Before drywall contractors can start a project, they must first win the bid. This means putting together a construction takeoff that outlines the types and quantities of the materials they will need to complete it.
This way, they can effectively estimate the amount of drywall and related materials they will need, so they can carefully outline the costs and requirements.
This is where construction takeoff software designed specifically with Drywallers in mind comes in.
These tools allow drywallers to put together accurate estimates quickly. They also help them to accurately work out square footage and surface areas, taking a lot of the labor-intensive work out of putting together an estimate.
But if you’ve never used (or perhaps even heard of) drywall takeoff software before, you might not know how to get started and how to find the right platform.
That’s where we come in. Below, we’ve put together a guide on how to choose the most effective drywall takeoff software for your business.
For those unfamiliar with these tools, let’s first look at what drywall takeoff software is. Essentially, this is a computer or cloud-based application that counts and measures the materials and labor required for a drywall project.
It does so by allowing plasterers and drywall contractors to upload digital blueprints and literally ‘take off’ or extract the quantities and materials required for a project. This information is then used to estimate costs and put together accurate bids.
And it’s not just about working out how many sheets of drywall you need. These softwares also allow professionals to calculate all the materials involved, such as quantities of mud and beading. This makes creating drywall takeoffs much faster and simpler than doing it manually.
But with a number of great platforms out there, how do you know which drywall takeoff software you should choose?
Let us tell you.
First and foremost, you need to understand your goals and what you hope to achieve by implementing drywall takeoff software in your business. For example, you might be aiming to:
• Reduce the time spent putting together estimates after work hours
• Make one particular area of your estimating process more efficient
• Increase the number of projects you bid for and, therefore, win
By clearly defining your goals, you’ll begin to get a better understanding of what it is you want and expect from your drywall takeoff software. This will make it much easier to do your research and find the right one.
Because these tools vary between computer and cloud-based, you need to determine who will be using the software most and how they do this. So, for instance, do you plan to use the software whilst out on site or from remote locations? Or perhaps you have a dedicated employee who will be working from the office?
Once you’ve decided on the level of mobility you will need from your drywall takeoff software, this should help narrow down whether you want a computer or cloud-based platform.
The next step to finding your ideal drywall takeoff software is to do some research and see what’s out there. This way, you can begin to get a feel for the most popular providers and the features that these tools can offer.
At this stage, you’re just getting to grips with what’s out there, so don’t rush the decision or put pressure on yourself to choose at this point. Just get familiar with some of the biggest platforms out there, as these will give you a good starting point. These might include:
• ConX Measure
• On Center
• Estimating Edge
• Square Takeoff
Not all drywall takeoff software is created equally. Some will specialize in one or two particular aspects of the takeoff process, where others might offer all-round estimating functionality.
Some of the key features you might want to look out for include:
• Access to trade-specific databases
• One-click or click and drag functionality
• Integration with other platforms such as Excel, Xero, and Quickbooks
• Smart quoting tools
• Analytics and reporting
• Training options and customer support
This is a very basic and generic overview of the types of features you might need, but if you sit and make a list of what you want from your software, you’ll be better equipped to find the perfect tool for your business.
We have mentioned some of the top drywall takeoff software providers above, but before you settle for your chosen platform, you should definitely make the most of the free trials!
It is pretty standard in the industry to offer at least a 14-day free trial, though unfortunately, not every platform does. Some of the top drywall takeoff software that offers a free trial include Conx Measure, PlanSwift, SquareTakeoff, On Center and eTakeoff.
So make the most of these trials to see how you get on with the platform and whether it has all the features and functionality you need for your business.
Finally, once you’ve trialed a platform or two, you might have narrowed it down to a shortlist of potential drywall takeoff softwares. In this case, you need to make a quick price comparison to see which of these fit within your budget.
You should also look at the different payment options. For example, some allow you to pay monthly, while others ask for one annual upfront payment. So which platform you choose will also depend on your financial situation and what payment options work best for your business.
Taking all of this into account and following the six steps we’ve outlined above, you should now be able to make a more informed decision about which drywall takeoff software is going to be best for your business.
And if you’d like to know more about the different types of construction takeoff software out there, you can check out some of our related reading below.