Frequently Asked Questions

Got Questions?  We've got answers!  Below are responses to some of the most-asked questions about STACK.

General

STACK is a preconstruction platform designed to take you from a takeoff to a detailed estimate using digital blueprints. We have a multitude of features to improve your day-to-day and help you bid and win more profitable work.

There’s a lot that separates STACK from the competition such as:

• We’re cloud-based so you can access your account anytime, anywhere – no downloads required!

• We consistently make software updates that we provide to all users at no extra cost.

• We have an extremely modern and intuitive interface making it easy to get started.

• We’re competitively priced and offer a variety of affordable subscription plans to serve your specific needs.

Need help convincing your team?  We’re got you covered! View our takeoff & estimating software buyer guide.

STACK was founded in 2011 under the name CloudTakeoff as one of the first web-based solutions for construction. In 2014 we officially rebranded as STACK but maintained our founders’ vision of delivering easy-to-use technology solutions that help our customers to win more profitable work. Our promise is to save our users time and help them grow their businesses.

​STACK works for just about all trades. As long as you count or measure on digital plans, you can use STACK! From sole-proprietorships to billion-dollar corporations, STACK helps contractors of all sizes save time, increase accuracy and bid & win more profitable work!

STACK works great for general contractors and these trades: concrete, drywall, flooring, home builders, insulation, interior finishes, landscaping, masonry, MEP, painting, roofing, structural steelsuppliers, and other specialty trades.

STACK will undoubtedly save you a LOT of time! Our customers often tell us that STACK helps them complete their takeoff and estimates 3-4 times faster. With all the extra time on your hands, just think of all the extra jobs you can bid on! Try our ROI Calculator to see how much time we could be saving you!

Product Help

That’s easy. Create a free account using your name and email address!

Whether you’re saying goodbye to manual takeoff processes, you’re parting ways with your tired old desktop software, or you’re an estimating pro, we’re here for you! For those looking to teach themselves, we have a robust help center with comprehensive guides and tutorials to help you through any scenario. For paid users, we offer unlimited, free training and support.

You sure can! We have real, live account executives in our Cincinnati, OH headquarters who’d be more than happy to give you a demo. They know our software inside and out and more importantly how it can work for your trade. Schedule one here.

STACK makes it easy to turn your digital blueprints into a completed quote in a few simple steps…

• Upload your digital blueprint into STACK software.

• Determine your material quantities using STACK’s integrated measurement tools.

• Finalize your quote by adding in material pricing and other costs such as labor, transportation, overhead and profit margin.

You can chat with us online, give us a call, send us an email or schedule a one-on-one demo with a STACK expert.  Visit our contact us page to get in touch.

Partnerships & Integrations

We have a variety of integrations from Excel to Buildertrend to Dodge Analytics and a whole lot more! Check out our Partners page for the complete list.

Yes. You can find our Open API documentation here.

STACK works with other planrooms to help streamline your processes, make your life easier, and help you expand your business. Using our open API we allow other systems to access your STACK account details while in other platforms. Some planrooms we have active integrations with are as follows:

• Dodge – Learn More

• Pantera

• SmartBid – Learn More

• ProCore

We’re always looking to work with others to simplify and enhance the preconstruction process. You can visit our partners page to learn more.

Using STACK

Never, ever, ever … ever, will we make you download anything to be able to access our platform. STACK is cloud-based so you can access it right through your internet browser from all your devices. 🙂

Yes! STACK works on Mac, PC, tablets, and mobile devices.

STACK is extremely easy-to-use. If you know how to send an email or access a web site, you can use STACK!

Typically, you will upload your digital plans into STACK to be able to perform your takeoffs but you can also upload images from Google Earth. Using Google Earth images is a good way to quickly measure exterior features such as a roof without having to physically travel to the location.

You can review a complete list of our software features. Don’t see what you need today? Well, you might in the near future. STACK pushes multiple software updates every month.

Plans & Pricing

Yes! We want to make it as simple as possible for you to take advantage of our easy-to-use takeoff and estimating software. Create a free account to leverage Pro-level features on any project for 7 days. Add as many users as you’d like and only upgrade if you need to.

The best way to figure out the best plan for you is to schedule a one-on-one demo with a STACK expert, but you can find a brief overview of each plan below:

Free – Our Free subscription lets you preview most of the benefits of our Pro plan on up to 2 projects over 7 days. Learn More.

Plus – Our Plus subscription plan includes advanced takeoff tools for anyone looking to complete quick and easy measurements. Learn More.

Pro – Our Pro subscription included all the benefits of Plus with premium estimating capabilities for those looking to take their measurements to a more accurate and detailed quote. Learn More.

Enterprise – Our Enterprise option gives users all the benefits of Pro plus custom item & assembly services, on-site training, single sign-on, open API access, and other more! Learn More.

Yes! STACK works with universities and construction-centric schools throughout the US. If you are a student, we’re excited to offer low and no-cost options. Contact our team at 866.702.6078 for details.

Of course! We know collaboration is important so we make it easy to add as many users as you like. Talk to someone on our team to find out more.

You can use any major credit card to pay for your subscription. Our system will automatically provide a purchase receipt for any charges.

Other Resources

Preconstruction
On every job, there is an initial planning phase known in the construction industry as “preconstruction”. This phase of the project serves to lay out the entire scope and timeline of a project for the construction team and the client.

Cloud-based
A term that refers to applications, services, or resources made available to users on demand via the Internet from a cloud computing provider’s servers.

Takeoff
A “takeoff” is the act of measuring construction plans to determine the material quantities needed for a job.

Estimate
An “estimate” comes together when you take the material quantities from your takeoff and add in pricing as well as other costs such as labor, overhead, and profit margin to finalize your bid.

Items
Items refer to individual materials with predefined measurement details (such as height, width, depth, etc.).

Assemblies
Assemblies refer to a collection of items, grouped together for a common purpose

Collaboration
    • STACK Invite – Invite can be used to distribute projects and their corresponding plan sheets for the purpose of allowing these 3rd parties to perform their own markups and measurements.
    • STACK Share – Sharing can be used to send read-only projects for the purpose of distributing already completed work for review or reference.
    • Markup Tools – Add markups such as text, highlights, clouds, plan legends, callouts, and more to your documents to provide clarity and communicate project needs.

API
An API, which stands for Application Programming Interface, is a set of requirements that govern how one application can communicate and interact with another. In other words, an API is a messenger that delivers your request to the provider that you’re requesting it from and then delivers the response back to you.

Bid Calendar
The bid calendar provides an easy way to navigate and organize all your projects in one place.

Autoname
A tool that names your plan sheets based on the naming mechanics in the bottom right corner of each page.

Autocount
A tool used to automatically count the quantity of a specific symbol on a plan sheet.

Text & Keyword Search
A tool that makes any plan page and file type uploaded into STACK, fully text-searchable! This is accomplished using OCR technology that enables us to convert different types of documents, such as scanned paper documents, PDF files, or images captured by a digital camera into editable and searchable data.

Takeoff Summary Reporting
A report showing the primary measurements, along with any secondary measurements.

Measurement by Takeoff Report
A report that shows each individual measurement for each takeoff.

Hyperlink
A link from a hypertext file or document to another location or file, typically activated by clicking on a highlighted word or image on the screen.

Planroom
A planroom is a “library” where construction professionals may view bidding documents (blueprints and specifications) for projects seeking price estimates for specific construction products or services.

PCC
Project Cost Calculator – Add markup, tax, overhead and profit to your STACK takeoff & estimating reports with this easy-to-use, excel-based tool. Use pricing from your STACK database or modify item pricing in the workbook as needed.

Report Sync
To make it easier to get quantities out of STACK and into your own Excel workbook, there is a ‘Sync’ button to update your Excel sheet with the latest quantities.

Project Management
Project Management encompasses a set of objectives which may be accomplished by implementing a series of operations subject to resource constraints.

ROI
ROI, which stands for Return on Investment, is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments.

Construction Professional
    • GC – A GC, or General Contractor, is a person or business entity that contracts to be in charge of a building project usually involving the use of subcontractors
    • Project Manager – Project Managers oversee all aspects of the building process, working closely with engineers and architects to develop plans, establish timetables, and determine labor and material costs. They are responsible for ensuring the project is completed on budget and within scope.
    • Estimator – An Estimator is an individual that quantifies the materials, labor, and equipment needed to complete a construction project.
    • Subcontractor – A Subcontractor is a person who is awarded a portion of an existing contract by a principal or general contractor. Subcontractor performs work under a contract with a general contractor, rather than the employer who hired the general contractor.
    • Supplier – A Supplier is an entity that supplies goods and services to another organization. A supplier is usually a manufacturer or a distributor.

Measurement Types
When creating a new takeoff, a measurement type must be selected from the drop-down menu. Measurement types indicate the unit of measure output (i.e. linear footage, square footage, cubic yardage, etc.)

On STACK’s blog, you can learn about upcoming events STACK will be attending, watch on-demand webinars, get details on software updates, read relevant construction industry articles, see how STACK compares to competitors, and learn about the latest company news and happenings.

Register for upcoming STACK webinars and watch on-demand recordings of past webinars.

Choosing the right takeoff & estimating software can be a difficult decision. There are numerous options to evaluate and each has their own unique features and benefits. Check out How We STACK Up to see how STACK compares to other popular software options.

Find the best takeoff & estimating software for your construction business. Get the Software Buyer Guide today!

Read recent STACK software release notes to learn about new features & improvements and bug fixes.

Bid more, win more, today

Shopping Basket

What impact will STACK have on your business?

See how much time you’ll save & additional revenue you’ll generate.