What is Take Off in Construction?

March 16, 2024

If you work in the construction industry, you’re familiar with the importance of accurate and thorough project takeoffs. These crucial documents feed into the estimate and ultimately the project bid, so you’ll want to ensure that they’re completed correctly every time. However, the process of completing construction takeoffs is complex, and it can be easy to get it wrong. In this article, we’ll break down the steps that estimators take to complete a material and quantity takeoff in order to produce an accurate bid.

What is take off in construction?

Material or quantity takeoff is the process of identifying and quantifying the types and quantities of materials needed to complete a construction project. It’s a necessary step in the preconstruction planning process that helps you create an accurate and competitive bid.

Typically, the responsibility for creating a takeoff falls to the general contractor or subcontractor who is submitting the estimate. In small contracting and subcontracting firms, this may be a single lone estimator, while in larger firm’s it will likely be a team of estimators with specific specialisms such as electrical or structural.

The first step in preparing a takeoff is reviewing the project plans or blueprints. Then, estimating professionals create an itemized material list based on the project scope using their prior experience and the measurements found in the plans or blueprints.

It’s also important to understand what a material takeoff isn’t. Many people new to estimating mistakenly include labor costs in their material takeoffs. However, labor is a non-material cost and should be calculated separately from the materials list.


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