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A Guide To Manual Takeoffs In Estimation

manual take off

Even though technology has taken the masonry estimation industry by storm, manual takeoffs still have their place and importance in the game. There’s no hiding they’re still a viable and reliable option in certain circumstances once carried out by a professional.

In the 21st century, we have become so focused on technological advancements. The way things were done years ago is slowly dying out. We see this through how digital takeoffs have overtaken manual takeoffs, but they still have their place.

We have put together a comprehensive manual takeoff guide to give you a better look at this form of estimation, its benefits and drawbacks, and if they’re still worth using.


What Are Manual Takeoffs?

Manual takeoffs are a traditional form of material estimation method involving gathering the quantities and measurements of each required raw material for a job through a professional estimator rather than relying on software like STACK. They’ll analyze blueprints and drawings based on their own knowledge and calculate the appropriate volumes.

What’s Involved In A Manual Takeoff?

Unlike digital takeoffs, manual take-offs require a great deal of effort and attention to detail for them to succeed.

Unfortunately, estimators specializing in manual takeoffs don’t have the luxury of scanning a set of computer-aided designs and receiving a takeoff list within minutes. They must use their expertise and hope they get everything right before submitting a bid.

Read below for the step-by-step process estimators follow when carrying out manual construction estimating takeoffs.

Step 1 – The estimator will receive the plans from an architect and analyze them to get a better idea of the scope of the job.

Step 2 – Next, they’ll assemble their material quantity work sheet. Each material will feature its own section to make calculations easier before bid submission, e.g., concrete, timber, etc.

Step 3 – A site visit is the next port of call for the estimator. They’ll measure each element’s length, width, area, and volume with various tools like measuring tapes to get the most accurate figure.

Step 4 – As soon as all the measurements are taken, the estimator will establish how much of each material is necessary to complete the job successfully.

Step 4 – Wastages then have to be accounted for, as well as any breakages and extra required materials that might not be outlined in the initial estimation that may have to be purchased down the line.

Step 5 – All the quantities must be calculated, added together, and outlined in a conclusive summary for all stakeholders to see.

Step 6 – The conclusive summary with the materials list will finally be presented to all stakeholders, and determine the next steps.

Benefits And Drawbacks Of Manual Takeoffs

Before you go ahead with booking a manual takeoff, you should know the benefits and drawbacks of them.

We will break them down below.

Benefits Of Manual Takeoffs

  • They’re cost-efficient since you don’t have to pay for any digital software.
  • Estimators can factor in a project’s specific intricacies, whereas software can’t.
  • A human being can anticipate possible areas of wastage better than a technological system can.

Drawbacks Of Manual Takeoffs

  • They take longer to carry out than digital takeoffs.
  • Humans are more likely to make an error than digital software.
  • Any plan changes may result in starting the work all over again.
  • Estimators must be highly skilled to undertake a manual takeoff, so if something happens to the company’s main estimator, it could result in extended delays.

Are Manual Takeoffs Worth Using?

To suggest that manual quantity takeoffs don’t have any place in masonry estimation these days would be wrong. Obviously, there’s more of a risk when using them, but if they’re executed by someone with an excellent track record and high level of experience, they can be useful.

Contact Us To Receive A Quote Today!

Would you like to hear more about our takeoff services? Contact us now to speak to one of our representatives, and we’ll put together a strategy to bring your project to life.

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