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Tools and resources for making estimates

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Several fabricators recommend the MFA Time Standards Manual as a useful reference point when estimating the time a project will take.

When it comes to software that will help you track jobs and generate professional-looking estimates, work orders and invoices, you have many options, ranging from Quickbooks and other general accounting programs to a specialized program like Mshop Software, which is made for marine repair shops.

Signature CanvasMakers uses Quickbooks. “We added our standardized pricing options into the program so that quoting is as easy as selecting the items to build the estimate,” Chandler Clark says.

The specific program that will be best for your business depends on your specific needs, tech savviness and budget.

Shelby Gonzalez is a freelance writer. She welcomes comments and inquiries at

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