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Takeoff Software


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PlanSwift logo
 
PlanSwift is an on-screen digitizing and takeoff system that is suitable for both commercial and residential GCs and subcontractors in a number of industries, such as electrical, heavy/highway, plumbing, and custom and production home... Read More
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PlanSwift is an on-screen digitizing and takeoff system that is suitable for both commercial and residential GCs and subcontractors in a number of industries, such as electrical, heavy/highway, plumbing, and custom and production home... Read More
 
On-Screen Takeoff and Quick Bid logo
 
On-Screen Takeoff is a construction estimating and takeoff solutions for contractors and construction professionals. The solution offers tools for estimating, managing bids and having project visibility. Both commercial and residential... Read More
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On-Screen Takeoff is a construction estimating and takeoff solutions for contractors and construction professionals. The solution offers tools for estimating, managing bids and having project visibility. Both commercial and residential... Read More
 
Viewpoint Estimating logo
 
Viewpoint Estimating (formerly known as Maxwell Estimation) specializes in generating estimates and takeoffs for residential and commercial HVAC, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical firms.  It includes trade-specific estimating capabilities... Read More
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Viewpoint Estimating (formerly known as Maxwell Estimation) specializes in generating estimates and takeoffs for residential and commercial HVAC, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical firms.  It includes trade-specific estimating capabilities... Read More
 
FastPIPE & FastDUCT logo
 
FastEST, Inc. is the United States based developers of takeoff and estimating solution designed specifically for plumbing, mechanical, HVAC and sheet metal contractors. FastPIPE and FastDUCT are two of the company's comprehensive... Read More
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FastEST, Inc. is the United States based developers of takeoff and estimating solution designed specifically for plumbing, mechanical, HVAC and sheet metal contractors. FastPIPE and FastDUCT are two of the company's comprehensive... Read More
 
QuoteSoft Duct & QuoteSoft Pipe logo
 
QuoteSoft is a takeoff, estimating and bid management solution developed to meet the unique needs of piping, plumbing and ductwork contractors. QuoteSoft is an industry-specific solution that is used by more than 3,000 contractors... Read More
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QuoteSoft is a takeoff, estimating and bid management solution developed to meet the unique needs of piping, plumbing and ductwork contractors. QuoteSoft is an industry-specific solution that is used by more than 3,000 contractors... Read More

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EarthWorks Excavation Software by Tally Systems logo
 
EarthWorks Excavation was developed by TrakWare and their main takeoff offering for excavation plans. The product first surfaced in 1992 and is now in use by hundreds of companies. This takeoff system for excavation plans comes with... Read More
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EarthWorks Excavation was developed by TrakWare and their main takeoff offering for excavation plans. The product first surfaced in 1992 and is now in use by hundreds of companies. This takeoff system for excavation plans comes with... Read More
 
STACK Takeoff logo
 
STACK Takeoff is a cloud-based solution suited for commercial construction contractors looking to save time and increase accuracy in their bid process. It helps users with measuring lengths, counting items, calculating areas, slopes... Read More
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STACK Takeoff is a cloud-based solution suited for commercial construction contractors looking to save time and increase accuracy in their bid process. It helps users with measuring lengths, counting items, calculating areas, slopes... Read More
 
Countfire logo
 
Countfire software from Rapid Tender is a best-of-breed take-off solution suitable for businesses of all sizes. The product is majorly used by residential or commercial construction companies, including electrical, mechanical and plumbing... Read More
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Countfire software from Rapid Tender is a best-of-breed take-off solution suitable for businesses of all sizes. The product is majorly used by residential or commercial construction companies, including electrical, mechanical and plumbing... Read More
 
Cloud Takeoff logo
 
Cloud Takeoff is a competitively-priced Construction solution by To-Scale Software. It is used every day by over 4,500 estimators from the smallest shops where every resource counts, to larger offices where substantial teams need to... Read More
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Cloud Takeoff is a competitively-priced Construction solution by To-Scale Software. It is used every day by over 4,500 estimators from the smallest shops where every resource counts, to larger offices where substantial teams need to... Read More
 
iSqFt Takeoff logo
 
iSqFt Takeoff is a standalone takeoff solution that works for many different verticals, including architecture, roofing, paving, and several types of contractors. The system offers 2D takeoff, CAD file and digitizer integration, and... Read More
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iSqFt Takeoff is a standalone takeoff solution that works for many different verticals, including architecture, roofing, paving, and several types of contractors. The system offers 2D takeoff, CAD file and digitizer integration, and... Read More

