Choosing the right method to do a construction takeoff

When it comes to completing a great construction takeoff and estimate, the first thing you need to look at is the platform you are using. In today’s industry, there are many different solutions out there, from traditional by hand methods to the latest online takeoff™ and estimating software. Not all takeoff software is created equal. From older desktop windows based solutions to the new wave of online and mobile-friendly software, be sure of the solution you select, that decision will provide you with the greatest success.

Whether you are doing a residential or commercial takeoff, deciding to use a software solution can provide you with the greatest return on your investment and will help you reach your end goal is half the time. In addition, time after time using a piece of technology has continuously proven to help with the elimination of costly human-driven errors.

With a solution, such as Square Takeoff, you will have the opportunity to ensure your measurements are always correct and with its many collaborative features, everyone on the job will stay 100% informed. Here are just a few things our clients have had to say.

Best Investment I Have Made For My Business!
“I’ve already won several large bids, thanks to the program! Before SquareTakeoff I was bidding “down and dirty” trying to come up with the perfect number per square foot. Occasionally I would get a job but I would leave money on the table because my numbers were so skewed. Since using SquareTakeoff I can now know exactly my costs and also show my clients that I have included everything in my bid. Now I have peace of mind submitting my bid (no more nail biters!) and I don’t have to worry if I am going to short myself or look ridiculous because I have bid too high. It’s a win-win for me! Thank you SquareTakeoff for the AMAZING job you’re doing! I couldn’t do it without y’all!”
Jennifer Holbrook, New Color Painting LLC

Outstanding Software and Support
“As one of the largest lumber retail companies in the industry, we always work to stay up with new technology trends to ensure we provide our clients with the most accurate estimate for their construction projects. We were looking for a leader in the industry that could provide us with a stable software that would be able to meet our daily demands. The software and the Team at Square Takeoff have gone above and beyond meeting every need and has helped us achieve the goals we have set forth as a company. Keep up the great work.”
Estimating Department, 84 Lumber Company


Project Estimated Using Square Takeoff

Percentage of home buying interest down in 2019 from 2018

Percentage of home buying interest down in 2019 from 2018

In a recent article posted by the NAHB, they found that the average percentage of adults who reportedly have plans to purchase a home within a year has declined from 17% in 2018 during the first quarter to 13% for 2019. With this being reported as the second consecutive year-over-year drop, and could be contributed to the deterioration in the affordability of today’s housing market.

Some of the other items detailed in the Housing Trends Report (HTR)

 shows that a majority of the adults looking to purchase a home within a year are Millennials who make up 20% of the market, with Generation X following behind with 15%. Interestingly they found an increase in first time homebuyers from 54% for 2018 to 60% for 2019. With 77% of those, being made up of Millennials.

It also detailed how geographically there was a higher number of buyers planning a home purchase from the south (16%) versus other regions of the country.  Lastly, the data showed that these prospective homebuyers preferred to buy and existing home (41%) versus building a home (22%), with the remaining buyers (38%) open to either option.

In closing, today’s market is seeing a prospective decrease in buyers interest in entering the purchasing market over the next year compared to last year, however the increase in Millennials to the market is a continued move in the right direction. What will the results of the second quarter be? Time will tell. Hopefully, the market will start to see a balance in the affordability of today’s available housing to help drive the interest up in today prospective buyers.

Takeoff and estimating software for concrete contractors

Are you looking for a tool that will help you improve your process for completing a concrete takeoff? How about an easier and quicker way to estimate the concrete, labor and equipment you need for your next construction job? Well if so, you have come to the right place.  

We designed Square Takeoff™, our Online Takeoff™ and Estimating software with your needs in mind. Whether you are looking to just simply calculate the total Cubic Yards of concrete to the rebar and accessories, all the way down to the labor hours to complete it, we are here to help.  

Square Takeoff provides you with easy to use digital takeoff tools to speed up the time it takes to calculate a concrete foundation by hand. Saving you a ton of valuable time. Because above all we understand that time is money. But, don’t worry the tools don’t stop there. Square Takeoff also provides you with an estimating tool that will allow you to calculate anything from material quantities to material price, labor and everything in between. As we like to say around here, if you can do it by hand, you can do it with Square Takeoff.  

Concrete Construction Cloud Takeoff Software

We also offer other tools to help you improve your daily tasks. From our Bid Management Tool, which helps you keep track of those bid due and project start dates, to our project sharing tool, that will ensure all team members are on the same page. We work hard to ensure that our software meets the demands of your trade with tools that make your job easier.  

If you would like to take Square Takeoff for a spin yourself then today’s the day to start saving valuable time and money. Sign-up now for our FREE 14-Day Trial.  

And as always Happy Bidding!! 

What construction takeoff and estimating software is right for your business

Construction takeoff and estimating software enables you calculate sundry costs (materials, equipment, labor, etc.) for upcoming projects, and submit formal bid offers to prospective clients. The software just requires you to input the required parameters and does the complex calculations. You just have to compile projected costs, thus saving your precious time and equipping you to forward more accurate bids.

