The Estimate Worksheet
I have created a worksheet called the "Estimate Worksheet." You can download it as a PDF.
Using information from the plan you created in the Chief Architect Home Designer software this worksheet will help you figure out just how much you need of many of the necessary materials. The image to the right shows what the worksheet looks like.
Beginning at the top and working down the sheet the first item asked for is the wall height. If you have an 8' or less ceiling circle the "8." Over 8' and 9' or less circle the "9." I use 8' as a minimum - no matter what. This is because drywall comes minimally in a 4' X 8' sheet. Even if your ceilings are lower and some of the length will need to be cut (assuming the sheets will be installed vertically) you still need to purchase an 8' sheet.
Ceiling Area Workspace
Next, is the box called "Ceiling area workspace." I use this area to compute how big an area it is that I am actually finishing. Almost all basements I finish have at least some area left unfinished. I normally do not finish the furnace room and many times we leave a second area unfinished for some storage space.
Here's how to determine your total ceiling area. You will need to know this whether you plan on a drywall ceiling (my recommendation) or a suspended one.
First, from your completed plan, assuming you have used one of the Chief Architect products, a message should have appeared that states in a numerical value the total living area created. This is the total amount of floor/ceiling space in your basement.
(As an informational tip: when you're designing your basement include all the full height spaces - including the unfinished ones. I normally do not draw the crawl spaces.)
Write this number down inside the ceiling work area.
Next using the ruler tool, measure the length and width of all the unfinished spaces. If your unfinished spaces are not perfect rectangles get the area of smaller rectangles to make up the bigger non-rectangular spaces. Write these lengths and widths down in the ceiling work area space.
Once you have completed that, multiply all the length and width numbers written down to create the total area of unfinished space. This number will then be subtracted from the total living area number you initially wrote down. Once you have arrived at the finished "Ceiling Area Total" write that number down in the space provided.
Framing, Drywall and Insulation
Generate a materials list from your Chief Architect software by clicking on the "Tools" tab up at the very top toolbar. From the drop down list select "Materials List" then "Calculate from all floors." You should then see a spreadsheet of all the items used in your plan.
Now, from the materials list created by your software you will enter the numbers shown for each of the various wall types you used. Know that the numbers Chief Architect displays are in linear feet.
Your wall layers as named by your Chief Architect product will be named differently than what is shown on the Estimate Worksheet.
This is actually irrelevent as long as you have used one wall layer from the software to consistently represent a certain type of wall.
If you notice on the worksheet the wall layer named "Siding 6" is meant to refer to your exterior finished walls. "Interior 4" refers to walls that you wish to have drywall on one side. The backside of these walls will have the studs exposed as they perhaps border a furnace room or an otherwise unfinished space. "Interior 6" refers to those walls that you intend to be drywalled on both sides.
Enter the number of doors that will have trim on one side per your design. Do the same for doors with trim on both sides as well as the windows. Count double doors - such as those on a closet as 2 doors.
If you have drawn in the electric on your plan write the quantities shown from the materials list in these spaces. You may find symbols you've used that are not shown on this list. No matter, just write those down in the margins. If you are planning on hiring an electrician to do the electrical work, many electricians work on an opening basis. So it is helpful to know how many of each type of fixture, be it an outlet, can light, or some other type of fixture that you have. The "box opening" is for the number of light fixtures you might supply such as a light over a bathroom sink, wall sconces or track lights. Any lights my electrician might add in an unfinished area are included in this count as well.
Add up the number of doors you intend to install and enter it here.
Access panels are small plastic panels I install in drywall ceilings that allow access to any shutoff valves for HVAC, water or gas lines. We also install them over all sewer cleanouts that have the potential of being buried. I use the 6" x 9" panels made by Oatey available in the plumbing aisles of the big box Home Improvement stores. A 14" x14" size is available as well if you need something bigger.
Access doors are small plywood doors we create to generally cover electrical panels and/or phone boxes. As you will be creating these this may not be important to you on the materials list. It's a separate line item on my quotes.
Count up how many heat and return runs you plan on installing and enter here.
Now that you have all the information entered into the Estimate Worksheet read on to the next report that will tell you how to calculate many of the necessary materials.
To download the Estimate Worksheet as a pdf click here.