Organizing Your Construction Project Takeoff Process
Material lists are aptly named. They are anything but immaterial, after all. In fact, they are so important to construction projects that whether you’re still formulating a bid for your next job or are preparing to order materials so you can begin the actual work, nothing will move forward smoothly unless your material list is as complete and accurate as possible.
Whether you are a contractor or a tradesman — and whether you regularly need lumber, shingles, paint, trim, bricks and stones or all of the above — you have to compile material lists again and again. Each job, large or small, requires that close attention be paid to these lists if profits are to be maximized.
If the takeoff process has become a project in itself, keep reading. Getting organized for a new construction takeoff project can be less challenging if some basic steps are followed, and even easier when takeoff software is leveraged as a solution.
- Make Use of Templates
Whether paper or digitized, a template provides the same starting point seeking the same information every time. Consistent use of templates will result in familiarity — like an officer asking a soldier for name, rank and serial number — that saves time in addition to being more organized. What’s more, different templates can be used to organize different types of information — anything from the basics (client’s name, location of the job site, scope of work, etc.) to project layouts to notes for use in the field.
- Keep Information in One Place
Folders were great for keeping papers together when there was no alternative. Until they were misplaced. Or until they became difficult to pull out and review on the job site. Or until there weren’t enough copies to go around. You get the idea. The organizational advantages of using takeoff software are as great in scope as they are in number. When using PrebuiltML takeoff software, for example:
- All of the information can be accessed from one source.
- It can be accessed from multiple locations — wherever you have an Internet connection.
- Material lists can be duplicated for similar future projects.
- You can create your own lists of specific material products using PROtrade, or use the database of 50 million-plus products that comes with Prebuilt ML X.
- Be Precise With Measurements
Being organized means knowing what you are ordering for a takeoff. That starts with being precise with measurements, from posts to pipes to paintable surfaces. For your bottom line, this is a particularly important area in which to be organized — when you’re ordering in multiples and your measurements are off, the amount of wasted material is multiplied as well.
- Be Precise With Material Cost
The prices of materials can fluctuate from day to day and market to market. An organized project manager looking to include cost in a takeoff should use accurate, up-to-date pricing rather than relying on unit cost estimates. While PrebuiltML software does not have a pricing database, there is a provision for pricing that an organized PM can use to his or her advantage. (Pricing information is not pre-filled.)
- Keep Contact Information Handy
Contact information for your “go-to” industry insiders should be accessible to you at all times. For the takeoff process, for example, there may be a favorite vendor you lean on to consult about the best material for a specific application. Or maybe you need to know whether there’s high demand or seasonality factors for specific materials. Either way, your takeoff process will be smoother if you can reach your contacts without delay.
Whether you’re overseeing a major construction project or handling a job involving your specific trade, the takeoff process sets the tone. Staying organized will consistently get you through the takeoff with no setbacks. If you’re interested in learning how takeoff software can save you more time and money, call 1-866-827-1067 today for a demo, or request a 14-day, no-obligation trial.