When you begin the process of looking for the right software, you’ll find a bevy of products. You need to determine which of these products will do what you need and help your team do business your way.

1. How easy is the software to handle?

Ease of navigation is a core requirement of takeoff software. The product should have clean and visually appealing interface that makes navigation like sailing through space. Your team should require minimal assistance from support guides or tutorials when it comes to understanding the navigation. Importing blueprint images and creating cost sheets has to be an easy process. An ideal program will let you efficiently create scales and takeoffs, and compose an official bid.

2. How efficient it is when generating an estimate?

Essential estimating features include the ability to do instant takeoffs of materials from the estimate and alter single item costs to view speculative estimates. You need to take into account the variety of estimate generating tools on a program. Advanced features include the ability to merge multiple bids into a single estimate. Make it a point to get a program that allows generating estimates using uploaded blueprints that are editable.

3. Does the project work in conjunction with project management software?

Once your bid is accepted by client and work begins, you should be able to keep track of costs during construction. You can do this by bringing in project management software in the loop, thus keeping your expenses close to the original estimate. Using both the software in tandem will enable you to take of stock of available material and get alerted if certain aspects of the projects have exceeded the original estimate.

4. Is help available?

Regardless of the ease of learning curve, construction takeoff software can be complicated to operate. Ready help such as tutorial material should be available. Inquire if they’re offering 24/7 support via phone or live chat. Some companies put up extensive training materials on their websites. Find if they’re hosting remote seminars or in-person training classes, and whether joining these will require you to pay a fee.

5. Does software integrate with Excel and QuickBooks?

There’ll be times when you need to integrate your takeoff software with programs like Excel and QuickBooks. You need to have a look at the program’s compatibility with the business software used at your company. If you’ve been using spreadsheets a lot when estimating, you’ll like to seamlessly import these files into the program and be able to work into them.

6. How is software useful once the client has accepted the bid and project is underway?

Ideal software should act as a repository of sorts.  It should facilitate keeping all job files associated with that particular job.  As the job changes, and it always does, the entire team can see any time what is changing and what modifications are being made (new plan pages imported). Ability to place notes on pages allows for better collaboration (“please verify if door opening is correct, will this door swing interfere with that opening?”).

A takeoff & estimation software could be considered a ‘hub’ of information.  Cloud-based software allows for near real time viewing as compared to desktop solutions that need to have the file emailed again and again.

7. Can you access the software on different devices?

Make sure the product you finally pick works well on different platforms. Your staff should be able to access software, regardless of the device they’re using. For instance, if some of them are using tablets and others smartphones, they should have no problem working with the software.

Summing Up

Your choice of construction takeoff and estimating software is set to be a major aspect of the bidding processes, impacting your bottom-line. It’s important you do adequate research of software and zero in on one that is most likely to give value for your money.

How you can take your construction business to next level with augmented reality

A construction site scenario: As your truck comes to a screeching halt at the jobsite, you get out putting on your glasses and uttering, “last week report.” A display appears in front of your eyes, putting up all items that were part of the report sought. Glancing at the report, you inspect the site, taking the photos of newly installed structure or plumbing work and comparing them with the older photos of those areas to see the difference. You are able to do it all without lifting a finger, just with a voice command.

Another scenario: Someone wants to find how an apartment will look once it is complete. They can use certain interactive app on their smartphone to view the apartment and the tower in 3D from every angle. Outcome of technology is powerful visualization of the project that is still in making.

This is Augmented Reality (AR) for you!

Construction business is one of those few verticals that are closely linked with technology. IOT (Internet of Things), robots, and automation – all these tools have done their bit for boosting productivity and efficiency in the vertical, while bringing down costs. AR is the latest technology to knock onto construction sites.

AR involves enhancement or augmentation of real-world environments, by superimposing virtual computer-generated images or holograms onto a physical space through special headsets, tablets or smartphones. Peripherals such as Microsoft’s HoloLens help accomplish hands-free use, enabling you to access information while continuing work.

Here is how AR can help you become even more efficient:

Geo-locate objects that are physically not there

AR technology facilitates geo-locating objects and structures that have not yet been installed on the site, but will come up later. You can use AR to ‘see’ hidden elements like cables, underground pipes, and ducts hidden behind a wall, thus finding their exact position.

Help user visualize the finished product on-site

You deploy AR technology for mapping the prospect’s exact location on the site using GPS technology and overlaying BIM (Building Information Modeling) information, thus setting up the user to view the functional model of the project. They are able to ‘see’ functional project and compare it with the current progress. Prospect will have exact information where columns and foundations will be placed, and how will the whole structure look like. 

Construction companies are increasingly using this technique to engage prospects early on and avoid costly fixes later. Minneapolis-based construction firm Mortensen has been an early adopter of this technology.

