Category Archives: Tradies

Introducing FREE weekly webinars

By | Architects, Architecture, BIM, Builders, Business, Construction, Design, Designers, Estimating, Estimators, manufacturers, PlusSpec, PlusSpec Updates, Sketchup, Software, Technology, Trades, Tradies, Tutorial, Uncategorized, VDC, Webinar | No Comments

Did you know that we now hold a FREE Webinar EVERY week?!

 

Our Webinars have already become extremely popular, and our limited seats fill up quickly. Each week we have people from over 20 countries attend, from every profession: Architects, Designers, Interiors, Builders, Trades, Engineers, Estimators and Manufacturers. We are super happy about this! Uniting the design and construction Industry, so that we can all be more efficient and profitable, is one of the main reasons we get out of bed. What other software can say that?!

 

These live, interactive webinars have been designed to help you. It doesn’t matter if you are a PluSpec user, or if you just want to know more.  This is the best way to get answers to your questions and see why PlusSpec is the right choice for your business.

 

We hold our Webinars every Thursday @ 9am AEDT / Wednesday @ 2pm PST. However, we understand that this time may not suit you, and this is why we also record each session. As long as you register (even if you can’t attend) you will receive the recording so that you can watch it at a time that suits you. If you don’t register, you won’t receive the recording, so please check out our webinar page at the beginning of each week so you don’t miss out!

 

Our Webinars last 40-60 minutes and each session will discuss a specific topic. However, we have limited seats, so please register early so you don’t miss out.

 

We recommend that you bookmark our Webinar Page so you always know what’s coming.

 

If there is a topic that you would like us to hold a webinar on, you can make requests for upcoming registers when you Save Your Seat for a Webinar.

 

Click HERE to see our Webinar Page and stay up to date with your FREE learning.

Supporting Our Friend: Builders Profits – Workshop

By | Builders, Business, Construction, Estimating, Estimators, Technology, Trades, Tradies, Uncategorized | No Comments

At PlusSpec, we know how important it is to connect industry, and support friends.

Builders Profits Logo_PlusSpec Partner

Our friends Builders Profits are offering a Workshop to help improve your success in 2017.

 

If you have a business in the construction industry (in Australia or North America), and need help growing your business, then this Workshop by Builders Profits will help you get on track fast.

From the words of Builders Profits:
‘Discover the 5 fundamental steps that will make 2017 your best year you ever! This is an online workshop not a sales webinar and there will be a downloadable workbook sent to you 24 hours before the workshop.
In this workshop you will discover…
  • the number one place you should start when it comes to planning (HINT: It’s got nothing to do with business planning.)

  • how to become one of the top 5% of builders by using the 3 D’s that ensure success in all areas of your life.
  • the simple “4 R” process to guarantee your success.
  • the quick & easy 5 step planning method to go from struggling and stuck to having the business of your dreams.
  • how to ensure your motivation holds for the entire year, and it’s not just like setting some New Year’s resolution that rarely lasts past February.
  • and a whole lot more.

From this workshop you will walk away with the tools and templates to ensure you make 2017 your best year ever!’

Click HERE if you are interested.

Tilt panels and prefabricated concrete building components in Design, BIM, Estimating, CAD software

By | Architects, Architecture, BIM, Builders, Construction, Design, Designers, Estimating, Estimators, manufacturers, modular, PlusSpec, Sketchup, Sketchup for Construction & Estimating, Software, Tradies, Uncategorized, VDC, Waste reduction | One Comment

Modular construction comes in many forms. Designing concrete prefabricated panels to suit transportation and load capacity of a crane can be a challenge. There are software packages that do this in a high LOD (level of detail), such as Tekla, which allows the addition of reinforcement and output of working drawings. In many cases this level of detail is not required at design conception and feasibility stages. In these cases software like Plusspec for SketchUp can be a great way to detail and pre-prepare for input into Tekla. The advantages of doing so become evident quickly, especially when it comes efficiency and cost calculation.

 

PlusSpec allows the creation of concrete walls in totality, yet it also has the ability to segment walls to suit manufacturing addition of voids/openings and transportation sizing. One of the many advantages is the output of quantities according to wall segments and connections.

