A picture is worth a thousand words…so use them!
If you work on material takeoffs and estimating or do any other work with the construction industry, you’ve likely been more than one situation where there was confusion or uncertainty about the plans, materials, or terminology for a project. Maybe it’s an atypical condition in the plans, or a particular usage of materials, or even a terminology question, you’re not the only one who might need clarification. There are even plenty of situations where the building plans themselves lack certain details or might be wrong.
These potential points of confusion can easily be mitigated by including pictures and images to communicate. As a result you can save everyone involved the hassle of extra emails and phone calls.
Mud sill, sill plate? Same Material.
Estimating and takeoff software like PrebuiltML makes this exceptionally easy for estimators. We started as an estimating company, so we know the value of efficient communication. Our software in particular makes it easy to tag a material with a note and then attach an image to properly clarify a detail. Whether that image is a reference to something from the plans or even just an image from Google, it will help clarify exactly what you’re referencing and leave little room for doubt.
With just one click you can even append a full detailed image glossary that references the application and material terminology used in your list so that your list can be universally understood by whoever is reading it.
Similarly, there may be occasional situations where you’re working on a roof system only to find that the plans themselves reference a roof with incorrect geometry or insufficient information to get a proper estimate. With a quick snapshot of the roof in the 3D viewer, you can demonstrate the problem and ensure that you’re not sending out the wrong materials.
Framing Layouts are another key to communicating information effectively. Including these in addition to a material list ensures that all the materials are mapped out and used correctly saving material costs and wasted time.
So drop the communication breakdown and proactively use pictures to explain your work. Anywhere there might be doubt about an application or usage of a material, or specific conditions, or even terminology confusion, a picture can clarify everything at a glance. What’s there to lose?