Gain enhanced functionality

AR ensures optimum functionality of the construction. For example, the technology has been successfully used in a hospital construction project for ensuring the hallways were broad enough for a stretchered patient to be moved through with ease. Fixtures in various hospital rooms were positioned optimally for healthcare professionals. This resulted in a welcome situation for hospitals as well as patients.

Make workers more productive

You can equip workers with AR glasses, thus setting aside the need of constantly consulting a laptop or instruction manual. Voice-activated controls and hands-free headsets enable workers to call up diagrams and assembly videos while continuing work, thus beefing up production.

Promote quality control

AR can be effectively turned as a means of quality control. Clicking a photo of the product and comparing it to technical drawings helps in ensuring work was done as stipulated and measurements kept to specified parameters. You can also use AR to ensure workers have all the materials and tools required for completing a task to perfection.

Train employees

AR is an effective tool for walking workers through construction process as a whole and their particular role, thus acting as a useful training tool for new employees as well as upgrading skillset of existing workers. Technology provides them visual cues for operating machinery and assembling products.

Increase Safety

You cannot undermine safety in construction project, can you? Using AR equipment makes it safer for workers on real jobsites with all sorts of hazards. Walking to a specific area of construction with a safety checklist on an AR peripheral certainly assures your workers better.

Summing Up

In a hyper-competitive business environment, technology can help you thrive. Integrating AR, you can enhance your operational ability and boost sales. As the technology becomes better, the ROI is sure to augment.

Takeoff and estimating software for framing contractors

Are you looking for a tool that will help you improve your process for completing a framing takeoff? How about an easier and quicker way to estimate the framing material, labor and equipment you need for your next construction job? Well if so, you have come to the right place.  

We designed Square Takeoff™, our Online Takeoff™ and Estimating software with your needs in mind. Whether you are looking to just simply calculate the total LF of your walls or do the entire process of calculating every stud, plate, joist and rafter, all the way down to the labor hours to complete it, we are here to help.  

Square Takeoff provides you with easy to use digital takeoff tools, such as the Joist and Rafter Tool, to speed up the time it takes to calculate a floor or stick framed roof system by hand. Saving you a ton of valuable time. Because above all we understand that time is money. But, don’t worry the tools don’t stop there. Square Takeoff also provides you with an estimating tool that will allow you to calculate anything from material quantities to material price, labor and everything in between. As we like to say around here, if you can do it by hand, you can do it with Square Takeoff.  

We also offer other tools to help you improve your daily tasks. From our Bid Management Tool, which helps you keep track of those bid due and project start dates, to our project sharing tool, that will ensure all team members are on the same page. We work hard to ensure that our software meets the demands of your trade with tools that make your job easier.  

If you would like to take Square Takeoff for a spin yourself then today’s the day to start saving valuable time and money. Sign-up now for our FREE 14-Day Trial.  

And as always Happy Bidding!! 

Takeoff and estimating software for flooring contractors

Carpet and Hardwood Flooring Construction Cloud Takeoff Software

Are you looking for a tool that will help you improve your construction estimating and bid process? How about an easier and quicker way to estimate the flooring material, labor and equipment you need for your next construction job? Well if so, you have come to the right place.  

We designed Square Takeoff™, our Online Takeoff™ and Estimating software with your needs in mind. Whether you are looking to just simply calculate the total surface area of your floors or do the entire process of calculating every piece of tile or hardwood flooring, all the way down to the labor hours to complete it, we are here to help.  

Square Takeoff provides you with easy to use digital takeoff tools, such as the Area Tool, to measure anything you would normally measure by hand. Saving you a ton of valuable time. Because above all we understand that time is money. But, don’t worry the tools don’t stop there. Square Takeoff also provides you with an estimating tool that will allow you to calculate anything from material quantities to material price, labor and everything in between. As we like to say around here, if you can do it by hand, you can do it with Square Takeoff.  

We also offer other tools to help you improve your daily tasks. From our Bid Management Tool, which helps you keep track of those bid due and project start dates, to our project sharing tool, that will ensure all team members are on the same page. We work hard to ensure that our software meets the demands of your trade with tools that make your job easier.  

If you would like to take Square Takeoff for a spin yourself then today’s the day to start saving valuable time and money. Sign-up now for our FREE 14-Day Trial.  

And as always Happy Bidding!! 

Builders confidence in the market on the rise in january 2019

Residential Home Under Construction

With the assistance of the decline in mortgage rates the National Association of Home Builders is reporting un uptick in builder confidence in the new year. This month the market saw a rise of 2 points for newly-built single-family homes on the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). 

This is a positive move into the new year after reports of a 4-point decrease in the month December 2018.  

“Builders need to continue to manage rising construction costs to keep home prices affordable, particularly for young buyers at the entry-level of the market,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Lower interest rates that peaked around 5% in mid-November and have since fallen to just below 4.5% will help the housing market continue to grow at a modest clip as we enter the new year.” 

