In this article we'll take you through the steps required to create a good Work Area Template for installing paver driveways.
- Click the Item Catalog menu (located on the left hand side of your LMN screen)
- Click the Templates sub-menu
- Click the +New button to add a new template
- Name your Work Area Template (WAT) something logical (e.g. Paver Driveway).
You may want to name it Paver Driveway - Average, or Paver Driveway - Difficult if you have different labor factors for jobs of varying difficulty.
- Enter a description for your WAT (optional)
- Click the Items tab (located just underneath the green header bar) to add labor, equipment, materials, etc. to your template
- Click the Add Items button to display a list of the items you have in your catalog
- Work through building your WAT in a logical order. It helps your crews, your estimators, and project planning when materials etc. are added in order of operations.
- Start with labor. Add the crew who will be doing the work. Because you're not building an estimate for a specific job, leave the default qty at 0. Hint: Simple Labor Estimating You can keep your templates and labor planning simple by adding one labor and putting all your labor in there. Eg:
Hint: Detailed Labor Estimating: Or, you might choose to add the same crew a few times just to help your estimator think about the job. For instance, we could add our paver crew three times. After you add them (and close your add items window), you'll be able to enter a description for each row, which could break down the work in more detail for the crews. An example might look like:
- Next, add the equipment the crew would typically use. This might be something like a Crew Truck + Hardscape Trailer and then perhaps some equipment like a Skid Steer or a Mini-Excavator.
- Then add the materials your estimators would need to think about. Add any/all materials that should be considered, even if you don't need them on every job. Examples might include some of the following:
- Permit costs
- Access materials (e.g. plywood, hoarding, safety fence)
- Disposal for excavated area
- Filter Fabric
- Gravel for base
- Edge Restraint materials
- Bedding sand
- Polymeric/sweeping sand
- Delivery Charges
- Optionally, you could even include a placeholder for the paver in the list above as well. You don't want to add a specific paver, since you don't want a template for every single different paver. However, you could add a new material called Paver [Select Paver Here] with a cost of $0.00. Estimators would then have a line item in the template that would remind them to either add the correct paver or at least change the name and cost above to reflect the paver selected for this job.
- When finished adding items, hide your Add Items panel (the little red X in the top right corner) and you'll be able to add descriptions and calculations to your items.
- To setup a material calculator:
- Click the Prod Rate calculator button beside the material (e.g. Gravel - 3/4" crushed)
- In the first 2 boxes, enter the qty and units of the measurement you want to enter (e.g. 100 sq. ft or 1 sq. ft).
- In the last box, enter the qty of material required (e.g. 5.4 tons)
- To setup a labor calculator:
- Click the Prod Rate calculator button beside the labor item
- In the first two boxes, enter the measurement you wish to use (e.g. 11 sq. ft)
- In the third box, enter how many man hours it would take to complete that task (e.g. 1 Hours)
- Repeat for any/all materials and labor where you can setup calculators
- Next, click the Notes tab at the top of the Work Area Template screen (just under the green header)
- Use the Client Notes section to setup default notes that will appear for the customer (on proposals) whenever this template is used
- Use the Crew Notes section to setup default notes that will appear for your crews (on job planners) whenever this template is used
- Finally, and optionally, you can assign this Work Area Template to any number of applicable categories by clicking the Categories tab.
- Click Save to save your new template
When you're finished, setup a test estimate and practice using your new WAT template. Work through a sample job and make sure all your calculations work out correctly. When you're finished this step, you just setup a standardized estimating practice that will help save time, train new estimators and reduce mistakes and forgotten costs for years to come.