but it is a lot easier to read when I am finished and a lot easier to make changes to pricing when change orders are issued or line item pricing on a bid is requested.

From contributor Ma

It can be setup to work stand alone without any import from design programs but the power of these types of programs are in the ability to import the data from Cabnetware and re-organize the information without having to double-enter information.

From contributor Jo

You can give this a look ...

From contributor Pa

OnScreen Takeoff for the takeoff portion of the bidding process. It can dump the data into your existing spreadsheet or anything that can take a .csv file. It's quite easy to learn and has excellent support.