Author - Joshua Jackett

Why Choose PlusSpec Over Traditional CAD?

Well the gloves are off and PlusSpec has been proven to be much better than traditional CAD and Estimation packages.

Let us show you how to change your business to accommodate a new software package that your team will enjoy using. Your clients will love you for and your bookkeeper will be delighted with.

PlusSpec has a brilliant interface, easy and fast to learn:  CAD and BIM have a traditional reputation of being complex, hard to learn and dare I say….boring.

PlusSpec makes the BIM and computer aided drafting learning curve much faster. Traditional CAD users will tell you to become proficient takes a lifetime. in most cases you still have not mastered the program. Users with CAD background can make the change to PlusSpec in less than a week. New users are able to grasp the basics of the software very quickly and with some training can become proficient in a little over a month. This means there is very little down time to your business and little time lost upskilling staff to do things they never thought possible. Basically, PlusSpec is simple, intuitive and fun to use.

Incorporates real products: Finally the change the industry needed, we have traditionally left product selection and specification out of the design faze. Essentially this doubles our work load from the very beginning. How do we get comparative estimates if Architects, Estimators and Builders are not basing their pricing on comparative products. It is simply not possible. PlusSpec allows you to specify (and estimate) with real products from the start,  it’s simply a better way to design and estimate your projects.

PlusSpec has the ability to Design+BIM+Estimate in one amazing software, why would you have 3 different pieces of software?  You need to train your staff for all three in traditional CAD (and with staff retention there is a good chance you will need to train new staff). You also need to stay current with updates and new features all by a factor of 3. Affordability: let’s not even get started on the cost of competitors software times 3. At last count you could get a PlusSpec subscription for 10 years for the purchase cost of some rival software. Then you still have to pay their subscription.

The ultimate communication tool, connecting Design and Construction. Let’’s outline one simple yet inescapable fact,  clients do not understand 2D black and white plans. I can say this with absolute certainty as the last client I worked with provided me with a set of plan to build off. I created a 3D model to illustrate what the final product would look like. Result: He hated it and made 9 major changes (yes 9). The ability of show your clients a 3D visualisation of their project before you start, using real products and allow them to walk through. Is priceless, put simply the greatest sales tool your business can have.

Built in estimation giving you accurate takeoffs in real time. No more generic (inaccurate) M2 rates. Square meter rates are a dangerous tool. Is it the same cost to build a 10m2 square house as it is to build a 10m2 round one? Of course not and if you base your business off this method you will eventually come unstuck. PlusSpec gives accurate quantities using real products with simply the click of a button. Meaning it’s actually faster to do the job properly, and you won’t regret it. 

Traditional CAD is very rigid and inflexible with many constraints and restrictions.

Trimble Sketchup has changed the game. 3D modelling has become free form and easy. The only issue was to create wall layers and components was time consuming and took a required level of knowledge.

PlusSpec for Sketchup makes the creation of components (walls, roofs etc.) and their documentation quick and easy. Then if your want to add something outside the box you have all the capabilities of Sketchup; it really is the best of both worlds

Construction Software Australia offer both free and paid training packages including and upcoming 3 day extensive training program that will take you from novice to pro over a 3 day period. To view more about the 3 day training program click here. So learning PlusSpec and integrating it into your business is now faster and easier than ever.

Save Thousands on Building and Renovating Costs

Did you know that by having a one on one discussion with an experienced Design Builder,  it can save time and cut costs? Once you have an idea of what your project will look like, together you can save literally thousands of dollars and up to 20% of your construction time.

There is no secret potion or magic recipe. By applying experienced  building knowledge and common sense you can quickly discover how suitable your design will be for your location. Fabulous opportunities are often overlooked in this early stage of your project, making minor changes to the way you proceed will determine the outcome.  Things like standard sizes, material selection and reducing the complexity can make such a difference to the cost of your project.

Discussing your needs and ideas with a Design Builder is an excellent way to be sure you will arrive at the right destination; it is paramount that  both parties understand and agree that together we are working toward a common goal.

