This is the only remodeling and construction application that I need and use (regularly.) Besides being available for download now, the real news is that the BS Estimator is FREE to use. Free, that is, within the limits of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license. While you might think that this is just another way to tie up source code and control development, it is not. Read the license…it is easy to understand.
Free as in free beer?
Well, not exactly free. What you get when you download the BS Estimator is an Excel© Workbook that must be run under Excel. It won’t work under any other Spreadsheet program, you need Excel and preferably version 2016 or higher. What is free is all of the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code that makes the workbook a full-on estimating application.
Of course, the way the workbook is formatted is vitally important, and, that too, is free. See the header image at the top of the main BS Estimator page to grasp its complexity. Complex it is, yet also easy to understand and manage.
Just like the Total Cost Model, you are free to poach the code…just don’t pass it off as your own. You are also free to report bugs and volunteer code fixes. If more people help out by reporting bugs and offering suggestions the Estimator will only get better. Here is the Credits and Copyrights dialog from the Estimator (I didn’t do it alone.)
Open VBA code
Open VBA code makes your personal customization of the program easy. There is no need to contact an expensive programmer if you understand the code. VBA is a simple language and there are numerous places to go online to get help. You can even fix your own bugs!
If you want to take a look at the code you first need to enable the Developer tab on Excel’s Ribbon menu. Then, if you aren’t familiar with VBA, simply find tutorials and information websites like this.
Grow your own VBA
Although the included Quick Start guide does explain briefly how to access the VBA editor, there is no real guidance on using it. That is up to you. This website does have some good tutorials on various Office programming and VBA topics. They are all listed on the Archives page.
Get it here…Get it now
This is the ONLY place to get a genuine copy of the BS Estimator, accept no substitutes! There is no cost to download it. There will never be one from this website. Use it how you like. If you need help with an issue or need a special adjustment made so that you can use it more to your liking, email me on the contact page.
Customization by me is done for a price, bug fixes are free. The BS Contract isn’t free, but it will be worth every penny you pay for it. Final work is being done on it, and it should be available soon.
The zip file available for download contains the Estimator workbook and a 22-page Quick Start Guide. The full User Guide is in the works (it has been for years.) It is about 80% done and is over 60 pages long. Although not as thoroughly detailed as the full guide, the Quick Start Guide is a good first look around.
This is the most recent version of the Bid Smart Estimator 2.0 (3.2.2023). It includes sample data and is licensed by the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. A 28-page Quick Start Guide is also included. The full User Guide is currently being finished.
When you first open the Estimator warnings about the safety of the program may appear. It is safe, just make sure that the Excel macro settings are set to “Enable VBA Macros…” in Excel’s Trust Center. Then, Close the workbook and reopen it. Read the Quick Start Guide about this.
As always read the readme.txt file first!