Estimating With Microsoft Excel (3rd Edition) use with Excel 2007

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Most builders estimate with Excel because it's easy to learn, quick to use, and can be customized to your style of estimating. Here you'll find step-by-step instructions on how to create your own customized automated spreadsheet estimating program for use with Excel 2007.


You'll learn how to use the magic of Excel to create customizable detail sheets, cost breakdown summaries, and hyperlink. You'll put all this knowledge to use in estimates for concrete, rebar, permit fees, and roofing. You'll see how to create your own formulas and macros and apply them in your everyday projects. If you've wanted to use Excel, but were unsure of how to make use of all its features, let this new book show you how.


You don't have to be a computer expert to understand the simple instructions included here. Author Jay Christofferson has taught thousands of contractors how to use the power of Excel in completing estimates.


Includes a CD-ROM that illustrates examples in the book and provides you with templates you can use to set up your own estimating system.

Weight 0.9000
ISBN 978-0-86718-647-5
Page Count 158
Author Jay P. Christofferson
Publisher National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
Dimensions 9.5 x 7

Most builders estimate with Excel because it's easy to learn, quick to use, and can be customized to your style of estimating. Here you'll find step-by-step instructions on how to create your own customized automated spreadsheet estimating program for use with Excel 2007.

You'll learn how to use the magic of Excel to create customizable detail sheets, cost breakdown summaries, and hyperlink. You'll put all this knowledge to use in estimates for concrete, rebar, permit fees, and roofing. You'll see how to create your own formulas and macros and apply them in your everyday projects. If you've wanted to use Excel, but were unsure of how to make use of all its features, let this new book show you how.

You don't have to be a computer expert to understand the simple instructions included here. Author Jay Christofferson has taught thousands of contractors how to use the power of Excel in completing estimates.

Includes a CD-ROM that illustrates examples in the book and provides you with templates you can use to set up your own estimating system.

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Contents

List of Figures, vii
List of Tables, xii
Foreword, xiii
About the Author, xv
Acknowledgments, xvii
Introduction, 1
Chapter 1, The Basics of Spreadsheets and Beyond, 5
Chapter 2, Improving Estimating by Using Spreadsheets, 23
Chapter 3, Creating a Cost Breakdown Summary Sheet, 35
Chapter 4, Eliminating Steps by Using Detail Sheets, 47
Chapter 5, Saving Time with Hyperlinks, 73
Chapter 6, Letting Formulas and Functions Do the Work, 79
Chapter 7, Calculating Profit Margin, 99
Chapter 8, Making Spreadsheets User Friendly with Form Controls, 109
Chapter 9, Automating Spreadsheets, 121
Notes, 145
Resources, 147
Index, 149

Introduction

Most people have Microsoft Excel� installed on their computers and they are increasingly proficient using the software. However, most users do not realize the toll capacity and power of computerized spreadsheets in automating and simplifying a multitude of office tasks. Adapting to and becoming competent with computer skills, including using the full capability of Excel�, are analogous to using a power saw rather than a handsaw to build. The knowledge you will gain by reading this book and practicing the examples provided will help you transition to using the power saw.

One of my favorite cartoons shows a medieval general leading his army into battle. The army is arrayed for battle, with shields held high and spears in hand. The general stands next to an aide, who is truing to introduce a salesman to the general. The salesman is peddling a machine gun. The general's aide is trying to catch the attention of the preoccupied general but is waved off. The caption under the cartoon reads, "No! I can't be bothered with new technology .....e have a battle to fight!"

As a builder, you understand the payoff for the time You spend to sharpen a saw or oil a tool. Likewise, knowing how to apply new technology to your construction business management practices is the only way to maintain your competitive edge. Without this knowledge. you may survive, but your business won't thrive. Although you may win the battle, you will lose the war. That is, although you may he able to break even or perhaps earn a small profit doing construction, you will not attain long-term profitability and growth.

