Home Building Construction Software In Excel
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Knowledge Base for the CBD2 Program

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CBD2 FAQ - Knowledge Base

Only for programs purchased before 10/29/2010!

Using VISTA® or Windows 7® operating system!
After saving a file, I get an error when reopening the file?

Most users that have the newest VISTA® or Windows 7® operating system most likely have the newest Microsoft Office 2007. The Excel in Office 2007 is not totally backwards compatible - thus you must always save the file as a Office 2003 format .xls Microsoft has now released a way to change the default settings for all the Office 2007 products - click here.

Only Programs purchased after 10/29/2010!


As of 10/29/2010 we now offer Excel programs designed for Excel 2007 and Newer with the following file extensions:
.xlsx, .xlsm

As of 10/29/2010 we still offer Excel programs designed for Excel 97 thru Excel 2003 with the following file extensions:

If you Excel will not open the file(s), you may have donwloaded the wrong programs for your version of Office Excel. Return to the download center and download the correct downloads.

If you use Excel 97 thru Excel 2003, Should I permit or enable Macros? YES

Click Enable Macros
If you use Excel 2007 thru Excel 2010, Should I permit or enable Macros? YES

Click Enable Content
CSI only offers their programs as online downloads - so how do I backup the program? After downloading the file to your hard drive, copy the file to a floppy disk or burn it to a CD for safe keeping.
After downloading the purchased file should I do a save as to use as my master? Yes - save the file as a new file name.
How do I familiarize myself with the program? To get started, you need to decide if you want to run through a new budget for practice, using the pre-input pricing, which is without a doubt inaccurate for your local and type of construction or to go through the entire budget input by input, entering the setup pricing in the MAIN and ALL SCHEDULE sections. We recommend that you first leave the pricing as programmed and run through a sample budget or two, just to get familiar with the CBD2 Estimating Program. Once you feel comfortable with CBD2, then start entering all your pricing (including sales tax) in both the MAIN & ALL SCHEDULE sections. When all inputs are complete, you need to type the new file name in the upper left corner of the BUDGET page just to the right of FILE NAME: We recommend leaving it as BASECBD2. Now click FILE and SAVE AS and name the file.
How do I print parts of the program? To print a section of this program…
simply highlight that area (highlighting is accomplished by placing your mouse pointer at the left most upper section of what you want to print, holding down on the left mouse button and dragging to the most lower right section of what you want to print, then releasing the left mouse button) and open file, select print, select print selection and press OK. Always make sure that your printer setup is correct!
Getting started. Click on tab marked STEP 1 SETUP to go to the SETUP. This section is the first area to setup data pertaining to a new budget. Simply fill-in the data required, then continue with the other sections that will effect this particular budget.
Description shows Brick instead of Stucco? Check entry cell on the Main budget Tab section for proper entry. Stucco must be entered as "0" and Brick must be entered as "1"
What if the home is 60% brick and the rest is siding? The percentage is entered on on Cost Code #00014 on the Main budget Tab section. This allows calculations to allocate 60% to Brick face and the remaining 40% to be allocated to the siding on Row 190 of the Lumber Schedule.
This appears "********" in a cell This means the data entered in that cell or a cell that controls that cell has to many characters.
How do I change the realtor commission in Row 323 cost code 00070 on the Main Tab On the Main Tab go to top of the page at Row 7 and change the Extra Comm = change the number to zero or what ever commission you want to allocate for in the pricing costs.
The words "LnFt o/s possibly to low" show in the shaded section of the Main page budget. This means that you should check your data entered for lineal perimeter outside walls (LnFt o/s per. walls) on the Main budget page. It may be incorrect. This warning message with not stop the operation of the program.
The words "Wrong Door" or "Wrong count" appear in the Room Schedule part of the initial setup for Lumber. Check the totals from your Window and Door schedules on the Schedule Tab.
Time and Date are wrong Check your computer clock settings and correct if necessary.
Data can't be changed in certain cells. Many cells throughout the program are protected so not to damage the program.
What are the small Red Triangles located in some cells? These Red Triangles are comment prompts or explanations for that particular cell. By putting your mouse pointer over the Red Triangle, a small pop up will display containing this helpful information.
Calculating average plate height and lineal outside walls?