However, there was some downside to the news. 

With housing and permit Census figures delayed from being released on Jan. 17, due to the government shutdown, the data is strictly only an estimate. The NAHB anticipates that the December Census data would show that single-family starts ended the year totaling 876,000 units, which would mark a 3% gain over the 2017 total of 848,900. The sales during the fourth quarter of 2018 however has left new home inventories elevated in some markets. 

With 2018 in the past, hopefully 2019 will see growth of 3% or more over the 2018 year with a balance between new home starts and home inventories. 

Takeoff and estimating software for electrical contractors

Are you looking for a tool that will help you improve your next electrical estimate? How about an easier and quicker way to estimate the electrical material, labor and equipment you need for your next construction job? Well if so, you have come to the right place.  

We designed Square Takeoff™, our Online Takeoff™ and Estimating software with your needs in mind. Whether you are looking to just simply count the number of electrical switches and outlets or do the entire process of calculating every total length of wire runs, every switch, outlet, or panel, all the way down to the labor hours to wire it, we are here to help.  

Square Takeoff provides you with easy to use digital takeoff tools, such as the Count Tool, to measure anything you would normally measure by hand. Saving you a ton of valuable time. Because above all we understand that time is money. But, don’t worry the tools don’t stop there. Square Takeoff also provides you with an estimating tool that will allow you to calculate anything from material quantities to material price, labor and everything in between. As we like to say around here, if you can do it by hand, you can do it with Square Takeoff.  

We also offer other tools to help you improve your daily tasks. From our Bid Management Tool, which helps you keep track of those bid due and project start dates, to our project sharing tool, that will ensure all team members are on the same page. We work hard to ensure that our software meets the demands of your trade with tools that make your job easier.  

If you would like to try Square Takeoff for yourself then today’s the day to start saving valuable time and money. Sign-up now for our FREE 14-Day Trial.  

To see how this software can positively impact your business we always like to provide you with a free demo of our product. So, take advantage today and let your business takeoff. 

And as always Happy Bidding!!

Electrical Construction Cloud Takeoff Software

Takeoff and Estimating Software For Electrical Contractors 

Takeoff and estimating software for painting contractors

Takeoff and Estimating Software For Painting Contractors  Takeoff and Estimating Software For Painting Contractors 

Are you looking for a tool that will help you improve and speed up your next painting estimate? How about an easier and quicker way to estimate the paint material, labor and equipment you need for your next construction job? Well if so, you have come to the right place.  

We designed Square Takeoff™, our Online Takeoff™ and Estimating software with your needs in mind. Whether you are looking to just simply calculate the total surface area of your walls and ceiling or do the entire process of calculating every gallon of paint, all the way down to the labor hours to paint it, we are here to help.  

Square Takeoff provides you with easy to use digital takeoff tools, such as the Area Tool, to measure anything you would normally measure by hand. Saving you a ton of valuable time. Because above all we understand that time is money. But, don’t worry the tools don’t stop there. Square Takeoff also provides you with an estimating tool that will allow you to calculate anything from material quantities to material price, labor and everything in between. As we like to say around here, if you can do it by hand, you can do it with Square Takeoff.  

We also offer other tools to help you improve your daily tasks. From our Bid Management Tool, which helps you keep track of those bid due and project start dates, to our project sharing tool, that will ensure all team members are on the same page. We work hard to ensure that our software meets the demands of your trade with tools that make your job easier.  

If you would like to try Square Takeoff for yourself then today’s the day to start saving valuable time and money. Sign-up now for our FREE 14-Day Trial.  

To see how this software can positively impact your business we always like to provide you with a free demo of our product. So, take advantage today and let your business takeoff. 

And as always Happy Bidding!!

Online takeoffs require zero paper

Online Takeoffs Need Zero Paper 

Blueprinting is an outdated practice and has been around for almost two centuries. Today, working with and viewing construction blueprints can be achieved using online takeoff™ software. Contractors can view plans, share, collaborate, measure areas and lengths, and markup plans on any computer or mobile device, without ever printing a single page.  

Products like Square Takeoff™ offer other aspects as well. With additional aspects such as a built-in estimating software, you can complete measurements in half the time and then calculate material quantities needed for the project. For example, by digitally clicking around a blue-print plan onscreen and measuring an exterior wall, you can instantly calculate the framing material along with the exterior finishes all at the same time! You are even able to estimate the material cost and labor that is needed. 

In turn, this allows you to determine the cost of a job, and then bid on the project. It reduces miscalculations and helps you avoid over or under bidding a job. Ensuring a higher bid win ratio.  