 

The other benefit of PlusSpec is how you can output files. PlusSpec works inside of SketchUp, and for those who know Tekla structure would know that SketchUp files can be imported into Tekla very quickly and efficiently so that the BIM and virtual design and construction life cycle can be completed.

 

For more information visit: www.plusspec.com

The team at RubySketch recently worked closely with Brickwork’s new Pronto Panel system. Check out the construction details on the RubySketch library, which are FREE to download!

PlusSpec and Sketchup VDC BIM detail of pronto panel

We also recently released the Dincel Construction System in the wall tool inside of PlusSpec. So if you love using the Dincel Construction System, there is no better way to design &/or estimate with it!

Dincel Wall Tool

Is there a modular system that you would love to see inside of PlusSpec? Leave us a comment. We’d love to hear what you’d like to see!

Check out some photos from a recent visit to a well known manufacturer/vendor:

Taubmans full range of paint colours inside PlusSpec

By | Architects, BIM, Construction, Design, Designers, manufacturers, Paint Tool, PlusSpec, PlusSpec Updates, Sketchup, Software, Tradies, VDC | One Comment

Colour consultation using Sketchup and PlusSpecCommunicate colour and finishes in a way that everyone understands!

Over 5040 Taubmans paint colours to select from!

We are happy to announce to our Australian users, that Taubmans have partnered with RubySketch, and will now have their full range of paint colours available inside of PlusSpec.

Every single colour! Can you believe it?!

Key benefits for PlusSpec & Taubmans Customers:

Architects and Designers

  • Ability to design with real Taubmans Paints.
  • Ability to generate unprecedented feasibility studies and/or material quantities, with no extra work.
  • Communicate more effectively with Clients, Builders and trades: Ensure that everyone understands your design.

Builders

  • Ability to automatically generate a Take-off and Estimate with the exact product names and amount of paint required.
  • Other benefits include: communicating with subcontractors, error reduction and human error when interpreting specifications.

Homeowners

  • PlusSpec enables unprecedented Communication. Clients will know what they will get, before it’s built.
  • Don’t like your colour choices now that you see it in context? Change your colours with the click of a mouse!

When can I paint with Taubmans colours?

As soon as our latest version has been released (16.3.0 – PlusSpec 16/17), download the update and start using Taubmans paints!

 

Don’t have PlusSpec yet? What are you waiting for? This is the perfect time to buy!

About Taubmans

One of the oldest paint brands in the market, Taubmans has been painting Australian homes for over 110 years. In 2007 PPG Industries acquired the Taubmans brand. Back in the early 1900s, George Taubman built the company on a foundation of technical superiority. Taubmans’ new owners, PPG, also have a long history of applying global technologies to gain a competitive edge.

 

We love Taubmans paints, and we know that you do to!

 

Taubmans regularly send out flyers with their paint brushout samples – and we recommend that all of our Australian users register to utilise these services from the Taubmans Colour Centre, by clicking on the ‘Register’ link found Here. This is the best way to combine the benefits of seeing what your favourite colours look like on screen, as well as off the screen.

Our Friends at Builders Profits are hosting a FREE Webinar

By | Builders, Business, Construction, Tradies, Webinar | No Comments

At PlusSpec, we know how important it is to support friends

Builders Profits Logo_PlusSpec Partner

Builders Profits are hosting a FREE webinar for Construction Industry Professionals, and they have asked us to help them spread the word.

 

Dates: Wednesday 24th & Thursday 25th August, 2016

 

There is a morning webinar and an evening webinar to choose from – and it specifically targets the following countries:

  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • USA

Webinar Topics:

  • How to Attract Better Quality Leads Into Your Business
  • How to Get Paid for Quotes
  • The 3 Most Important Things You Need to Do to Get the Job
  • The 3Cs to Sales Success
  • What Your Time is Worth (And Why It’s Important That It’s Not Just a Number You Pulled Out of Nowhere!)
  • The Steps to Take, In Order to Move Your Business From Where it is Right Now to Where You Want It to Be in the Next 90 Days

There are limited seats left, so make sure that you get in early.

Click HERE to learn more.

