The first step in the construction cost estimation process is a takeoff. Also known as a material takeoff or quantity takeoff. Construction personnel (often called estimators) can measure an area’s square footage to determine the amount of flooring to order. They can also count all the light fixtures in a building to calculate the amount of wiring they will need.
The length of the construction takeoff is determined by the complexity of the construction project and the quantity of materials that need to be measured and purchased.
Why is it essential to have a takeoff for construction?
Take a look at these reasons why taking off construction for projects is essential.
Estimators can use construction takeoffs to determine the feasibility of a project. They do this by comparing material costs to the budget they have to adhere to.
Estimate profit: A construction takeoff can help estimators to determine the profit a business will make from completing a particular project.
Indicate how much to purchase: A construction takeoff will tell you how much to buy, so your company only buys a little.
What is included in a Construction Takeoff?
The construction takeoff contains all the materials professionals need to complete a project. Materials required depend on the type of project. An electrician may develop a launch for construction that calls for more wiring, while a carpenter might need to buy more lumber. Lumber, steel, concrete and sand are some of the most common raw materials used in construction takeoffs. The list also includes any fixtures in the blueprint, such as electrical fixtures, pipes, windows, and door frames.
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Construction takeoffs: Types
Takeoffs can be of two different types:
Takeoffs are performed manually
An estimator will list all the materials needed for a particular project according to a blueprint. After recording all materials, the estimator determines the cost of each material and performs the calculations manually to arrive at the total cost. Professionals prefer manual takeoffs because they have greater control over their measures and can better understand the materials and costs.
Estimators upload blueprints and materials to a software program for digital takeoff. After the software has analysed the data, it assigns a cost to each item and calculates the total materials costs.
How to take a construction survey
Refer to the blueprints for a project when completing a takeoff to ensure you know all the required materials. To achieve a construction project takeoff, follow these steps:
- Measure each material using the appropriate unit of measurement
Determine the unit of measure for each material you are counting before beginning your construction takeoff. This will allow you to determine what suppliers charge per material based on their unit of measurement. Suppliers may sell some materials in linear feet while others in square feet. Here are some examples of standard units of measure:
You can purchase each electrical outlet or light fixture separately.
Linear foot: Electrical cables and copper wiring are often measured in linear feet.
Square feet is used by suppliers to measure carpeting, flooring, drywall and ceiling tiles, roofing materials, siding, and paint.
Cubic yard: Material used in landscaping and excavation, such as concrete and soil, is measured in cubic yards.
- Count Your Materials
You can count your materials once you’ve determined the unit of measurement. You can use the blueprint as a guide to calculate all materials. Add the quantity for each material to the list of materials. If you have five rooms on your blueprint and need one light fixture in each, the total number of light fixtures will be five.
- Calculate the cost of each item
Once you have written down the materials required, start calculating their cost. Communicate with your supplier so you know the standard price of each material. Then adjust the cost to match your quantity. If, for example, you pay $25 per square foot to a ceiling tile supplier and you order 10 squares, your total cost is $250.
- Prepare the final report
After you’ve assigned a cost for each material, prepare a report detailing the material details, the quantity, and the price. Use a spreadsheet to categorise the data based on material type and related expenses.
Takeoff tips for construction
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you’re completing your construction takeoff.
Double-check your numbers.
Ensuring that you have accurate numbers and calculations is crucial, as construction takeoffs require several measurements and different types of materials. You can do this by running your calculations through several times. This will ensure you haven’t missed any materials or made a mistake.
Remember that during a project, changes may occur that will require adjustments in the amount of materials. Changes can be caused by a difference in the blueprint, an accident on the construction site resulting in damaged materials, or unforeseen circumstances such as harsh weather conditions. Keep your original construction takeoff handy throughout the project to make necessary adjustments.