Sales Tool CAD software company Chief Architect reports that builders and designers are using the company's software as a sales tool to help sell upgrades in kitchens and other parts of the house. Adam Gibson, who runs a design company that works with many builders in the Indianapolis area, says home builders can deliver the “wow factor” by showing the 3-D renderings. “Buyers don't always know what a 3-D image [of the upgrade] will look like, and they really don't expect it,” he says.

Sage Delivers Sage Software plans to ship Estimating for Master BUILDER sometime next month. The goal is to offer the same type of detailed estimating features Sage packs into Timberline Office, but in a package that's geared to smaller businesses and that integrates well with Master Builder. While Master BUILDER always had an estimating feature, it was primarily designed for general contractors who subcontract out most of the work and have fairly simple, line-by-line estimating needs. The new product is perfect for custom builders who might have a framing or concrete crew and need to do a materials take-off. The estimating software will start at $1,500.