Alternates Overview

Alternates are potential changes to the estimate, which if approved and posted, become a part of the estimate.

Once you create an alternate you can add existing cost items from your catalog or from the estimate itself, or you can create new cost items, which are saved to the catalog.

You can remove a cost item as part of the alternate by adding a new copy of the cost item and selecting to deduct it. The original cost item is not actually removed from the estimate; however, it is "canceled out" by the negative quantity cost item.

When you add the first cost item to an alternate in an estimate job, whether you add it or insert it, you must select the estimate WBS code that the application will use to track alternates when they are posted to the estimate. The WBS code is renamed Alternate and is disabled.

Note: Do not pick a WBS code that is already being used in the estimate.

You can define groups for alternates, which allows you to develop different options for a single portion of an estimate. Using a group of alternates can help you or your client compare costs, scope, or other factors of alternates to pick the one that best suits your needs. You can only post one of the alternates from the group to the estimate.

For example, if you are creating a cost estimate for a kitchen remodel, you could create a group of alternates for the different countertops that the client could select. Each alternate would include a different countertop material, the mounting hardware for that countertop, and the labor for that countertop allowing the client to review all of the differences associated with each option. Using a group for all the countertop alternates ensures that only one countertop is included in the final estimate.

You can delete an alternate. If you have already posted the alternate and it appears disabled (grayed out) on the Alternates tab, the cost items in the estimate will not be affected.

Note: Multiple users can work in the same alternate at the same time. Any field can be changed by any user assuming the user has appropriate rights to do so. The changes made will reflect in real time once a user switches focus from one field or screen to another.

To open a job in the Manage Estimates screen, click Estimating > Estimating > Manage Estimates in the All Tasks pane. Then select the job you want to open, and click OK.