A construction takeoff must be created in order to estimate the costs of a project as accurately as possible. This is done by putting together a detailed breakdown of all the materials that will be necessary to complete the project, then costing these up.
Typically ,contractors, project managers, and estimators will use blueprints to help them calculate the different measurements and quantities of the materials and supplies they need. This can then be used to create a cost estimate.
However, the process of putting together a construction takeoff manually can be very time-consuming. This, in turn, can cost construction contractors the chance of winning the job as they aren’t able to provide an accurate estimate quickly enough.
The result of this is that more and more construction companies have been embracing digitalization and new technologies.
And this is where takeoff software comes in.
Gone are the days when contractors had to manually comb through paper blueprints in order to generate a list of materials one-by-one.
Takeoff software has made it much quicker, easier, and more efficient for construction professionals to put together an accurate estimate.
But what is construction takeoff software?
Well, put simply, it is a computer program that aids users in extracting material counts and estimates from digital blueprints. But more than this, it allows them to generate cost and labor estimates as well.
Some of the other key features that many takeoff software providers offer include:
• The ability to support most common file types for blueprints, such as SVG, DXF, DWG, PDF, or image files
• Click and drag capabilities so they can easily gather information from project plans, rather than manually measuring and calculating values
• Counting and auto-counting features for keeping track of the items required
• Linear measurement, area measurement, and volume measurement
• Collaborative takeoff and editing – though this feature is often only for cloud-based systems
• Plan overlays
• Material and quantity summary reporting
• Material and parts cost databases
• Estimating software integration
• Cost and requirements calculators
But, of course, these are just some of the most common features. Different takeoff softwares will offer a range of different tools and functionalities to its users.
And while this might all seem like great news for construction businesses, in most cases, these tools don’t come for free. Therefore you need to put some thought into which takeoff software is right for your team before committing.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide.
Below, we’re going to look at seven of the best takeoff softwares for construction contractors this year.
ConX Measure is an intuitive and simple estimating tool from Australian construction company, ConX. This takeoff software is a web application that allows users to upload their plans and get started in just a matter of minutes.
ConX Measure is an ideal solution for small construction companies, builders and specialty trade contractors that are hoping to move towards more digitized ways of working. ConX is suitable for contractors working in the residential, commercial and civil sectors. It has proven particularly valuable for concretors, drywallers, painters and flooring contractors.
What’s more, though its simple and user-friendly features might not be enough for high-end or complex projects, it is perfect for contractors who are looking for accurate takeoff software without all the bells and whistles provided by more expensive takeoff software designed for professional estimators.
ConC Measure is an easy-to-use cloud-based tool used for quantity and material takeoffs. Some of the tool’s key features include:
• The ability to convert takeoffs into professional quotes in just one-click
• Integration capabilities allowing users to incorporate takeoffs with stored contact details, inventory, and pricing information
• Real-time collaboration on projects (on the team plan only)
• Features that allow users to send RFQs (request for quotes) to preferred subcontractors
• The ability to then manage responses and compare quotes side-by-side
There are plenty of reasons why you should consider ConX Measure for your business, whether you’re a small company or not. One of the biggest benefits of this tool is that it is completely online, so there is no need to download any expensive or complicated software.
Not only this, but it doesn’t require training or on-boarding. Instead, you are taught how to use the tool as you go. The team are also on hand to live chat with users who may be facing any challenges.
Finally, as well as being one of the cheaper takeoff softwares on the market, ConX Measure allows users to convert all of their measurements into a professional quoting template when they’ve finished measuring. This makes creating quotes much simpler and increases a contractors chance of winning the job.
Users can enjoy a 14-day free trial with no credit card needed. And as we said, ConX Measure is one of the cheaper options out there at just $40 per month for one user on the unlimited plan. There is also the option to upgrade to the ‘teams’ option from $65 per month for multiple user access.
STACK is a cloud-based construction takeoff and estimating software solution founded in 2011.
It is one of the most popular takeoff softwares on the market as it allows users to quickly measure digital plans during the project estimating process.