The fact is that the more you can clarify, and the better you can relay your ideas to your builder, the better your quote is going to be.

To be completely honest as a builder, if you get a client who is unsure or is constantly changing their minds becomes problematic. The simple fact here is, changes create problems which create cost. This can and should all be avoided by working together efficiently.

Here are a few great examples of  simple steps to put your mind at ease and save you some serious time and money.

  • Have a really clear project brief. Tell your builder exactly what you want, have some pictures, examples and drawings.The less work he has to do setting this all up is the less he will charge you for.

  • Book a free hour’s consultation with a builder (if they won’t do it don’t use them). It is here that you can discuss your ideas and they will give you practical advice on how to save money and time. As well as offering design and building tips based on industry know how and experience, they can guide you through the process of things like, going through council, dealing with tradesmen/consultants, building timeframes and much more.

  • Get your house drawn in 3D before you start. This resource is invaluable and can not be recommended enough. This gives you a crystal clear idea of what you are going to get. At the end of the day this is a large amount of money you’re going to invest. You should make sure you understand what it will look like. Traditional 2D plans simply don’t tell you this (you can’t exactly virtually walk through a paper plan). 3D models allow you to see the project: materials, colours setbacks, doors opening and closing, how the sun can affect it and much more. But how can you do this? Check out the PlusSpec software on our website to find out more. It allows you to make changes and design amendments without variation fees. Let me assure you this is one of the smartest investments you will ever make.

  • Work in standard shapes and sizes. Complicated roofs and diamond shaped facades may look great. But the fact is that anything that isn’t a standard or is a concept, is going to cost you at least 20% more. So do some research on standard building specifications and leave the complexity to a few small features and you will save a great deal on your budget.

Basically it is about being comfortable with your builder and your builder getting a crystal clear understanding of your wants, ideas and even concerns. At New Age Building and Design we go to great lengths to ensure we discuss your project in detail. We consult with you to ensure you understand and are comfortable with each step before moving forward.

If you would like any more information, to set up a free design/build consultation or just to chat about your development then please feel free to get in touch with us at or email

Up your productivity, increase your profit in 4 Simple steps

  Four ways how Builders can get there life back and spend more quality time together with their families.


  1. Turn your auto sync off on your phone email and check it irregularly. Do you know how many real emergency emails I have had in my years onsite that made me actually drop tools and leave site. NONE. I was assuming that these emergencies simply don’t happen to me? Luckiest guy in the world? No not really….. emergencies like real ones, (not my plumber is gonna be a day late) simply don’t happen all that often. So why do people think they need to look at every single email that ever comes through and respond within a 5 minute period.  99.9% of these can wait till after work, meaning they can be batched together to save time. The simple fact is that email is the best and absolute worst invention to ever happen to business. If you put a price on the hours spent on email per week you will quickly realise it is killing your business. So allocate one hour a day to address it. Tell all your staff that to become more productive you are only addressing email in this fashion. If you do this correctly your time saving will be massive.



  • Get PlusSpec:    How much time per year does your business spend quoting off plans? Or designing and/or altering new plans? Consulting with clients? If you’re anything like the majority of builders I would say a great deal, and generally not paid time. Although there is now a push within the industry to charge for quotes its not here yet. So we need to drastically cut down the time taken to complete these quotes and consult better with our clients. PlusSpec is a 3D modelling + Estimating program that uses real products to create a realistic virtual model so you can show your client exactly what their house will look like. You can then consult with them over the project in real time. Need to make a change, No issue. Client wants to change the bricks, done. All with the click of a button. And once the clients design changes or variations are completed simply hit the material takeoff button and PlusSpec will generate your quote…….with the click of a button. The benefits of this program cannot be understated, want to detect building problems before they happen? Do quotes in literally a third of the time? Show detailed excavation and site conditions? Draw Building documentation for submission. PlusSpec can do it all!! And the best part, it can do it all better than traditional methods, and in half the time. Visit




