Significantly Improve your Construction Material Takeoffs

Mar 15, 2023

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To stay within budget, ensure timely delivery, and increase profit margins, accurately estimating material quantities is essential. The process in construction is commonly known as material takeoffs. The material takeoff process may feel overwhelming and complex. However, the complexity largely depend on the tools at hand. Modern software solutions provide a huge competitive advantage and makes the process much more manageable. This article will give you an overview and tips to master material takeoffs.

What are Material Takeoffs?

Material takeoffs are simply the process of calculating the material quantities required to complete a construction project. It is important to note that the term is reffered to in many ways, for example “Construction Takeoff”, “BIM takeoff”, “QTO (Quantity Takeoff)”, “Take off” etc. Essentially, they all mean same, its about calculating quantities for completing a construction task.

So what are they used for? Takeoffs are used for picking apart construction blueprints, models and drawings into managable parts. Furthermore, they provide a basis for cost estimation and planning of labour, and can also be used to quality check completed construction assignments.

How Accurate Takeoffs Increase Profit Margins

Accurate material takeoffs are crucial for maximizing profit margins in a construction project. By identifying the precise quantities of materials needed, construction companies avoid over-ordering and under-ordering, resulting in reduced waste, limited project delay and increased profits. Inaccurate takeoffs, due to outdated tools, may very well reduce your project profits below zero. It is therefore vital to utilize the best software solutions available to maximize your company´s profits. If not, you are most likely missing out, and will struggle as the construction process evolves.

Material Takeoffs for Staying on Budget

Staying on budget is a top priority for any construction project, and accurate takeoffs can help you achieve this goal. By knowing the exact quantities you can do better cost estimations and thereby avoid costly suprises down the road. A no-brainer if you think about it, without accurate quantities, there will be no accurate cost estimation.

Tips for Accurately Measuring Quantities for Materials

Measuring quantities accurately is a critical part of the material takeoff process. Really, the best advice we can give you is to use a good software solution. When such a solution is at hand, it is of uttermost importance that you standarize your takeoffs into descriptive and intuitive parts. We recommend dividing into building parts, and building components. If you are using BIM models, a good idea is to mirror the BIM properties, furthermore IfcClass (contains various building parts). In many cases, you want to use ISO-standardards, national standards or company standards. The key takeaway is to standarize your takeoff structure.

When you have standarized your structure, it is time to extract the quantities. Work your way through your PDF´s or IFC Models and make sure nothing is left out. Provided you have the best takeoff solution at hand, it really is up to your expertiece to work your way through. Use a solution that provide you with warnings, plenty of useful tools and a user-friendly interface, as well as optimized functionality to avoid repetitive tasks.

Organizing Material Takeoffs – Cloud Technology Benefits

Cloud technology has revolutionized the way construction companies organize and manage their takeoffs. By using cloud-based software, construction companies can store, organize, and share their takeoffs securely and efficiently. Using cloud takeoff solutions to standarize your takeoffs will give you to get unprecedented analyses of your material data, allowing you to make data driven decisions. While also giving you the best possibility to collaborate with stakeholders


Material takeoffs are a critical part of any construction project, and accuracy is essential for ensuring that projects are completed on time and on budget. By following the tips and strategies outlined in this guide, you can improve the accuracy of your takeoff process, reduce errors, and maximize profits. In summary, doing correct material takeoffs largely depend on the solutions you have at hand.

Construction Technologist

André Aaby

Start now for free.

Have a project you need quantities for? Start using Sparkel now right away without any cost. You can upgrade later if you like it!

Start now for free.

Have a project you need quantities for? Start using Sparkel now right away without any cost. You can upgrade later if you like it!

Start now for free.

Have a project you need quantities for? Start using Sparkel now right away without any cost. You can upgrade later if you like it!