STACK is designed to work well for everyone in the industry, from junior trades people and contractors to estimators and landscape specialists. It can also be beneficial for both small and medium-sized construction companies.
STACK takeoff software is user-friendly and easy to manage. Some of the key features that make this tool so great include:
• Detailed cost estimating and tracking tools that allow users to adjust costs and create customized estimates and branded proposals
• Plans, specifications, and document management features
• Real-time analytics, data, notifications, and reporting
• Collaboration tools that allow for callouts, sharing, and invites
Because of the great features, STACK empowers users to quickly and accurately create construction takeoffs. This can ensure better standards of accuracy, eliminate the need for costly bidding wars, and win the user more projects. What’s more, teams can collaborate in real-time, from any location.
But perhaps one of the biggest selling points is the fact that STACK offers a free and paid-for service, including discounts for junior tradespeople who are still learning the trade. They also offer unlimited training and support, even for free plan users.
This is perhaps why the brand has one of the best reputations amongst takeoff software providers, with clients rating them highly across most major software review sites.
As we said, there is a free option, but if you want access to more features, you can also opt for the paid version. Paid plans start at $1999 annually, and the number of users can vary between one to seven people.
The only downside is that they don’t offer a free trial.
PlanSwift is a Windows-based construction takeoff software. The brand joined North American construction data software company, ConstructConnect in 2018. ConstructConnect are industry leaders in this area and therefore able to further the company’s reputation.
PlanSwift has been designed for commercial and residential contractors from small or medium-sized businesses. They specifically target the professional estimator within the team. That said, the software can be tailored to fit a wide scope of other trade needs.
Any businesses that choose PlanSwift must also have a preference for Microsoft operating systems.
There is one main drawback with PlanSwift, and that is the fact that it is limited to Microsoft Windows, and they currently don’t have cloud or SaaS capabilities. However, if you work with these systems (as many do), some of the key features of this software include:
• Accounting integration
• Visual point-and-click interface
• Estimating and takeoff functionalities
• Auditing trail
• Custom takeoff and invoice templates
One of the biggest benefits of PlanSwift is that users can import digital blueprints to make it easier to mark these up and measure quantities. Not only this, but the visual point-and-click interface means users can drag and drop parts or assemblies directly onto the digitized blueprint.
The software is designed to save users valuable time and effort when bidding on jobs. It does this by gathering measurement, unit counts, square footage, and angles in a matter of seconds and calculating the takeoff automatically.
PlanSwift offers a free trial but not a free version. However, licenses start at $1595 for a one-off payment.
Unfortunately, you can only add one user per plan. What’s more, if you want training, it’s an additional fee of around $300.
BlueBeam is a popular takeoff software with an excellent reputation amongst its users. It is a cloud-based software that can also be deployed on mobile devices or desktops. The company was founded in 2002 and recently acquired by German company Nemetschek.
BlueBeam is a great takeoff software for larger-scale projects, and as such, is best suited to large-sized construction companies.
This extensive tool is designed to assist users throughout the design, takeoff, and bidding process. Because of this, it offers a diverse range of features. Some of the top takeoff features include:
• PDF measurement features that go beyond length, width, and area to include measurements like volume, depth, and radius
• Custom interface profiles or pre-loaded profiles depending on the user’s needs
• The ability to create multiple scaled viewports in a single image
• Features that link measurement totals from multiple PDFs to Excel worksheets
• The ability to create, save, and store custom markups and measurements for easy reuse
• Plus, all your markups appear in an integrated, customizable list
BlueBeam has become so widely popular in the industry due to its intelligent and user-friendly software. This makes creating a construction takeoff much quicker and more accurate. What’s more, the company offers the option for self-guided or instructor-led training courses, as well as 24/7 support.
Despite the fact that users have to download and install the software on the device where it will be used, as long as they have an internet connection, they can leverage the power of real-time collaboration through the cloud. This is a feature that not many other takeoff softwares offer.
