Michael Croteau
michael@clearestimates.com

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4 Articles Written Last Month

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Updated October 22nd, 2021 by Michael Croteau

Modifying Items in your Part Library

Always use a different cost, description, or report text for a particular item? No need to change it every time! This guide shows how to make permanent changes to the parts in your library.  Want to change items on a per-estimate basis? Here's how! Need more information on material cost calculations? Click here. Want to know more about editing labor...

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Updated May 26th, 2022 by Michael Croteau

How to Send a Proposal to Your Client

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Updated April 22nd, 2022 by Michael Croteau

Customize Categories Within One Estimate

Note This article is for changing a part category for one estimate on the new Projects page design. This option is only available on the new Projects page. If you want to learn how to change a part's category permanently, click here Overview Clear Estimates offers plenty of flexibility with your estimates! You can change anything you'd like about ea...

1 min reading time
Updated May 17th, 2022 by Michael Croteau

Create Your First Estimate

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Updated January 31st, 2022 by Michael Croteau

Can It Do? Clear Estimates Feature Guide

Overview Welcome to Clear Estimates, a powerful estimating tool for residential remodelers and contractors! Clear Estimates offers a 15,000+ item library tailored to residential remodeling - perfect for kitchens, baths, additions, and more! Our library covers a wide variety of projects, and includes labor rates for many trades. Before you begin your...

5 min reading time
Updated May 10th, 2022 by Michael Croteau

Charge a Flat Rate for Labor

How to charge a Flat Rate for Labor In this example, we're looking at how you can input a flat labor cost for a part to charge for that on your estimate. This is great for when you know what you want to charge the customer already, you can quickly input this into your estimate! You can also do this for material or subcontractor costs! See these arti...

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Updated May 12th, 2022 by Michael Croteau

Adding a Part Image

Open a part with the 'pencil' button. Click "Select Files" in the Miscellaneous section. Upload the image and click "Save". Go to Reports > Boilerplate. Check "Image Gallery" in your "Outro" boilerplate. On some estimates, you may want to include images for your customer to view. For example, maybe you want to include a picture of a new vanity si...

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Updated April 13th, 2022 by Michael Croteau

Advanced Part Actions

Hey! Something's different!  If you've been with Clear Estimates for a while, you may notice some changes! We've been working hard to make estimating even easier, and are ready to introduce powerful new tools to help you estimate your way! New estimating powers Introducing the all new Adjust Part tool in Clear Estimates  If you use Clear Estimates, ...

2 min reading time
Updated May 27th, 2022 by Michael Croteau

What's Different?

Overview Hey, something's changed! We've redesigned the Clear Estimates Projects page, giving you a new and improved estimating interface - plus, much more flexibility with your estimates and reports! Let's look at what's changed!  New Improvements Mobile Friendly Design Now, you can pull up Clear Estimates on a phone or tablet, and estimate with ea...

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Updated November 15th, 2021 by Michael Croteau

The Adjust Part Window

Overview This is the popup window you'll see when you want to edit a part. You'll see this tool both in an individual estimate you're working on, or in your Part Library - when permanently adjusting the items in your account. Here, you can customize part information - such as the description, material costs, labor costs, the report text, internal no...

1 min reading time
Updated May 10th, 2022 by Michael Croteau

Moving Parts Within Your Estimate

Note This tutorial is for the new projects page design. For the older method, click here !...

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Updated May 10th, 2022 by Michael Croteau

Customize Parts Within Your Estimate (New Design)

Note This tutorial is for the new Projects page design. For the older method, click here!...

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Updated April 16th, 2021 by Michael Croteau

How the Hours/Unit Cost Calculation Works

Overview Hours/Unit is great for when you want to charge a customer for a certain number of hours on a per unit basis. This is perfect for installation costs - when you know how long each unit will take, and the labor rate you want to charge. This is the default calculation in Clear Estimates for Labor Costs. Enter the number of hours per unit (i.e....

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Updated November 29th, 2021 by Michael Croteau

Reports Tool Overview

Overview You've worked hard putting your estimate together - adding parts, setting up components, and calculating markup. Now it's time to see the final product!  To do this, you'll want to know how to use your Reports Tab - where you can look at your proposals, and send them out! Let's walk through all the options available in your Reports tab, and...

2 min reading time
Updated February 17th, 2022 by Michael Croteau

Introductory Welcome Webinar

This is a great introductory webinar for Clear Estimates - an in depth walkthrough of our software! Watch below to get started! Want a one on one training session?  We include a full training call with your subscription! If you've already signed up, you can reach out to our team here to schedule your call!  Continued Learning  How To Create Your Fir...

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Updated April 23rd, 2021 by Michael Croteau

Moving from Desktop to Online

This article is not for anyone using the online version of Clear Estimates. This article is for those using the desktop version. How can I tell? If you signed up for Clear Estimates before 2015, you are most likely using the desktop version. If you have been with us for the last several years, you may have noticed that Clear Estimates has gone onlin...

