Specifications

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Table of Contents

1. Table of Content 2

2. Terms Used in this Guide 3

3. Specifications 5

3.1 Specification Overview 5

3.2 Copying and Editing a Specification 7

3.3 Creating a new Specification layout 14

3.4 Component Notes 20

3.5 Types of Component Notes 23

3.5.1 General 23

3.5.2 Layered 25

3.6 Component Images 28

Terms Used in this Guide

In ensuring Constructor is as streamlined as possible, certain terms have been defined and are uniformly used throughout the program. Each term will be explored in detail in this getting started guide, and other more advanced guides. Below is a quick Summary to help get familiar with them.

TIP: The terms listed here are written with a capital letter and in Bold throughout this guide, so you can refer back to this glossary if you are unsure of what the term means.

Company: Refers to your Company. This is opposed to Clients and Suppliers/Trades.
Clients: In Constructor, Clients are people or entities that employ you to build. Clients are a part of the Accounts Receivable section of Constructor.
Specification: A document attached to a Project which outlines the precise requirements for the Project, compiled from the Components on the Estimate.
Summary: A Summary is a more detailed output of the selected Entry or open Screen. Entries can have multiple Summary Tabs, each detailing a particular category of that Entry. These categories are used as the tab name for the Summary.
Specification Layout: The format for the presentation of the Specification.
Estimate: The calculations to produce the BOQ, comprised of Formula and Components.
Construction Type: The Type of Construction which determines the format for the Specification Layout.
Template: A pre-formatted file that serves as a starting point for a new document.
Sections: Sections (or headings) on the Specification Layout.
Filter: A Filter is a keyword or value used to refine lists of information. Filtering refers to the process of applying a Filter.
Project: A Project refers to the job that a Client has employed you to do.
Bill Of Quantities: A Bill of Quantities (BOQ) is a list of costs associated with your Project; materials, labour and other services.
Product: A Product is the information that relates to an estimate / BOQ. A standard Product is one that can be used on multiple projects that share the same plans. Products are the houses (or buildings) that you sell.
Component: A Component in Constructor represents either materials or labour.
Formula: Formulas are collections of Components that together provide a per unit cost estimate for materials and labour.
Screen: A Screen is a sub-window within the Constructor window. They can be resized, moved around and closed in the same manner that you would with any other program.
Grid: The Grid refers to the table of Entries on a Screen made up of rows and columns.
Entry: An Entry refers to a row within the Grid. Each Entry represents a different item.
Field: Fields are where you enter your data, an Entry is made up of different Fields.
Summary: A Summary is a more detailed output of the selected Entry or open Screen. Entries can have multiple Summary Tabs, each detailing a particular category of that Entry. These categories are used as the tab name for the Summary.
Report: A Report in Constructor is a document generated from information stored in Constructor.
Cover Page: The Cover Page for the Specification document.
Context Editor: A word processor for the production of Notes, Cover Pages, Headers, Footers etc.
Datafields: Fields pulled directly from the database to link directly to the Client, Project, Component etc.
Header: Comprised of Datafields and/or text to appear at the top of each page of the Specification.
Footer: Comprised of Datafields and/or text to appear at the top of each page of the Specification.
Component Notes: Notes linked to Components to determine where the Component appears on the compiled Specification.
Image: A file linked to a Component to produce a picture of the Component on the compiled Specification.

Specifications

Specification Overview

A Specification is a document you attach to a Project which outlines all the Components taken off in an Estimate. It is the Component’s Notes combined with the Estimate that determine where the Component will appear on the Specification.

A Specification is created from the Project Summary, which can be accessed via the shortcut or from Projects, Projects:

Go to the Specifications Tab (1). If there have been any previous Specifications created, they will appear in the grid. To create a new one, click New (2). Specification Layouts are linked to Construction Types. If you have more than one Specification Layout for the Construction Type linked to the Project, you can now choose which one you wish to use (3).

As soon as you choose the Layout, the Specification will begin compiling:

You can then check it to make sure it is correct before Printing or sending the Specification to the Client:

Copying and Editing a Specification

To view and edit the existing list of Specification Layouts, go to Projects, Administration, Specification Layout:

The Specification Layout Summary screen will open (1). From here, you can Copy an existing template (2) or open one of the existing templates to Edit it. If you choose to Copy, there are a couple of options as outlined below:

Note: It is always worth making a copy of a template BEFORE you attempt to amend it. It is easy to revert to the original template if a mistake is made.

When you choose to Copy, the system will put a Copy into the Summary screen (1). Double click to open it.

Any of the Layout Sections (1) can be removed or renamed by highlighting the Section (2) and right clicking, then either Remove or Rename (3). The Sections can be moved around using the up and down arrows (4):

To amend the Cover Page, make sure you are on the Cover tab (1).

You will want the information on this tab to link directly to the particular Project and Client for which you will be printing it. The example below shows a simple layout (2) which will print out like (3):

The Cover page is made up of Datafields (1) and text (2).

To create your cover page, click on the Context button (1) which will open the Context Editor (2) (which is a word processor). To insert Datafields, click on Insert Datafield (3). When you choose to Insert a Datafield, the available options will pop up (4). Locate the required field and double click to enter it into the document.

Text can be entered straight into the document. Formatting can be done as you normally would in a program such as Microsoft Word. There are various options including inserting images, hyperlinks, bullet points, numbering etc.