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BHOOMI logo
 
BHOOMI project and construction from ABC Info Soft is an enterprise suite of construction management applications for midsize residential and commercial construction companies. Modules include project planning and management, purchasing... Read More
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BHOOMI project and construction from ABC Info Soft is an enterprise suite of construction management applications for midsize residential and commercial construction companies. Modules include project planning and management, purchasing... Read More
 
Electrical Estimating Software logo
 
SEC Solutions’ Electrical Estimating software provides electrical and plumbing contractors with a set of project estimating tools. This system is suitable for businesses of any size and both single user and multi-user network platforms. Its... Read More
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SEC Solutions’ Electrical Estimating software provides electrical and plumbing contractors with a set of project estimating tools. This system is suitable for businesses of any size and both single user and multi-user network platforms. Its... Read More
 
MeasureSquare logo
 
MeasureSquare is a Web-based estimating and takeoff system for commercial and residential flooring contractors, designers, retailers and installers. Built with ease of use in mind, it offers visual takeoff and a drag-and-drop approach... Read More
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MeasureSquare is a Web-based estimating and takeoff system for commercial and residential flooring contractors, designers, retailers and installers. Built with ease of use in mind, it offers visual takeoff and a drag-and-drop approach... Read More
 
Bluebook ProEstimator logo
 
Bluebook ProEstimator is a cloud-based construction solution. It allows users to build estimate items, edit line items and create reports. Users build estimates with tasks. They can create and name tasks, then search and add line... Read More
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Bluebook ProEstimator is a cloud-based construction solution. It allows users to build estimate items, edit line items and create reports. Users build estimates with tasks. They can create and name tasks, then search and add line... Read More
 
Estimator360 logo
 
Estimator360 is a cloud-based platform for construction estimating and management. It is suited for smaller construction companies and contractors with a focus on residential projects. The software performs building calculations and... Read More
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Estimator360 is a cloud-based platform for construction estimating and management. It is suited for smaller construction companies and contractors with a focus on residential projects. The software performs building calculations and... Read More
 

Buyer's Guide

by Eileen O'Loughlin,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: September 8, 2017


When evaluating your options for using software to improve and simplify the takeoff process, it’s important to understand how this technology works in order to choose one that fits your needs. To help, we've created this comprehensive guide that breaks down everything you need to know about construction software, the most common reasons buyers seek a new solution, the benefits it can offer your organization and key considerations to keep in mind. Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Construction Takeoff Software?
Common Features of Construction Takeoff Software
Common Reasons for Buying Takeoff Software
Top Benefits of Takeoff Software
How Do I Choose the Best Takeoff Software?
Key Considerations

What Is Construction Takeoff Software?

Takeoff software allows contractors to measure construction plans (i.e., blueprints and drawings) electronically instead of the conventional method using pencils and rulers. Most systems will support the on-screen takeoff method, or the use of a digitizer pen.

Performing a digital takeoff


Performing a digital takeoff using OnCenter Software

Buyers often confuse estimating software with takeoff software. The systems are deployed as one but perform two very different functions. Contractors use takeoff software to determine the scope of a project from quantity of materials to labor needed. They would then use an estimating system to determine how much those materials and labor will cost, and produce a bid.

There are several different components of takeoff software. They are defined as follows:

Tool Definition
Quantity takeoff software This tool leverages multi-dimensional drawings and models to help estimators determine the amount of materials and labor required to complete a project.
Blueprint takeoff software Forgo flipping through pages of plans, this tool (sometimes referred to as plan takeoff) allows you to view and manipulate detailed plans digitally as well as better collaborate with the architect or planroom.
On-screen takeoff Usually integrates with other solutions, including quantity and plan takeoff, to help contractors determine the scope of a project.

The software can be purchased by itself, or as a stand-alone system. However, it’s often purchased together with cost estimating software. There are also cases when an organization will purchase a complete construction software suite to perform all needed functions including estimating, accounting and job costing and project scheduling and project management.