  • Virtual online meetings: I personally live in Sydney and getting to and from one end to the other morning or afternoon in under 2 hours takes some doing.  But then a simple solution came to mind.  If most of my consultation is now done on the computer and all my changes can be made there. Then why do i physically have to drag myself  all over town to see clients. Do they really want to see my face? No. Do they need to see anything that I cannot show them on a computer? Not really. So now i simply log on the virtual meeting (I use gotomeeting by citrix, but whatever works for your location and circumstance). Now I simply flick my clients and email and log in to a meeting online. They can see my screen and we can talk openly and clearly. So now my 3+hour drive across town is reduced to a quick email and ½ hour online meeting saving me 3+ hours every meeting.



  1. Get  Client relationship Management software (CRM).


As previously stated email can be a real drain on your business,  it makes smart business sense to streamline and automate a great deal of the time consuming activities. I have found that the use of a CRM can cut email usage and client record keeping in half. So what is a CRM and how can it help. Here are some of the way a CRM can help your building business:

  • Easily store and file all contacts in specific fields, ie Quotes, jobs won, contractors, employees etc.
  • Search for any contact quickly and easily, as well as see all previous correspondence. This save a mountain of time as once a client’s name is typed in all previous emails are shown.
  • Track email: When they are opened and for how long.
  • Send bulk emails to specific groups, need to update all staff and contractors at once. Email groups can be filtered and sent, track quickly and easily.
  • Autoresponders can be set up to answer generic questions and welcome emails saving time .

CRMs can range wildly in price, however i have come across prosper works which link to google apps (see my other blog on why I think this is the best email service).This means all your current contact will simply and easily import and all emails uploaded. It is by far the easiest integration I have ever come across and with plans start from as little as $20 per month US it’s only a small investment that will make a great improvement to your business. Check out prosper works today


PlusSpec 2016 – More than just BIM

PlusSpec is the first software solution that has been made for the Design, Construction and Manufacturing Industries, equally. It is not BIG-BIM, and makes no claim to be. PlusSpec is BIM for Residential Design + Construction + Estimating. But, they are even more than that. In fact, they have left other 2D and 3D CAD software in the dirt.

SYDNEY, March 02, 2016 – RubySketch announced today the latest version of the world’s only true Virtual Design & Construction Software solution for Architects, Builders, Estimators and Manufacturers. PlusSpec has evolved the concept of BIM, and is radically changing the way that the Design and Construction Industries communicate and deliver projects.
PlusSpec is a combination of 3D CAD, Building Information Modelling, Virtual Design & Construction, Estimating, Real Product integration, and Integrated Project Delivery. Other 3D BIM software solutions allow their users to use 3D modelling simply as a more efficient way to create 2D plans. However, PlusSpec produces a 3D model that can be used by all Project Stakeholders, at every stage of a project, whether it is in an office, or onsite. It is the ultimate communication tool, and will drastically reduce the amount of required 2D documentation, as well as error and waste – both in the office, and on site. The core ethos behind PlusSpec is communication as a catalyst for improved efficiency. PlusSpec communicates design, structure, and product information like no other software – making it the first true Virtual Design & Construction, BIM software. This technological breakthrough is what the Design and Construction Industries have been dreaming of.
‘PlusSpec 16 is an important milestone in its evolution. Although we continuously release new tools and features, this is the first major update since it’s initial release in April 2015’, said Andrew Dwight, BDM & Founder of RubySketch. ‘Although this release will introduce some amazing new tools, as well as a plethora of improvements to existing tools – we are most excited about the new Roof Truss tool, and the MEP tools. We see this release as merely a small step (although an important one) toward a much bigger picture. And you won’t believe what is coming next’.

What’s New in PlusSpec 2016

Do you prefer to watch videos, than reading? If so, you may like to take a look at our What’s New in PlusSpec 2016 in depth video, instead:

Improved Settings
Inside the Settings Tool you can now set which material package you wish to use (country), select the currency symbol that suits your region, as well as what units (metric or imperial) you want to draw in.

