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OnScale Solve is an engineering CAD and simulation platform that helps businesses streamline metaphysics simulation of 3D designs via a unified portal. It enables managers to configure simulation workflows, handle CAD repair proce...Read more
Procore manages your projects, resources, and financials from project planning to closeout. The platform connects every project contributor with the owner and general or specialty contractor. The centralized dashboard allows manag...Read more
Flexible estimating tool to quickly and accurately create estimates, Trimble’s Accubid Estimating is a full-featured estimating solution. Available in multiple configurations, Accubid provides a flexible solution for contractors o...Read more
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 calculati...Read more
Roctek’s WinEx Grade is a quantity takeoff and analysis tool. This solution allows you to take a PDF or other supported image formats and import PDF linework, import CAD linework, or use assisted-drawing tools to enter linework in...Read more
PlanSwift is the #1 Takeoff & Estimating software in the world! PlanSwift software is designed for Commercial, Industrial, Institutional and Residential GCs and Subcontractors in almost every construction trade.
With PlanSwifts...Read more
McCormick Systems has been providing electrical estimating software since 1979 and offers a comprehensive solution for commercial, industrial, residential, low voltage, solar and other specialty contractors. McCormick boasts sever...Read more
ROCTEK International’s SOFTakeoff is an on-premise on-screen structural takeoff solution that caters to businesses in the construction and roofing industries. From smaller sub-contractors to high-volume general contractors, SOFTak...Read more
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 contra...Read more
InEight provides field-tested project management software for the owners, contractors, engineers and architects who are building the world around us. Over 400,000 users and more than 850 customers worldwide rely on InEight for rea...Read more
EarthWorks Excavation by TrakWare is a takeoff system for excavation plans that comes with features like onscreen takeoff, digitizer integration, CAD file integration, and 3D takeoff. The product is offered on a best-of-breed basi...Read more
ProEst is a cloud-based construction estimating solution that offers automated features for construction companies of all sizes.
ProEst is available on an annual subscription basis that supports unlimited users. Unlimited pho...Read more
SureCount by ConEst is an on-premise construction takeoff system designed for commercial, industrial and residential electrical contractors of all sizes. The system can also be used for other construction and specialty contractors...Read more
Carlson Takeoff is an on-premise 3D takeoff solution developed for design/build firms, earthwork/excavating, engineers, heavy/highway contractors, paving and utility contractors. It enables users to accurately estimate cuts and fi...Read more
eTakeoff Dimension, an electronic quantity takeoff product distributed by Sage, significantly increases accuracy, productivity, and speed over traditional paper or manual takeoff methods. This powerful, versatile, and easy-to-use ...Read more
PrebuiltML offers an on-premise takeoff software that helps lumber dealers, general contractors, and home builders build 3D views of their construction sites. The solution allows managers to streamline job efficiency, minimize mat...Read more
BrickControl is a web software in the cloud that helps you manage your construction projects in a very powerful and simple way.
BrickControl allows you to create estimates with the necessary structure (levels, tasks and resource...Read more
FieldLens is a cloud-based project management solution designed for professional construction builders. Its features include assigning tasks, posting updates on social media platforms and tracking manpower progress, resources and ...Read more
ConstructBuy is a construction management system for general contractors, subcontractors and trade specialists. It includes takeoff, project management, task management, bid invitation, documentation storage, communication capabil...Read more
The EDGE ™ is a professional-grade all-in-one solution designed for commercial subcontractors who specialize in roofing, interior walls and ceilings, exterior finishes, and fireproofing. With two options for sharing data, jo...Read more
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
Some takeoff software applications will include estimating tools to provide costs of materials and labor, or will otherwise integrate with other estimating applications.
Exports plans and material lists to various file formats such as .PDF or .XLS.
Allows users to integrate with building information modeling (BIM) platforms so they can visualize project plans in 3D.
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 surprise 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.
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?
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.
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, training 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.