The hvac takeoff is an essential step in preparing HVAC Mechanical estimates. Use our #1 takeoff software to calculate lengths and areas from digital plans. Easily create estimating assemblies and build material lists to save time preparing estimates.
Directional takeoffs use a metal scoop-like fitting that grabs air and directs it to the branch duct it feeds. However, they are also notorious for reducing airflow through the duct system.
1. Measure the Space
Air ducts are an essential component of HVAC systems and must be properly installed to ensure the proper flow of heated or chilled air throughout the structure. Whether you’re looking to perform hvac takeoff at your home or business, you must accurately measure the space to determine how much ductwork is needed. You can do this by using a plan digitizer, which is a tool that allows you to point and click on blueprints digitally to quickly and accurately measure lengths. Alternatively, you can use a tape measure and calculator to measure the area of your ductwork. Regardless of the method, both are time-consuming and prone to error.
Using an electronic plan digitizer can save you time and money, as well as improve the accuracy of your measurements. The best takeoff software programs will provide multiple features to help you with this process, including linear measurement, area measurements, and volume calculations. Additionally, they can integrate with Excel and other estimating bidding products.
Some products may also allow you to input values into formulas that will calculate power and output requirements, as well as labor calculations for certain assemblies. These features are important for electrical and plumbing contractors.
Most takeoff products will also allow you to keep high and low pressure duct takeoffs separate, which is essential for HVAC work. This will prevent you from accidentally counting the same lengths twice and over again. Additionally, you should be sure to include all necessary steel supports and duct dampers in your hvac takeoffs.
Linear measurement is a basic feature of most takeoff tools and will allow you to identify and measure linear components on the project plans, such as piping or wiring. Most software will also offer a simple count feature, which can automatically count the number of items or figures on digitized plans. Other more advanced products may have auto-count or optical character recognition capabilities.
For masonry contractors, a takeoff solution that can calculate complex volumes and areas will be useful. This type of product can help you quickly and easily calculate the amount of concrete, mortar, rebar, and other materials that will be needed to complete your project. Some solutions will even allow you to create your own assembly lists based on the type of work you need to perform, such as retaining walls or driveways.
2. Investigate Prices
When doing hvac takeoff, it’s important to find out how much supplies and equipment will cost. This will help you create an accurate estimate for the project. Make sure to research rates for everything from ducting to compressors. This will ensure that you’re getting the best possible price for your work.
Choosing the Right HVAC Takeoff Software
To ensure that your hvac takeoff process is as efficient as possible, it’s a good idea to invest in some of the latest estimating technology. This will allow you to quickly measure and identify areas of the building that require heating or cooling. This is a crucial step in the takeoff process, and can save you significant time on each bid.
Takeoff software comes in a variety of formats, so finding one that works for your needs is essential. Some products are downloadable as an app, while others work on a cloud-based system and can be used from any device. It’s also important to consider whether you want the software to be compatible with other estimating software, such as Excel.
Commercial jobs often have a lot of ductwork, and the best hvac takeoff software will simplify the process of bidding for sheet metal and industrial piping projects. You can choose between using your company’s construction standards or purchased duct for your estimates. Some products also have a Poly Line tool that can takeoff pipe and duct by size. This is useful for large jobs that use a variety of sizes of ducting, such as those that need to be redesigned due to COVID-19 concerns.
3. Create a Thorough Estimate
When creating a HVAC estimate, there is more to consider than just measurements and equipment sizes. It’s also important to investigate current prices for everything from ducting to compressors. Having accurate information on these rates can save you money in the long run by helping you create an accurate bid for your customer.
Once you have gathered the necessary data and taken measurements, it’s time to start preparing your hvac takeoff estimate. Using software like Planswift can help you create a clear, concise layout of your project’s scope. This will allow you to clearly communicate your project’s needs and provide an accurate estimate for the job.
Depending on the scale of the plan you’re using, it may be necessary to adjust your measurements and dimensions to reflect the correct size for each piece of ductwork. This is important because it ensures your quantities, linear footages, and sizes are based on a correct scale for the project. It also helps ensure your calculations are accurate and that you’re not missing any items during the takeoff process.
The type of ductwork and fittings you choose for a project can impact how well the entire system performs. Inefficient ductwork can cause a number of issues, including reduced airflow and unbalanced air pressure throughout the building. In turn, this can lead to higher maintenance costs and a shorter lifespan for the equipment itself.
There are several different types of ductwork fittings available, and each one has its own pros and cons. Some, such as the shoetap style, can cause a reduction in airflow when used in a branch duct run. On the other hand, a scoop takeoff can have the opposite effect since it directs air from the main trunk to each branch.
When comparing HVAC estimating software programs, be sure to look for the features that are most relevant to your business. For example, some programs can offer integration with design processes and a material database that keeps pricing up to date. This can make preparing estimates easier for everyone involved, especially your senior estimators.
4. Make Notes
The process of taking measurements from project plans to create an estimate can be time-consuming and difficult without the right tools. Over the last couple of decades, contractors have been using blueprint digitizers to improve speed and accuracy. Now, software technology is enabling estimators to turn the entire takeoff process into one that’s entirely digital, further speeding up and improving accuracy.
Takeoff software comes in a wide variety of price points and features. To find the best tool for your needs, it’s important to consider the scope of your construction projects and what types of takeoffs you will be doing on them. Also, consider the cost of the software relative to the significant amount of time you can save with it compared to manual methods.
Linear Measurement – Almost all takeoff software will give users the ability to identify and pull linear components from digitized blueprints. This can include piping, wiring, trim, and other materials that are measured in length. Advanced software may even be able to auto-count these items on the plans, saving contractors even more time and improving accuracy.
Area Measurement – Many takeoff tools will also allow contractors to calculate areas from digitized blueprints. This can be especially useful when it comes to estimating materials like drywall, tiling, and windows, where square footage is a common measurement. Some software even goes a step further and allows contractors to determine volumes from project plans as well.
Plan Overlays – Some takeoff software will allow users to layer different types of takeoffs and annotations over top of each other. This can be helpful for keeping a clear overview of the entire project and ensuring nothing is overlooked during the takeoff process.
RFI Creation – It’s not uncommon for estimators to notice errors or ambiguities on the drawings during the takeoff process. Having the capability to quickly put together an RFI can allow you to ask for clarification from your project sponsor and keep the process moving forward.
For those who already use Procore for many of their other construction management tasks, the company’s takeoff software is a great option to add on. Its user-friendly interface and powerful takeoff tools make it a great choice for busy contractors who need to stay on schedule and on budget.