Blueprint Takeoff Software – How to do Takeoffs from Blueprints

STACK’s blueprint takeoff and blueprint takeoff software will help you optimize your business. Use our services and products to:

    • Accurately complete takeoffs

    Streamline your takeoff process to save time

    Expand your business

What is a Takeoff in the Construction Industry?

In the construction industry, general contractors and subcontractors are typically provided a set of blueprints (either printed or digital), and then asked to provide a quote detailing how much it would cost to perform their specialized trade. A takeoff is simply measuring blueprints to determine the quantities of materials needed to finish any given job.

As you may have experienced for yourself, making an accurate takeoff by hand can be difficult and somewhat tedious. Historically, these takeoffs were all done by hand with paper blueprints, scale rulers and calculators. It is a time consuming process to takeoff even a small project by hand, and can span  multiple days when working on a larger project such as a multi-floor office building.

In contrast, STACK’s blueprint takeoff software is convenient, quick and easy to use, and provides accurate takeoff estimates. We strive to equip you with the tools and support you need to succeed in your business endeavors.

How Takeoffs Work

These days, the construction industry is rapidly migrating towards using digital blueprints and blueprint takeoff software. Although there are many different software options, in general they operate the following way:

Using the software’s pre-built materials database, you’ll select your materials, items, and assemblies. The software creates your estimate by:

    Opening your digital plans in the software

    • Perform your takeoff digitally using your computer mouse to measure project area and count symbols on your blueprint

The software will calculate the amount of materials needed based on assumptions you have defined as specific to your particular project. No calculator or ruler needed! In this way, you will save time and increase the accuracy of your measurements with blueprint takeoff software as opposed to using older and more drawn-out methods of calculation.

 

Digital Vs. Manual Takeoff

Are you still doing your material takeoffs manually, measuring with a scale ruler? There are many reasons to upgrade your takeoff process to a digital method using software! Benefits of digital takeoffs include savings a massive amount of time, reduction of measuring & calculation errors, ease of making changes after your initial measurement, and savings in blueprint printing costs.

The only benefit to using a manual method is that you won’t have to pay for digital blueprint takeoff software. If you are only doing 1 or 2 takeoffs a month, this might be the way to go for you. Even still, there are free options available for those instances such as STACK’s free takeoff & estimating software which is perfect for low volume contractors.

For those doing over two takeoffs/month, there’s no question that a paid digital takeoff solution will be worthwhile. Time is money and your time savings will pay for software itself. Digital takeoffs are easily 3-4 times as fast as manual takeoffs. What will you do with all the extra time you have on your hands? You can use the extra time to bid (and win) more jobs and/or spend the extra time with your family and stop working nights and weekends.

Construction contractors all over the world are now embracing blueprint takeoff software to give them a leg up on their competition, increase their revenues, and be more profitable. Consider this situation: two commercial painters are submitting bid proposals for jobs in their area.

    • Commercial Painter #1 is still doing manual blueprint takeoffs. It takes them on average four hours to complete their takeoff and submit their bid. A full  time estimator can submit two bids/day and ten bids/week. If they win 10% of their bids, they’ll get one job/week.

    • Commercial Painter #2 has embraced digital blueprint takeoffs using software. They can now do takeoffs four times faster and it now takes them one hour to complete a takeoff and submit their bid. A full-time estimator can submit eight bids/day and fifty bids/week. If they win 10% of their bids, they’ll get five jobs/week.

Long-term, Commercial Painter #2 will be much more successful than Commercial Painter #1. They will win more work, employ more painting crews, be more selective of which jobs they take on and be more profitable. Simply moving from manual takeoffs to digital takeoffs can have a HUGE impact on their business!

So what are you waiting for? Make the leap today! Create your free blueprint takeoff software account and give it a try. Need help getting started? STACK offers unlimited free training and support from our customer support team, available via chat, email and phone. In addition, there’s an entire library of help articles and videos designed to get you started quickly and easily.

Benefits of Takeoff Software

There are various benefits to using blueprint takeoff software. Arguably the biggest benefit to using this software is that it is much faster than alternative manual takeoff methods. In general, you can expect takeoffs to be between two and four times faster when using a good takeoff software program versus performing calculations by hand. When you are working on large-scale projects, this means that you will be saving hours or even days of work.

When time is money, saving so much time allows you to put money back into your pocket by bidding and winning more work. Or you may choose to use that extra time to spend more with family and friends and not in the office!

Another important benefit to using blueprint takeoff software is increased accuracy. When measuring by hand, there are many ways to make mistakes in your calculations. For example, you may accidentally use the wrong scale, mis-read your ruler, have your ruler positioned incorrectly, type the wrong number in the calculator, double-count, or miscount. These are all human errors that may be avoided or eliminated entirely when using software. This ensures that  your takeoff is as accurate as possible!

Benefits of a Cloud Takeoff Solution

When selecting the right blueprint takeoff software for your company there is an important consideration. Do you want to use cloud-based software or software that is downloaded to your computer?

What is "cloud-based software"?

Simply stated, cloud-based software simply means that you will access the program using your web browser by typing in the software’s web address and logging into your account. Alternatively, purchased software is bought and downloaded to your computer.

What are the advantages of cloud-based software?

There are many benefits to use software that is cloud-based. These advantages include:

    • Access the software anywhere – You can access the software from work, home or while travelling.

    • Use any device to access the software – You can use any phone, tablet, desktop, or laptop to access the software. This is incredibly useful for contractors who spend a lot of time in the field. Downloadable software is only accessible on the computer it’s installed on.

    • Nothing to install – No hardware requirements or anything to download on your computer plus no need to mess with installing software updates.

    • Updates – New features, bug-fixes and other improvements are continually made so you’ll always be using the latest and greatest version.

The Future of Construction Industry Software

Like the software industry in general, construction software is quickly moving away from downloadable software and moving towards software that runs in the cloud. Forward-looking contractors are embracing this change and taking advantage of the benefits that being in the cloud brings to their organization.

Our Software Options

Our cloud-based, intuitive software will help to increase speed and eliminate costly errors – giving you more hours in the day to focus on growing your business. Our specialized software takes the pain out of creating takeoffs.

In short, we are committed to helping you to achieve the results you are looking for. Each of our software options allows you to do the following:

    Perform accurate quantity takeoffs. Quickly complete takeoffs with easy-to-use measurement and markup tools.

    Put time back on the clock. Reduce your takeoff time by 75% or more and add valuable time back to your business and life.

    Minimize complexity and eliminate risks. Take the stress out of manual measurement and eliminate costly estimating mistakes.

    Grow your business. Complete takeoffs in a fraction of the time it takes by hand.

We provide customers with four software options:

    Free. This package is completely free of charge and includes all of the essentials you need to create takeoffs and estimate project needs.

    Plus. This option performs functions with lightning fast speed and allows for advanced quantity takeoff.  

    Pro. This is our most powerful and integrated takeoff and estimating platform.

    Enterprise. Our cost estimating solution for teams with custom setup and other extra benefits.

In summary, our software takes care of takeoffs in an efficient accurate way so that you can turn your focus to what is most important in running a business – your bottom line. The integrated takeoff and estimating software we provide is designed for any project and any trade, so you may apply it to whatever business you may have. If you want to add hours back to your day, eliminate costly estimating mistakes and say goodbye to paper plans, you’ve come to the right place.

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