How To Use National Estimator Software by Craftsman on your PC

How To Use Craftsman National Construction Estimator Software on your PC

National Estimator is a highly competitive building cost estimating program made for the US market. Its rich and well researched cost database covers all 50 states in the USA as well as Canada, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. It’s a simple but useful program which can be installed on your PC or used online in the cloud. We discuss how to install and use the program on your PC to build a quick estimate for your project:

1 – Download Craftsman National Estimator from their website.

2 – Install the software on your PC

3 – Double click the desktop shortcut to open the software.

The Area Modifications window will pop up. Its basically a window to define your Location by City and Zip Code before you start estimating building your project. Thats because the cost of building or construction index differs by location. On the same window, there is a section to select the items (cost breakdown) you want to price. These are Materials, Labor and Equipment.

4 – Enter your Zip Code. Lets say your building project is based in Sacramento, California. You should enter the Zip Code 958 for Sacramento in the window, then click OK. That means building cost rates in the city of Sacramento will be used to calcuate your project amount.

Craftsmen National Estimator_Starting the Program

Craftsman National Estimator_Starting the Program – Enter Your Zip Code

The User Interface:

Upon entering your Zip Code and clicking Submit, you will be taken to the user interface.

The main navigation bar has 4 rows.

1st row – The top menu >> File | Edit | View | Utilities| Window | Help
2nd row – The icon menu >> Shows all the tools as icons
3rd row – The page you are currently on (in the Cost Book) is indicated here.
4th row – The estimate headers are shown here >> Craft@Hrs | Unit | Material | Labor Equipment | Total.

To begin building up your BOQ items and estimating, you need the Cost Book and the Estimate Window.

The Cost Book contains all the BOQ items as well as cost rates which are needed to build up your project. Cost rates can be updated as needed with each quarterly publication of the Craftsman Book.

You will start by going to the Estimate Window, which is a blank page or Blank Estimate. This is where you must insert measurement items from the Cost Book.

The best view or mode for estimating is the Split Window, which gives you a view of the Estimate and the Cost Book at the same time. The views are split horizontally, with the Cost Book at the top and the Blank Estimate at the bottom. As you can see, this mode is good for productivity, you can easily select items from the Cost Book and insert them in the Estimate.

Spit Window_Cost Book and Blank Estimate View - National Estimator

Spit Window_Cost Book and Blank Estimate View – National Estimator

To start inserting items into your Estimate,

1 – Click “Split Window” in the top menu, to show the Cost Book and Estimate in the same view.

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