Estimating options in STACK

Before you’re ready to create a proposal with markups to calculate your selling price and profit, you’ll want to compile an estimate. STACK offers two types of estimates:

Unit Cost Estimate - Gives you the ability to add a per square foot, linear foot, each, or cubic yard price to measurements. Waste and overhead can also be added to arrive at the project cost.

Material and Labor Estimate - Offers a much more detailed estimate using materials derived from items or assemblies. Gives you the ability to edit item pricing, add waste, and overhead to arrive at a project cost.


Create a Unit Cost Estimate

A Unit Cost Estimate uses the measurements from each takeoff. This type of estimate allows you to assign pricing per square foot, linear foot, cubic yard, or count (as well as waste, overhead, and other non-measured costs).

  1. To get started, navigate to the “Estimates” tab and choose a Unit Cost Estimate (you can create multiple estimates per project).

  2. The fields in blue are editable, which include the waste and unit cost columns. You can make manual adjustments to any of these fields.

  3. As waste and unit costs are entered into the project, the price of the project will start to populate in the top black box.

  4. You will also see cost type summaries which are represented in a pie chart to the left of the estimate.

  5. The Adjusted Qty column is rounded to the next whole number by default. This can be disabled by clicking edit properties under the Estimates section on the left panel.

  6. Optionally you can add “Non-Measured Costs” by clicking “Add Item” and manually entering the data including accounting codes.

  7. Once you’re satisfied with your data entry, the estimate will provide the total cost of the project which will help you decide if you’re ready to determine the selling price and generate a proposal.


Create a Material and Labor Estimate

A Material and Labor Estimate uses materials from items and assemblies that are attached to takeoffs. This yields a far more detailed estimate when compared to a Unit Cost Estimate as you can assign a cost, waste, to each material, along with overhead for the project.
*Any items attached to a takeoff that have cost will pre-populate in the estimate but can be overridden for the specific estimate.

  1. To get started, navigate to the “Estimates” tab and choose a Material and Labor Estimate (you can create multiple estimates per project).

  2. Repeat steps 2 through 7 from above


Error/Warning Indicators

On the Estimate Toolbar

Material and Labor Estimates will display a warning indicator to the left of the Summary button if any takeoffs on the project do not include an item or assembly.

  1. Click the warning icon to see which takeoff(s) are missing items/assemblies.

  2. Click the takeoff name to be directed to the takeoff edit screen

  3. Add item(s) or assembly. (Additional instructions - Add an Item to a Takeoff or Add an Assembly to a Takeoff.)

In the Qty and Extended Cost Fields

Material and Labor Estimates will also display a warning indicator for items with a Division by 0 error or an error notice that the item's unit of measure does not match the assembly. These errors indicates that data for these fields cannot be computed due to one or both of these issues:

  • Missing/inaccurate information in the Assembly Options - Variables fields for the noted assembly.

  • An Assembly/Item Unit of Measurement Mismatch.

To fix the error:

  1. Click the warning icon to see the affected takeoff and assembly name.

  2. Go to the takeoff edit screen for the affected takeoff to edit the Assembly Options - Variables information. (Additional instructions - Edit Assembly Options on a Takeoff.)

    If this does not correct the error, proceed to Step 3.

  3. Go to the Assemblies tab. Open the noted assembly and edit or update formulas for any Unit of Measurement Mismatch errors. (Additional instructions - Unit of Measurement Mismatches.)


Estimate Home

STACK offers the ability to create multiple estimates per project. Once one estimate is created, clicking on the Estimate tab will direct to Estimate Home. This area displays each estimate for the project. Click on the estimate name to enter the estimate, or create a new estimate using the Create New Estimate button.


Copy an Estimate

You can create an identical copy of a Material and Labor or Unit Cost Estimate in STACK. Duplicate and Original estimates are able to be changed independently.

From Estimate Home

  1. Select the three dots next to the Estimate Name.

  2. Click Copy Estimate.

  3. A duplicate estimate titled 'Copy of...' will be created.

From Estimate Summary/Worksheet

  1. Open an existing Material and Labor Estimate or Unit Cost Estimate.

  2. Select the three dots in the upper right corner of the page.

  3. Click Copy Estimate.

  4. A duplicate Estimate titled with 'Copy of...' will be created.


Data Filters

Add Data Filters to a New Estimate

  1. Create a new Material and Labor or Unit Cost Estimate.

  2. In the Estimate Properties window, select the toggle next to “Include all data in my estimate.”

  3. The toggle will turn from green to gray and you will see filtering options displayed.

  4. Expand to see available filtering options.**

  5. Material and Labor Estimates have the option to filter by label group, plan, and/or cost type and Unit Cost Estimates have the option to filter by label group and/or plan.

  6. Select the desired filtering options to include them on the estimate.

  7. Click ‘Save’ at the bottom of the Estimate Properties window to save and close the window.

  8. At the top of the estimate window, next to “Included measurements” you will see the list of filters used on that estimate.

  9. Creating a proposal will use the same filtered options.

**As they are expanded, some label groups may display a message stating “Some measurements are not assigned a label in this label group”, this means one or more of the label options is assigned to the ‘None’ option and will not pull information to contribute to the estimate

Add Data Filters to an Existing Estimate

  1. From the Estimates tab select the estimate you would like to filter by clicking on the white box with the estimate name in the upper left corner of the screen.

  2. Select ‘edit properties’ from the left side of the screen to open the Estimate Properties window.

  3. Follow directions 2-9 from ‘Add filters to a New Estimate’ above.


Overview of estimate fields

  • Unit Costs - The cost per unit or material (depending on the estimate type).

  • Waste - You can assign a waste percentage to each line item to ensure they account for enough material.

  • Overhead Costs - You can assign an overhead percentage to the project to account for items such as office rent, phones, insurance, etc. This is to ensure you do not underbid a project by accounting for the day-to-day costs of running a business.

  • Non-measured Costs - You can create items that were not measured in STACK such as truck rental, labor, scaffolding, etc. Accounting code, waste, cost, and markup can be assigned to each of these non-measured items.
    *You can also create/add groups of non-measured items for re-use on any estimate using the “Item Set” dropdown menu. Selecting “Manage Item Sets” will redirect you to company settings.


Related Articles

How to Create a Proposal

How to Manage Items and Assemblies

How to Use STACK Takeoff Tools


If you need additional assistance, please contact us.

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