A growing number of estimators are looking to buy electronic takeoff software to increase their speed and accuracy by working directly from electronic drawings. But not all electronic takeoff systems are created equal. That’s why we’re sharing the top 10 reasons estimators buy takeoff software to ensure you understand the most important benefits and know what to look for.
1. Less Time on Multiple Measurements and Calculations
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.
2. Easy Identification of Drawing Changes
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.
3. Simplified Counting
Fixtures, fire alarms, door types, etc. There are many common items in a set of plans. Autocount (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 autocount features are alike – be sure to compare each product’s detailed capabilities.
4. A Practical Way to Slice and Dice Estimates
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.
5. Visual Audit Trail
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.
6. Quick Project Startup
Many products recommend a lengthy PDF to TIF conversion of all drawings before you can start takeoff. Converting a 100-page PDF could take 30 minutes or more. Look for software that can read PDFs out of the gate.
7. Integration with Estimating Software
The efficiency you gain with electronic takeoff can be totally wiped out 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.
8. BIM Integration
If you’re using BIM—or plan to—make sure the system you’re interested in can do production-level takeoff.
9. Easy to Use
Does the software’s workflow make sense to you? Can you get to helpful instructions quickly and easily if you need them? Check out takeoff systems that have a free trial so you can see – and test – how the software works before you buy.
10. Affordable and Scalable
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.
Take eTakeoff® for a Test Drive
eTakeoff®, an electronic quantity takeoff product distributed by Sage, significantly increases accuracy, productivity, and speed over traditional paper or manual takeoff methods. Powerful yet easy to use, eTakeoff provides estimators with sophisticated assembly capabilities, extensive Microsoft® Excel integration, and time-saving features like Pattern Search that quickly locates and quantifies multiple occurrences of symbols within digital plans.
Don’t just take our word for it! Click below to download a free trial of this powerful software and take eTakeoff for a test drive.