ROI on Takeoff Software vs Cost of Paper Plans 

 Most estimating and takeoff software costs around $1000 to $1500, that initial software investment seems larger than the $4 cost of printing a single blueprint page. However, the software will quickly pay for itself by eliminating printing needs and improving the speed and accuracy of estimating jobs. Here is a simple example that illustrates how quickly this software could pay for itself: 


 Let’s say your construction company bids on 25 jobs a year. For each job, you print 3 copies of a 20-page blueprint. At a nationwide average cost of $4 per page to print, you are looking at $6,000 in expense just for blueprints. Within the first 5 jobs, this software has already paid for itself; job 6 and all the rest are straight profit.    


 Let’s say your construction company bids on 25 jobs a year. For each job, you print 3 copies of a 20-page blueprint. At a nationwide average cost of $4 per page to print, you are looking at $6,000 in expense just for blueprints. Within the first 5 jobs, this software has already paid for itself; job 6 and all the rest are straight profit.    

25 Jobs per Year * 3 Copies * 20 Pages per Print * $4 per Page = Total Cost Of $6000 

Reasons for Using Construction Software 

One of the best sayings in the construction industry is “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It is often tough to make the change to something new. Even though companies were built on the foundation of techniques and tools that have shaped this industry, change can drive innovation and innovation will allow those processes and tools to evolve. Growing up in this industry, with a hammer in my hand, I watched some of the longtime veterans of our industry frown on the use of pneumatic nail guns. Nevertheless, by making that change, the time it took to frame a home or shingle a roof was cut in half. Takeoff and Estimating Technology is here to do the same. I have always followed the motto “work smarter, not harder” and with such great advancements in tech, your estimating techniques can evolve into an even better and proficient process.   

So, what is holding you back? 

Want to look at how technology could help take your business to the next level?  If so, sign up for your FREE 14-Day Trial of Square Takeoff. One of our Reps are standing by to show you how to get started. 

Takeoff and estimating software for drywall contractors

Are you looking for a tool that will help you improve your bidding process? How about an easier and quicker way to estimating the drywall material, labor and equipment you need for your next project? Well if so, you have come to the right place.  

We designed Square Takeoff™, our Online Takeoff™ and Estimating software with your needs in mind. Whether you are looking to just simply calculate the total surface area of your walls and ceiling or do the entire process of calculating every piece of material from the sheetrock to the mud all the way down to the labor hours to complete it, we are here to help.  

Square Takeoff provides you with easy to use digital takeoff tools, such as the Area Tool, to measure anything you would normally measure by hand. Saving you a ton of valuable time. Because above all we understand that time is money. But, don’t worry the tools don’t stop there. Square Takeoff also provides you with an estimating tool that will allow you to calculate anything from material quantities to material price and everything in between. As we like to say around here, if you can do it by hand, you can do it with Square Takeoff.  

We also offer other tools to help you improve your daily tasks. From our Bid Management Tool, which helps you keep track of those bid due and project start dates, to our project sharing tool, that will ensure all team members are on the same page. We work hard to ensure that our software meets the demands of your trade with tools that make your job easier.  

If you would like to try Square Takeoff for yourself then today’s the day you start saving valuable time and money. Sign-up now for our FREE 14-Day Trial.  

To see how this software can positively impact your business we always like to provide you with a free demo of our product. So, take advantage today and let your business takeoff. 

And as always Happy Bidding!!

Retailers rush to beat the upcoming increase in tariffs

As Retailers throughout the nation rush to beat the upcoming tariffs proposed by the government on goods imported by China, container ports, that are tracked using Global Port Tracker, have set another new record, reaching 2 million containers in a single month for the first time.  

October marked the highest for a single month, topping the previous record of 1.9 million set in July, which in turn had beat a record of 1.83 million containers set in August 2017. 

November was estimated at 2.01 million containers, a 14% year-over-year increase that would have been a new record if not for the October number.  

December which is a historically slow month with holiday merchandise already on the shelves, is forecasted at 1.83 million, up 6.1% from last year. Those numbers would bring 2018 to a total of 21.8 million, an increase of 6.5% over last year’s record 20.5 million. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF). 

But the NRF said year-over-year growth rates and total volume are expected to slow considerably in January, when 10% tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese products that took effect in September had been scheduled to increase to 25%. 

Trump recently announced, after a meeting with Chinese President Xi, that the increase – and a threat to impose tariffs on all Chinese products – has been put on hold while the two countries conduct 90 days of negotiations. Still with possible tariffs increases on the horizon, retailers will push to ensure a profit throughout the upcoming quarters of next year.  

Have Tariffs affected your business? If so let us know. Drop us a message at marketing@squaretakeoff.com

7 Ways to make your construction estimates more accurate

Calculating an accurate project estimate is one of the toughest challenges in the construction process. If it is too high, your competitor may be awarded the bid. If it is too low, you may have little chance of earning any profits from the bid. 

This keeps construction companies on their toes trying to arrive at the correct estimate in the most accurate way possible. 

The Process 

Before you send in an estimate, you need to research any cost you may incur while developing the project. Generally, you would apply a markup to this figure and inform the customer of the final amount. 

Your objective is to ensure that the final payable amount and the pre-construction estimate are almost the same. 

