Xactimate sketch help!

Hello all. I have scoured the internet looking for the answer to this question and I cannot find it anywhere. I’ve also contacted Xactimate but they were unable to help… I am trying to sketch this roof but I cannot figure out how to break the ridge and add the center section. Will one of you Xactimate gurus help?!

http://www.roofing.com/forum/gallery/image.php?album_id=444&image_id=1681

Very simple actually. You have 3 gable roofs there. The one in the middle has longer rafter lengths, therefore the ridge is higher. Looks like the pitch on all 3 is the same. I assume you have the takeoffs for each. Pull down the 3 roofs, size them correctly. Join them together with the eave being common on the back side. Once their side by side with the rakes essentially touching, drag in the rakes on the sides of the smaller gables on the right and the left (this accounts for the overhang on the larger central gable roof section.

If you’re still having problems, PM me here with your email. I’ll send you mine and if you’ll respond with the takeoffs and pitch measurements of that roof, I’ll sketch it in Xactimate for you and send it back step by step. Won’t take me more than 5 minutes, no big deal.

Mark’s method will work. You could also do it another way.

Start with your center gable section.

Use the square break tool on one rake edge (it doesn’t matter how long the broke out piece is, you adjust it later).

Click on the new section of line you just “broke.”

Hold the CTRL key and pull the line away from the rake edge.

This will create a new gable just as in the picture.

Just adjust your rake and eave sizes to match your measurements on your new gable section.

Do the same thing on the other side.

This technique also works on eaves, although there is another step required to create a new roof in the middle of the eave.

Be sure you have adjusted your pitch, rake and eave overhangs before you do the dragging so they will be consistent on all slopes.

It would probably work from using the one long roof like you attempted but I do it the way I described above.

Thanks guys, that all makes sense now. Thanks for the offer AC!

Dstews response will give you more accurate measurements for drip, step flashing etc

Ray, if done correctly, there’s no difference. Dave’s method though is probably easier for a beginner to pick up. I’m so used to having to sketch 8 to 20 slope roofs that are multiple levels and pitches, I sometimes overlook the easiest approach on simple roofs like this one.

A_D (or anyone else!), two more questions if you don’t mind.

  1. I have some houses that are 12/12 front and 6/12 in the back. Xact won’t let me change both individually. I can change slope A to 12 but then it automatically configures the second slope (B) and won’t let me over-ride it without changing the first value.

  2. When I build the roof, I’ll have roof1, roof2, etc. I then subgroup all these together so they don’t list differently under the main level grouping and separate each roofs quantities. This works fine until I try to add steep or high charges to just one section. I’d like to just keep them all separate but have them listed as one roof when estimating.

I’ve found out talking to the live help at Xactaware is like talking to a door mat. I barely know the sketch program and apparently I know more than they do. I guess this is their way of forcing you to take their classes. Apparently $2k to buy the software wasn’t enough!!

space, are the eave heights the same on those roofs that have different pitches front/back the same or different? If different, you have to make sure you set one at 0’ and the other, usually, at 9’. If the pitches are the same, I normally just use ground/flat dimensions to size the roof. Then set the pitches. If the eave heights are the same, Xactimate sketch program usually works it out quite close. Think about it, for the framing to work, if the roof is a certain length and width and the eave heights a specific height, when you put in the pitch, there’s not much room for variance based upon standard construction and architectural design practice. There is no need to draw these as separate slopes and generally, you would not want to.

If you want to break out steep and high charges, you use variables. For example, you have a simple 4 slope roof, f1 and f2 are 7:12, f3 and f4 are 12:12, f2 and f3 are second story. For the steep line item, it would be rfg steep & then the calculation for quantity is f1sq+f2sq when you click okay, it will have automatically calculated the squares for slopes f1 and f2. Line item for 12:12 is rfg steep> & and the calculation is f3sq+f4sq. Finally, for high it would be rfg high & the calculation is f3sq+f4sq

Just another lesson here since we’re on it. Let’s say that roof had 24 slopes. All slopes except f3 and f4 were 7:12. Instead of entering 22 variables, for the steep calculation on that roof, you could just use the calculation sq - f3sq - f4sq This means you were subtracting the areas of f3 and f4 slopes from the total roof area.

I’m not sure I understand you, why would you like the roof to be kept in sections? The only time I do that is when there is a flat roof section that may have a different roofing material on it and needs to be broken out separately. Aside from that, I don’t want to talk sections with the Adjuster as I don’t want to encourage the Adjuster in thinking this roof could be sloped.

