Performing a quantity takeoff represents one of the most critical parts of any building project. It’s the key to accurate bidding, resource planning, project scheduling, risk mitigation and securing a healthy bottom line. In short, your foundation for long-term success lies with consistent, accurate takeoffs.

What does quantity takeoff mean?

You may know it as a ‘material takeoff,’ ‘bill of quantities’ or ‘construction takeoff’ – but these all effectively mean the same thing. It’s the process of determining and measuring the exact quantity of physical materials you need to complete a job, along with their costs. It applies to just about any material you can think of, including key items like concrete, bricks, steel, lumber, insulation, flooring, roofing materials and more.

Taking information directly from blueprints, a quantity takeoff is a detailed inventory, and means you know exactly how much material you need to fulfill the customer’s request as efficiently as possible at a price you both agree.   

Why are takeoffs important?

Because construction takeoffs serve as the building blocks for estimating exactly how much a project will cost from start to finish, speeding through the process without eliminating any potential mistakes only backfires on you later.

However, when you use the right construction software system that includes digital takeoff software, you will work with both speed and accuracy. The right software links to your preferred suppliers’ price lists for even more accuracy. Doing takeoffs digitally means you stay competitive and profitable while avoiding the risks of either overestimating or underestimating. In time, the best takeoff software also helps you build a trusted reputation among your customers.

Bidding with confidence

Once you’ve worked out the exact amount of construction materials needed, you can then price more easily, including the labor and overhead needed to complete all phases the home build. Software simplifies this process, helping you achieve targeted profit margins.

The best takeoff software quickly and easily pulls together estimates that include pricing tailored to your project’s location. Reusable templates make life even easier, allowing you to streamline repeatable jobs without ever missing an item.

Efficient material management

Ordering too much material can end up costing you extra money and creating storage issues. On the other hand, if you order too little, you’ll run into delays and unexpected expenses. A precise digital takeoff optimizes procurement and avoids unnecessary expenses.

It also means you minimize offcuts and can easily identify potential recycling or reuse for all the associated materials. This way you can reduce material waste, eliminate storage logistics, and keep on track without any costly delays.

Ultimately, getting all phases of the project right means you can execute projects within budget, on time and with minimal disruptions, leading to happy customers and more predictable profits.

How are takeoffs done?

  • Manually: The old-school way of measuring your quantity takeoff is of course with a pen and paper, scale ruler and calculator. While this method is familiar for lots of builders and low cost, it’s also very time-consuming and can lead to unintentional oversights or double counting. However experienced you are, mistakes can happen, which throw off your estimates and leave you out of pocket. Even using a spreadsheet doesn’t guarantee accuracy and efficiency.
  • Outsourcing: Some builders prefer to outsource their takeoff requirements, leaving it to specialists. Doing it this way means you can save your time, avoid human error and rely on accurate results. However, outsourcing means you then have less control over the process. It can also be costly and relying on third parties can cause delays with your estimates.   
  • Digitally: Builders nowadays are increasingly adopting their own software to create quick and accurate takeoffs.  Easy to use takeoff software lets you measure and count materials in just a few clicks, helping you work more efficiently. The most effective software is also paired with intelligent estimating and quoting tools that pull the information straight from the takeoff, making the whole process easy, streamlined and error free. 

The power of modern takeoff software

Quantity takeoffs are the backbone of estimating, helping you with procurement, competitive bidding, budgeting and planning. This is why accuracy is essential. The knock-on effect of any errors at this important stage can impact your time and profits, and customer satisfaction down the line.

With the power of modern takeoff software, construction professionals like you can quickly and simply pull together precise takeoffs, allowing you to quote on more projects with confidence.  It not only speeds up the whole process, giving you back your valuable time, but it gives you an accurate, error-free foundation for your estimates. It means you can optimize your material procurement and usage, and streamline your project planning, allocating resources more effectively. It also allows you to plan construction activities and sequencing more effectively and mitigate risks associated with material excesses or shortages.

Save Time and Quote More

If you’re keen to save time and end the paperwork and frustration that comes with manual takeoffs, software can significantly enhance your approach – helping you stay ahead and quote for more work, without the extra stress. Experience the benefits for yourself by scheduling a demo or trying a free 14-day trial with Buildxact. No downloads, installations, or credit card information required