Imperial Measurements
The PlusSpec dialogues have been pimped so that US users can input Imperial measurements (feet and inches) in all of the tool dialogues, instead of just inches. Users can now also select from either degrees or ratios to select the pitch/angle of a roof.

Advanced Structure
Although PlusSpec automatically generates customizable structure, such as: timber stud wall framing, window headers/lintels, floor joists, masonry bars, roof rafters, ridges, footings, etc
– PlusSpec 2016 now allows users to also generate Roof Trusses.

The brand new MEP (Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing) tool is intuitive and easy to use. Communication is the driving ethos behind PlusSpec, and the inclusion of MEP, provides Engineers with the first MEP software that is easy-to-use. Design Professionals and Builders will also be able to better understand and account for these provisions, which are typically left out of the BIM process in 3D form – and often lead to unforeseen, and costly errors on site.

New Cutting tools
PlusSpec 2016 has become even closer to reality by allowing users to quickly and easily cut voids in concrete slabs, add penetrations (for pipework), recesses, and drop edge beams. All of these tools are parametric, and allow users to edit or move them, at any time. The Take-off also automatically deducts the voids and penetrations, ensuring that quantification is 100% accurate. The Joist tool also got a makeover, so that users can more easily add stair voids and openings, whilst automatically updating the structure. And to make the cutting tools even more powerful, now you can cut voids through the wall and floor surface cladding tools, which cuts through every layer (the material, the underlay and the glue).

Superpowered VDC
Virtual Design and Construction is the core premise behind PlusSpec, so it is important that your designs are as real worldly as possible. Now, all internal linings are drawn accurately (with nominated thickness). Brand new metal roofing, fascia and gutter options are also now available (Australian users will be happy to hear that they will now have access to all of the roof products and colours from Stramit/Colorbond™).

The Ceiling tool has also been updated so that users can now generate cornices.

Dimension Guides
Intuitive dimension strings now guide the insertion of windows and doors. These dimensions can be toggled so that doors and windows can be inserted or offset by exact distances, and from different points (exterior wall, interior wall, frame, etc).

North Tools
The new North tools allow users to geo-locate their site, and then set Project North, which will adjust the site and North Point accordingly. Sun and Shadow Diagrams will be set at Project North, but accurately capture the sun to real world conditions. Users will now also be able to automatically generate Sun & Shadow Analysis plans, with the addition of a new scene set.

Communication & Collaboration Improvements
PlusSpec 2016 has enhanced the Tag tool, with the addition of a reply field, so that it is easier to track the communication between the Project Stakeholders. Communication between the Project Stakeholders is also recorded within the Take-off, and time and date stamped for easy reference.

Microsoft Excel Integration
PlusSpec is more than just a 3D CAD design and construction BIM software. Part of what makes PlusSpec so revolutionary, is that it is a full quantification and estimation software. Feasibility studies and price estimates have never been this easy, or accurate. Everything that you draw in PlusSpec is quantified (lineal meters, m2, m3). PlusSpec 2016 has taken the power of its estimation a step further, by now allowing you to export your Take-off directly into Excel as an XML file, so that you can take your feasibility and/or estimating to an even greater, more controllable level of detail.

See the full Release Notes here:

PlusSpec 2016 Release Notes

THE PLUSSPEC 2016 update is a FREE update for all existing subscriptions. If you do not own an active licence, purchase PlusSpec 2016 for less than AUD$20, US$14, £10, €13, per week!

About RubySketch
RubySketch is a passionate advocate of a stronger and more unified approach between design professionals, the construction industry, and building product manufacturers – and has established itself as one of the foremost product content providers and content solution consultants in the world. Since September 2010, RubySketch has been trailblazing the industry, by passionately connecting Manufacturers with the Design and Construction Industries, so that real products can be better used within 3D BIM projects. With this drive, it continues to dominate the industry, producing the most intuitive and powerful 3D content, for BIM software.

With the release of PlusSpec, in 2015, RubySketch has pioneered a new 3D revolution, which unites the design, construction and building manufacturing Industries, and has resulted in the foundation of the first true Virtual Integrated Project Delivery Software.

