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Think of a wall. Why spend the time taking off the studs, insulation, and other items separately? Look for takeoff software with assemblies that combine all the parts of a building component, so you can take everything off in one step.
It can be difficult to keep up with all the design changes that occur during a project. Takeoff software should allow you to clearly see the differences between existing and revised drawings, making it much easier to perform a new takeoff.
Fixtures, fire alarms, door types. There are many common items in a set of plans. Auto count (also called pattern or symbol search) is the quickest way to take them off. Essentially auto counting searches plans and generates a count on any item you select. Caution: Not all auto count features are alike; be sure to compare each product’s specific capabilities
Don’t be limited by the number of ways you can look at your takeoff and your estimate. The takeoff software you choose should let you easily assign work breakdown structure (WBS) codes, such as location, right during takeoff.
Feel completely confident that you haven’t missed anything during takeoff. A visual audit trail highlights the areas you’ve already measured and saves the information for later reference
Many products recommend a lengthy PDF to TIF conversion of all drawings before you can start takeoff. A 100-page PDF could take 30 minutes or more. Look for software that can read PDFs out of the gate.
The efficiency you gain with electronic takeoff can be quickly cancelled if you have to manually re-enter the information into your estimate. When checking out a takeoff system’s integration, ask whether takeoff addendums and changes can automatically update the estimate without destroying existing pricing and other information.
If you’re using BIM—or plan to—make sure the system you’re interested in can do production-level takeoff.
Does the software’s workflow make sense to you? Can you get to helpful instructions if you need them? Check out takeoff systems that have a free trial so you can see how the software works before you buy
You may not need everything a takeoff system offers right away. Consider systems that have different levels so you pay for only what you need but can upgrade to more advanced features later on.
eTakeoff®, an electronic quantity takeoff product distributed by Sage, significantly increases accuracy, productivity, and speed over traditional paper or manual takeoff methods.
Powerful, versatile, yet easy to use, eTakeoff provides estimators sophisticated assembly capabilities, extensive Microsoft® Excel integration, and time-saving features like Pattern Search, an autocount symbol search feature that quickly locates and quantifies multiple occurrences of symbols within digital plans, to greatly improve the takeoff process.
In addition to increasing your takeoff productivity, moving from paper to digital takeoff methods eliminates the hassle and cost of producing paper copies of plans during the bid phase.
As a single copy of plans can cost hundreds of dollars to reproduce, you can quickly realize substantial cost savings when producing numerous bids. And digital plans allow for easy sharing and reviewing of all takeoff projects online rather than waiting for paper to circulate among your team.
Dramatically increase both your estimating capability and your confidence in the numbers you provide.
With eTakeoff, you can:
• Become up to 15 times more productive than when using paper or manual takeoff methods.
• Have more time to analyze estimates and take on additional bids without increasing staffing.
• Measure to within a thousandth of an inch to take any guesstimates out of your bids.
• Easily highlight what you’ve already taken off to avoid potential mistakes and unforeseen project costs due to omissions.
• Provide takeoff history to automatically back up what was (and was not) included in the scope of your estimate to limit the potential for, or quickly resolve, disputes down the line.
• Easily compare new and previous drawings provided by architects to quickly see any changes that may or may not have been noted, preventing future issues that can impact a project or team relationships.
Choose the version of eTakeoff best suited to your business, or mix and match dependent on the needs of each estimator on your team. eTakeoff Advanced includes an array of built-in features so you can get started quickly with very little training.
eTakeoff Premier is designed for power users to customize nearly every function and integrate those into your current estimating
• Powerful measuring and scaling
• Electronic plan room integration
• Measurement list
• Unlimited layers
• Bid codes
• Issue management
• Extended measurement calculations
• Drawing legend
• Overlays/Revision compare
• Unlimited drawing windows
• Advanced Excel integration
• Quantity Worksheet/Models
• Custom Extensions/Assembly capability with user-defined formulas and variables
• Advanced project and drawing management
• Advanced measuring tools
• Unlimited quantity output
• Pattern Search/Autocount