White Papers

Takeoff and Estimating for Home Builders

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WWW.ONCENTER.COM O N - SCR EEN TA K EO FF A N D Q UICK BID FO R H O ME BUILD ER S 2 Page B efore digital automation te chnologie s, the tools use d for take of f a nd e stimating c onsiste d of the rolling line a r sc ale, c olore d pe ncils, highlighte r s, le dge r pads, a nd c alculator s. A s pe r sonal c ompute r s be c a me c ommon in busine s s, in the '8 0 s a nd ' 9 0 s, e stimator s re plac e d their c alculator s a nd ac c ounting books with ele c tronic sp re adshe ets, digitize d blue p r ints, a nd spe cialize d for mula s. Some e stimator s, howeve r, still use the old-school tools to pe r for m take of f s ma nually to ge ne rate e duc ate d c ost "gue s stimate s" that eve ntually make their way into bid package s. Ma nual proc e s se s wor k whe n p re pa re d by a ma ste r but they a re both time - a nd labor-inte nsive a nd prone to huma n e r ror. O ne bad numbe r c a n r uin a n e ntire bid. Estimator s spe nd too ma ny hour s meticulously c ombing through p r inte d drawings sp re ad out ove r a table to tabulate produc t c ounts. Fur the r c omplic ating the p roc e s s a re multiple cha nge orde r s a nd re que sts for alte r native s dur ing both de sign a nd build, a s well a s the inevitable deviations from the "de sign inte nt " whe re the ac tual developme nt a nd imple me ntation pla ns of the trade s dif fe r. It take s signif ic a nt time a nd sk ill to dete r mine c or re c t mate r ial value s due to cha nge s, discre pa ncie s, a nd unique c onditions. Dete c ting, ma naging, a nd re c onciling c onf lic ts a re inte nse ta sks whe n pe r for me d ma nually. T he e stimator must sif t through ma r ke d-up pape r pla ns a nd previous e stimate s to wor k up a cha nge or develop a n alte r native a nd inc or porate it into a revise d budget. Eve n small cha nge s cre ate a time burde n that adds to the c ost of p roje c ts—a nd e ats away at p rof its. On Ce nte r orga nize s its take of f a nd e stimating sof t wa re to mir ror tr ie d a nd tr ue ma nual p roc e s se s. A lte r nate s a nd cha nge orde r s a re digitally orga nize d in tabs, which allow you to e a sily se e the sc ope of wor k cha nge s a nd the e stimate d de sign cha nge s that af fe c t the existing bid. Manual processes are inef ficient and costly

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