As the benefits of moving from traditional methods of creating takeoffs begin to take hold in the construction industry, more business owners are considering the new technology. Change can be difficult, mainly if you’ve been doing something the same way for years in your construction business. But when you consider how investing in electronic takeoff software will increase your speed and accuracy, it really requires a second look. Before you take the leap and purchase, consider the benefits of takeoff software, so you know what to look out for when you make the purchase.
When you buy takeoff software, consider if the package you’re looking at can offer you the following benefits. Not all systems can off you all these features, and you want to know you are getting the most out of your investment.
Save Time on Measurements and Calculations
A simple process, such as estimating the costs of building a wall can become complicated when you consider all the other factors that need to be taken into account in its construction. There’s the insulation, time required for removing studs and other processes and items. Quality takeoff software will be able to combine the parts of a building component in one step.
See Drawing Changes With Ease
As drawings fly between the client, architect, quantity surveyor, engineer, and construction team plans can change drastically during a project. Takeoff software can allow you to see the differences between existing and revised drawings very easily. This makes updating a takeoff quick and straightforward too.
Counting Is So Simple
Plans have many common items in them. Door types, fixtures, and elements like fire alarms are likely to be used multiple times in a project, and across various jobs, you’re currently working on. Avoid duplicating data and wasting time by looking for the information to input by using handy auto counting searches on plans that will generate a count on any item you select.
You want to have the ability to look at your takeoff and your estimate in multiple ways. For example, your takeoff software should let you easily assign work breakdown structure codes, such as location, right during takeoff.
Other key things to look out for:
- Visual audit trail. This will enable you to highlight all the areas you’ve measured already so you can be sure you haven’t missed anything in putting together your takeoff.
- Quality takeoff software should be able to read pdfs immediately without requiring you to make time-wasting format conversions.
- The efficiency you get when you use electronic takeoff is lost if you manually re-enter the information into the software. Check if the takeoff addendums and changes can automatically update the estimate without removing information that exists already. Another issue regarding integration is BIM. You want the system you use to do takeoff at the production level.
- Ease of use should be at the core of any decision you make with takeoff software, like GroundPlan. If it’s intuitive and straightforward to use, you will avoid costly training for you and your staff. Having access to support or assistance is also something that will benefit you. Any downtime on using the program could waste the time you need to meet a deadline on a bid. You could even consider seeing if the system offers a free trial period to investigate if it works for you and your employees and ticks all the boxes you’re looking for.
Price is another consideration. If you’re a start-up or still building your business, you may not need all the features takeoff software offers at the moment. Quality products will offer different levels allowing you to use what you need and upgrading down the line when your needs change.
For more information about takeoff and estimating software for trades be sure to visit groundplan.com