Supporting our Friend: Builders Profits

By | Business, Construction, Tradies, Waste reduction | No Comments

At PlusSpec, we know how important it is to support friends

Builders Profits Logo_PlusSpec Partner

Our friend Builders Profits has just launched a new Builders Business Academy.

 

If you have a business in the construction industry, and need help growing your business, then this Coaching Academy by Builders Profits will help you get on track fast.

 

Builders Profits are currently offering a 50% discount for signing up to the Academy, so it is definitely worth taking a look.

From the words of Builders Profits:

‘If you are tired of feeing like a slave to your business, working long hard hours, slashing profit margins to compete for jobs and watching your family grow up without you, click the Buy Now Button and take the first step to making the pain of yesterday disappear. 

The Builders Business Academy was created to help as many as possible make the change they want without the hard lessons of trial and error and the lost potential that goes with it… not from text books or theory. 

Life is the best teacher, it doesn’t sugar coat its lessons, but now you have the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of others, and fast track your success through the use of BBA and its tools, templates and resources that have been created to make it easier for you to make the changes you need to make, so that you can achieve the results you want.

I’m sure you went into business with the aim of securing the financial future for yourself and your family, to provide you with the means to support them in the manner you want, and to enjoy what you do… 

If what you’re currently doing isn’t getting you where you want to be, something needs to change. 

To have change happen you need to take action, if you’re not happy with things as they are, but don’t do anything about it, how can you expect your business to improve? 

The Builders Business Academy won’t stay at this price for long so click here before it’s too late…’

10 Tips to Becoming Successful as a Design & Construction Company

By | ArchiCAD, Architects, Architecture, BIM, Construction, Design, Designers, IFC, PlusSpec, Sketchup, Sketchup for Construction & Estimating, Software, Tradies | One Comment
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.

The Top 3 Technologies that will Transform the Construction Industry

By | Architecture, BIM, Construction, PlusSpec, Sketchup, Tradies, Uncategorized | 2 Comments
1. BIM/VDC Software PlusSpec_Take-OffWe believe that BIM/VDC (Building Information Modelling/Virtual Design & Construction) is the most important technology that the Construction Industry MUST embrace.   In Australia, design and construction professionals operate in a very high-cost environment. Productivity and waste reduction are essential for our continued prosperity – and yet we continue to be hamstrung by errors and other compounding issues that technology should have made antiquated.   The problem with technology is that as it becomes more prevalent in the day-to-day business of our industry, the easier it is to become lost – not knowing which platform to use, or who to believe. And although the architecture and manufacturing industries are now embracing BIM/VDC, a large percentage of the construction industry (particularly the residential construction industry) are unaware of its advantages, and don’t even understand what technology is now available.   Although larger Construction Companies are beginning to embrace BIM/VDC, many Residential Builders still think that it is not applicable to them – and that it will not offer them any tangible benefits. However, this could not be further from the truth.   The benefits of BIM/VDC are many, but simply put, it will: provide the ability to virtually test a number of factors, without having to waste the time and resources to actually build the structure; decrease project delivery time; keep projects under budget; reduce errors and waste; increase the efficiency & quality of your communication; facilitate better collaboration; and raise your level of Customer satisfaction.    The Construction Industry NEEDS to embrace BIM/VDC – including Residential Builders.   2. Tablets/Smartphones Tablet Smartphone Technology The adoption of tablets/smartphones, in conjunction with BIM/VDC, will dramatically impact the Construction Industry.   Combined with BIM/VDC technology, builders will be able to access an ‘on-site’ version of the project, and they will be able to quickly add relevant notes, queries and dimensions. This will enable companies to be able to act as a cohesive team, whether they are on site, or in the office. Moreover, it will greatly improve communication between Design Professionals and the Construction Industry.   RFI’s are tedious and painstakingly slow. Surveys estimate that the Construction Industry spends at least 30 minutes for each question raised in the field. On top of this, most RFI’s are not visual in nature and require deciphering, which only exacerbates the problem.   However, with tablet/smartphone technology, combined with BIM/VDC technology, this can now be done in less than 5 minutes. Builders can simply open an ‘on-site’ 3D model and generate visual RFI’s, or open a PDF of the plans, markup the problem, and then email the RFI.   RFI_ExampleWith the advent of this technology, Builders will be able to track and generate site analytics, track products (QR codes), and much more. Paper will be phased out (or at least minimized). Let’s face it, paper is expensive, hard to manage, environmentally unfriendly, and antiquated. In the near future, paperless construction sites may become the norm.   3. Augmented Reality Augmented Reality Although Augmented Reality is still in its infancy, it is the next evolution in the BIM/VDC process, and has the potential to revolutionize the Construction Industry. Combined with tablets/smartphones, or ‘Augmented Reality glasses’, Builders will have the potential to see the BIM/VDC model in the real-world environment. Simply put, this means that Builders and Trades will be able to be on site and overlay the virtual images and data from the BIM/VDC model directly onto the physical space. It will look as though the building has already been constructed.   Real time visualization will create better insight into the design and construction details, and completely eradicate the need for 2D drawings and paper. Imagine being able to actually see the site setbacks, or to overlay the BIM/VDC virtual model on top of the as-built construction, for comparison and error analysis.   The benefits of Augmented Reality boggle the mind. But one thing is certain: it will dramatically enhance the BIM/VDC workflow, and make it even more essential that the Construction Industry has fully embraced BIM/VDC technology.

