What is takeoff software?

3 April 2023 by CostMiner

If you're looking for a quick explanation of what is takeoff software, here's the scoop. It's a handy digital tool that contractors, architects, and estimators use to figure out the materials, labor, and costs for a building project. They call it "takeoff" because it helps users "take off" the key details and amounts from construction plans, blueprints, or drawings.

If you're interested in learning how takeoff software benefits construction pros, just keep reading!

What is the difference between Takeoff and Estimating Software

In simple terms, the main difference between takeoff and estimating is that takeoff software is all about figuring out the amounts of materials, like concrete, steel, or lumber, you'll need for a project. It does this by pulling measurements from construction plans, blueprints, or drawings. On the other hand, estimating software calculates the costs of a construction project using the data from the takeoff.

But, honestly, the lines between takeoff software and estimating software can get a bit fuzzy. While some programs are totally focused on either takeoff or estimating, most fall somewhere in between, offering a mix of features. For example, compare PlanSwift, it is known as a "takeoff" software, but it's also great at estimating and reporting. And ProEst, which is mainly an estimating software, comes with built-in takeoff tools and other tools for construction management. So, it's like a spectrum, with different software offering various levels of takeoff and estimating capabilities.

Understanding what is takeoff software, what features matter?

Now that we've cleared up the differences, let's chat about the key features that make takeoff software super helpful for your business:


Works with a variety of file formats like PDF, DWG, and DWF, making it easy to use different construction plans and blueprints.

Measurement tools:

Accurate tools for measuring length, area, volume, and counts, helping you get the exact amounts from plans.


Resize drawings for correct measurements, even when the original plan doesn't have a clear scale.

Layers and annotations:

Organize plans with layers for trades, materials, or stages, and add notes, symbols, or colors for clarity.

Auto-calculates quantities

No more manual math or errors, as the software crunches numbers based on your inputs or measurements.

Template and assembly support

Speed up the takeoff process by creating templates or assemblies for common materials, systems, or labor rates.

Connects with estimating software

Send quantities straight to cost estimates without entering data twice, thanks to smooth integration.

Cloud collaboration

Work together with your team on the same project from anywhere, using cloud storage and sharing features.

Custom reports and exports

Generate personalized reports with takeoff details and export data in formats like Excel, CSV, or PDF.

Easy-to-use interface

A user-friendly design means people with different skill levels can quickly learn and make the most of the software.

    These features make takeoff software a game-changer, helping you save time, reduce errors, and work more efficiently in your construction business.

    Discover the benefits of Takeoff Software

    Let's dive into the amazing perks of using takeoff software, and see how it can make your construction projects a breeze and help your business shine!

    Save time

    Takeoff software helps you measure materials and quantities faster, so you can say goodbye to time-consuming manual calculations.

    Be accurate

    Automated processes mean fewer human errors, giving you more precise estimates and budgets.

    Cut costs

    With better accuracy comes smarter budget management, helping you avoid overspending and find cost-saving opportunities.

    Teamwork made easy

    Teamwork made easy: Cloud-based takeoff software lets your team work together in real-time, making communication and project efficiency a breeze.

    Keep it consistent

    Using templates and assemblies standardizes your takeoff process, so you get reliable results across all your projects.

    Make smarter decisions

    Detailed reports and data exports give you valuable insights to make well-informed choices throughout your project.

    Stay competitive

    Quick, accurate estimates can give your construction business an edge when bidding on projects, boosting your chances of winning contracts.

      By embracing takeoff software, construction pros can enjoy these awesome benefits, leading to better efficiency, improved project outcomes, and a thriving business.

      Finding the Perfect Takeoff Software for Your Needs

      Let's explore how to choose the right takeoff tool for your unique requirements, considering the fluid difference between takeoff and estimating software. We'll break down the factors to assess based on your specific needs.

      Assessing Your Takeoff Needs

      Think about how crucial takeoff is for your role. For instance, subcontractors might need linear, area, or count measurements to print off with a legend for job sites. In contrast, commercial estimators may rely less on takeoff, as they receive quotes and bids from subcontractors.

      Purpose of Your Takeoff Software

      Determine whether you'll be using takeoff software to order materials or charge customers, as this can influence your choice.

      Balancing Features and Functionality

      Remember, no single tool will solve all your problems. Weigh your options and choose what's best for your business.

      What is takeoff software example: CostMiner

      Our Construction Estimating software, CostMiner, uses a spreadsheet-style layout to configure quantities and rates easily. It includes a built-in takeoff feature to measure if needed, or you can enter values without it. CostMiner treats takeoff as a companion to your estimate.

      By considering these factors, you can select the ideal takeoff software that aligns with your needs and helps your business thrive!

      Wrapping It Up: The Power of Takeoff Software

      In conclusion, takeoff software is a game-changing digital tool for construction professionals like contractors, architects, and estimators. It helps you accurately measure materials, labor, and costs for building projects, making your work more efficient and precise. With a range of features and benefits, such as time-saving measurements, improved accuracy, and enhanced collaboration, takeoff software can lead to better project outcomes and a thriving business.

      Remember to carefully assess your unique needs and the various options available when choosing the perfect takeoff software for your business. Embrace the advantages of this technology and watch your construction projects soar to new heights!

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