Moreover, you need to do these calculations as soon as possible. If you do not, expect your competitors to be the early bidders. 

Here are seven ways to make your construction estimates more accurate:  

Choice of Software 

Choosing the right software is important when it comes to determining an accurate bid.  Cloud-based software with an array of necessary features help you arrive at the right figure. 

Every solution available on the market is different. Get one that meets your work requirements and most importantly your needs. 

Choice of Estimator  

The work approach of an estimator invariably affects estimating. Estimating is a complex process and anyone not really accustomed to it, will struggle at it. Select someone who knows construction management and has the ability to learn about estimating software. An estimator who knows the job of everyone working on the project is well aware of the advantages and the limitations of the software would be in the right position to handle it. 

Bottom-Up Estimating 

For optimum accuracy, keep people who will be responsible for the project, in the loop. Promote an environment where the staff is under no pressure to commit to unrealistic figures for securing a bid. Honest input regarding estimates and a reliable software solution are keys to accurate figures. 

Proper Gathering of Requirements 

Instruct your project managers to interview clients in detail, to communicate all relevant information.  If the client themselves are unaware of the specifics, past projects may be a good source of getting requirements. 

Values in Opposite & Extreme Ranges 

It will be helpful for estimators to develop a variety of values for optimistic, nominal and pessimistic estimates. When negotiating the contract, this provides estimators with a clear insight regarding the acceptable figures. 

Constant Communication 

In a construction project, various parts and areas of a company function in tandem. Estimators need to have continual communication with people working in different departments. 

Expertise of Finance & Legal Experts 

Apart from the core construction work, it is important to seek advice from finance and legal fields. A legal expert, for instance, can provide estimators with information regarding possible repercussions in a case of incorrect estimation and/if the final payable amount differs. 

Faa regulatory delays the expansion of drone usage

Drones are a still-emerging and fast-evolving technology, so it’s perhaps not surprising that federal regulations have been slow to respond. The FAA released its final small commercial drone rules in 2016, eliminating the need for companies to seek approval for each flight or to hire a licensed pilot. Per these requirements, drones must weigh less than 55 pounds, be equipped with anti-collision lights, fly below 400 feet and under 100 mph in daylight hours only.

Although this is a drastic improvement compared to the ambiguous guidance that came before, operators still must get the FAA’s approval to fly at night and over most people, as well as keep the drone in their line of sight while in use. And with commercial drone use surging 239% in the past year, according to a DroneDeploy report, it’s even more important that federal guidance evolve to meet demand.

The FAA could propose standard regulations for drone use over crowds and populated areas, such as urban construction sites, as soon as this month, WSJ reported, but experts speculate that identification rules will come first.

“The pilot community questions whether a complex airborne identification system is more urgent than unlocking basic value by enabling overflight of people, flight beyond-line-of-sight, or night flying,” Dan Burton, CEO and founder of drone services provider DroneBase told Construction Dive. Although FAA priorities could use reshuffling, the agency’s rollout of the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) has helped standardize and expand the use of drones in construction, he said.

LAANC automates the approval process for drone flights in controlled airspace and is available near roughly 500 airports across the country. “Before the program, [manual approvals] took more than 90 days, effectively preventing drones to fly in 30% of all U.S. airspace,” Burton said. With 99% of U.S. airspace now accessible to drones, he said, “construction companies can use drones across hundreds of worksites to track progress in real-time.”

Importance of industry trade shows

Whether you’re an architect, a project manager, or a general contractor, business-to-business trade shows and conferences are one of the best resources available to you. With events all year round and in cities across the U.S. there are any number of shows suitable to your business and needs.


Exhibitors incur a great expense because there is great value in getting in front of their customers. However, there is also a great value in a being an attendee. Trade shows are the main stage where suppliers and customers come together to discuss the future of your business. They are among the best resources for discovering, sourcing, and comparing new products and services, and have become a key element in the purchasing process.


As an attendee, You are the reason exhibitors are there. With sometimes hundreds of companies exhibiting and vying for your attention, you control how you navigate your way through the myriad of products and services. Trade shows can also help develop greater confidence in your purchasing power.  Specifications can sometimes be a challenge, trade shows offer the opportunity to test drive many of the products and services that you need for your business so that you become more comfortable with investments. They also include seminars, panels, and workshops in their calendar of events. These are great tools for really honing in on a specific topics or services that are relevant and may lead you to new ways of thinking about your business.


As with any business, relationships are an important factor to building and growing and there is no better platform for networking than a trade show. You can rub elbows with suppliers to learn about what’s hot and what’s not, see what your competition is up to, become acquainted with new companies that can offer something you didn’t know you needed, meet colleagues and/or potential new customers, and just connect personally with others in your industry.


Lastly, trade shows can be a lot of fun. There will be a lot of energy buzzing around you as well as chances to cut loose and mingle with business associates. As you end your day walking the exhibition floor, you can look forward to attending dinner parties and use that time to strike up long and meaningful conversations without the hustle and the bustle of the show itself.


