Move Away from Spreadsheets for Estimating

Why You Should Move Away from Spreadsheets for Estimating

We often get asked: “So, who are your competitors?” The fact is that the humble spreadsheet is our main competition in terms of what roofers traditionally use and are reluctant to give up. So, why should you move away from spreadsheets for estimating?  Why would anyone want to move from their home-grown-perfect-fit spreadsheet solution?

Part screenshot of typical roof estimate spreadsheet


The answer is actually quite easy, for two reasons:

Reason 1

The first is not so obvious – using AppliCad’s Roof Wizard software, the take-off is based on a 3D model of the roof and wall of the structure.

Metal Roof section report

A typical metal roof model in AppliCad’s Roof Wizard

The software has built in tools to quickly and easily check that the model is correct – check the pitch, check dimensions up the slope and around the perimeter.  Check line types as the line type determines the material applied to that line (ridge lines have ridge trim on them etc). Roof Wizard can export this information (areas and lengths) to a file that may be imported into a spreadsheet and the advantage of this is that we know the information is correct (because we checked in on the model).

Reason 2

The second reason is that the Roof Wizard software has established processes for calculating all materials and labour for a job based on industry norms, automatically taking account of allowances for end laps, adjusting for lengths, splitting runs into manufactured lengths, adding all required accessories and fasteners based on the roof system without the estimator having to know a huge amount about the roof system. It is defined once by the guy that knows and it is used over and over.

As a result, when you generate a client proposal, you have everything for the job – labour and materials, and because it is based on the 3D model that we know was correctly modelled (because we checked it), we can then extract a range of standard or custom reports based on templates designed by the user for your company’s specific requirement.

Consider these things, and the dozens of other small details that the Roof Wizard software takes care of and there is no contest.

Developed over 27 years with input from users in 148 countries, it is easy to demonstrate why the spreadsheet cannot deliver like a purpose built application such as the Roof Wizard.