PlusSpec: The Smartest Way to Quote

By | Architecture, BIM, Construction, Designers, PlusSpec, Sketchup, Sketchup for Construction & Estimating, Tradies, Uncategorized | No Comments

takeoff large

Meet Jane: Jane used to be a desperate housewife. She is married to Bob (the builder). They have two children together, but Bob never spent time with them as a family.

 

Instead of taking his lovely wife and children on family vacations, or relaxing with them after work, Bob spent all of his time quoting. He was either on site working (which he gets paid for), or he was at home quoting (for free).

 

Jane had almost given up on her dream of spending the weekends as a family, taking vacations, or to simply escape from time to time on spontaneous, romantic getaways. But then she saw PlusSpec.

 

PlusSpec_Take-Off

 

At first Bob wasn’t sure if Jane could do all of the quoting/estimating for the business (after all, she had never even been on a building site). He quickly changed his mind!

 

Now Bob spends all of his evenings and weekends with his family (as well as playing golf, or with his mates at the pub), and for the first time in years, he feels less stressed. He never has to waste another second on unpaid work!

 

Jane is loving her new job, and Bob and Jane regularly spoil each other with gifts, from all of the extra cash that they are bringing to the business. They even have the time and money to have the occasional romantic getaway! Not only do they now charge for quotes, but Jane has also started offering an Interior design service to their clients (she puts the Block to shame!). 

 

If you are a Residential builder, stop wasting away your hours tediously preparing quantity take-offs, and losing money. You should be on site, not in the office.

 

75% of small builders indicate that their wives/partners already do the invoicing and administration work. With PlusSpec your wife/partner could become your company’s greatest asset, and you will even be able to charge for quotes!

shutterstock_228550936

www.plusspec.com

BIM integration with national codes of construction.

By | Architects, BIM, Construction, Designers, Tradies, Uncategorized | 5 Comments
Integrating BIM technology with local and National Construction Codes. Will this be the turning point in our industry? Imagine sitting down in front of your computer creating a design or structure and having the ability to quickly look up  current building codes …. Not only will these advances in technology save time , it will increase quality of specification with the end result being better, safer faster construction. In Australia the National Construction Code  (NCC) will  becoming freely available to all,  with much thanks to the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) . An online version is proposed which will open the gate to software companies such as RubySketch to associate manufacturers models with actual construction codes that associate with a product, construction type or method.  Yet the ball doesn’t stop rolling there.  BIM software such as PlusSpec will have direct links to building codes which will be available before  a wall type has been chosen. These links can also be transferred through to the specification or even to a bill of materials. The mind boggles at the opportunities that will arise from these advances in technology. You may like to see how we see some of these exciting opportunities coming to fruition. We have posted a free example here  and there are many more to come. Stay tuned for more information on this subject. I know I will be.
3D details of fire walls and framing could become normal practice.

3D details of fire walls and framing could become normal practice.

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