What is Quantity Takeoff in Construction Cost Estimating?

Construction Cost Estimating

Quantity takeoff is the method of calculating material quantities and other project inputs, based on construction documents and the size of work. Accuracy is extremely important in quantity takeoff. It is a key part of the decision-making process in construction. Quantity takeoff and cost estimating are important parts of understanding a project’s scope and requirements.  

What is quantity takeoff?

Quantity takeoff is an early part of the construction process. It estimates contract quantities from drawings and construction plans and records them in the bill of quantities. A quantity takeoff includes the material requirements for a project, as well as the labor and equipment needed to finish the work.

Quantity takeoff services:

Quantity takeoffs contribute a meaningful element to estimation costs. The accuracy of quantity takeoffs is shown in the overall construction costs. Following are quantity takeoff services that people in construction take advantage of.

  • Cost tracking: It is way easier to follow construction costs with exact quantity takeoffs as you have a precise picture of the money you have to spend. This helps in decision-making and avoiding budget overruns. With quantity takeoff, one can easily predict the labor, equipment, and materials for all building components.
  • Communication: Clients always want to know the best way to spend their money. Accurate cost estimations boost clear communication that keeps clients updated. This helps in building a reputation and trust with the customers. Quantity takeoffs allow clients to keep track of the project and the expenditures.
  • Winning more bids: Quantity takeoffs help you win more bids, you must comprehensively research your cost estimates and write them. The constancy of a contractor in coming up with precise takeoffs reflects on their efficiency in work and therefore helps them in winning more bids.
  • Time control: Quantity takeoffs influence the budgetary determinations of a project and the client’s decisions in contractor preference. Quantity takeoffs save the time wasted on correction if precisely done.

Material takeoff:

Quantity takeoffs have many other names, sometimes the name material takeoffs are used interchangeably with quantity takeoffs. A material takeoff is planned to deliver a list of materials required to complete a construction project. Also, it provides detailed cost estimates for each material required for a job. Material takeoff refers to the quantity of material we purchase to complete a particular job. In cost estimation, quantity takeoffs are calculated as “net quantities” whereas material takeoffs in “gross quantities”.

Included in quantity takeoff:

Following are the measurements that are included in quantity takeoffs

  • Unit count: A unit count involves calculating all the materials needed for the project, and every item that will be installed in the building. It’s the first step before estimating costs because later you’ll be able to multiply each unit’s number by its price.
  • Linear Length: The next step is calculating the linear length of materials like pipes and lumber. You can extrapolate the length required based on the blueprints.
  • Surface area: Materials like flooring and sheetrock require the calculation of the surface area.
  • Weight: Apart from the number of materials, a quantity takeoff includes its gross weight. It is needed for a transportation estimate as well.
  • Cubic volume: This measures three-dimensional materials like poured concrete or earthworks.

All in all:

Precise quantity takeoffs will allow you to secure more clients and build your reputation it takes a good bit of skill and effort. But when you’ll be providing your clients with precise information that will allow them to make better decisions, it’ll prove to be helpful in the long run. It provides value and helps everyone stay on track with deadlines and budgets.

By Michael Caine

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