CAD or ‘computer aided design’ programs are often integrated to assist contractors, engineers, architects, and design professionals, in all the stages of planning and constructing a house, building, room, or area (whether interior or exterior). There are different programs specialized for every profession, while others are designed to encompass various specializations.
For interiors designers who design and layout home furnishings, including countertops, there are CAD programs which already include cost estimation for building furniture designs, based on the price of building materials, fees, and added costs.; Some of these CAD programs assist from the initial concept and generation of a 3-D model of the design, to providing accurate quotes and estimation and crating purchase orders and schedules, as well as in creating comprehensive Accounts.; In short, it can handle every stage and aspect of the professional designer's work flow.
The cost estimation software
The ‘cost estimation software’ is usually a program integrated into the CAD package or model.; It is a system that contains a complete price file of all the materials from all the suppliers, and can be directly updated by disk.; Here, you can also import quantities from other CAD programs and make manual adjustments or additions, as well as manual estimations.; Aside from the price of available materials, you can also input labor fees (in percentage or ranges) consultation fees, design fees, and other added costs.
With this software, all you have to do is select the materials you need for building the countertop, and all related records will be automatically calculated and an estimate will be entered. You no longer have to manually calculate the number of tiles that will be used, the dimensions, the cement, glue, installation, or cleaning cost – all these are inputted in a database that will calculate every project for you with great accuracy.
For the enthusiastic home owner who likes making his or her own countertop design, the cost estimation software is a great tool – it easily determines whether a design is realistic and affordable.
Factors that determine the price of countertops
The price of the countertop will be determined by the cost of material, cut out charges, edge profile charges, delivery charges, and installation charges, if any.;
The material of the countertop is the biggest determinant of cost.; A natural stone countertop will be a lot more expensive than a plastic laminate, for example. This means that choosing the material can already be restricted by your budget.;
The size is also a big contributing factor. You will need to know the size, geometric shape, and seam placement of the countertop to determine how much stone you need in order to fabricate. If you were to manually estimate how much granite you need for an L-shaped countertop for example, you will have to calculate the total area of the two rectangular areas so you can determine the total square footage of the stone.; By using a cost estimation software, you will no longer need to manually estimate how much stone you need. The software already gives you a picture of how much time you'll be able to save.;
In choosing the edge profile, there's also a budget range. Usually, A-3/8”Bullnose, Z-Straight, B-Demi Bullnose, 1/8” E-Bevel, or a T-Double Eased have no extra charge. You will incur extra charges with a V-Full Bullnose, F-Ogee, H-Dupont, G-Ogee Roundover, and Hollywood.; For cutouts, there are three options: undermount sink (the most expensive), drop-in sink, and cooktop.
When estimating the cost of countertops, don't forget to input additional charges such as labor costs, delivery for materials, fuel, and installation materials. All these will add up to the overall cost of your countertop. Some countertops may be cheap when it comes to materials but rack up the bill when it comes to installation.;
You should definitely make room for additional charges even when you have already decided to install the countertop yourself. The labor should be weighed against opportunity costs.
Now that you know how countertops are estimated, you will be more realistic in your designs when using CAD software. Sure it's great to make crazy and over-the-top designs, but when it comes to practicality and affordability, does it pass the test?