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Updated April 16th, 2021 by Michael Croteau

Moving Parts in Your Estimate

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Updated May 20th, 2022 by Michael Croteau

Refresh Project Pricing

Open your project. Click "More" at the top right, and click "Duplicate Project".Click "More" again on the new copy, and click "Refresh Prices".Choose if you want to update previously adjusted parts.  Overview The cornerstone of our software is the built-in pricing! Clear Estimates updates material prices for over 400 locations nationwide, every quar...

1 min reading time
Updated February 16th, 2022 by Michael Croteau

Clear Estimates Training Tutorial

More Learning: Edit Material Costs Edit Labor Cost Edit Labor Rates Edit Line Item Text Payment Schedules Boilerplate Language Using Components Using Alternates Creating Invoices...

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Updated May 10th, 2022 by Michael Croteau

Charge a Flat Rate for Material

How to charge a Flat Rate for Materials In this example, we'll look at how you can input a flat material cost for a part in your estimate. This is great for when you know what you want to charge the customer already, and you can quickly put this into your estimate! You can also do this for labor or subcontractor costs! See these articles for more in...

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Updated July 29th, 2021 by Michael Croteau

Formatting your Proposal

Curious about your formatting options in Clear Estimates? This walkthrough guide will show you how to change text size, font or color on your proposals. We'll also talk about some general set up options, and how to fix some common formatting issues....

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Updated March 17th, 2022 by Michael Croteau

How to Cancel your Subscription

Click "Options" Click "Cancel Subscription" Overview: You can easily cancel or change  your subscription at any time - right from the software. All of your subscription preferences can be found in your "Options" tool, located in the upper right hand corner of your screen. From the Options Tool, find the list of options on the left. At the very botto...

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Updated May 12th, 2022 by Michael Croteau

How to Add Contingency to your Project

Click "Create Custom Part". Type your description and dollar amount. Change markup to "0". Overview Regardless of your project size, you always need to be prepared for the unexpected. You can spend hours detailing every aspect of the job for your client - but there can always be those "unknown unknowns", the unforeseen changes that can cost you afte...

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Updated June 30th, 2021 by Michael Croteau

Customizing Categories in your Reports Tool

Overview You have a number of options in your Reports tool for customizing proposals. Each proposal export has its own tab. Each tab (Preliminary, Formal, Subcontractor) includes Category options. You can use these to choose which categories will display on your report! How To On any proposal tab, scroll past your general settings. Here you will see...

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Updated September 3rd, 2021 by Michael Croteau

▶️ Include Taxes & Discounts

Need to add sales tax, discounts, profit margin, or other line items below the “base bid”? This will walk you through all your options for adding these items. ...

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Updated March 22nd, 2022 by Michael Croteau

The Report Text Shortcuts

When adjusting items in your Adjust  Part tool, you may have noticed the grey “Insert” buttons: “Provide and Install”, “Quantity”, “Unit Type”, and “Part Description”. What are these? When should you use them? You’ll see these buttons right below the text boxes for the “Preliminary Text”, “Formal Text” and “Subcontractor Text”. These text boxes are ...

1 min reading time
Updated May 11th, 2022 by Michael Croteau

Delete a Part in Your Project

Add something to your project by mistake? No problem! You can easily delete parts from your project.To delete a part, first find the part on your Project Overview, in your Projects page. Be sure you're selecting the item you want deleted.  To the right of your part, click the trashcan: Deleting Multiple Items You can also delete multiple items at ...

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Updated May 10th, 2022 by Michael Croteau

Charge Your Customer a $/unit for Labor

How to charge a specific $/unit cost to a customer for labor In this example, we're looking at how you can input a $/unit cost for the labor cost of a particular part in your estimate. Simple Steps: Let's say you're installing a ceramic tile floor and you want to charge $1.50/square foot for the installation labor. Well, that's easy! First, Open the...

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Updated May 10th, 2022 by Michael Croteau

Charge a Flat Rate for Subcontractor

How to charge a Flat Rate for a Subcontractor Cost In this example, we'll look at how you can enter a flat subcontractor cost for any part in your estimate. This is great for when you know what your subcontractor charges, and you want to quickly add this into your estimate! You can also do this for labor or material costs! See these articles for mor...

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Updated May 10th, 2022 by Michael Croteau

Using a Subcontractor for Installation

Set-up a Part with Subcontractor Costs for Installation In this example, we'll take a look at how you can create a part that includes Material Cost for materials, but uses a Subcontractor for the installation cost. Simple Steps From your Projects page, open your part with the pencil button (far right). Un-check the "Labor Cost Calculation" box to re...

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Updated May 27th, 2021 by Michael Croteau

Edit the Labor Cost of a Part

Decision Tree What would you like to do?  Edit my Labor Rates Edit Labor Cost of an Item Add Button This video is for editing labor cost for one item. To adjust your labor rates, click here. You're in the right place! See the walkthrough guide below Learn to edit the cost of labor for any item in your estimate!...

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Updated August 12th, 2021 by Michael Croteau

Finding Roofing Items

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Updated August 20th, 2021 by Michael Croteau

Finding Electrical Items

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Updated July 8th, 2021 by Michael Croteau

Do More with Part Actions

Overview Parts make up the core of your estimate. They contain your material & labor costs, markup amounts, labor rates & hours, and more! Clear Estimates gives you powerful tools to manage your parts, and keep your estimates organized. Let's take a look! Favorite a Part Favoriting a part lets you keep that item near the top of the list, so ...

