Construction projects include many phases, from clearing to actual building phase. Each phase has its own estimated costs. As a contractor, you need to have accurate estimated cost of materials and labor at every stage.
One of the most difficult phases in preparing a building construction proposal is assembling all the necessary data that can help you in determining the total cost of the project. Obviously, you would not want to set a price without first checking the cost of materials, labor, or equipment that you will be using, for fear that you might set it too high or too low. As such, it could mean either you lose the opportunity of winning the project or you might lose money. It’s unacceptable in both cases. To avoid this from happening, you may want to prepare Quantity Take Off’s or QTO with software such as eTakeoff, LLC.
What is it?
Simply put, QTO is a comprehensive evaluation of all the materials and labor you need to complete a project. According to Delta University, the information presented in the QTO must be very precise. This document is usually developed and prepared by qualified construction cost appraisers who are usually hired by construction companies to study the project and come up with cost estimates. The data contained in the QTO are then used by the proponent, in this case, the construction company, to come up with an estimated cost for the entire project.
The Appraiser’s Task
It is the job of the appraiser to factor everything including the phases involved in the project and the time needed to complete it. For instance, the site where the building is to be constructed still needs to be cleared of debris. In such case, the appraisers needs to conduct a site inspection to see how big or small is the task involved and what type of equipment would be needed. Naturally, he also has to determine how many people would work on that initial phase. In all, you will now be able to evaluate how long each phase would take, as well as the number of people involved and the type of equipment to use.
Aside from defining the number of phases involved in the project, along with its corresponding estimated number of days to complete, the appraiser also needs to determine the costs involved for each phase. While detailed cost estimates are not always asked for by clients since their concern is actually the total cost, the American Institute of Architects is of the opinion that comprehensive cost approximations can be an important aspect in terms of budget adherence and cost management.
The only issue with all of these is the amount of time the QTO appraiser needs in compiling every data he have gathered. On top of this, he also needs to ensure that his calculations are accurate to the last penny. Because of the huge volume of data involved, it is expected that errors may occur. Using take off quantities software may greatly help in this case. This software solution can generate accurate estimates of your materials, labor, and even waste costs at a touch of a button. This way, you can do away with a QTO appraiser and still have accurate results when and where you need them.
The pre-construction phase is usually the most challenging phase in a building construction project. If you go by the traditional method of hiring QTO appraisers to get an accurate cost estimate, you would have to wait for some time for it to be completed. In such case, using a software solution can be your best option.