4 Ways to Improve Your Takeoff Estimating Accuracy

takeoff estimating

Accurate takeoffs are a critical part of the cost-estimating process because you're considering the material costs, which account for a substantial portion of construction costs. Beyond utilizing blueprints, drawings, and models, estimators must possess critical thinking skills, sound judgment, and a high level of expertise to complete accurate takeoff estimating.

In this guide, we discuss the importance of takeoff estimating accuracy. You'll learn how to improve your takeoff estimating accuracy and how it contributes to the success of your commercial construction business.

What Should You Include in Takeoff Estimating?

In the takeoff, you'll need to include measurements and quantities, while keeping all this data as accurate and detailed as possible.

There are several elements you should have in an accurate takeoff:

  • Counts and quantities: Count single items that you must include in the estimate. These include everything from light fixtures to doorknobs.
  • Lengths: You'll need specific lengths and runs for lumber, piping, and steel.
  • Area: Include the calculations for all two-dimensional items necessary for the project, including floor coverings, flatwork stone, and roofing materials.
  • Volume: Include the three-dimensional requirements that your project has, including how much insulation and concrete you'll need.
  • Weight: Don't limit your takeoff estimating to area, lengths, and volume. Account for transportation costs when you calculate how many tons of backfill or how many pounds of steel you need, for example.

By using cost estimating to create digital cost estimates for any commercial construction project, you'll help reduce estimation errors and improve accuracy, which is a serious component of the commercial construction takeoff process. You'll find this is especially true in the case of creating bids. If there are any inaccuracies, either it will be discarded, or you will have to start from scratch.

Using Digital Takeoffs to Improve Accuracy

When you perform digital takeoffs right from the blueprint, that helps improve accuracy and reduce errors. The estimation process is sometimes slowed by the amount of time you spend completing a takeoff. The main reason is that many estimators are still doing their takeoffs by hand. Digital takeoffs are quicker and produce fewer errors by:

  • Quickly determining the equipment, labor, and material needs
  • Considering variables, including labor force and weather conditions
  • Creating an audit trail
  • Improving productivity and efficiency
  • Enabling better collaboration among team members and stakeholders

You'll find that using digital takeoffs has many advantages compared to the manual method, with accuracy improvement being the most essential. You'll also find that digital takeoffs help reduce production time and how well this tool integrates with your cost-estimating software.

Improve Accuracy with Communication

When your commercial construction company implements effective communication strategies, that leads to better construction management. When you're up against a tight deadline for a construction project, effective communication is vital to its success.

Excellent communication skills lead to improvements in project collaboration and teamwork. If your company faces poor communication issues, that could result in delays, problems, and misunderstandings.

The veracity of your takeoffs depends on the volume and accuracy of the information you receive from the project's stakeholders. That means communication plays a vital role in improving your takeoff estimating accuracy.

Use CRM to improve communication. Easily manage a company's interaction with current and potential customers within a dedicated cloud-based management tool. This will help you stay organized when dealing with multiple datasets.

Use Data Integration to Create Seamless Workflows

Depending on the scope of your commercial construction project, you might be dealing with multiple takeoffs. That means you must find ways to improve accuracy by streamlining your workflows using data integration.

If you're not adequately integrating data into other tools and construction processes, you're running the risk of it becoming lost. Start by involving your team and determining which platforms, processes, and systems work best for them. Then, identify which data integration solutions best serve your company's needs. Using these software solutions will help integrate data using project management tools alongside your estimating programs.


When you know what a takeoff should include, how to use digital takeoffs, the importance of communication, and how to implement data integration, you have a better chance of improving your takeoff estimating accuracy. ProEst is a proactive approach to helping you maximize company scalability and profit.

Would you like to learn more? Reach out and schedule a 1-on-1 with one of our representatives today!