How can construction estimating software speed up your takeoff process?
When you look at a set of construction plans, you can see the design, types of products, scale, and even some detailed callouts. But when it comes to estimating, the first step is always a takeoff. A takeoff is the specific set of measurements and counts that comes from plansets. Think of it as a shopping list for the materials, equipment, and labor you’ll need to build the project. Takeoffs really are the magic that takes a building from an idea to the real world.
To learn more about takeoffs and the tools you need to get a professional output, we’ll cover:
Understanding the Power of Takeoff Software
Maybe you thought takeoffs meant drawing on paper plans and doing your calculations on a legal pad, but now a little technology goes a long way. As your business grows, construction takeoff software can provide the accurate measurements and counts you need, even across a large project with multiple trades. Need to create a quick takeoff for a bathroom renovation? Measure your flooring, count your light fixtures, and get the length of the countertop within few clicks. Doing a construction takeoff for a commercial office buildout? Get measurements for your ceiling grid, count electrical outlets, and measure how much gypsum board you’ll need in half the time it takes you with pen and paper.
By bringing your project into a takeoff software, you can create a professional takeoff with digital measurements and counts, as well as tie it directly to the list of materials in your construction estimating software.
Connecting Your Takeoff Measurements to Your Construction Estimate
Area measurements? Check. Linear measurements. Check. Item counts? Check. You’re ready to connect your takeoff to your estimate and get accurate pricing to match the project plans. With 1build construction estimating software, you can assign any line item in your estimate to a measurement in your takeoff with just one click. Then you can apply any kind of calculation or formula, and adjust the unit of measure, right in your estimate. So it makes it easy to find out exactly how much concrete you’ll need for that foundation pour with having just the square footage of the slab.
Integrating a takeoff tool with an estimate view also makes it super simple to keep your project organized and adjust quantities whenever there’s a change order. Easily toggle back and forth to see all of your measurements and how they inform your final pricing.
Assessing What Tools You Need in Construction Estimating Software
Let’s talk about the most important tools you need to look for in construction software. Features like these make it possible for you to upload a client’s plans and get the measurements that will help you create a professional bid.
Make sure you can upload large .zip files, as well as PDFs and images. With 1build, there’s no page limit for your architectural plan upload, so everything from a simple napkin sketch to detailed mechanical drawings can act as the base for your takeoff. Upload any size plans and then choose either a set or custom scale.
For area measurements, 1build allows you to click the corners of any shape to create an area. You aren’t restrained to a square or rectangle. So, even if your area has a dozen cutouts, you can select the specific space you need to measure.
When you are creating linear measurements in 1build, you can select a line width and then click to add a line of any shape, with as many points as you need. This feature is perfect for measuring pipe, wire, perimeters, or lengths for installation purposes.
When an item doesn’t need a specific takeoff measurement, but you still need to know how many will be used in the project, an item count tool is critical for fast, easy estimating. It’s super simple to count items in 1build—just click on each item of a particular group in your takeoff and the takeoff software will keep your count so you don’t lose track. Then label your count and use that number in your estimate. Count doors, windows, electrical outlets, return air vents, studs, or nearly anything you can count in your project.
Color and Pattern Options
Visual organizational tools help keep a takeoff organized. Using 1build, you can keep your takeoffs easily readable by selecting a color—and even a pattern—for each measurement group. The color sets apart each group, while a pattern—like dots for a ceiling, or wood grain for a flooring option—will indicate which measurement is which at a glance.
Once your geometries are created and measurements are in place, you’ll want to see those numbers reflected in your estimate—automatically and without more work. When you use 1build estimating software, you’ll connect your takeoff groups or geometries to each line item in your estimate, then simply choose a unit of measure and watch the pricing populate (#takeoffMagic). Each line item cost is broken down by material rate, labor rate, and production rate. Costs are pulled from our local cost database by county, and can also be manually adjusted to match your crew and supplier.