Benefits of Take Off Estimating

Benefits of Take Off Estimating

Estimating the costs of construction projects is an important part of planning and budgeting. Take off estimating is a method used in the construction industry to estimate the materials, labor, and equipment needed for a project. By taking off quantities from blueprints and drawings, estimators can accurately forecast costs. This blog will discuss some key benefits of using take off estimating for construction projects.

Improved Accuracy

Take off estimating allows estimators to carefully examine blueprints, schematics, and other design documents to identify and quantify all materials, labor hours, equipment needs, and other cost factors for a project. By physically taking off quantities, human error that can occur from estimating based on experience alone is reduced. The estimator has concrete quantities to work with when developing their cost estimate. This level of detail and quantification leads to estimates that are much more accurate representations of what the true costs will be.

With take off estimating, estimators aren’t guessing at quantities but rather counting and measuring actual needs shown in the construction documents. This improved accuracy means fewer cost overruns and surprises down the road. Contractors can feel confident submitting a bid based on a take off estimate knowing it accurately reflects the scope of work. Owners and developers have peace of mind that the budget they approve aligns with what will actually be required to complete the project.

Consistency and Standardization

Take off estimating promotes consistency in how estimates are developed across different projects. Estimators follow a standardized process of examining drawings, identifying and quantifying needs, and applying consistent unit costs. This standardized approach means estimates are developed uniformly using the same methodology. It’s easier for an estimator to refer back to past take off estimates or have another estimator review their work because the process is consistent. Standardization also allows for easier comparison of estimates for similar projects. Contractors gain reliability in their estimating which is valuable for bidding work.

The consistency of take off estimating also benefits owners and developers. They can be assured different estimates for the same project were developed using a uniform methodology. This consistency gives estimates more credibility and makes the bidding and budgeting process smoother. Standardization is important for any company involved in multiple construction projects over time. Take off estimating provides a tried and true approach that delivers consistent, reliable estimates.

Identification of Value Engineering Opportunities 

As part of the take off estimating process, estimators gain a deep understanding of all project components and their associated costs. This level of insight allows them to more easily identify potential value engineering opportunities to reduce costs without compromising quality or functionality. Some examples may include specifying lower cost materials, adjusting designs to reduce quantities needed, or suggesting more efficient construction methods or sequences of work.

Any scope changes that increase project costs can be clearly communicated and priced out. This process helps set appropriate expectations with owners and developers that changes may affect final costs. It also allows contractors to protect themselves from unbudgeted work by only performing additional scope after negotiating associated cost and schedule impacts. Take off estimating lays the groundwork for managing scope creep issues proactively which is important for keeping projects on budget and schedule.

Fewer Scope Creep Issues 

Scope creep, where a project grows beyond its original intended scope, can be a major cause of cost overruns. Take off estimating helps prevent scope creep by clearly defining the project scope during the estimating phase. The estimator has physically accounted for all materials and work shown in the construction documents through the take off commercial construction estimating services. If additional items are later requested that expand the project scope, it is easier to identify these changes through comparison to the original take off.

Enhanced Communication & Collaboration 

Take off estimating promotes enhanced collaboration between all project stakeholders. When developing an estimate using take off, the estimator must carefully review drawings and specifications prepared by the architect and engineer. This process of scrutinizing the design documents facilitates improved communication between estimators and design teams to catch and address any unclear or missing information.

Identification of Long Lead Time Items 

Through the take off process, estimators gain intimate knowledge of all materials required for a project. This allows them to easily identify any items that may have long procurement lead times from ordering to delivery. By surfacing these long lead items early in estimating, there is opportunity to order materials in advance to avoid delays once construction starts. This is particularly important for specialty or custom fabricated items.

Enhanced Cost Control and Tracking 

A detailed take off estimate establishes a benchmark to which actual job costs can be compared throughout the construction process. Contractors gain a powerful project management tool when they break down costs into individual line items during estimating. As work progresses, costs can be tracked against each take off item. This level of granular cost tracking allows easy identification of any line items over or under budget.

Identification of Subcontractor Needs

During take off, estimators must not only account for all materials but also the various trades and subcontractors required to complete the different construction tasks. This process naturally surfaces the scope of work suitable for subcontracting out. Estimators gain insight into whether work should be self-performed or bid out, and to which specialty subcontractors.

Improved Risk Management 

Take off estimating is a risk management best practice. By thoroughly quantifying project components, estimators can more accurately anticipate potential risks and contingencies that could drive up costs. Allowances can be prudently included in estimates to account for uncertainties and unknown conditions that could be encountered once work begins.


Take-off estimating provides numerous benefits for contractors, owners, developers, and other construction project stakeholders. By taking the time to carefully examine design documents and physically quantify all components, estimators develop estimates that are highly accurate, consistent, and comprehensive. This level of detail supports improved project management, cost control, risk assessment, and collaboration. For these reasons, take off estimating has become standard practice for new flooring cost estimator within the industry. Remote Estimation, a leading cost estimating company, recommends take off estimating on all project types to realize the benefits discussed. Accurate and reliable estimates are the foundation for construction project success.