What are quantity takeoff services?

Quantity takeoff services, often referred to as “takeoff” or “quantity surveying,” are a crucial aspect of construction and project estimation in the fields of architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC). These services involve the detailed measurement and quantification of materials, labor, and other resources needed to complete a construction project. The goal of quantity takeoff services is to provide accurate and comprehensive cost estimates, project scheduling, and resource allocation. 

Key components of quantity takeoff services include: 

  1. Material Quantification: This involves identifying and quantifying the types and quantities of construction materials required for a project. This includes everything from concrete, steel, and lumber to electrical wiring, plumbing fixtures, and finishes like paint and flooring. 
  1. Labor Estimation: Quantity takeoff services assess the labor required for the project. This includes skilled trades like carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and general labor. Labor costs are estimated based on the time and effort required to complete different aspects of the project. 
  1. Equipment and Machinery: These services may also account for the equipment and machinery necessary for construction, such as cranes, bulldozers, and concrete mixers. The quantity and duration of equipment usage are considered in the estimate. 
  1. Subcontractor Costs: For larger projects, subcontractors may be employed for specialized tasks like electrical work, plumbing, or HVAC installation. Quantity takeoff services help determine the costs associated with subcontracted work. 
  1. Waste and Contingency: Estimators consider potential waste, such as materials lost due to cutting or breakage, and contingency allowances to account for unforeseen circumstances or changes in the project scope. 
  1. Project Schedule: While not the primary focus, quantity takeoff services may also include scheduling elements to estimate the duration of the project, including the time required for each task or phase. 
  1. Cost Estimation: The final output of quantity takeoff services is a comprehensive cost estimate, typically presented as a detailed breakdown of costs for materials, labor, equipment, subcontractors, overhead, and profit. This estimate forms the basis for budgeting and financial planning for the project. 
  1. Bidding and Procurement: The cost estimates generated through quantity takeoff services are often used for bidding and procurement processes. Contractors and subcontractors submit competitive bids based on these estimates. 
  1. Value Engineering: Quantity takeoff services can help identify opportunities to reduce costs or optimize resource utilization without compromising project quality. 

Quantity takeoff services are vital in construction project management, cost control, and procurement. They help ensure that projects are budgeted accurately, that resources are allocated efficiently, and that bids are competitive and reflective of the actual project scope. Additionally, quantity takeoff services are valuable in managing project risks and facilitating the decision-making process, such as whether to proceed with a construction project based on cost estimates and resource availability.