Move to the Pages tab (2) to set up any Header Text (2) you would like to print out at the top of each page. As with the Cover page, click the Context button (3) to open up the Context Editor and enter either text or Datafields to create or amend the header (4):

In the same manner, Footer Text (2) can be created or amended using the Context Editor (2):

The body of the Specification itself is compiled from the Components on the BOQ. Each Component has the capacity to have Notes attached and it is these Notes that determine where the Component will appear on the Specification. The Notes themselves are created from templates, which can be found in Projects, Administration, Component Note Templates:

This will open the Document Template: Components (1) and click either Copy (2) or double click one that you would like to amend. As with the Layout, it is worth taking a copy of a Note before you amend it, in case there is a problem and you need to revert to the original note.

If you choose to Copy, an exact replica will be created, with the word Copy at the end. Double click to open it.

The Context Editor will open (1) showing the word Copy at the end of the description (2). Change this to something more meaningful. The Note itself (3) can be amended as required:

In this example, the Subject line has been changed (1) and the Notes format changed to include an Image (2):

Creating a new Specification layout

If there are no existing Specification Layouts that work for you, it is possible to create a new one. Think carefully about the Layout before you begin. This can be quite a time-consuming activity, so plan before you begin.

To create an entirely new Specification Layout, go to Projects, Administration, Specification Layout:

You can create a new Specification by clicking the New button (1). If you don’t want to go to the effort of creating the entire document from scratch, you can choose to Copy (3) one of the existing document layouts and edit the Copy.

Choose the Construction Type to which this Specification Layout will be attached (1). On the Layout tab (2), right click the New Specification Layout Layout and Rename (3) to give your new Specification an appropriate Title.

Now go ahead and create all the headings for your new Layout. Highlight the area you wish to place your heading in (1) and click New (2) or right click, New. This will open up a blank field for you to enter your heading into (3). Continue on until all the headings for the new layout have been created:

Go to the Options tab (1) and set up the basic options that are available (2):

Create a Cover Page for your document. Make sure you are on the Cover tab (1).

You will want the information on this tab to link directly to the particular Project and Client for which you will be printing it. The example below shows a simple layout (2) which will print out like (3):

The Cover page is made up of Datafields (1) and text (2).

To create your cover page, click on the Context button (1) which will open the Context Editor (2) (which is a word processor). To insert Datafields, click on Insert Datafield (3). When you choose to Insert a Datafield, the options available will pop up (4). Locate the required field and double click to enter it into the document.

Text can be entered straight into the document. Formatting can be done as you normally would in a program such as Microsoft Word. There are various options including inserting images, hyperlinks, bullet points, numbering etc.

Move to the Pages tab (2) to set up any Header Text (2) you would like to print out at the top of each page. As with the Cover page, click the Context button (3) to open up the Context Editor and enter either text or Datafields to create the header (4):

In the same manner, Footer Text (2) can be created using the Context Editor (2):

You have now created the basics of the new Layout.

The body of the Specification itself is compiled from the Components on the BOQ. Each Component has the capacity to have Notes attached and it is these Notes that determine where the Component will appear on the Specification. The Notes themselves are created from templates, which can be found in Projects, Administration, Component Note Templates:

From the Document Template: Components (1), choose any of the templates to open it or if you want to create and entirely new one, click New (2). This will open the Context Editor, so that you can build the required Note (3). This Note can then be attached to Components and used to build the Specification.

Component Notes

Component Notes are the link that allow the Specification to be produced.

To attach a Note to a Component, go to either the Component Shortcut or Navigate to Projects, Components:

From the Component Summary (1), highlight the required Component (2) and click the Documents tab (3)

This will show you any existing Notes set against this Component. To add a new Note, click New (1). You will then have a choice of either a New Component Note or an existing Component Note (2).

If you choose to create a New Component Note, you will see the below screen. You must attach a Specification Section (1). This determines where in the Specification the Note will appear. Notes can only be linked to one Section per Note, so if you would like a Note to appear in the Specification twice, you would need to create a second Component Note and link it to the desired Section.

There are two types of Component Document Notes used within Constructor, Specification – General and Specification – Layered. (These will be examined in more detail below). Click on Context button to open the Context Editor and enter in your Note (3):

Types of Component Notes

General

A General Note will always appear only in the Specification Section you have applied it to. For Example, below is a Shower Outlet (1). It has a General Note (2):

This is the Note. It has a Specification Section of PLUMBING FITTINGS AND APPLIANCES (1) and the Behaviour is set to General (2):

On the Estimate, the Shower Outlet (2) is included under Bathroom (1):

Because the Note Behaviour is General, it will appear on the Specification under PLUMBING FITTINGS AND APPLIANCES (1) and not Bathroom (3). If it had been a Layer Specific Note, it would have appeared in both places:

Layered

Layered Notes allow a Component Note to appear in the Specification with a Sub-heading. This Sub-heading relates to specific rooms used within the Estimating menu and relate directly back to the Sub-layer the Component is placed within the Estimate. The Sub-layer that the Component was Estimated in (1) must have a Sub-heading (2):

This example is for a Sink Mixer tap (1). It has a Layer Specific Note (2) set against it in the Document tab (3) on the Component Summary (4):

It is assigned to the PLUMBING FITTINGS AND APPLIANCES Section of the Specification (1):

In the Estimate, it is also part of the Kitchen Layer (1):

So, on the Specification Document, it will appear under the PLUMBING FITTINGS AND APPLIANCES Section (1) as well as the Kitchen (2):

Component Note Images

It is possible to add Images of the Components to the Component Notes and it will appear on the Specification Document. To do so, go the Component Summary by either the shortcut or Projects, Components:

This will open the Component Summary. Highlight the Component you wish to add an Image to and go to the Documents tab (1). Click New and then either start a new Component Note or use and existing one (2):

Click the ConText Editor (1):

Make sure the cursor is in the location you wish to add the Image and click Insert, Image (1). Navigate to the file containing the Image (2) and click Open (3):

The Image is now attached to the Note and will appear whenever this Component appears on a Specification: