Basic Cost Items

A cost item represents an item that has a cost. For example, a cost item could be a specific type of concrete, a carpenter's time, or use of an air compressor. A cost items is the most basic component of an estimate.

There are several basic types of cost items that you can include in your catalogs, estimates, alternates, and change orders:

  • Labor

  • Equipment

  • Material

  • SubContractor

  • Other1-Other10

The types of cost items help you organize and identify cost items. These types also enable you subtotal the costs of each type of cost item at the bottom of the Estimate tab. Each cost item type has a corresponding Totals field at the bottom of the Estimate, Alternates, and Change Orders tabs that displays the calculated total of all cost items of that type in the estimate, alternates, or change orders.

You can customize the Other types of cost items to create custom cost item types. To change the name of the Other cost item, use Define Estimate Globals or Define Catalog Globals, depending on the tab in which you are working.

The status displays the current state of the cost item. This feature is especially useful when more than one person is working on an estimate or catalog to communicate the state of the cost item. The status is for display purposes only. You can mark cost items that need to be reviewed by another person or to alert others that the cost item has been changed. Statuses include:

  • Blank

  • Edited

  • Reviewed

  • Alert – Item appears in red

    Note: Once you edit a cost item, the status automatically changes to Edited.

The reference of a cost item is a code that uniquely identifies the cost item. Each cost item in a catalog must have a unique reference. Cost items in an estimate, alternate, or change order do not need a unique reference. This means that you cannot leave the Reference blank in a catalog, but blank references are allowed in an estimate, alternate, or change order. The reference of a cost item can contain both numbers and letters.

If you edit or delete a cost item, only the tab where you made the change is affected.

For information on adding cost items to alternates, see Alternates Overview. For information on adding cost items to change orders, see Change Orders.

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.

  • Multiple users can work on the same job in the Estimating tab at the same time. The last person to perform an edit function to an estimate item will have the data retained.
  • Any sorts a user performs are temporary unless the job is set to Exclusive mode, which allows you to save sorts. Moving items also requires the job to be set to exclusive, or the move will be temporary.
  • To turn Exclusive mode on, get all other users to close the job, then click Set Job Exclusive. Make the changes to the estimate, then turn Exclusive mode off by clicking Set Job Exclusive again.
  • You can also lock a job, which not only turns on Exclusive mode, it prevents other users from editing the job. Note that all users can view a locked job. To lock a job, get all other users to close the job, then click Lock Job. To unlock a job, click Lock Job again.
  • Any filters performed in the Estimate tab are only seen by the user performing the filter.
  • You will see changes occur in real-time by changing tabs in the Manage Estimates screen or by refreshing the Estimate tab.