PlusSpec has been designed by architects, builders and engineers, for architects, builders and engineers – and it is the only design and construction software that truly adopts the use of real products from building manufacturers.

Get PlusSpec for SketchUp Today!

The importance of a System for your Building Business

shutterstock_137251163 (2)A problem in the Building Industry


If you ever want your business to outgrow your self then you need to ensure that you have systems in place to allow works to be delegated. To many building professionals count on one system and one tool. Themselves and their body. Both of which 1. Wont last forever and 2. Cannot be sold or passed on at the end to cash in. The main reasons for this is simple and every builder will tell you the same ones.


  1. Good help is hard to find
  2. If you want it done right you need to do it yourself.
  3. Hiring People comes with endless hassles.


What Building business really need are systems that can be put in place so anyone can assist in running their business.

Systems can replace the major concern for business, the belief that you can only hire talented people to undertake your work. And if you lose them you are back  to square one. Having an adequate system in place can dramatically reduce the training and reskilling of staff.

Work systems can be delegated so that everyone and anyone can undertake them.  Meaning your business is less reliant on you, and you don’t need to be there 24/7 every waking minute.

You could then hire youth and mould them into employee’s that can replace you as well as training future youth to replace them. As it has been said a thousand times, most of us can make a better hamburger than McDonald’s. But yet they have a better business and dominate the world? Why? The main reason for this is they have a simplified system.

A system that can be run by school kids. Imagine if your business had a system where if you had 120 points of IQ you could leave 100 a home, meaning there was no need to hire highly skilled (and expensive staff). Or the major goal! A system or business that can run on autopilot. All this is heading towards an area where we Builders greatly fail.The ability to sell our business at the end. To many builders spend a lifetime building a brand and a name for their business, giving all they have to their creation…….then what? They shut it down and sell the old tools and equipment for a fraction of what they are worth.

Imagine if the sale of the business could provide one final (hopefully biggest) payday?

Technology is the greatest system of them all. Business needs to utilize these systems to increase productivity as well as allow less skilled or new staff to do more. The problem i see for the building industry is that the builders that don’t utilise and leverage these technologies will simply not be able to compete and go the way of McDonalds (sure you will build a better hamburger (read house), but can you build a better business for you and your family).


Here are some of the system that can be employed to take your business to the next level.


Cloud based technologies sounds complex but i assure you it isn’t. Cloud in its simplest term means off site storage. Simply instead of storing them on your own computer they are stored off site in large data factories. The beauty of this is 3 fold. 1.You can access them from anywhere/anytime. 2. If you gear is lost or stolen you can simply log back in and there is all your data. 3. They can be logged into by multiple staff meaning staff can access them onsite as well as in the office at the same time.  Drop box is a technology i use to store all my site photos, reciepts, documents and all other data i need to run my business.


Project Management Sofware:  Builder trend is a web based tool that has several cool features such as 1. Client interaction and scheduling. 2. Lead generation and capturing. 3. Cost and budgeting applications. 4.Project management.  All of these make the hard tasks easy and as it is web based you can access it everywhere. It simply take care of all the things client have come to expect, and it does it with ease.


CAD, BIM and Estimation software: PlusSpec. PlusSpec really is the first of its kind. A Building information modelling(BIM) CAD program that quantifies as you draw. The beauty of this is that estimation of plans and taking hours to a quote are a thing of the past. And the winner is that you draw, design and model you do so in real products. Something you never knew you wanted but once you see the benefits you will never knew how you did without. Sort of like the horse and cart vs the car. This is so much more than a simple CAD program.

-Want to draw your own plans,

-estimate of existing plans (in a fraction of the time),

show your clients there house in 3D,

Allow them to choose real products from a virtual showroom,

The path of the sun on there home,


PlusSpec CAN DO IT ALL!!! And free training webinars are held twice a month (yes they also train you for free) this really is a no brainer software for your building business.

visit for more information.