What I’ve covered so far is just the tip of the trade show iceberg. Much of your success will come with experience as an attendee as you become more familiar with the benefits of trade shows and how they apply to you. Of course you must consider the cost and time of attending these shows (ie: time away from the office, airfare, accommodations, food, and registration fees), but my goal here isn’t to discourage you but rather to share with you why attending these shows is worth your time and effort!

Come Join Us at this years International Builders Show in Las Vegas from February 19 – 21 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. We are in the South Hall at Booth SU1236. Need tickets to get in? Let us know. Hope to see you there.

Why square takeoff is the easiest construction online takeoff software on the market

Construction takeoff software is immensely helpful for achieving bid prices based on resource and labor costs, historical cost evaluations, cost reporting, other overhead, and the ability to manually adjust the bid price (along with a host of other features).

Cloud-based software, such as Square Takeoff, eliminates any need for a standalone product. Square Takeoff can be accessed at will from any Internet-enabled device.

Let’s see what makes Square Takeoff the easiest construction online takeoff™ software on the market:

 Simple Navigation

Ease of navigation allows users to complete takeoffs and bids quickly and with great accuracy. The navigation has been designed for the mindset and requirements of estimators. You are able to explore the tools available and move around with ease. Major menu items that are present, on the left, are Bid Management, Estimating, Reports, and User Management.

Bid Management: manage your multiple bids and takeoff process

Estimating: determine an estimate

Reports: filter reports of all types

User Management: manage various users within the company

Elimination of the Cost of Printing the Blueprint

A conventional takeoff requires the use of a blueprint. Before the construction even begins, blueprints are printed many times over and over by architects, project managers, engineers, contractors and building owners. An average reprographics shop generally gets about 35 to80 print requests a day for construction projects. For each request, the shop may print 1 to 300 blueprints, depending on the size of the project.

Going digital removes any need of printing. Construction companies are able to save costs associated with the printing and handling of paper.

Ultra Quick Calculations

Once a digital blueprint is uploaded, the mathematical calculations become as easy as just a few mouse clicks. With these quick clicks, you can do calculation of square footage, linear footage, and item counts.

 Google Maps Integration

Enter any address and Google Maps will display the digital map. Zoom in to display a specific location and then select it. The selected location is already scaled by the satellite, so there is no need to handle it manually.

Support to Several Digital Format

Square Takeoff enables you to work with a large variety of digital formats. This include popular ones like PDF, BMP, JPEG, and TIFF.

 Simple Uploading

With Square Takeoff, you can upload your files using one of two methods. You can browse to find the file(s) and then upload them, or simply drag and drop files onto the screen.

 Scaling

You may need to scale your digital blueprint once it has been uploaded. You can determine measurement on the basis of imperial or metric system.

Cloud-triggered Advantages

The cloud allows you to access the software from anywhere, at any place. For instance, while inspecting your job site, you can have a peek into your data and do an immediate calculation. You can calculate stuff like area, linear, and counts for all sorts of projects.

 Sharing of Bids/Data

The software enables you to share bids you are working on with other members of your team. You can also export data in HTML/Excel format.

 Identification of Takeoffs

Notes and colors facilitate for easy identification of takeoffs.

How to start a new project with square takeoff

Square Takeoff is the leading software solution when it comes to bid management. A state-of-the-art SAAS (software-as-a-service) solution, it enables you complete takeoffs in mere seconds. You can easily estimate project material, save valuable time and money, and access project information on any device.

Here’s how to start a new project with the software:

Click Here to View The Video 

Creating a New Project

Within the bid management section of the application, simply select the ‘Create a new project’ button. Once selected, a menu will show up. Within this menu, you can enter and select multiple values such as the company name. This will be the company that you want to complete the takeoff for. This may be your own company or any other. In case you need to add a new company, simply select the System Tables and then Company Master. You will be able to add as many additional companies to your system as you need.

Next step will be to select the user that will be completing the project. This will be under the owners’ field. You can now enter the project name you would like to use for this project.

Rating a Project

Square Takeoff allows you to rate a project based on its importance. It may be a project that you tend to win the most bids on, simply enjoy doing or a project requiring some kind of priority. Once you have set project rating, you can move on to select the status of the project. By default the status comes in as Neill. Using the drop-down you can approve the status like initial review, estimating pricing and so on.

Setting Project Dates

Bid due date: This’s the date that your bid is actually due well.

Project start date: This’s the date you’re starting the project on.

Putting in Contact Info

In Contact Information tab, you can enter the contact name for a project. You can feed in the relevant phone number, email address and country name. Under Project Details, you can select the unit of measure that will be used for the take-off as well as the color that this project will appear on the calendar. You can also put in the estimated total project value, the estimated bid value and the currency in which these values represent.

