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How to Set Up Your E Takeoff for Better Estimates

It has become clear in the last several years that digital takeoffs handily beat manual takeoffs. They deliver the data you need to establish your estimate quickly and accurately. With everyone now using e takeoffs, the differentiation is in the details. How do you set yourself apart and create your electronic takeoffs so the outcome is the best possible estimate delivered to your potential client? Let’s look at several key factors in how to set up your takeoff for success.

1. Know What You are Counting and Measuring

When creating an e takeoff, you need to count and measure all the materials necessary for construction. What should you include to get the most accurate numbers? Here are the units of measure you need to pay attention to:

Count: Count everything required to complete the project, from the studs and light fixtures to cabinets and faucets. E takeoff software will examine the blueprints and make the appropriate calculations.

Length: You'll need to know the lengths of every item, along with any switches, panels, and receptacles. Software made for this function will aid this process.

Area: Certain elements, such as flooring or paint, will require the surface area measurement. When setting up your e takeoff, make sure to measure for area.

Volume: When it comes to materials like concrete and asphalt, a measure of volume will be required. Account for all foundation materials, parking lots, driveways, etc.

When you set up the e takeoff to look at length, volume, area, and count of all materials, you get the most accurate numbers possible, which can win you the work.

2. Start with Material Quantities

With an e takeoff, you won’t waste time looking for materials lists—the information is all on the digital blueprints. Every project is different, of course, so the list of materials can be relatively short or quite long. Whatever the scope of work, gathering the information used to be a big headache because it meant digging through hard copy blueprints, materials lists, and drawings to gather material quantities in one place. Now, with estimating software and e takeoffs, this information will be pulled directly from blueprints, architectural drawings, or project plans.

Digital takeoff software will scour the blueprints and drawings that you are working from for the standardized symbols for elements such as fixtures, switches, ductwork, etc. From that information, you will get a comprehensive list of material quantities needed for the job. With an e takeoff program integrated into your estimating software, your estimates will be more accurate than when using spreadsheet software alone. Spreadsheets can be prone to costly data entry and calculation errors.

3. Take the Quantities and Make the Cost Calculation

By using standard market values, you can now provide an accurate estimate of the cost of the materials involved. To make this as simple as possible, ProEst provides several cost estimation resources and tools, including an RSMeans database, complete with a location index to accurately reflect local market conditions.

An e takeoff will take the counts and measurements from the comprehensive materials list and produce a takeoff figure that is as accurate as possible. When you make the calculation, build in a small cushion for price fluctuations. This way, you can provide a solid cost calculation of the materials involved in any given construction or engineering project.

Of course, every job has changes going on at all times. An e takeoff software estimator can take any changes into account, review material quantities, and make adjustments dynamically to account for market fluctuation and material wastage.

Digital takeoff tools can accomplish more in less time and aggravation compared to manual takeoff calculations. A digital takeoff is inherently less likely to have errors because the program itself determines the materials required, performs any necessary calculations for quantity, and can assign material prices directly from a cost database.

Having reliable estimation software like ProEst helps managers make better, more informed decisions because they can trust that the data they use is secure and accurate. ProEst is a cloud-based management tool that integrates your e takeoff and estimates with other business technology and software, so you have more opportunities to save time and money on construction projects.

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!

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