Hidden margins come to light when you pay attention to roof estimating details
One thing that we have observed over the years is the amount of effort that is expended to figure out the primary material quantities (tiles, shingles or metal roof panels) while taking less interest in the other materials that are essential for making a roof weatherproof. These roof estimating details are worth your attention, as they may hide margins to be gained.
Roof trim, gutters and downspouts, clips, screws, fixtures, insulation and underlayment. While most of these items are relatively inexpensive and may be figured out generically, they may become the most expensive item if not included in the quotation and not included in the supplier’s order.
Most roofing programs do not take-off these items specifically and it is not unusual for the estimate to be grossly over or under, because the quantities are in a word, “estimated”.
Of particular annoyance is when you’re short shipped certain items and it becomes expensive finding and acquiring the missing items. Indeed, the margin on a job can be chewed up by lost time, additional materials, waste materials and late penalties. How many times have you had a crew standing around drinking coffee waiting while one of their colleagues is driving around town looking for a box of screws (must be forest green in colour to match the panels) or a couple of gutter clips (also forest green)?
Another angle on this is the business opportunity for you by being so much better at preparing a proposal than your competitors. If your competition avoids the roof estimating details, also known as ‘messy bits’ of gutters and downspouts, that leaves a big opening for your business, especially if you can deliver a proposal faster than anyone else, and know that it is precisely correct.
Imagine responding to your clients in the same day they request a proposal with a professional presentation that includes a dimensioned roof drawing, and then being able to give your supplier a complete and detailed material order, down to the last clip and screw.
The 3D Model is Key to Accuracy
Advanced software for estimating metal roofing and roof trim includes all roof trim and accessory items for everything from industrial strength box gutters to ridge caps and fascia boards, roof to wall, parapets and drip edge, insulation and underlayment and the labour to install it all.
The basis of the proposal is usually a 3D model of the roof that is automatically generated. The operator will then check that the model is dimensionally correct. Materials from a list are added to the model. Installation and fabrication allowances are automatically added on the way to generating a detailed cutting list that reflects the way the material is supplied.
Everything is Included
The material database can include all the required accessories and components required to install your trim such as clips, screw, corners, sealants etc. Once defined, these items are automatically aggregated to compile the complete material order. Nothing is overlooked.
Typical reports generated include a trim plan showing what trim is installed where, a detailed cutting list, supplier orders, installer’s pay summary, and workshop details for all fabricated trim profiles and of course your client’s quotation. This process is extremely valuable for roofers, but especially useful for gutter contractors involved in the retrofit and replacement marketplace. The job package would include the drip edge, gutter and downspout cut-list that exactly matches the current job. The job is completed in much less time and the machine may then be deployed to the next job while the install crew closes out.
The picture here shows a roof model developed in the software in just a couple of minutes from field measurements. All the gutters and downpipes have been added and now the job quotation is prepared.
A most accurate proposal
With the right software, the estimating process will simulate the laying of the metal tile course by course or panel by panel if standing seam. Allowances for reuse of cut pieces may also be set so that the result is a most accurate estimate regardless of the material on the roof.
A typical guttering contractor with onsite gutter machine would let the software generate the cutting list for the selected gutter item which tells him exactly what the length of each gutter needs to be, automatically taking account of fabrication allowances for laps (if required) and corners. The total length of coil for this job is also calculated automatically so that you know how much coil to order.
In addition, all the required gutter accessories are added and labour for special treatments included. All the accessories are determined based on pre-defined association with the gutter and they will be added to the bid, along with the downspouts and connectors.
Nothing is left to chance. The client proposal is complete and then printed professionally with the picture of the client’s roof included on the proposal form. The whole process is completed in just a few minutes.
User definable reports include all the documentation to manage your roofing and guttering projects – from the quote form with roof drawing on it to a complete material list, material order form, cutting list and installer’s pay claim form. The generation of all reports, drawings, material lists and orders is a completely automatic process once the roof geometry is input.
The right software tools, looking after all roof estimating details, allow you to increase your efficiency, improve accuracy, improve quality, improve service, reduce waste and make more money. Need we mention that the Roof Wizard is naturally taking care of all roof estimating details for you?