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Difference Between Takeoffs And Estimating In Construction

estimating takeoffs

If you’re new to the construction industry, you’ve probably heard of the terms “takeoff” and “estimating” being thrown around a lot. These are two of the most important phrases you’ll need to know about, regardless of your plans.

A takeoff is about establishing the number of materials needed to carry out a job, whereas an estimate determines the costs associated with the materials counted in a takeoff. We’ll go into this in more depth further down through the article.

So, do you want to know the difference between takeoffs and estimating in construction? Keep reading to find out.


What Are Takeoffs And Estimates?

Takeoffs and estimates sometimes get mixed up; some people think the two terms mean the same thing when in fact, they don’t.

When we’re talking about a takeoff in estimating, we’re referring to the assessment of the quantity of materials that will be needed for each area of the construction project. 

On the other hand, we have estimates, which is the process we go through when we want to gather the costs of the selected materials as well as any other additional expenses that need to be accounted for. These can only be done once a takeoff is completed because we need to know what materials we’ll be estimating.

Takeoffs And Estimates – The Differences

Now that you have a bit of a clearer understanding of what both takeoffs and estimates are, we need to outline some of their key differences.

  • When our team is conducting a takeoff, we’re focusing on finding accurate measurements and quantities, but for estimates, we’re approaching the project from a bigger scope with our attention on costs.
  • Takeoffs have to be carried out first before an estimate can start because the estimator needs to know the measurements of each material to find out the prices.
  • A takeoff sheet will only include units beside each material, like centimeters or meters. But an estimate sheet will have the price and the unit, giving the customer a more rounded view of everything.
  • Estimates are usually more expensive than takeoffs because more work is involved in them. You have to remember that with an estimate, the estimator has to review every area of the project and make sure the costs are accurate to provide to the clients. However, our team members that look after takeoffs only have to focus on the materials

How To Get A Takeoff And Estimate

There are two ways you can get a takeoff or estimate. 

The first is by attempting to do it yourself, but we don’t recommend this method unless you have a good understanding of how takeoffs and estimates operate. 

Your other option is to hire a professional estimator to perform the takeoff or estimate for you through technological software. Companies like Mo Engineers can help you with this. 

With years of experience in the masonry estimation game, Mo Engineers has been the people of America’s go-to for getting help calculating the measurements of materials and costs of their projects.

Take the first steps today by submitting your project design drawings over at our Homepage, and one of our team members will be in contact with you within 24 to 48 hours with a free quote.

A Final Note On The Differences Between Takeoffs And Estimating

Developing clear-cut takeoffs and estimates is crucial for a project’s success as they’ll entice attractive bids from contractors interested in taking on the work for their construction company.

There are a handful of differences between takeoffs and estimating, but once you’ve understood the two, you’ll set yourself up nicely to move on to the next stage of your project.

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