Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Taking Off and Measurements in the Construction Industry

Your Complete Beginners’ Guide from My Build Estimate

Among our number of core values here at My Build Estimate, we pride ourselves on delivering a no-nonsense, no-hassle, plain English service from first to last.

Yet even we have to admit, that there are times when using certain industry terms is simply unavoidable.

There’s a good reason for this too:

Phrases like Quantity Take Offs, taking off, bill of quantities, and tendering are all terms that are usually well understood across the board.

So, when we use them, it's to ensure that we're really speaking your language when it comes to working with you on your cost estimates.

That being said, if you're new to the industry, or if you're a self-builder or home renovator navigating your way through construction project planning for the first time, we understand that not all of these terms will be all that familiar.

That's where today's guide comes into play.

Here, My Build Estimate's expert cost consultants offer our take on everything you could possibly need to know about take offs and measurements.


What Does Taking Off Mean in the Construction Industry?

When we talk about taking off, what we are really talking about is a process used by Estimators to determine not only all the materials needed to successfully complete a project, but the exact quantity and measurements of each individual element.

As such, you might also hear the terms “material take off” or “quantity take off.” In terms of the work we do here at My Build Estimate, it’s worth noting that these are essentially the same thing.


How Does the Take Off Process work?

Your Estimator goes through drawings, and any further information you provide, and systematically lists each and every component that will be required to complete a project.

When we say 'every,' we really do mean it.

From the largest sheet materials to the smallest little detail, everything is accounted for and forms the basis of what we call the Taking Off List.

Depending on the size of the project, this list is then used to create one of two documents:

  1. Bill of Quantities
  2. Schedule of works

We'll discuss both of these in more detail below.


What Are Measurements Taken?

Materials featured on the Taking Off List are measured on larger projects.  Depending on what the item is, this could be by:

  • Area
  • Length
  • Weight

Once everything has been accurately measured and double-checked, it is added to a new list which we refer to as a Bill of Quantities.


What is a Bill of Quantities Used For?

A Bill of Quantities is used on larger projects to solicit tenders from suppliers for all the items needed to complete that project.

Since the Bill of Quantities is issued to all tenderers, it ensures an accurate and fair system, as each one will be bidding based on the same quantities, rather than working out their own quantities directly from drawings and floor plans.

For smaller projects that don't need this kind of in-depth tendering process, Taking Off is often used to complete a schedule of materials.


What is a Schedule of Materials?

In a nutshell, this outlines all the materials that are required to complete a project, and can be used to calculate quantities, determine at which stage of the project said materials are needed, and identify special order items.

These are often placed on their own schedule, along with a materials list in build stage, all of which are provided as part of our complete service.

Order your comprehensive, cost-effective Take Off service from My Build Estimate online today, or talk to our dedicated team now on 03304 048 526.


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