At the very bottom of the project manager page, you’ll see the “Alternates and Components List” where you can create and edit new alternates and components for your project. We’ll talk about each one separately, but these are both essentially sub-sections of a project that have some special properties. They are very useful for organizing your reports and making them look professional.
I’ll start with components because they are a bit easier to understand. Components are basically a sub-section of your project that will be separated from the rest of the project on your proposal. Let’s say you are doing a kitchen and a bathroom remodel, you might make one component for the kitchen, and another for the bathroom. This way, you can separate the two sections on your reports rather than lumping all the parts for both rooms together. On the report, you’ll also see a sub-total for all the line items from that component.
To create a new component, just click on “Add Component” to the right of the component list. This will bring up a new window where you can add parts to the component. This works just like adding parts to the project, except you are adding parts to the component instead of just generically to the project. Make sure you click on “Save” near the bottom of the screen to save that component. Then click “Close” to go back to the whole project.
You’ll now see your component in the Alternate/Component List, and you’ll see all the parts you added to that component in the list of parts near the top of this screen, except the parts that are in a component will have a number like “C01” next to them that designate them as part of a component. You can click on a component in the list, then click “Edit” to open that component and edit the parts in that component. You can also click and hold the horizontal lines next to a component to change the order. This is a great feature because it allows you to tailor the order to the scope of work you are doing.
Here is how a report might look if you were to separate your project into a Kitchen component and a Bathroom component (condensed for demonstration purposes).
Alternates are almost the exact same as components, instead, these parts will not be included in the entire project. Alternates are separated from the project and the cost of the alternate is not included in the cost of the project.
For example, in the example we were using before with a Kitchen and Bathroom remodel, let’s say that the customer wants to see the price of a new deck, but doesn’t want it to be included yet. You would create an alternate for a deck and add all the parts you want for that deck into the alternate. On the report, this deck alternate will show up below the total project cost and indicate the total cost of the alternate (not line-by-line like the components are shown).
If an alternate gets accepted, just click on it in the alternate/component list then change it’s status to “Accepted” in the top left of the screen. Then right above the status click “Component” to change the alternate to a component. Now it will show up on your report (and included in the project cost) as any other component would.