Quantity Takeoffs – More than Mere Calculations

Quantity Takeoffs – More than Mere Calculations

Takeoffs or material take off, as they say, is an essential part of the estimating process. For some, this might come out as mere quantities, but these quantities can decide the fate of your project and most importantly can determine the fate of your bid. Before you can bid for or start a project, you need to know the types and quantities of different materials they will need to complete it.

This accounts for the proper estimation of the costs and requirements for the materials and hence gives an estimated amount of the labor costs involved in the installment or construction of said materials. This guide is bound to help the ones who are new to this business and are seeking experience. A lot of times construction cost estimating  is restricted to just calculations and quantities of the materials.

But is that all that governs the overall cost of the project? If your answer is yes, then its time, you break up with that notion because there’s a lot that goes into getting the right quantity take-off.


Just like how good quality construction plans and specifications reduce the construction time by proper execution at a site without delay, a detailed material- take off reduces the time that goes into errors and rectifications. Any vaguely drafted take off not only confuses but also places doubt in the contractor’s mind which generally results in a higher construction cost. And to be 100% sure it is always recommended to carry out a technical review of the takeoff to make sure the final draft serves the required purpose. A finely drafted estimate not only helps reduce the chances of mistakes but also works as a key factor in winning bids.


While this may sound like a very obvious tip, but accuracy is a serious aspect of take-offs. Especially in case of hard bids, if your takeoff is inaccurate, it will straightaway get discarded. With so many estimation software and technological aid, there should be no room left for any mistakes. The accuracy of an estimate is an indication of the degree to which the final price outcome of a project may vary. Hence it plays a crucial role in the final numbers on which you will be bidding.

Related Read: The Importance of Accurate Quantity Take-offs


material takeoffs



It should be understood that, while a thorough takeoff will improve your estimate, there will be other factors to take into account such as overhead costs, shifts in market prices for materials, and various other expenses. It is a known fact that most of the construction projects take up nearly 4-5 years and sometimes more than that. During this period, the factors as mentioned earlier change and in turn affect the overall cost of the project. Thus, as an estimator or a contractor, you must stay updated about the current market trends, prices, and tariffs. A sound information about these factors is bound to give you an upper hand in the bidding process.


By now you might have realized that there’s a lot more to take off than just calculations. Though material takeoff account for a significant part of the bidding, one must keep in mind that they only provide for the basic material costs but can’t account for complexities in design that may cost you labor. It is mandatory to take the factors mentioned above into attention to draw profits from the upcoming projects.