# Quantity Take Offs

## Quantity Take-off

Quantity take-offs are performed at the start of every estimate. Essentially, they quantify the material needed to complete the work specified for a project.

For every trade there is a standard method of quantifying material in a take-off. Caulking is measured in linear feet, concrete is measured in cubic yards, drywall is measured in sheets, floor tile is measured in square feet, paint is measured by how many square feet it can cover per gallon, etc. We’ve got an entire section on Earthwork that also touches on measurement of spoils piles, undisturbed earth, end-area method and typical ways to measure earth, or soil, which is considered a material.

Along with material quantification, contractors typically know how much work they can complete in a day, or the production rate. It’s important to see the relationship in quantity of materials required to complete the job in relation to labor and equipment costs. This will be discussed more in the Estimating section.

A simple example would entail completing a take-off for CMU blocks needed in a retaining wall. Before the contractor can price the work, he must perform a take-off using plans or engineering documents. Again, in order to complete the take off, a few pieces of information are needed.

### Example of a Quantity Take-off:

Retaining wall: 4′-0″ x 75′-0″ = 300 sf
CMU Block: 1 block = 8″ x 16″ = .88 sf
Total block needed for wall:
300 sf / .88 sf = 341 blocks for the wall

Note: we only care about the square footage because the width of the wall is determined by the block. We could perform the take off in terms of volume, but we would get the same answer as both wall and block are 8″ wide.