The Xactimate help group is not there to provide user training. They’re there for installation problems, software stability issues, software functionality problems, etc…

I hope this helps.

I have found the easiest way to sketch a salt box type roof is to the draw the roof with the correct pitch for one of the slopes. Then click on preferences, lock the correct slope, then manually change the other slope.

If I am adding a steep charge to the roof and not including a few slopes I use this formula in the quanity box.
SQ-(F1SQ+F2SQ) or what ever slopes you want. BTW, this formula is case sensitive and the letters are automatically capitolized if you don’t open the calculator icon.

As you progress with your skill level its even quicker and easier (my opinion) to graphic estimate through sketch. Graphic estimation is quicker after you pass the learning curve.

[quote=“828br”]I have found the easiest way to sketch a salt box type roof is to the draw the roof with the correct pitch for one of the slopes. Then click on preferences, lock the correct slope, then manually change the other slope.

If I am adding a steep charge to the roof and not including a few slopes I use this formula in the quanity box.
SQ-(F1SQ+F2SQ) or what ever slopes you want. BTW, this formula is case sensitive and the letters are automatically capitolized if you don’t open the calculator icon.

As you progress with your skill level its even quicker and easier (my opinion) to graphic estimate through sketch. Graphic estimation is quicker after you pass the learning curve.[/quote]

Good post 828! I’ve never had any problems drawing these roofs so I never tried it your way, sounds like it would certainly work.

For whatever it is worth, the parenthesis aren’t necessary in the calculation you showed, it works the same without them. Now, if the calculation had multiplication or division involved, likely a different matter.

space, when 828 references graphical estimation through sketch, I believe he is referring to utilizing macros. And he is 100% spot on. It decreases the estimating time for me up to 50% and more. A macro is a saved template of roof items that can be associated with an item (example: Roof1) that will automatically fill in the blanks from the sketch when variables are utilized in the macro line items. Kind of hard to explain without taking too much time in this post but essentially, the macro is a super set of virtually all the line items you may possibly consider for a roof estimate. Or siding, gutter, interior repair, etc… You highlight the item, then double click on the macro to have the macro line items appear. You tweak the line items that are specific to the specific estimate you’re doing at the time, you delete the line items that don’t apply. There you go, estimate done, you’re not typing in line items, searching Xactimate for line items, etc… We use them for roofs and interior mostly. You can even include attachment statements such as referencing building code.

Another handy tool is under attachments. Let’s say you have a cricket or saddle as a line item and want to reference the appropriate Residential Building Code text to show why this should be paid for. You create a bunch of standard attachments that can be recalled with a couple of clicks relieving you of looking up the exact code then typing in the text. Click on attachments, then click on the rubber stamp icon. When the box comes up, you can click the ADD button and create as many of these text statements as you want. When you do your next estimate and one of these comes up, you just click attachments, the rubber stamp icon then double click on the individual item you created and it automatically appears in the attachment box. Takes seconds.

If you take the time to set up the macros and other tools in Xactimate, it can cut your estimating time, and accuracy, substantially.

Thanks guys, that helped a lot. I made some macros but didn’t realize you could group items as well. The more I learn how to use sketch, the more I like it!

Do you have any 20,25,year shingle macros for xactimate. It is driving me nuts I just can’t seem to make a macro that works well. Any help would be great thank you

Do you know how to make a macro? If not, I’m not sure how to share one with you as I think you need basic understanding in order to use it. It is really quite simple. Make a “super set” of a roof quote for say 25 year 3 tab. Put every line item in it you can think of that might be used for a roof claim. Save it as a macro. Whenever you have to prepare an Xactimate estimate for a 25 year 3 tab roof, click on the macro. Delete the line items you don’t want to use. Tweek the ones that apply. Estimate done.

Sorry, but if you can’t do that, there’s no way you’ll figure out how to import a macro file and then use it.

Probably a really dumb question, but what measurements should be entered on the eave heights? I wasn’t sure if it’s from ground to the eave or eave to ridge or neither? I want to get my speed up like you mentioned. I’m hand punching every line item into the estimate and not even doing a sketch at the moment. I want to learn but I’m clueless with some of the terminology in xactimate and the shortkeys. What is the best resource to get the basics of how to sketch, create macros, and similar tricks like your rubber stamp?

Doesn’t matter as it is relative. Let the first sorry be the default. Standard second story is 9 feet more. If it is a really tricked up roof, you’ll need to play with the height a bit so it will look right.