This calculation is one of the most important inputs to CBD2! Great accuracy most be taken while measuring these items from your set of plans.

is simply taking each and every flat side of the proposed home and measuring the wall length and the plate height. Write these figures down. Now, repeat this for every single side, regardless of how many there are (there easily could be as many as 15 or more flat sections all the way around the PERIMETER). Now multiply each wall length by the plate height for that side. After multiplying all sides, add the results of this multiplication together, than divide this by the sum of all the wall lengths and you have the average plate height. PERIMETER means just that. Only use 2nd floor in height figure if it is part of the outside perimeter!

wall L1 x plate H1 + wall L2 x plate H2 + wall L3 x plate H3 etc. etc then divide by wall L1 +wall L2 + wall L3 etc. etc. = average plate height

is the sum of all outside PERIMETER walls used above. Now, enter that figure in the Lnft o/s per. wall of the BUDGET 1st page. If you have an outside wall on the 2nd floor, that is not along the PERIMETER, then enter this wall length in "non-perimeter o/s wall" of the last line of "inside wall 2nd floor" of lumber calculations.

Using the window schedule? Contact your window supplier for current pricing for all windows. Go to the WINDOW SCHEDULE and enter correct pricing and quantities. You will notice the last few lines have been left open so that you can enter other or odd window sizes. On entering sizes, always enter the width then the height. For arch or ellipse windows, enter the width then the overall height. Enter type "C" circular, "A" arch or "R" rectangular.
Using the door schedule? Contact your door supplier for current pricing for all doors. Go to the DOOR SCHEDULE and enter correct pricing and quantities. You will notice the last several lines have been left open so that you can enter different size doors and pricing. Please notice the red type "MUST BE FRONT DOOR". You must enter only front door quantity and price here! You will also notice "LNFT OPENINGS NON-DOOR". This is pass through openings or large openings into a room that will need the support of a header. Always exercise caution while entering data in unprotected cells!
Lumber and trim takeoff and calculations?

The first thing is to enter the necessary data in the blue typed cells under PRELIMINARY DATA.

Now, take out your set of blueline home plans and some magic markers or high-lighters.

Next, measure only interior wall lengths for each room, bath etc. marking each wall with a high-lighter then entering that length in the proper table (inside wall data 1ST floor, special inside wall data 1ST floor or inside wall 2nd floor). The reasoning for highlighting walls with a marker is to avoid repeating the wall length that is common to another wall. A wall can only be entered just one time. Do not use any wall that is considered an outside wall! The outside wall length is automatically forwarded to this page from the BUDGET. Always enter wall lengths starting at wall 1, then wall 2 etc. DO NOT skip a wall, even if you have just 2 entries. On the first page of lumber calculations, enter 1 or 0 for whether there is casing and mold around windows. and answer all other questions for lumber setup. Then look under type of ceiling mold, enter 0=none,1=single, 2=double and 3=triple.

Next, page down to lumber package total costs. Make sure that all your types of materials and costs per board foot are correct. If so, you have a very accurate lumber and trim costs. These cost figures are automatically transferred to the BUDGET page.

Built in features? The CBD2 program was not only designed to be the fastest estimating budget, but also one of the most versatile! As you scan through the CBD2 program, you will notice the word "Other" in blue type. This is a open cell for special entries and pricing to be used by you. It takes your special entry and uses it in the final calculations; thus adding more latitude to the overall program. Another custom feature is the ability to renumber the cost code numbers, which will allow this budget to match your present accounting codes.
Can I track my costs? The TRACKING section is linked directly with the BUDGET section; therefore all budgeted items agree with each other. You will find that most parts of this page explain themselves. In each cost code you have room for 3 checks and their numbers. As you progress through the building cycle and enter various checks it will show a budget analysis and a cost to complete figure, plus it will show a projected profit. If you want the variation to activate, then type 1 in the item number under variation.
What is the Summary? The summary page is an analysis of all cost per foot data relating to air-conditioned and overall total square footages per line item. This historical data will be very helpful in future jobs.
What about change orders during construction? This section is for tracking all change orders for your customer. Enter change item number, date, a brief description and the amount to charge your customer. If you are entering the actual change costs to the main budget, then page down below page 2 and you may elect to use the optional sales price adjustment. Enter 1 for yes and 0 for no. This will readjust the Tracking and Summary more accurately.

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