BlueBeam offers a longer trial than many other takeoff software providers, offering 30-days free of charge. After this, prices start from $525 and up depending, on how many users you need.
MeasureSquare is a cloud-based estimating and takeoff system that was founded in 2001. The tool offers a complete suite of measure estimating software solutions across a variety of different trades.
Measure Square has been built for commercial and residential contractors, designers, and takeoff estimators.
In terms of construction companies, it is recommended for those specializing in floor planning and design.
Because it is cloud-based, the MeasureSquare software allows users to share and work on projects with remote teams in real-time. Some of the other key features include:
• Drag and drop features for assigning product and service items
• The ability to duplicate rooms and copy floor or wall designs as well as handle large projects with PDF import
• It has sophisticated layout estimating algorithms
• And finally, users can benefit from flexible and quality PDF reporting
TheMeasureSquare software enables businesses of every size to create professional estimates and even getting signatures on the spot.This helps to improve close rates and increase profitability.
In fact, the overall aim of this software is to lower costs, automate time-consuming processes, increase accuracy, and improve sales. Plus, users can also benefit from state-of-the-art technology and the unique but user-friendly interface at all levels.
The team at MeasureSquare also offers a variety of training options, either in-person, virtually, through webinars, videos, and more! So users can choose the training option that is most beneficial to them and their working style.
There is a 14-day free trial on offer, and then prices vary depending on the plan you choose, starting from $149 per month. However, the annual subscription comes with a 20% discount.
Ground plan is a cloud-based estimating and takeoff software founded in 2013. It has been designed to help teams collaborate online and create visually stunning takeoffs.
The takeoff software serves a variety of construction trades including subcontractors, general contractors, suppliers, and more.They also help many sub-trades in the commercial and residential construction industry.
Because this cloud-based software has been created to help a variety of different trades, some of its key features include:
• A click-and-drag interface
• The ability to export your quantities directly to Excel
• Integration with industry-leading job and quoting software packages
• Measurement tools
• The ability to create formulas, visualize materials and cost totals, and export estimates
• Creating bill quantities automatically
As well as making it easier to collaborate as a team, Groundplan makes it possible to accurately estimate materials and labor, which has made it popular amongst construction professionals.
The intuitive click and drag interface makes it much quicker and easier to count points, measure lengths, and calculate surface areas, saving users time on creating takeoffs. This can help them to win more projects.
Because it is cloud-based, there is nothing to download, and the software works on any device. This allows businesses to keep all their cost estimates in one place and access these when needed.
And finally, with safe cloud storage and easy management, users can rest assured that they won’t lose track of plans or documents.
Groundplan starts at $99 per seat, and goes up incrementally as you add seats. Users can also try a 14-day free trial before joining.
Buildxact is another Australian-based company founded in 2011 that has created a cloud-based application. This means their takeoff software can be easily accessed from a computer, smartphone, or tablet.
BuildXact is most suitable for small building companies or specialized tradespeople. In particular, it has been designed for residential builders and trades.
Buildxact is an easy-to-use construction takeoff software that has been uniquely designed. Some of the key features of this tool include:
• The ability to carry out quick digital takeoffs based on a 3D model
• Equipment tracking
• Profit insights
• Job scheduling and bid management
• The dashboard allows users to produce and updatequotes with variations based on item changes, refunds, and more
• Integration capabilities with Xero, MYOB, andQuickbooks
This software helps small building companies or specialized tradespeople to manage everything on their jobs from the first takeoff to the final invoice. It provides a quick and easy process for them to cost up, quote projects, and invoice clients without needing to enlist help from any external costing solutions.
What’s more, the cloud-based software means users can access projects and estimating information from anywhere at any time as long as they have an internet connection. They can also create project schedules automatically from their estimates and track the progress of the project against the budget spent, and amount invoiced.
BuildXact offers free demos as well as a 14-day free trial. If users wish to go forward with the software, plans range between $149 and $399 per month. The number of users varies between one and four depending on the plan they choose.
If you’d like to know more about takeoff software and how to access free trials before making a purchase, you can check out some of our helpful related reading below: