Construction take-off software is a suite of processes, programs and information used in order for contractors to be able to estimate the costs of their construction project.
Estimators perform this process by using construction blueprints, either electronic or on paper. When it comes to using physical printed blueprints and paper, it is very hard for an estimator to process the entire range of information. Using pen and paper makes the possibility of making a small mistake possible, which would affect the final result of the estimation.
The takeoff process can happen in different ways. Some estimators perform manual takeoffs based on field sketches, some use electronic measuring devices called digitizers , and others get great results by the use of construction estimation software.
Once the data is on screen, contractors and estimators can get detailed information regarding costs automatically. This increases the efficiency and speed in which your company can finish different projects.
Beyond this, using specialized software allows you to estimate the costs of your project/projects exactly, and then you can choose to store the data in protected data centers that allow easy access.
Takeoff software can include all details and aspects of your project – from number of light bulbs needed, to the number of vents, wiring length, flooring, etc. Because of the fact that flooring takeoffs require a lot of time when using paper drawings, using professional takeoff software becomes a necessity.
In this article, we will explore some of the best software options on the market that allows you to get exact measurements regarding the flooring plan of your project.
eTakeOff is an incredibly powerful takeoff software that allows you to easily calculate all your material needs for your project. You can get exact flooring measurements and cost estimations with ease, and can also be used for estimations in other areas – electrical wiring, light bulbs, etc.
You can also use this tool to set multiple scales on the same project, access the set of specialty tools like – riser, joist, roll, hip/valley, grid, etc. , and can also add features to a favorites list, allowing you to save time when doing repetitive tasks.
Besides making electronic measurements, eTakeOff has a wide range of other useful features such as:
- Full Microsoft Office compatibility
- Instant help on each button – pausing the cursor over any button gets you access to help features
- True Database structure – the engine is small and fast, and also stores data in one place for easy access
- Database security – protect your scales, bid codes, layers, WBS codes, etc.
- Read PDF files – no need to transform PDF files to TIFF file format
- License management – allows you to manage your licenses from anywhere in the world
- Assembly capabilities – can generate additional extensions with your own variables and formulas
- Work breakdown – allows you to add different attributes to your measurement- part numbers, location, and other data
eTakeOff is divided in 3 different versions, with different capabilities.
- Can create lineal, count, area, cutouts, arcs, etc.
- Multiple monitor support
- Optimized for native PDF drawings – no Tiff conversion
- Download plans directly from Plan Rooms
- Import/restore project with takeoff data
- High-performance database technology
Dimension Advanced contains all the features found in the Basic version, and also adds:
- Ability to store your measurements and access them easily
- Quick takeoff – can remove great numbers of materials on each project
- 30 predefined templates that allow you to easily choose the most useful one
- Disconnected points options
- 4 different quantity reports
- Flip/rotate individual and group measurements
- Manage typical group measurements, scales and annotations
- Multiple scales on same page
Dimension Premier contains all the features found in the Advanced version, and adds:
- Can measure items off the scale
- Uncounted points
- Automatically accounts for pattern changes and adapts
- Can search on multiple pages for a specific pattern
- Unlimited number of reports with multiple quantities
- Customizable quantity worksheet
- Advanced point editing
- Annotate in extra drawing windows
- Default project variables
eTakeOff also offers you the possibility to use their Bridge software, that allows you to integrate Dimension with cost estimation systems. Bridge is integrated with Sage Estimating 300.
This is a separate program that bridges the gap between eTakeOff and the estimation software, for seamless workflow and easy to access features.
You can find a good range of tutorial videos that will show you how to get started using eTakeOff, by clicking here.
PlanSwift is another great software option that offers you a comprehensive and easy to use way to deal with every aspect of your takeoff project. This app allows you to save time, reduce costs, and also offers exact measuring results.
You can use this software to drag and drop material and labor aggregation onto your takeoff, can takeoff and create estimates with just a few clicks, and then you can export your project into Excel file formats.
This software can be used for concrete, drywall, electrical, plumbing, etc. , but for the sake of this article we will focus on PlanSwift’s capabilities to manage takeoff of flooring.
Using this software is easy because of its One Click option. This feature allows you to easily select tile, carpet, hardwood or laminate floor areas, and measure the confines for baseboard and nail bands. You can also count, calculate, print and export your projects into takeoff files stored on your PC, and get very accurate estimates.
With PlanSwift, you can choose and add different plug-ins from their store, allowing you to customize your software pack to fit your needs exactly. If you wanna check out the plug-in offer, click here to visit the official page.
PreBuilt ML is another incredibly useful software options that allows you to easily deal with the takeoff of your flooring plan.
This application is very easy to use, and as soon as you start your project, you can create a custom database that contains all the information regarding the items to be used for carpets, tiles, laminates, and wood flooring.
The database, once saved, allows you not to repeat the information adding step again. It stores all the information provided into a secure folder, allowing you an easy and fast access to your project’s data.
PreBuilt ML also allows you to import data from files like PDF, Jpeg, BMP, PNG, Jif, Tiff. Once the measurement process is completed and you have all the required costs and quantity estimations, you can easily export the files to all popular file formats.
Some other notable features of PreBuilt include:
- Accurate material list – minimizes waste and reduces expenses
- Can create custom layouts
- Note tool – allows you to add any notes to clarify confusions
- Can choose the specific items and applications and create custom databases
- Great customer support
PreBuilt ML was realeased in two different versions, each covering the needs of different customers.
PreBuilt ML PROtrade
- Digitizer that works by hitting the button once
- Can set custom page levels and scales
- Includes a wide range of automatic updates
- Great range of digitizers
- Custom database
- Can generate up to 6 material reports
- Allows layouts and notes
PreBuilt ML X – contains all the features of PROtrade version, with some changes and additions:
- 3D viewer
- Preference management
- More than 50 million built-in product database
- Standard or custom wall assemblies
- Can generate more than 12 material reports
- Cut logic reports
You can find a good range of training videos and tutorials on the PreBuilt ML Official Website.
Oasis Takeoff by OnCenter Software
Oasis Takeoff is a great software option created by OnCenter Software, that allows you to take measurements, calculate, and also estimate the required quantity and also the cost of all the products you will need for your project’s flooring.
Using this software, allows you to calculate every aspect of your estimates directly from your computer screen. In order to get professional results, you just need to use a few clicks and drag of your mouse.
You also have the power to edit all the data collected through measuring, and manage it simply through this all encompassing software.
Other features of Oasis Takeoff that are worth mentioning include:
- Optical Character Recognition (OCR) – automatically counts objects in your project based on specific characteristics
- Can select takeoff objects and paste them by distance, space and directions
- Can create style sheets and templates – allows you not to repeat tasks
- Great overlay features – when comparing , deleted items are found in red, and added items are in blue.
FloorRight is another great software option that was specifically designed for dealing with flooring takeoff. This software can reduce the times of your takeoff process, can handle a high amount of work, and allows you to adapt to any changes regarding the design and cost of your project.
Key features include:
- Can analyze materials needed in reach room, floor or in the entire construction plan
- Tools that allow you to easily draw on-screen
- Can import blueprints that allows you to easily trace over the project
- Can automate estimations for patterned carpet or vinyl, tile patterns and strip flooring
- Mathematical based suggestions for optimum coverage of floor
- Can move and insert seams, reverse direction, change starting points, etc.
- 3D modelling
- Can adds tags to walls, corners, or any other item in the construction plan
- Automatically calculates room perimeter
FloorRight was released in 2 different versions, with different features.
- Input rooms of any shape or size and calculates steps
- Produces cutting diagrams for installers
- Ability to grow, divide, join, and curve rooms
- Edit, move, and flip seams or entire room
- 3D renderings of wall tile (showers, tubs, and backslashes
- Reads Bitmap, JPEG, and PDF files
- Attach voice annotations to any room
FR Commercial – contains all the features found in the Professional version, and adds :
- Import AutoCAD, DWG, DXF, and Dodge Plans
- Works with large digitizer boards for a rapid and efficient way to import blueprints
- Calculates carpet base
- Manages multiple job situations and offers great template options
- Integrated report designer
- Multi-roll allocation
In this article, we explored some of the best software options on the market in 2019 that allow you to simplify every aspect of the takeoff process for flooring.
This software can help you easily obtain exact measurments and material estimations, store the data into an easy accessible and protected location. You can also use this type of software to customize and save presets based on the amount of materials needed, size of the project, type of project, etc.
We would love to know what software option you chose from this list. Please feel free to let us know in the comment section below.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2019 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.