A project that is designed without any consideration being given to costs at any stage, or even keeping track of the amount of materials and labour that would be required to make the concept come to fruition, is one that is unlikely to ever even get off the ground.

Anyone who is enrolled in CAD colleges or is undertaking engineering training knows that having accurate quantity takeoffs is an essential part of all building projects from conception to construction. Estimates help to decide the feasibility of projects and the ability to meet the needs of clients, if revisions will be required and how much those alternatives are likely to cost.

Quantity takeoffs are able to provide detailed estimates through the entire lifecycle of a project, encompassing everything from the number of piping and light fixtures that will be required to work hours and wiring that will need to be installed.

The importance of accuracy and measurement

Measurement and accuracy are the cornerstones of every construction project, ensuring that the right amount of materials has been ordered and that buildings are in line with planning regulations. It is vital to have measurements that are accurate even at the design stage as well as for the entire rest of the project to make sure that costs do not spiral out of control, all compliances have been met and the work is fully completed on schedule.

Miscalculations can be a costly business for the construction industry, resulting in the demolishing of homes that breach planning consent and severe delays to national infrastructure projects. Outdated and inaccurate information results in a waste of both time and money but the good news is there are ways to get accurate measurements and make sure that construction goes according to plan.

There are many tools available to help with accurate measurements and quotes including 3D laser scanning equipment, distance measures and reflector-less total stations, while the old fashioned sketch and tape measures have been complemented by an abundance of construction software.

Construction software

Modern construction software comes with a number of new key features that can help to increase accuracy in your quantity takeoff. Automated tools allow uploaded PDF plans to scale and outline borders more accurately than ever before. Home builders, architects and contractors all make use of construction software in order to produce competitive but accurate proposals as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Construction software also comes with features such as the likes of job and subcontractor scheduling, automatically updating databases for the pricing of materials and blueprint scanning.

Construction takeoff software such as Buildxact allow for online takeoffs to be completed as much as 80% faster than was previously the case, pricing jobs in a single step and measuring in just a couple of clicks. Measurements can be taken by almost any method and once the takeoff has been done that measurement will still be available for the purpose of estimating any other items.

Quantity takeoffs are a vital part of construction estimation, making accuracy a matter of crucial importance.