Menu Close

The Importance of a Construction Takeoff

A construction takeoff is an important part of project cost estimating. But it can be a cumbersome task, especially when done manually. This is why many builders choose to use takeoff estimating software like Kreo.

Unlike manual methods that require rulers, pencils and paper, digital tools make the process far faster. A good construction takeoff should quantify all materials required to build a structure. This includes everything from raw materials such as concrete and timber to prefabricated products like light fixtures.


Construction takeoffs provide a clear picture of a project’s material requirements and costs. This data is critical for creating accurate estimates and submitting bids to clients. Without a flawless takeoff, contractors risk over- or underbidding for a job, which can lead to costly delays and project cancellations.

To perform a takeoff, estimators must review project plans and blueprints and determine what materials are required for a building or structure. These quantities are then recorded using digital measurement technology, such as Buildertrend’s online takeoff tool. This process eliminates the need for tedious manual measurements and calculations, making it a more efficient and accurate way to perform a construction takeoff.

A takeoff includes all physical materials that are required to complete a project, such as concrete, timber, or prefabricated materials like bricks, lengths of electrical cable or plumbing pipes. It may not include labor costs, which are considered a separate part of the estimate estimating process. However, it’s important to note that a labor-based estimate should be performed prior to performing a construction material takeoff, as the accuracy of the latter is dependent on the accuracy of the former.

Whether you’re a contractor working on a commercial project or a homeowner renovating your house, the accuracy of construction takeoffs is vital. For larger projects, it can be a time-consuming and frustrating process to count every door, window or fixture manually from paper plans. For smaller projects, it’s often easier to use digital takeoff software that can save you valuable time by allowing you to replicate quantity results across multiple floors or rooms with the same layout.

Before performing a takeoff, you must first obtain a copy of the project plans and documents. You can either obtain scanned copies of the original documents or upload them into a digital takeoff software. Digital tools also make the document collection and review process much faster than traditional methods, reducing the overall time needed to conduct a takeoff.

With a digital takeoff, you can automatically send the finalized results to team members, keeping everyone on the same page throughout the estimation process. This helps reduce the possibility of miscommunication or human error that can occur when relying on manual measurements. Additionally, you’ll be able to ensure that all teams are using the same measurement standards.


A construction takeoff is a process whereby a professional determines the amount of materials needed to complete a project. The process can be very time-consuming and difficult, but it’s essential to have accurate information so that a contractor can create a competitive bid and avoid overcharging or undercharging clients. A quality construction takeoff will help reduce risk and increase the likelihood of a profitable project.

Manual material takeoffs are typically completed by a licensed and experienced contractor. These are created by studying blueprints and making rough estimates based on the project’s scope and dimensions. They can be expensive and labor intensive, but they are one of the most popular methods for estimating project costs. The most common raw materials used in a construction takeoff include lumber, concrete and steel. Other materials include electrical fixtures, ductwork and other equipment. An estimator will use the project blueprints and related documents to determine the required quantity of each item in order to calculate the total amount of materials needed.

In a digital material takeoff, the estimator will upload the blueprint and associated documents into a software program. The software will analyze the data and apply a price to each item. The software will then perform the calculations to give the estimator a total estimate of the required materials. This method is much faster than a manual material takeoff and is more accurate than a rough estimate.

Digital takeoff software saves valuable time by eliminating tedious tasks like cross-referencing spreadsheets, calculating multiple equations and finding price lists. It also enables contractors to produce quotes five times faster than traditional estimation. The software can also be linked to Xero or Quickbooks to make accounting and bookkeeping easier for the business. It’s worth noting that while digital material takeoff software is faster than traditional estimation, it may still be necessary to double-check the final estimate.

In addition to saving time, digital takeoffs can improve communication between the building team and reduce rework. The ability to review the same blueprints allows for less miscommunication and fewer mistakes, which can lead to a better bid win ratio and happier clients.


Construction is a fast-paced industry with tight margins. This is why it is important for teams to work together to get projects done right the first time. A well-done quantity takeoff is an essential part of this process and should be used by all parties involved in a project to avoid delays and costly mistakes. However, this step is often overlooked because it can be tedious and requires a lot of attention to detail.

A construction takeoff is a detailed list of the materials required for a project. It is usually created by estimators to help contractors and clients/developers determine which materials are needed for a project. It is typically made up of raw materials (like lumber, concrete, and sand) as well as finish materials, like electrical fixtures, windows, and door frames. It also includes a listing of the estimated number of each material needed.

There are several different ways to create a construction takeoff, but the most common is using a software program. This process is much faster and more accurate than the manual method. The software scans a blueprint and then uses its intelligence to determine the amount of materials needed. Then, the contractor or estimator can make adjustments based on their experience and knowledge of the project.

Another method is to use a service that offers enhanced cost estimating services. This service combines next-generation technology with world-class estimators to improve the accuracy and speed of construction takeoffs. It also helps reduce costs by allowing contractors to save money on material costs.

There is some confusion about what a quantity takeoff is, as many people think it refers to estimating materials. However, a construction takeoff is actually a comprehensive process that determines the amount of materials and other project expenses to prepare a bid. This is why it is important for estimators to understand the difference between a takeoff and an estimate.


Performing an accurate construction takeoff is crucial for ensuring your project will be completed within budget and on time. It helps avoid cost overruns and allows you to provide your client with a detailed estimate of the project’s costs. Whether you’re preparing to bid for a project or working on one already in progress, using a digital takeoff tool will ensure that your estimates are accurate and complete.

Using construction takeoff software reduces the number of mistakes made during the takeoff process and saves valuable time. The software provides a clear, comprehensive list of the required materials and can calculate the number of man-hours required to perform the work. In addition, it helps you identify any potential issues with the plans before submitting your bid.

While many people assume that taking off materials and calculating their cost are the same, these are two distinct processes. A cost estimator prepares a bid for a particular project based on the total hours required to perform the work and then calculates the price based on this information. A material takeoff, on the other hand, determines the quantity of individual items and their associated dimensions. These measurements are then used to generate a list of materials for each item of work. The list is usually presented in a format that is familiar to builders and can be easily reviewed and analyzed.

For example, a standard wall stud is typically counted, while circuits, outlets, and switches are measured in square footage. The totals for these items are then used to produce a final list of required raw materials, such as drywall, flooring, and sheathing. These quantities are then compared to the estimated labor hours and other project expenses to determine an approximate cost for the work.

It’s important to note that there are some project-related expenses that do not belong on a takeoff, such as office overhead and fluctuating market prices for materials. In addition, it is also important to include a small buffer in your materials estimates to account for changes in prices and supply chain disruptions.