Working on Project Notes

Under Project Notes, you can enter any relevant notes relating to the overall project and click ‘Save’. The project is now visible on Calendar.

Why square takeoff is the easiest construction online takeoff software on the market 2

Construction takeoff software is immensely helpful for achieving bid prices based on resource and labor costs, historical cost evaluations, cost reporting, other overhead, and the ability to manually adjust the bid price (along with a host of other features).

Cloud-based software, such as Square Takeoff,  eliminates any need for a standalone product. Square Takeoff can be accessed at will from any Internet-enabled device.

Let’s see what makes Square Takeoff the easiest construction online takeoff software on the market:

Simple Navigation

Ease of navigation allows users to complete takeoffs and bids quickly and with great accuracy. The navigation has been designed for the mindset and requirements of estimators. You are able to explore the tools available and move around with ease. Major menu items that are present, on the left, are Bid Management, Estimating, Reports, and User Management.

Bid Management: manage your multiple bids and takeoff process

Estimating: determine an estimate

Reports: filter reports of all types

User Management: manage various users within the company

Elimination of the Cost of Printing the Blueprint

A conventional takeoff requires the use of a blueprint. Before the construction even begins, blueprints are printed many times over and over by architects, project managers, engineers, contractors and building owners. An average reprographics shop generally gets about 35 to 80 print requests a day for construction projects. For each request, the shop may print 1 to 300 blueprints, depending on the size of the project.

Going digital removes any need of printing. Construction companies are able to save costs associated with the printing and handling of paper.

Ultra Quick Calculations

Once a digital blueprint is uploaded, the mathematical calculations become as easy as just a few  mouse clicks.  With these quick clicks, you can do calculation of square footage, linear footage, and item counts.

Google Maps Integration

Enter any address and Google Maps will display the digital map. Zoom in to display a specific location and then select it. The selected location is already scaled by the satellite, so there is no need to handle it manually.

Support to Several Digital Format

Square Takeoff enables you to work with a large variety of digital formats. This include popular ones like PDF, BMP, JPEG, and TIFF.

Simple Uploading

With Square Takeoff, you can upload your files using one of two methods. You can browse to find the file(s) and then upload them, or simply drag and drop files onto the screen.

Scaling

You may need to scale your digital blueprint once it has been uploaded. You can determine measurement on the basis of imperial or metric system.

Cloud-triggered Advantages

The cloud allows you to access the software from anywhere, at any place. For instance, while inspecting your job site, you can have a peek into your data and do an immediate calculation. You can calculate stuff like area, linear, and counts for all sorts of projects.

Sharing of Bids/Data

The software enables you to share bids you are working on with other members of your team. You can also export data in HTML/Excel format.

Identification of Takeoffs

Notes and colors facilitate for easy identification of takeoffs.

Employee shortage in the construction industry

The construction industry in America is expanding. Yet, managers are not very upbeat about it and they have a reason. Persistent labor shortages are causing a problem and the construction industry is struggling to resolve the issue.

The employees that are on site are overworked and projects are not being completed on time. Some projects have taken twice as much time as estimated.

This shortage has resulted in the inflation of costs for construction companies. Since the beginning of 2018, subcontractors have raised their prices by approximate 10%. An average contractor is now paying double of what they were paying 10 years ago to the subcontractor.

Demand for housing as well as commercial installations has recently seen a surge. Experts predict that 1.2 million homes will need to be built in order to meet the demand of potential homeowners. At the beginning of the year, there were 250,000 unfilled construction jobs. According to the Associated General Contractors of America, a trade group for commercial builders, the unemployment rate in the construction industry was 7.4% in March.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, 82 percent of home builders regard the cost and availability of human resources the biggest challenge that they are facing

What is causing the people shortage? The financial crisis of the past few years could take some of the blame. Laid off employees just never returned to work.  What about environmental factors? Blazing hot days and chilly winters compared to temperature-controlled offices.  Then salaries and hours worked have to be considered. The days are long in the construction industry. Do the hours equal the pay?

What is being done to solve the employee shortage?

Construction vocational training has been introduced at several places and some companies are attempting to recruit former military personnel and individuals from other industries into construction, but changing trends takes time, a lot of it.

Several vocational schools have wood and metal training equipment, but it is lying around useless. Despite the potential for high wages, high demand, and self-employment, people are hesitant to join the industry. Companies are doing what they can to convince folks that construction is an industry where they can start a business with a comparatively negligible investment. They are trying to convince the young job seekers that joining the industry will provide them with an impressive paycheck along with upward mobility.

At a time when vocational training is gradually vanishing from high schools and when students are regarding college to be a necessary factor for a successful future, companies need to find what measures they can take to bring in the workforce. Shortfall will continue until the industry begins attracting the graduates.

Construction companies need to take some drastic actions to convince potential workers about joining the industry. Introducing a flurry of financial, career, and cultural changes has become mandatory in today’s scenario to get them on the bandwagon.