This hook presents the basics of using Excel� spreadsheets for new users and it offers tips for experienced users too. It is organized to help you scan for topics you are not familiar with and skip areas in which you are proficient.

The book will teach you how to create customized Excel� spreadsheets that will save you time and increase your professionalism. Following the book's guidelines, you will be able to create estimates that are both accurate and visual appealing.

You will learn how to set up and organize your spreadsheet estimate into summary sheet with detail or work-up sheets backed by databases that store the cost information. More specifically, you will learn how to

  • create and use formulas that will automatically calculate quantities

  • use functions to look up information from databases and detail sheets

  • link information

  • navigate spreadsheets

  • use macros to automate your work

  • calculate profit and overhead accurately

  • implement controls to add functionality to spreadsheets

To make the roost of this book, you will need to have Microsoft Excel� 2007 installed on your computer. You can download a 60-day trial version of Micro Excel� 2007 online at www.microsoft.com. Simply search for Excel� 2007. This program will run with either the Windows Vista or Windows XP operating systems.

Each teaching module in this book includes step-by-step examples. Each Microsoft Excel� 2007 workbook on the companion CD corresponds to a chapter in the book and contains the completed worksheets illustrated in the chapter. These worksheets include both detail sheets and databases. The databases are identified by DB at the end of the worksheet names. You will notice that some workbooks are "macro enabled." (Their icon includes a yellow sheet with an exclamation point.) This means that they have an embedded computer code that will execute with a specific keyboard sequence or after a worksheet object is clicked. To allow the macros to run, you will need to save these workbooks using the save option "Excel� macro-Enabled Workbook."

To open the files

  • Insert the CD into your CD-ROM drive.

  • Open Excel�.

  • Click the Office button, choose Open, and select the drive letter where the CD is located.

  • Double click the file name, or select the file and click Open.

  • Save a copy of the file to your hard drive.

  • Open a blank worksheet, follow the instructions in the book, and compare your results with the completed worksheets on the CD.

Choosing Hardware
Your system hardware will determine how well Excel� performs. Upgrading the random-access memory (RAM) of your computer's hardware will usually increase the speed of your computer's processing ability. Newer computers generally are fast enough to accommodate the Excel� spreadsheet application.

In general, you will save yourself from a lot of frustration by upgrading your computer every four to five years. With up-to-date hardware, your software will run much faster and you will be able to work more effectively. You don't need the latest and most expensive computer system, but you should buy high-quality hardware. This will save you money in the long run by extending the useful life of your computer.

Conventions in This Book

  • Instructions are listed step-by-step with Excel� commands in bold type.

  • Formulas are in bold type.

  • Notes of interest are highlighted using the following symbol.

  • Multilevel menu commands are separated by a forward slash (/).

Boost your profit margin with the power of Microsoft Excel� 2007!

Jay Christofferson has taught thousands of construction professionals how to make more money by improving how they estimate jobs. Now you can benefit from his wisdom too!

Roof slope change? No problem! Material substitutions? No sweat! This book and CD take you step-by-step through building an estimating workbook that will save you precious time and spare you from costly errors. Estimating with Microsoft Excel� , Third Edition includes formulas for calculating concrete, rebar, labor, permits, taxes, and more, and demonstrates how to apply them in your everyday construction project management.

Create databases, write formulas, and adapt shortcuts to eliminate time-consuming steps and repetitive work that eat into your profit margin using Estimating with Microsoft Excel�, Third Edition.

"Learn how to budget and estimate using Excel� with this great resource written especially for builders."
�Skip Howes, CGP
Scott Homes Ltd.
Woodland Park, Colorado

"Jay Christofferson is a master in the industry. I can't imagine how we would run our business without Excel'� and the teaching and training that he has provided us."
�Chad Magleby
Vice President, Magleby Companies
2007 NAHB Custom Home Builder of the Year

Jay Christofferson is a licensed contractor and professor of Construction Management at Brigham Young University. He is a frequent speaker at the International Builders' Show and developed the popular EstimatorPRO� Excel�-based estimating program for builders and remodelers.