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The Beginner’s Guide to Construction Material Takeoff

A construction material takeoff is a core component of a detailed construction cost estimation. Contractors, subcontractors, or estimators create it for projects of all sizes, and it can range from straightforward to complex. Continue reading to learn more about it.

Material Takeoff

Construction material takeoffs are known by different names like construction takeoff, quantity takeoff, or simply a takeoff. But its most popular name is material takeoff (MTO). Each of these terms refers to the same thing that may confuse people outside of the construction industry. At a basic level, material takeoff provides two types of information:

  1. A complete list of materials required to complete a construction project
  2. Detailed cost estimation for each material required for a project


Material takeoffs are produced with a simple objective in mind. However, they are pretty complex in practice. Therefore, construction companies are always advised to hire experts for MTO. You can rely on PQS Canada Services Ltd for construction material takeoff in California. We believe that having a detailed analysis of plans and accurate quantity takeoff is essential to assure success in any bid submission. 

Measurement Required in Takeoffs

  1. One must count every item required to complete a project. 
  2. Measurements of volume will be required for a few materials like the amount of asphalt needed per yard to create the parking lot, the amount of concrete needed to lay the foundation, etc. 
  3. A few items like cables, pipes are measured by length. You’ll need to know how many of each length you’ll require to accomplish a project. 
  4. You also have to know the surface area measurement for paint, flooring, etc.


Takeoff Method

The takeoff process depends on various factors like the type of the project, the software you are using for takeoff, the scale of the job, etc. You may notice slight differences in specifications and drawings of different takeoff practices, but the core method remains the same.

  • Count the Symbols: In this stage of the process, you have to count the symbols to figure out the number of components you need to complete a job. Your drawings and blueprints will be used to identify various elements like receptacles, switches, fixtures, etc. After getting familiarized with the symbols and their meanings, you can accomplish this step. 
  • Measure the Circuits: You also have to measure the circuits shown in the drawings. Before you start counting, check the scale first that has been used for all the pages. In most cases, you will find the scale dimensions in the title of the drawing. But please remember that scale may vary from page to page.
  • Calculate the Takeoff: After completing the above two steps, you will get the counts and measurements. Using that data, you can produce your takeoff figure.

We hope that now you have got a basic idea of MTO. You can hire us for construction material takeoff in California or other areas. Get in touch with us to learn more about our services.

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