Common Features of Construction Takeoff Software

Here are some common features of construction takeoff software:

Document control and collaboration Puts plans in one place so they can be shared and edited by an individual project manager or a large team. Edits to the plans are typically done in real-time and will sync automatically so everyone on the project is up-to-date.
Estimating Some takeoff software applications will include estimating tools to provide costs of materials and labor, or will otherwise integrate with other estimating applications.
File export Exports plans and material lists to various file formats such as .PDF or .XLS.
BIM integration Allows users to integrate with building information modeling (BIM) platforms so they can visualize project plans in 3D.
Trade specialization Many takeoff platforms will have unique features for specific trades or aspects of the project, such as painting, drywall, concrete or HVAC. These unique features assist with estimating and takeoff for those materials.

Common Reasons for Buying Takeoff Software

There are two common scenarios we hear from contractors researching construction take off software. First, the majority use manual methods and want a faster, more accurate way to produce estimates. Second, they need to replace an existing system because the technology is out of date or it’s too expensive to maintain.

Regardless of their current situation, most companies implement these systems for the following reasons:

  • Speed up and simplify the takeoff process
  • Produce more accurate bids and estimates
  • Reduce resources (e.g., avoid printing plans)
  • Create more professional proposals

Below is a full list of buyer's reasons to switch to takeoff software from our 2014 Buyer's Report.

Top Benefits of Takeoff Software

Our Small Business Buyer Report offers insight in to the pain points and trends for companies with annual revenues of $100 million or less considering construction takeoff software.

It's no suprise that our findings show that the majority of buyers from small businesses are using manual methods, like Excel and scales and rulers, or software that doesn't currently meet their needs. As they start to scale, they recognize that software can help increase their capacity for writing accurate bids.

While the benefits are clear, the type of software they need may not be. That's why it's important to carefully consider all your current and possible future requirements before beginning the search.

How Do I Choose the Best Takeoff Software?

Choosing the best construction takeoff software will depend on the specific needs of your organization. Small to midsize contractors, for example, may require a solution with fewer and less robust features, while large contractors may require a comprehensive solution that offers features such as cost databases by trade and mobile compatibility for field access to project data. Firms must also decide if they only need a standalone takeoff solution or if they need takeoff functionality as part of a larger, integrated construction software system.

Key Considerations

During your research you should consider the following:

  • Does the system meet your feature and functional requirements? For example, does it support onscreen takeoff for measuring PDFs digitally? Does it provide digitizer integration?
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  • Does it have capabilities to support your trade? For example, earthwork, sitework and excavation contractors should identify systems that: measure cuts, fills and volumes; measure square footage and lineal feet and support 3D takeoff.
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  • Can it integrate with your other construction applications, such as estimating, job costing or project management?

For construction contractors using software for the first time, consider using one of the many free tools on the market. However, once your company and job volume grows, paid software is necessary to complete large-scale projects. It offers more "out-of-the-box" functionality as well as integrations with your other construction tools, trainig and professional support.

Once you do decide to make the switch, many large vendors (including PlanSwift, STACK and Best Bid) offer free trials so you can try before you buy.

Another key consideration is whether you should opt for a cloud-based solution or one that is hosted on-premise. With systems using a cloud-based deployment model, the software is hosted (i.e., housed, served, maintained and delivered) remotely, on the vendor’s or service provider’s own servers. Users can then access it through any device that is both compatible with the system and has an internet connection. This gives users the flexibility to access the system anywhere, anytime.

With on-premise deployment, on the other hand, the software system is hosted in-house, on the user’s own servers. Data in the database and all associated applications are housed and run locally, and users may or may not be able to access the system remotely (it depends whether or not the system is compatible with mobile devices and remote computers).

While larger companies may possess the IT resources to host a solution in-house, this can be a very expensive option for smaller companies. As such, smaller organizations may want to consider cloud-based solutions, which can be quicker to implement and start using and are often less costly to manage and update. However, cloud-based solutions may not include the type of robust functionality that a more comprehensive, on-premise construction takeoff solution might.

When you're ready, head over to our list of top takeoff software to compare products and watch demos.

Free Download:
Construction Estimating Software Pricing Guide

Free Download:
Ten Steps Guide To Selecting Construction Software

 

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