Table of Contents

View Related Posts

How to Speed Up Your Construction Estimating Takeoff

construction estimating takeoff

Creating accurate construction estimating takeoffs is the lifeblood of every commercial construction business. The success of your projects depends on the budget, which you develop as you complete construction estimating takeoffs. In this guide, we define what a construction estimating takeoff is, why it's important, its essential components, and how to speed it up.

What Is Construction Estimating and Why Is It Important?

When a construction manager or estimator calculates the cost for an upcoming project, they are completing a construction estimating takeoff. All estimates start with this because it’s how estimators define and measure the project's quantities. Once that is complete, they assign costs to each item.

Before a construction project can begin, managers must know its costs and how to allocate budgeting so they can secure adequate financing. Cost estimating is vital because when completed accurately, it provides the leverage that construction companies need to beat out the competition.

Another reason that cost estimating accuracy is critical is to prevent costly mistakes. Such errors can cost the company thousands of dollars, and in some instances, the construction firm might even go out of business.

Completing construction estimating takeoffs is more than developing a list of costs. This information also outlines the underlying assumptions that relate to every item. Beyond direct and indirect costs, expenses for a construction project generally fall into the following categories:

  • Contingency costs: Estimators add these to a takeoff to provide coverage for specific risks.
  • Facilities: If there's a need for renting locations, services, or specialized services, the cost is listed here.
  • Hardware: These are the costs for specific computer hardware necessary for the project.
  • Services: If the project needs specific contractors or vendors, for example, the costs for that external work are included.
  • Software: These costs relate to all non-physical computer resources that the job requires.

Critical Components of a Construction Estimating Takeoff

The project's estimator typically completes construction estimating takeoffs, or other team members can do so depending on its scope, size, and type. Because each project differs, estimators look at the takeoff to measure labor, materials, and time. This way, they can determine the project's costs from start to finish.

The use of digital takeoffs in combination with reporting helps enhance a construction estimating takeoff's accuracy. Most construction project costs involve two elements, including:

Direct Costs

These are the expenses for specific construction work activities. Examples include:

  • Equipment: If there's a need to buy and maintain equipment for the project, the costs are here.
  • Labor force or field workers: This part of the cost estimating takeoff involves outlining how much it costs for team members to complete the project.
  • Materials: Here is where the cost for all resources necessary for completing the project are listed.

Indirect Costs

These expenses don't allocate to specific construction work activities. Examples include:

  • Administrative costs: All costs associated with back-office duties are listed here.
  • Permits: Every project needs permits and those costs must be outlined.
  • Security fees and expenses: If the project involves sensitive data or has an out-of-the-way location, it might be necessary to hire security.
  • Temporary structures: These structures house materials or equipment or act as a preliminary structure before the project reaches completion.
  • Utility expenses: If generators or compressors aren't enough to power up tools or lights, then it's necessary to hook up utilities.

How Data Integration and CRM Help Speed Up Construction Estimating Takeoffs

Customer service management, or CRM, is a piece of technology that construction managers and their teams use to manage interactions and relationships with current and potential customers. One of the biggest mistakes that a construction company can make is attempting to manage their CRM manually. That means they're using Excel, handwritten notes, or Microsoft Outlook, for example, to organize communications. CRM software plays a critical role in communicating, organizing, and staying on track with construction estimating takeoffs.

When construction managers and estimators use data integration, that means they're combining all the data they collected from several sources and compiling it into one centralized location. The process involves extracting, filtering, and syncing data for faster and more efficient construction estimating takeoff analysis. The collection of this data helps keep it at the construction manager or estimator's fingertips. This integration also allows companies to look back at historical data and find information from multiple sources in one place.


Learning how to speed up your construction estimating takeoff involves understanding what it is, why it's essential, its critical components, and how to utilize the best software. ProEst is a proactive approach to helping your company learn how to speed up your construction estimating takeoff. Contact us today to schedule a one-on-one walkthrough with one of our specialists.

ProEst is a cloud-based pre-construction estimating platform that helps you create accurate estimates and digital takeoffs directly from blueprints quickly, allowing you to determine the most favorable rates for your company within the estimation process. There’s no guesswork involved. ProEst makes quality project estimation assurance in commercial construction companies effortless. You won’t have to engage your entire team to be sure your numbers are accurate.

To learn more about how your commercial construction company can reduce takeoff time to estimate faster, with greater accuracy, reach out today and schedule a 1-on-1 walkthrough with one of our specialists!