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What Are Quantity Takeoffs In Construction (Methods, Uses)

quantity take offs

Quantity takeoffs are crucial for planning construction projects. They provide us with an in-depth list outlining the correct number and types of materials required for our client’s projects. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to estimate the costs associated with a job accurately.

Performing quantity takeoffs for construction projects requires a considerable level of skill and expertise to safeguard our clients from unforeseen expenses in the future. If the collected construction data is miscalculated, it can have significant repercussions.

In this article, you will find out exactly what quantity take-offs are in construction and their methods so you can coordinate your project on your terms.


What Is A Quantity Takeoff (QTO)?

Quantity takeoffs are widely considered a critical element of the estimation process, as they involve identifying the precise number of materials necessary for a construction project. In simple terms, they determine the required quantities of each material for every aspect of the construction process.

What Are The Most Important Quantity Takeoff Methods?

Estimators will pick between two quantity takeoff methods, either digital or manual; some companies will use one or the other, whereas, at Mo Engineers, we use both to get a more precise estimate.

Digital Quantity Takeoff

Digital quantity takeoffs are the most popular option in the masonry estimation industry these days. They involve utilizing digital software like STACK, Square Take-off, and Planswift to calculate the necessary material quantities to get an accurate result and eliminate the potential for a mistake to be made by a human.

Some of the digital quantity takeoff’s key features include:

  • Leveraging electronic versions of blueprints and construction drawings to easily analyze and modify them to suit our goals.
  • The specialized digital software offers a range of sophisticated tools, e.g., linear measurement tools, that significantly enhance the precision of the quantity take-off process.
  • Built-in measurement tools give us access to certain elements of the digital plan and show us accurate measurements so we don’t have to waste any time scaling.
  • We can integrate the digital quantity takeoffs with databases that hold material catalogs and pricing information, giving us automatic material data like quantities and unit costs.

Manual Quantity Takeoffs

Manual Quantity takeoffs are what they used to use in the old days; they still have their use, but some estimating companies tend to stay clear of them because of their inaccuracies.

The final costs are determined by our team looking at the project and determining what materials are needed based on reading blueprint copies and sheet plans. They’ll implement some estimating formulas with the help of some rulers or tape to gather the quantities of each material. It may sound old school, but some estimators prefer to use them rather than relying on a machine. Unfortunately, if there’s one human error that the estimator doesn’t catch on to, it could result in the estimation failing. 

Thankfully, at Mo Engineers, we only use manual takeoffs to double-check that the digital estimation is accurate.

Some of the manual quantity takeoff’s key features include:

  • They rely on the expertise of the estimators, which could be beneficial if you’re working with a highly rated team but may be catastrophic if they’re inexperienced.
  • Some flexibility is provided through manual quantity takeoffs as they allow estimators to apply their expertise that digital software wouldn’t have.

Which Quantity Takeoff Method Is Better?

While manual quantity takeoffs have their place in the industry, digital quantity takeoffs are statistically more accurate and save time, resulting in contractors being more inclined to put forward a proposal for your job.

Contact Mo Engineers For A Quote Today

Do you need a reliable, professional company to carry out a quantity takeoff for your upcoming construction project? Contact us today for more information.

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