by Patrick Miller - Written by a real painter!!!

Tips & Tricks

A few Tips & Tricks

That you might not be aware of using The Paint Estimator

Scroll down to view more tips

Estimating Methods

Date Tagging Feature

Create daily notes using the job hours page

Starting with version, you can now tag specific dates with daily notes. This can be very helpful in a number of ways. Here are just a few examples

  • Keep track of what days you billed the customer for. Great for those T&M jobs.
  • Keep a record of what tasks you completed for the day. A nice way to compare your actual prep time vs the actual painting. Great for future jobs.
  • Keep track of when an employee shows up late.
  • Weather related delays.

To get started, it will be assumed that you have performed an estimate, the customer said yes, and you have started working on the job. Go ahead and open the estimate and click on the Job Hours tab page.

Now click on the column header of the date where you would like to add a note.

Which now will bring up the Tag Menu.

Go Ahead and click "Tag Date" to bring up the Daily Notes Form.

Enter your daily notes, then click the Save Button The form will close and you will notice there is a new note type icon in the column header for the date you just added a note for.

To quickly view this note, just simply hover over the column header with the note icon and a tool tip will show the notes for this date.

To view all notes for the entire job, or to print all the notes, you can click on the daily notes icon at the top-right of the page.

Which will bring up the daily notes form where you can see all the notes for the job and the option to print it out

Hopefully you find this feature helpful. If you have any questions at all, please let me know at:

Estimating Methods

Adjusting the Total Cost

A quick way to adjust the total cost to make it customer friendly

Every now and then you might want to round your estimate’s numbers up to make it customer friendly. When I say customer friendly, I mean an even dollar amount with no cents.

For example, we have just finished our estimate, and the total cost is $4,548.15. But this number looks a bit goofy. Let’s round this number up to say $4,585.00. I don’t think there is much of a difference as far as the customers view on the two numbers. Yes, there’s a difference of $36.85 in your favor. However, this should not be a deal breaker.

You can always lower the round up number to whatever you think. This is just an example we are going to be using in the below steps.

To get started, It will be assumed you just finished up and estimate. Once you are satisfied with the final cost. Go ahead and right click on any Item and make sure you are in the Total Cost column. Note: This option will not be available under any other column. In the below example, I right clicked in the highlighted yellow area

Go ahead and click on "Adjust Total Cost" Which will bring up the following dialog.

Let's replace the following price of $4,548.15 with our new price of $4,585.00 and press OK.

That's it. Hopefully you find this feature helpful. If you have any questions at all, please let me know at:

Quick Tip Image

Custom Material Templates

A method on how to add all your favorite materials into one easy template to use when creating estimates.

With all the various types of finishes out there, you can imagine your material lists can be quite long. As your going through and creating an estimate, trying to find the right material can be time consuming, as you need to scroll through these long lists to find the products you want to use.

But I would imagine many of you when you are doing your typical interior jobs, you only use one or two different finishes for walls and trim. And you have your go to primers and prep materials for these interiors as well.

In the below example, we are going to create a custom interior template with our go to products from both Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams.

To get started, go ahead and start the program and bring up the Materials Form. Click the "Paint Can Icon" at the top of the main form.

Let's go ahead and create our Custom Interior Template for our go to products we typically use when doing interiors. To do this, just find your product, and in the Template Column, click on the interior check box. This will add the product to the Interior Template.

You can add different brands as well to this Custom Interior Template. In the below example, we will be adding a few items from Benjamin Moore and then a product from the Sherwin Williams list.

To see all your items that are in the Custom Interior Template, just click on the "View Templates" button

To use this Custom Interior Template in your estimates, just select it from the selected template box in the job materials form.

That's it. As you can see, all your typical interior products are right there and easy to select with out having to scroll down, or switch materials lists. You can create one for exteriors, or just a random custom list.

Hopefully you find this feature helpful. If you have any questions at all, please let me know at:

Estimating Methods

Expense Tracking

How to find out how much you spent to all the paint stores for a specific time frame

One nice thing about using this program on a consistent basis is the fact you accumulate data over time. This kind of data can be helpful as it can used to predict future costs and help with planning. In the below example, we are going to figure out how much we spent at the paint stores for the prior year. Also, this will give you an idea on what you can do by using the column menu, filters and sorting for various grids throughout the program.

It will be assumed that you have consistently entered the materials you purchased as you work through your jobs. Meaning you have updated the Job Hours & Materials section for all the jobs you have completed.

To get started, just start the program and open the expense register form by clicking the "Expenses Button" at the top of the main form.

First, we will want to show the group column panel. To do this, right click anywhere in the column header, the column menu will show. Click on Show Group by Box item

Now let's drag the "Description Column" into the group box we just displayed. To do this, left click on the column header, keep the left mouse button down, and just drag it to the group box area. This will now change the layout of the entire grid to group all items by the description column.

Now we are going to filter this group, by selecting only the paint stores we use. To do this, just click the filter button in the description group box to bring up the filter selection box.

Now let's select our paint stores.

Now let's click on the Date Filter Box to bring up the selection box.

Several different options to filter by, In the above image, we simply just checked the "Last Year" box or you can be more specific by choosing the Values Tab and selecting your values there.

That's pretty much it. From here, you can see your data, print or export it. Hopefully you can make use of the Column Header menu on the various grids throughout the program. If you have any questions at all, please let me know at: