QUANTITY TAKEOFF IN CONSTRUCTION

Mar 28, 2022

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What is Quantity Take-off?

Quantity takeoff requires specialized skills in data management, as a poor estimation of costs will affect the entire construction chain. In theory, a quantity takeoff in construction estimates contract quantities from drawings and construction plans and records them in the Bill of Quantities. However, in construction practice, the term construction takeoff refers to the process whereby a construction cost estimator reviews the drawings and plans to forecast upcoming construction costs.

Standard documents used in construction takeoffs are architectural, structural, electrical, and site water reticulations. Quantity takeoffs contribute a significant aspect of estimation costs. The accuracy of quantity takeoffs is reflected in the overall construction costs. It is easier to track construction costs with accurate quantity takeoffs, as you have a clear picture of the money you need to spend; this helps in decision-making and avoiding budget overruns.

What is the importance of it?

With proper quantity takeoffs, you will have room for unexpected expenses. One can easily anticipate the labour, equipment, and materials for all building elements. Everything in construction boils down to cost. Clients always want ways whereby they can optimise their money. Accurate cost estimations boost clear communication that keeps clients updated. This, in turn, leads to winning the client’s trust. The client will have a track of the project and its expenditures.

To ensure that you win the correct bids, you must thoroughly research your cost estimates and write them to give you an upper hand against your competitors. The constancy of a contractor in coming up with accurate takeoffs reflects on their efficiency in work, and therefore they will end up winning more bids. Quantity takeoffs appear tiresome at first, but they can be the formula for winning more bids when critically examined.

Quantity takeoffs affect the budgetary decisions of a project and the client’s decisions in contractor selection. Selecting a contractor is a tedious process, but takeoffs save the time wasted on rectifications if accurately done. The project also runs seamlessly as cost overruns bring about fewer project delays. The onset of technology in the construction industry has revolutionised how we conduct the quantity takeoffs process.

However, this does not negate the human element in takeoffs. We have two significant types of quantity takeoffs, as discussed below. These are manual and digital takeoffs. Digital takeoffs using computer applications and database applications were relatively new with emerging technologies, but they are now widely used in the construction industry. Digital takeoffs are superior to manual takeoffs due to their speed and efficiency.

Digital Quantity Takeoff

Digital takeoffs utilise digitises, electronic devices that take measurements from drawings and input the data directly into computer programs. They can scan pictures regardless of the size it’s placed on. Digital takeoffs can be a complex and involved process, and, therefore, it needs a highly attentive technician to apply the cost-based results in software applications properly. Digital takeoffs have some advantages and disadvantages, as we will discuss below.

In cost estimation, we generally calculate quantity takeoffs are calculated in “net quantities,” whereas we evaluate material takeoffs in “gross quantities.” Most of the items measured in quantity takeoffs do not involve materials. For instance, activities like trowelling are labour prices that are inclusive of the quantity takeoffs. Quantity takeoff, therefore, considers work activities as a series of quantified items in a project.

All the staff involved in the front-end planning of a project should be involved in the quantity takeoff process. The quantity takeoff is a critical step that begins from the preconstruction stage during bidding to develop a realistic contract with the correct information. No matter the scale of the project, the first step is in calculating how much a project will cost, and the materials required for the project. The key staff involved in quantity takeoffs are architects, contractors, cost estimators, and engineers.

Cost estimation requires a lot of skill, experience, and patience. It is a vital component in project proposals and dramatically influences the success of a project. Like all other aspects of construction, performing a quantity takeoff is a skill that is perfected through time and experience. The takeoff formula is subdivided into two parts, the input and output, whether conducted digitally or manually. We can perform takeoffs manually but prefer digital quantity takeoffs errors in the preliminary stage can snowball into future costly mistakes in the project.

The output stage converts the concepts from the data presented into the physical requirements necessary for the project. This is where one creates actual estimates and figures to give life to a project. It is also essential to have accurate material estimates at this stage. This data is then used when placing construction bids, and the more detailed the data, the more successful the submissions will be. The key focus throughout the output stage is identifying materials, quantifying the data, and aligning it into a pricing system.

Costlogic can help you in this tough stage to have a smoother takeoff with expertise available.

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