1 min reading time
Updated September 9th, 2021 by Michael Croteau

Delete / Archive a Customer or Project

Want to know how to archive a customer or project? Here's a quick tutorial!...

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Updated August 20th, 2021 by Michael Croteau

Finding Painting Items

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Updated August 10th, 2021 by Michael Croteau

Finding Deck Items

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Updated May 12th, 2022 by Michael Croteau

Customize Markup for One Line-Item

Overview In this example, we'll show how you can customize the markup for one particular line-item. Its extremely easy to do, let's take a look! Simple Steps: Let's say your item is using 50% markup for Material, Labor, and Subcontractor costs (this is the default in Clear Estimates) but you want to use 25% for Materials, 10% for Labor, and 75% for ...

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Updated May 17th, 2022 by Michael Croteau

Adding Taxes and Discounts

Overview No matter what kind of service you offer, tax always needs to be accounted for! Clear Estimates includes cost data for each part in the database, and tax can be added to your estimate separately. We make it simple to include any kind of tax item, or even discounts, on your estimate - all from one convenient tool! Adding Tax to your Estimate...

2 min reading time
Updated April 16th, 2021 by Michael Croteau

How the $/unit Cost Calculation Works

Overview You've certainly seen this calculation type before! This is where you simply enter a cost per unit for a particular item. When Clear Estimates calculates the total cost of the part, it will multiply your cost/unit times the quantity you've entered. Where You Can Use It The $/unit calculation option is available for your Material, Labor, or ...

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Updated May 20th, 2021 by Michael Croteau

Edit the Material Cost of a Part

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Updated August 20th, 2021 by Michael Croteau

Finding Plumbing Items

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Updated August 20th, 2021 by Michael Croteau

Finding Handyman Items

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Updated October 12th, 2021 by Michael Croteau

Customers Page Overview

Overview We've recently updated our Customers page - making it easier than ever to keep track of your customer info! To help you get started, here is a convenient guide to everything in your new "Customers" page! As always, all of your customer information can be found by clicking "Customers", from your Managers: "Customers" is where you will keep t...

2 min reading time
Updated February 15th, 2022 by Michael Croteau

Customizing Clear Estimates Overview

Overview Clear Estimates is built for remodelers, but did you know you can customize Clear Estimates for other types of work? In this guide, we'll talk about how to customize Clear Estimates. Below the video, you'll find in-depth resources for personalizing your part library!   Important If you edit part costs for pre-built Clear Estimates parts, be...

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Updated November 12th, 2021 by Michael Croteau

▶️ Customizing your Part Categories

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Updated September 23rd, 2021 by Michael Croteau

Customizing Export Project Breakdowns

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Updated June 24th, 2021 by Michael Croteau

▶️ Duplicating a Project to a New Customer

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Updated May 10th, 2022 by Michael Croteau

How the Hours Cost Calculation Works

Overview The Hours cost calculation is a mix between the Lump Sum and the Hours/Unit calculation. This is great for when you want to charge a customer for a certain number of hours, regardless of the quantity / size of the project. Like Lump Sum, Hours will ignore the quantity of the part itself. For this calculation, you will simply enter the total...

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Updated November 10th, 2021 by Michael Croteau

How Part Costs Are Calculated

Overview In Clear Estimates, the cost of your project is calculated by adding up each individual item in your estimate. When you want to change your project's cost, you'll need to start with your parts! In this article, we'll walk through the different ways you can calculate the cost of a part! Each part has three cost buckets - Material Cost, Labor...

1 min reading time
Updated February 16th, 2022 by Michael Croteau

Finding Fencing & Landscaping Items

Need to add in your own parts? Follow the guides below! Add a Custom Part to an Estimate Add Custom Parts to Your Part Library Importing Your Own Parts from Excel...

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Updated September 3rd, 2021 by Michael Croteau

▶️ Add your Clearent API Key to your Account

Delete No Clearent Account? If you are looking to accept payments, but have not yet set up your Clearent account, click here to sign up for a Clearent account and start accepting payments through Clear Estimates!...

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Updated September 17th, 2021 by Michael Croteau

Add Subcontractor Cost to a Part

This video will show you how to add subcontractor cost to a part! ...

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Updated December 8th, 2021 by Michael Croteau

Rounding Preferences

Click OptionsUnder "Preferences", click "Rounding". Set up your rounding preferences. Click "Save" at the bottom.   Overview Clear Estimates includes a number of settings for your proposals. One of those options is your rounding preferences, which allow you to customize how costs add up on your proposal.  Rounding allows you to remove extra cents fr...

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Updated May 28th, 2021 by Michael Croteau

How the Lump Sum Cost Calculation Works

Overview Lump sum is great when you want to charge a customer a fixed amount, regardless of the quantity. Perfect for installation costs when you don't want to get into the details about how many hours it will take: instead, just charge a flat rate! Where You Can Use It The lump sum calculation option is available for your Material, Labor, or Subcon...

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