We can undertake the, “take off” for you of materials.

You can then input the information into your estimating software and add associated items.

Very often its more cost effective for us to undertake the next stage and enter the information into the software.

This is because take off process details the major components which are added to by the use of estimating kits.

For example if we record pipe then input the kit will bring in rod, filbow bracket, couplers at prescribed fraction releative to the standard length. At this stage trade prices are puled in from the database ready to apply your discount.

Alternatively we can transfer the take off onto a billing sheet recording associated items.

Click here to download our Example Take off Sheet


What is the Take off?. “Take off” is part of the estimating process. When you receive Tender Documents, these convey on plans and schematics the design that you are offering a tender to undertake the work, if you are awarded the contract the plans will be incorporated into your contract that your obligated to perform.

To prepare your Tender you need to convert the information on the plans to a cost.

Firstly before you start, check you have the latest information against the document register.

You do this by checking the drawing number, and revision, this avoids abortive work. Secondly and as you work through the take off check that you don’t have any floor missing or existing parts that are to be connected but aren’t shown. For example you may have 2nd, 3rd 5h floor, check the schematics to see if this is in the scope. Try and spot this as early as possible and ask for the information.

The Process

Take off is recording quantifies against symbols taken from the drawing. The next stage involves identifying what that is, but the take off should replicate the symbol used to allow variations and locations to be re-recognised.

Very often the symbols used aren’t those used on the legend issued with the tender documents.

For our take off service we measure and count items on the drawings and record on our Take off form, before transferring to the estimating software. On the take off form we record the drawing number, description and most important the revision status. This is then totalled up and the information is then entered into the estimating section as appropriate.


Check the scale on the drawing, ideally look at an Architectural drawing with a measure noted and compare using a scale rule, Note scales should also say when printed at A1, A2, A0 etc.

Joining lines, Sometimes several drawings convey a floor or area, be carful to spot the join lines and ensure that you don’t double count. When drawings do overlap very often information is shown on both drawings.

Items shown o the drawing are not shown on the legend or they are but the CAD person has used their own symbols, the can be quite a skill in identify what the items are meant to be. Sometime they appear on drawings they should. For example isolators for pumps on the AC drawing not the general power. Or Fans on pipework drawings not ventilation drawings.

Watch out for MEP drawings, these can sometimes have information which isn’t on electrical or mechanical drawings. For example an MEP drawing may show the incoming cable route, which isn’t shown on the LV containment or cabling drawing. Or they may show fire hydrants, which aren’t shown on the sprinkler drawing. Very often they will show cross sections of ceiling voids and show bracket arrangements and containment and pipe sizes, not shown on plan drawings

Click here to download our Example Take off Sheet