Fast and Accurate Fire Sprinkler Estimates
Updated: Jan 20
Fire protection work is a very specific mechanical sub-trade. Due to it’s specific nature, most mechanical estimating software platforms are not able to accurately support fire protection estimating. While there are a few options on the market for fire suppression/fire sprinkler estimating software platforms, most options don’t offer a complete estimating solution. In this blog post, we are going to look at how to use Quantify estimating software to quickly and accurately build fire protection estimates. PataBid Quantify is a full electrical/mechanical estimating software package designed for fire sprinkler contractors. At PataBid, we advocate wholeheartedly for contractors to adopt digital estimating practices in order to future proof their businesses and ensure long term success. Whether those digital practices involve PataBid software or other available estimating platforms, going digital is essential to mitigating job risk and improving bid accuracy.
To begin estimating work in Quantify, a fire sprinkler contractor would upload his/her PDF drawings in the software. Using PataBid’s items database and pre-built assemblies (36,000+ items), a contractor’s first step would be to complete graphical takeoff by building ‘typicals.’ Typicals are a group of items that are combined to create a custom assembly on a drawing where identical units, or branches, are found. In the case of fire protection work, a contractor would build a typical of a branch line that would likely include fire sprinkler heads, pipe, fittings and/or installation hangers. Once that custom typical is built, PataBid’s AI-powered takeoff tool, Rapid Count, would automatically count all of the identical typicals (or entire branch lines) on the drawing. As an alternative method, if a fire sprinkler contractor did not want to take the time to create typicals, he/she could simply use PataBid’s AI to automatically count all of the fire sprinklers on the drawing, then the fittings next, etc. However, the fastest and most accurate way to complete takeoff for drawings with large numbers of identical branch lines is to build typicals and then have PataBid’s AI count those. Users should always ensure that the AI has accurately counted all required items, and takeoff any that were missed manually. PataBid’s Rapid Count AI runs at approximately a 96% accuracy rate.
PataBid also offers manual drafting as a tool to use for design build work or client change orders. For instance, if a contractor has won a job to add a fire sprinkler system to a condo building prior to construction and the client increases the unit size, the contractor could easily draft a new design in Quantify and produce a quote for the change.
After the takeoff and/or manual drafting is completed, the next step is to review the material pricing and labour. From the summary screen, a fire sprinkler contractor can see all the items that were added during takeoff, along with list pricing and labour that is automatically applied in Quantify. From here, the labour and material costs can be modified. PataBid has an internal process using supplier profiles that allow users to easily and automatically bring in contractor-specific pricing on a bi-weekly basis. Quantify comes out of the box pre-loaded with list pricing for fire protection items such as fire sprinkler heads, pipe and 36,000+ other mechanical and electrical items. However, most users will utilize supplier profiles in PataBid to ensure that their estimates reflect their contractor-specific pricing from their preferred electrical or mechanical supply house.
An additional popular feature that is visible from the summary screen is shop drawings. Shop drawings are available for download for most common items in the PataBid database. Save time searching for shop drawings online and have all important bid documentation stored centrally in Quantify.
Once labour and material pricing is finalized, the last step is the estimate closeout. Using Quantify, fire protection/sprinkler contractors can manage project labor, quoted packages, equipment, overhead and scope leveling in the closeout screen. Optimized workflows make this a quick and efficient process for users.
One final feature to note that makes Quantify stand out from other fire sprinkler estimating software options is integrated access to curated public tenders. From within Quantify, fire sprinkler contractors can access thousands of public tenders from across Canada and the USA that are collected from 268 different repositories. Find fire protection public tenders for institutional or commercial work. Our AI sorts all public tenders found into 60 different categories so users can easily access the ones applicable to their business. Access to this public tender data is included in a yearly license fee for Quantify. To give some perspective of the scale of this value added service, in the month of November 2022 alone, PataBid Quantify collected 22,492 public tenders.
To summarize, PataBid Quantify is the best choice when it comes to selecting a fire sprinkler estimating software. Powerful, automated tools, an affordable price point, and an intuitive workflow put Quantify a cut above the other available options for fire protection/sprinkler contractors. Ensure that your next estimates are done to a high standard of uniformity, accuracy and efficiency using PataBid Quantify. To experience the PataBid difference, connect with us to sign up for a demo or a free 2 week trial today.