The Importance of Accurate Quantity Take-offs

The Importance of Accurate Quantity Take-offs

Quantity take-offs are an essential part of construction estimation since material cost accounts for a significant portion of the entire construction cost of any project, be it big or small. Apart from just working off drawings, blueprints or models, an estimator needs to have a high sense of skill, good judgment, and critical thinking skills to produce accurate quantity take-offs.

While construction estimates contribute to a significant aspect of cost estimation, what’s more, important is ‘accurate take-offs.’ Let’s first start by discussing some important aspects of quantity take-offs and what adds up to the importance of its accuracy.

Effective Cost Tracking:

Isn’t it a lot easier to manage your monthly expenses once you have listed all your expenditures such as rent, gas, food, etc.? It gives you a clearer picture of the money you have to spend and the money you have to save. It is precisely the same as doing take-offs accurately. Calculating accurate quantity take-off helps in better decision-making and prevents excessive budgets overruns.

Accurate Quantity Takeoff - Estimators Group


It leaves room for some unexpected expenses that are needed to be fulfilled in urgency. As the design matures and construction details are accurately modeled, precise quantity take-offs help team members in anticipating the labor, materials, equipment and subcontractor costs for all the building elements.

Clear Communication:

Let’s face it; in the construction business everything boils down to cost! Your client will always appreciate your efforts if they’re well guided to optimizing their money. Thus, it is necessary to produce accurate take-offs to retain your client’s vote of trust.

For example, with BIM’s growing prominence in the construction industry, it offers the technology that makes it easier for you to keep your clients updated about their project. Your client has an actual track of the project as well as its expenditures, making it very transparent between both the parties.

Related Read: BIM based Quantity Takeoff – A Review

Winning More Bids:

It is always good to do a rigorous homework on your cost estimates, especially when it comes to materials before you bid for any project. To make the bid fall in your plate, you need to make sure that you research thoroughly on the cost estimates and how you can reduce them because that alone can give you an upper hand amongst your competitors. As trivial as it may seem, but the constancy of a subcontractor & his team in getting accurate take-off quantities that help them score the jobs can say a lot about the team’s efficiency at their job.

Hence, getting accurate quantity take-offs might seem like a tiresome job at first, but if you look at it the right way, it can become your formula to win more and more bids.

Effective Time Management:

While manual take-offs can be extremely time-consuming, depending on the complexity of the project, take-offs calculated digitally automate many of the more complicated aspects of the construction take-off process.

Estimates not only affect the financial outcome of a project but also influence the decisions made for budgeting and assist in clients’ decisions for contractor selection. A significant part of such decision making relies on the quantity take-offs. An accurately done take-off saves the time wasted on calculating mistakes and rectifications.

Related Read: Desirable Attributes of a Great Estimator


The accuracy of a take-off can be assessed in different ways depending on the figure for comparison of the tender, its end product or the budgeted item.  An estimate defines the degree to which a measurement or calculation deviates from its actual price. The level of accuracy of an estimate is influenced by factors which may be direct or indirect.

It is crucial to compare the estimate with other projects of a similar magnitude in order to set parameters of possible influences. To sum up, it can be concluded that estimating accuracy is an indication of the degree to which the final price outcome of a project may vary from the single point value used as the estimated cost of the project.