You can import estimate items into job templates and jobs in ContractorTools, and you can import cost items into custom costbooks. 

To import into a job template

To import into a job template, select "Job Templates" in the main menu, select the job template, select "Estimate", then select "Items". Then follow the instructions below.

To import into a job

To import into a job template, select "Jobs" in the main menu, select the job, select "Estimate", then select "Items". Then follow the instructions below.

To import into a custom costbook

To import into a custom costbook , select "Custom Costbooks" in the main menu, select the costbook, select "Items" and then follow the instructions below.

  • Tap the + button to add an item.

  • Tap “From a SpreadSheet”. This will display the “Import Items” screen.

  • Tap “Email Spreadsheet Templates”. ContractorTools will send an email with two spreadsheets attached – one in Excel (for Windows) and another in Numbers (for Mac).

  • Open the spreadsheet on your computer and enter the estimate item data in the appropriate columns. Note: The “group” columns allow you to arrange the items in item groups.

  • Save the spreadsheet as a .csv file in an internet file service such as DropBox, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc.

  • Now, back in ContractorTools, in the “Import Items” screen, tap “Chose a CSV File”. Browse to and select the .csv file that you saved in step 6. This will import the estimate items in the spreadsheet.

Here is a video about importing cost item data into ContractorTools:

Notes About Importing From Spreadsheets

  • When an item is imported from a spreadsheet, ContractorTools checks to see if an item with the same name in the same item group already exists. If it exists, the item is updated with the information being imported. If it does not exist, the item is added.

    Question: What happens if you have an item with the same name in more than one item group? For example, "Widget A" exists in three different item groups: "Group 1", "Group 2", "Group 3".
    Answer: Items with the same name that are contained in separate item groups are treated as distinct items. So, "Widget A" in "Group 1" is a separate item from "Widget A" in other groups. If you want to update the cost of "Widget A" in multiple groups, you have to have a separate row in the import spreadsheet for each one: "Widget A" in "Group 1", "Widget A" in "Group 2", etc.

  • No items are ever deleted when importing, so the spreadsheet does not need to contain all of the items currently in the list. 

  • The order of the items in the spreadsheet does not matter.

  • You can re-import the same spreadsheet multiple times. This way, you can make updates to items in the same spreadsheet and import it multiple times.

  • Imported items will not be duplicated.

Importing Rate Based Costs

Rate based costs are costs that can be calculated by hourly rate. Labor and subcontract are examples of rate based costs. For the discussion below, we will use Labor as an example.

There are two ways you can enter (or import) labor costs in estimate items:

  • Cost Per Unit. This is how much labor will cost for each unit installed. For example, if the item is a 10 foot section of conduit, you might enter the labor cost as $10. That means it costs $10 of labor to install one 10 foot section of conduit. If the item quantity is 10, the program would multiply the quantity (10) times the $10 labor cost per each, for a total of $100 labor for that item.

  • Labor Cost Per Hour and Productivity Rate (hours per unit). This is how much labor costs per hour, and how many units can be installed per hour. For example, if the item is a 10 foot section of conduit, you might enter the labor cost as $40 per hour, and the productivity rate as 4 units per hour. Then, if the item quantity is 10, the program would calculate the total hours by dividing the quantity (10) by the units per hour (4), which equals 2.5, and then multiply that by the cost per hour ($40) for a total of $100.

So, you can import labor costs either in the "Labor ($/unit)" column, or in the "Labor Rate ($/hr)" and "Labor Productivity (units/hr)" columns. Both of these methods will calculate the labor cost based on the item quantity.

Important Information About Data Encoding

Please see this article for important information about data encoding in data imported into ContractorTools.

Did this answer your question?