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The Importance of Accurate Quantity takeoffs in Construction Estimating

Accuracy in quantity takeoff has its own position when preparing cost estimates. It is the process of measuring material quantities based on the scope of the project.  Overestimated quantities bring extra cost to the total budget and underestimated quantities keeps on delaying the project timeline with added purchases. Read more about accurately estimating the construction costs of residential apartments and houses.

In the past, this job was done manually, but now software is used which has speed up and automate the process. On this page, you can check out the importance of accurate quantity takeoffs in construction estimating.

Impact of accurate quantity takeoffs in cost estimating

Positive impact is placed if one makes it a routine habit to calculate quantity takeoffs with precision. Multiple benefits are offered and below you can check out the details about them:

Benefit 1- You can schedule and procure materials on time

Correctly calculating the material quantities lets you procure and schedule them precisely. No doubt, this practice is of huge significance and believed to be an impactful factor for procurement.

You know the exact input of materials needed for each stage of the project. If any material takes longer to get delivered, you can order them in advance if you have error-freely calculated the takeoffs.

For example, a construction drawing indicates how many lighting fixtures and electrical fittings are needed in a home. With this data, the takeoff estimator prepares a checklist and determines the number of electrical fittings and their diameters, number of wiring rolls, quantities of circuit breakers, clamps and hooks to support the lighting fixtures.

Benefit 2- You can effectively track cost

Accurate takeoffs lets you track cost efficiently and effectively. Your budget does not overrun or under-run because you have calculated the quantities of materials with 100% accuracy. Furthermore, takeoffs make your project look as much realistic as possible because counting and quantifying every component was done at the very earliest stage.

It is recommended to calculate takeoffs at the initial stage because this brings positive impact on the project success rate. Rest, precise quantity takeoffs lets you predict the labor, equipment and material cost. You get enough room to meet unexpected expenses and avoid budget overruns.

Benefit 3- Takeoff software save time, eliminate human error and update estimate automatically

Efficient time management is possible if you have error-freely calculated the materials quantity. Softwares have been devised that boost the speed and efficiency of takeoff process and less time is spend while counting.

Besides, this software allows you conduct takeoffs of the A to Z building information model in hardly few of the minutes while traditional process used to take days and days. It makes updates automatically, eliminates human error, and guarantees that every takeoff gets in sync with the design requirements.

Benefit 4- Encourage you win more bids

Precisely calculating quantity takeoffs encourage you every single time to win more and more bids. The estimator gains an upper-hand if his calculation of measuring the quantity of materials looks perfect. We know that quantity takeoffs appears to be a challenging task for beginners, with time and practice, you will get used to it. It is the sure-shot formula to win bids.

Benefit 5- Competitive edge for contractors

If you perform takeoffs fast and accurately, your repute as a successful contractor will be maintained. Optimizing the quantity takeoff process is a must because this practice reduces financial risk and gives a competitive advantage.

Types of quantity takeoffs

  • Manual takeoffs: It is the traditional method where an estimator calculates the materials quantity without any assistance of software. The use of excel spreadsheets and word processors were only there. This approach was time-consuming, reduced accuracy and chances of error were high.
  • Digital takeoffs use computer applications and database softwares. They are widely used by the construction industry as they are known to speed up the takeoff process while assuring accuracy and precision too.

Difference between quantity and material takeoff

Quantity and material takeoff refer to almost similar processes but there exist some difference too.

Material takeoff refers to the quantity of materials which have to be purchased for the respective project. It is calculated in “net quantities,”

On the other hand, quantity takeoffs include anything like labor needed, materials required etc and it is calculated in “gross quantities.”

Who performs quantity takeoffs?

The process of quantity takeoff starts from the pre-construction stage. Note that the primary staff involved in this task is architects, contractors as well as cost estimators, and engineers.

Thus, from conception to construction, the importance of accurate quantity take-offs has been consistently emphasized. It has become the crucial part of any construction building project. Accounting for everything-quantity takeoffs gives an in-depth picture of the materials and labor quantity a project needs throughout its lifecycle. Stay connected with us for more updates.


IEMLabs is an ISO 27001:2013 and ISO 9001:2015 certified company, we are also a proud member of EC Council, NASSCOM, Data Security Council of India (DSCI), Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The company was established in 2016 with a vision in mind to provide Cyber Security to the digital world and make them Hack Proof. The question is why are we suddenly talking about Cyber Security and all this stuff? With the development of technology, more and more companies are shifting their business to Digital World which is resulting in the increase in Cyber Crimes.


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