What Is Quantity Takeoff in Construction?

March 5, 2024

When you’re in the construction industry, the ability to predict your project costs and budgets is crucial. Having accurate cost estimations helps you avoid overspend and budget overruns, while also optimizing your time management. Quantity takeoffs, which are the basis of accurate cost estimates, can save you from expensive rework and costly delays throughout the construction process.

What is a material quantity takeoff?

A material quantity takeoff is a surveying process that determines the quantities of raw materials and equipment required for a construction project. It requires the contractor to review and analyze project blueprints and plans to identify necessary items. Contractors can perform a takeoff manually or with the help of a digital estimating software.

Using a digital construction plan-based software, the contractor can easily calculate and document all the necessary items and quantities. For example, an electrical contractor can determine the number of light fixtures, branch circuits, conduits, and more. Similarly, contractors can use a digital tool to determine the volume of concrete, sand, gravel, and paint needed for projects.

While a material takeoff is relatively straightforward, it’s difficult to ensure accuracy when working with two-dimensional plans. This is why some companies employ the services of a professional quantity surveyor to help them determine the correct quantity of materials for their building projects. A professional is familiar with industry standards, best practices, and the most effective measurement methods. They can also assign unit costs, labor rates, and other factors to the quantities identified during a material takeoff. This full detailed estimate is useful for bidding, contract negotiations, and financial planning purposes.


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