During his 21 years in business, Vincent Castiallo, president of Royal Kitchen Corp. and Total Success Corp., New City, N.Y., developed a great system for accurate kitchen and bath project estimating. He recently incorporated that system into a computer program that he's offering to other dealers. He says the program has an itemized list of remodeling items that makes it easier and faster to estimate. It's also a great marketing tool. "It gives me a more professional image and puts me above the competition," Castiallo says. He also uses the software for more efficient communication with his subcontractors.

The kitchen and bath industry has many design programs, but not many feature estimating that includes labor pricing. Castiallo's software allows him to click on all the possible specifications and costs of a project and reduces his estimating time from two hours to 20 minutes. The software works on Windows 95 and above platforms. When a user scrolls through the pages, every possible detail is listed in several different sections, but they can bypass things that don't apply. "You don't have to remember what needs to be done," Castiallo says. For example, for drywall, he clicks and enters the measurements and the computer calculates the totals for materials and labor.

The default manufacturer pricing on the software is 50% of list price, but users can choose their own percentage. It also includes labor markup, something Castiallo includes and encourages other KB dealers to do, as well. Castiallo plans to offer upgrades that include sample warranty forms and contracts. The software costs $499.99 and is available through Total Success Corp. at (845) 638-4575.