Learn about the different theories of takeoff sequence.
- [Instructor] So we have talked about different methods for taking off material and labor and putting them on our take-off sheet. But what sequence should we take-off our materials and labor? Should we start with the materials and labor that are actually installed first, and take-off in a chronological order? What about taking off certain areas of the project, such as a floor or a wing of a building? Maybe taking off all the items of a particular discipline or trade sounds like a better idea. That would help us get an overall feel for the project right off the bat.
There's really a few good schools of thought when it comes to take-off sequence, and you're going to have to find out what method works best for you in your particular project. As an electrical estimator, I find it's beneficial to take off items in a particular system that may require quotation from an outside vendor or subcontractor first. This allows me to share my take-off with a particular vendor or sub, so they can begin working on their pricing, and we are not rushed to collaborate days or hours before the bid is due.
This is a typical theory shared among many MEP estimators. Sometimes, general trades, or earthwork contractors, take-off their projects in the order that the work must be done. This gives them much better understanding of the project and allows them to group similar items. Experiment with different sequences, and you will inevitably get a good feel for what works for you.