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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

How Does a Quantity Takeoff Work in Construction?

There is a lot of confusion in the construction industry regarding the term “quantity takeoff”. Here, in this blog post, we are going to debunk the myths surrounding quantity takeoffs by answering the following questions: what exactly do quantity takeoff services entail, how do they differ from materials takeoffs, and how can they be done fast and effectively?

The Best Method for Producing Accurate Quantity Takeoffs

Quantity Takeoffs in Construction 

In theory, construction quantity takeoffs are pre-calculated quantities calculated from drawings and plans incorporated into bills of quantities (355). The construction quantity takeoff services, however, refer to one of the industry’s essential functions during preconstruction: a cost estimator takes measurements from a set of plans to forecast construction costs during the preconstruction phase. In reality, the term takeoff originated from the phrase “taken off”, which means “measured.” Estimators need to take the information “off” drawings to create a list of measurements. Estimators use common contract documents to perform quantity takeoffs. These documents may include architectural drawings, structural engineering drawings, plumbing drawings, site drainage drawings, electrical drawings, and HVAC drawings. 

Material Takeoff vs Quantity Takeoff: 3 Differences

There are three substantive differences between a Material Takeoff service and a quantity takeoff for a cost estimate when calculating the number of materials required to construct an item.

Takeoff measurements for cost estimates are made “net in place,” whereas takeoff measurements for materials are made “gross.” 

Materials takeoffs rarely include enough information to calculate actual prices. In a cost estimate takeoff, information about what will be done with the concrete is required, not just the amount of 3000 psi concrete. 

A quantity takeoff measures many work items without involving any materials. Hand troweling, for instance, only has a labor cost. To calculate trowelling areas, in this case, it is necessary to measure the plan’s area. These items don’t have material takeoffs, so don’t consider them.

The term “takeoff” in this guide refers specifically to the quantity takeoff process, which quantifies a project’s work. 

For an accurate estimate of project costs, follow these steps:

Quantity takeoff is a six-step process that creates an accurate cost estimate. They are as follows:

1 Step: Measure the quantity of work a contractor is to perform following standard measurement rules

2 Step: Sorting and listing the work quantity “taken off” according to the CSI MasterFormat or other standard, so pricing might be easier.

3 Step: Calculate the estimated contractor’s cost by comparing labor, equipment, and material prices to the quantities.

4 Step: Pricing subcontractors’ work – subcontractors’ quotes for their work are collected from the competition; 

5 Step: Overhead costs are incorporated into the estimate for general expenses.

6 Step: Summarizing all estimates

By using the precise estimating method outlined above, you are more likely to estimate the actual construction project costs more accurately than simply taking a quantity takeoff. It is only possible for an estimator to achieve this accuracy if the project owner provides drawings and specifications to the estimator in order to establish a defined scope of work. The quantity takeoff services provide a necessary foundation for an accurate work assessment.

The Quantity Takeoff Process

Quantity takeoffs are the foundation of a detailed estimate, as we’ve already noted. A contractor’s takeoff is prepared by breaking down the operations to be performed by the contractor into predefined activities or work items on the drawings and in the specifications. 

Here are the basic steps in the takeoff process:

1. Define the scope of the takeoff. An estimator must be able to answer the question “What must be removed or measured?” by studying plans and specifications. In case of unclear details, the estimator should consult the architect or owner instead of guessing or assuming. 

2. Take measurements of each item. The estimator should measure each item using the dimensions specified in the plans and specifications without scaling drawings, once they know what the scope of the job is. Drawings that are out of scale are often the result of size changes during the design phase.  Estimators should not rely on scaled dimensions.

3. Keep track of quantities. Estimators make detailed notes about which sheet each item is located on and where it is located in the building. An estimate also includes a grid reference, the drawing number, and the detail number in a list of quantities. 

Takeoff Methods: Manual, Digital, and Estimating

The takeoff process was traditionally manual. New technologies have changed cost estimating rapidly in the last decade. Computer software or other technology is no substitute for human operators and interpreters producing quantity takeoffs. There are traditionally only two ways to get a quantity takeoff. Still, artificial intelligence challenged that idea, allowing a new way to make takeoffs faster and more accurate and leveraging the invaluable insights of experienced estimators. For a single project estimate, an estimator can use multiple methods. Oftentimes, estimators prepare paper takeoffs before entering dimensions into computers.

Using an estimating service or using a digital quantity takeoff is one way to create a quantity takeoff.

Manual method: 

If construction cost estimators do not use takeoff or cost estimation software, they take a quantity takeoff manually using a spreadsheet, word processor, or other software. By looking at contract drawings, reading plans, and specifications, and measuring accurately, contractors can determine how much and what work is necessary for a structure. The estimator will review each drawing and calculate the materials during the estimation process. The estimator must therefore be capable of reading and calculating complex mathematical equations and project plans and specifications. To ensure that the estimate is as accurate as possible, the cost estimator must also pay attention to details.

Digital method

Digitalizes and electronic devices enable measurement input into the software.  A construction estimator may use either a sonic or a tablet digitizer. Points and lines are located using a pointer or cursor on both devices. Two receivers of a sonic digitizer detect the sonic code emitted by the cursor and can calculate its precise location using the sonic code. You can scan any drawing using a sonic digitizer, no matter how big or what kind of source it is on. A tablet digitizer, on the other hand, scans a document and determines where the cursor should be located based on physical drawings laid out on top of an electronic tablet. Sophisticated estimating software can quickly calculate measurements from the information captured by the digitizer. In some estimating systems, digitizers can replace keyboards directly. Third method: AI-powered cost estimation

In addition to manual and digital methods, enhanced cost-estimating services provide the benefits of both manual and digital estimations for building a quantity takeoff.

The only company revolutionizing quantity takeoffs using machine learning is 1build, which offers cost-estimating services. Abuild’s takeoffs are the best because they use deep learning and artificial intelligence to improve their detail and accuracy. In this revolutionary approach, builders subscribe to the service, upload plans, and receive a detailed cost estimate or quantity takeoff.


In this day and age, everyone needs professional Quantity Takeoff Services to complete their quantity takeoffs. Therefore, we are here to answer all your questions if you are among those looking for these services. To get takeoff services, you need to get in touch with the best company that will be able to assist you. When you need accurate services, you can count on the expert team to provide them. As a result, it will be able to meet your takeoff requirements.

Uneeb Khan
Uneeb Khan
Uneeb Khan CEO at blogili.com. Have 4 years of experience in the websites field. Uneeb Khan is the premier and most trustworthy informer for technology, telecom, business, auto news, games review in World.

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