Five Keys To Winning Your Next Project with Quantity Takeoffs

Quantity takeoffs involve breaking down the entire project into a detailed list of activities and material quantities alongside their feasible prices. These cost estimates are then added to curate the material cost of the project, which then gets factored for overhead, surcharge, material waste, labor costs, and contingency costs.

Besides streamlining construction processes, quantity takeoffs also help construction project managers ensure the project remains on track and within budget while optimizing workflows and preparing for contingencies. However, errors, cost fluctuations, unforeseen circumstances, missing items, and even minor mistakes in calculations can easily render the takeoff redundant, leading to the project getting sabotaged and eventually coming back to haunt contractors and their reputation.

This is how it goes: high estimates will make the bid go to someone else, and an estimate that is too low will help you win the bid, but you will definitely wish it would have gone to someone else. If you think getting an accurate project estimate is challenging, here are a few things to keep in mind to get precise and accurate quantity takeoffs.

#1- Understand the Primary Purpose of Quantity Takeoffs

They are prepared at various stages of a project’s life cycle, which is why the estimator must understand the level of detail needed to match the project’s unique requirements. A takeoff report can act as a brief during the conceptual phase, whereas preparing takeoffs for bidding, change order approvals, and material procurement can all have different requirements. The clear purpose needs to be understood to achieve the desired quality.

#2- Foster Open Communication Throughout the Process

Another factor that significantly affects the quality of takeoffs is how well the communication is streamlined among all the stakeholders involved in the project. Hence, it is critical to curate a systematic way of keeping a record of all important communications. Traditionally, emails were used to raise requests for all the information required, but today, the industry has evolved with the technological revolutions. It has adopted new software solutions that allow everyone to complete the process of raising questions or providing relevant answers within the system. The only thing to keep in mind here is that all changes in takeoffs should hence be properly referenced to avoid confusion.

estimator using a laptop

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