Tradies

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 www.newagebuildingnaddesign.com.au or email josh@newagebuildinganddesign.com.au

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 www.dropbox.com 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 www.buildertrend.com 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,

Contours

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 www.constructionsoftwareaustralia.com.au for more information.

10 Tips to Becoming Successful as a Design & Construction Company

successful design construction for builder architects effective
I have been designing and building for 24 years. Integrated Design & Build firms are a different animal to the traditional Client + Architect + Builder scenario. They are more profitable, but they usually have a larger staff ratio, which can be a bit of a handful and a trap for ‘inexperienced’ players. Essentially the responsibility of a project, from start to finish, resides solely with one company alone – and the blame game does not come into play for clients. This is why reputable design build firms are much sought after.

Not everyone can design, yet most of us can, and the longer you have been in the industry, the better you get at it. There is real job satisfaction to be gained when you build your own designs. I recommend it highly.

It took me some time to get used to the in-house design and in-house build workflow, and there were many things that I needed to do to flourish and become profitable. When I look back and ask myself what the key ingredient to success was, I always come to the same conclusion: Communication.

Here are 10 steps that I took to make my design & build company more successful. After implementing these simple rules and improvements, I reduced waste by over 20% I am not just talking about leftover materials, I am talking about time by becoming efficiency. The end result was clearly displayed in profit margins.

The 10 Steps to success:

  1. Employ youth straight out of School as apprentices. Once they become qualified pay them what they are worth, and reward them when they do the right thing. Young brains can be trained to do things the way you like them, so spend the time needed to train them correctly. Start small, as the biggest killer for new companies is too much work. However, most think it is not enough work.
  2. Concentrate on communication with the client. We all know that out of every 10 people you meet, you are inevitably going to clash with one. That is life. Try and ‘pick and choose’ customers. If it feels bad, gracefully decline the job. Life is too short! It is easy to keep clients onboard when you explain what you are doing, and in a way they understand. Clients do not understand 2D drawings, but they do understand 3D. We were all born seeing the world in 3D, and we only learned 2D because that was the best way to communicate before the advent of modern technology (like 3d CAD software & iphones).
  3. Get with the times! Technology can be a distraction, so take my advice and delete LinkedIn, Facebook and twitter from your phone. These are social apps that the marketing people in your business should use. I am not saying that you shouldn’t use them, just use them at the right time and place, as they can be very distracting. You need to get the technology that works for your business, not the other way around. Checkout www.plusspec.com. PlusSpec was made for what we do – nothing else!
  4. Never employ friends or relatives, and try not to do their work either. Christmas will be so much more enjoyable. Believe me.
  5. Insist on quality. Good enough is not considered good in my book! If you would not have it in your house, do not put it in one of your clients. You will find that your clients will tell their friends when they are happy. I found that for every 1 happy client, they told 5 friends. Recommendation is the best way to get more work. It cuts down on marketing expenses, and more often than not, the client will not bother seeking another quote. People trust their friends, and what they can see firsthand.
  6. Make sure your office is close to home. An hour each way in traffic is 2 hours out of each day that you could be doing something productive (or dare I say relaxing?).
  7. Buy Cheap, buy twice! We have all been guilty of going to the local hardware and buying the $40 drill. If you will use it more than twice, then you should buy quality gear that is reliable. This is the same for every facet of your business, including computers, chairs and desks. If you only need it once, then rent it.
  8. Do not rent equipment. Buy everything that you need, as soon as you can afford it. If you are buying specialised machinery, you should charge it out to your clients at the same rate that you would pay to rent it.
  9. If it looks and sounds too good to be true it is! 95% of the time unbelievable deals are unbelievable. Trust your instinct, not the sales person. Their only job is to get your hard earned cash by selling you their goods. Unfortunately, integrity is becoming a thing of the past for many salespeople, which I find disappointing. Get used to negotiating better buy prices from the people that are trying hard to sell to you.
  10. The biggest advantage I gained was by using 3D modeling and PlusSpec. It sounds difficult yet it is not. I created PlusSpec, and as I developed it, I improved it with the profits I gained from the results. At first, I never told a soul; it was my secret, my advantage, and I kept it to myself. Now PlusSpec is in over 80 countries around the world. Yep word of mouth did the trick.  These days, I really only design and build 1 or 2 homes per year, and the prerequisite for doing the job is that the project must be with 15 minutes from my home.

Take the time to work on your business, and not in it. Do this as soon as you can. Learn better things that will actually help you grow. Technology will boost your sales through communication, decrease your errors via clear plan interpretation, lower your design time, increase accuracy of your quotes for design, and quotes for build.

If you want to know more about PlusSpec, you can check it out here. I am very proud of the achievement, and the improvement it is making to businesses small and large. It is the pinnacle of design and construction technology to date. Yes, it is subscription based, yet the truth is you stay up to date with the latest technology, every minute of the day. And for less than $20 per week you will never look back! I guarantee it.

That is it from me, I look forward to hearing your stories of success.