These days, digital or electronic takeoff applications and solutions have turned out to be indispensable tools for construction project estimators. It has been seen that digital takeoff solutions are at least 50% quicker than manual takeoffs. Construction project estimators that rely on electronic takeoff applications for their estimating procedures can get their work done in less time with fewer mistakes. So, if you have not still used Online Takeoff Software, then it is the right time to think about it.
Make sure to know that these applications are not created equally. Some digital takeoff solutions are too simple to understand and use, while others may be equipped with complex functionality. This is the main reason why you should understand the features of a digital takeoff solution before getting started with it. It must be compatible with your applications and needs.
Here is the list of features that you need to look for:
Some estimators may think that Artificial Intelligence does not need to be present in digital takeoff software. But AI-enabled applications and solutions are good at dramatically enhancing productivity and overall accuracy levels. This feature will help in predicting what an estimator will do next in a better way. This is how it speeds up the takeoff process and decreases errors.
Several digital takeoff systems will only produce a length, count, or area for a given measurement. But when you do it manually, you will see that you will need more than just a floor area or wall length. This is why you need to look for an electronic takeoff solution that supports construction assemblies. If an application has this feature, then you will be able to generate all the elements of a construction system in one step. All you need to do is to measure the wall and you would not need to worry about how many screws are there. Be sure you can build and edit your own construction assemblies to meet your needs.
True multi-user functionality
Estimating seems to be a collaborative task, especially when you are working on larger projects. This is why you must seek Online Takeoff Software having true multi-user functionality. A software tool with this feature lets multiple estimators work on the same construction project at the same time. The most interesting thing about this feature is that multiple estimators can even draw at the same time. Generally, you would want to make sure that each measurement is marked with the identifier of a particular estimator. It will help users to filter so that they can see their own work only, while the main estimator can view the work of all estimators at once.
Auto count and pattern search
There are different types of items to be used in a construction project such as door types, fire alarms, switches, and fixtures. These items are commonly used in a set of construction estimation plans. Takeoff software with auto count and pattern search functionality adds easiness and quickness to the counting of these kinds of items. Counting and searching will be done easily and quickly. The function is capable of searching plans and generating a count on any pattern or item you select. But the main thing is that this feature may vary from one digital takeoff solution to another. So, when you are going to choose this solution for your takeoff needs, ensure to do your research carefully and check out this feature and what it can do for you.
Multiple scales on the same drawing
When you are working on the construction drawings very often, they include drawings in a different scale than the main drawing scale of the project. There are several digital takeoff solutions, which do not support the use of multiple scales on the same project’s drawing. It means that you need to separate these detailed sections into separate files. But having a multiple-scale support feature can help you outline an area of the drawing. After that, you can apply a unique scale to that particular section. An Online Takeoff Software automatically applies the correct scale whatever is needed when a cursor is within the specific boundary for a particular section of the drawing.
Today, not all digital takeoff solutions come with BIM, but BIM is in the future. So, if you are getting an option to invest in a takeoff solution that comes with BIM integration, then it is worth going with it. It supports both 2D and 3D takeoffs.
Ease of use
Last but not the least; ensure to check its ease-of-use feature. Will you easily access helpful instructions when you need them? Many software vendors including VECTOR by Estimating Edge offer a free trial so that you can understand its functionality before buying. Consider them.