On-Screen Takeoff Reviews

28 Ratings
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Score 9.0 out of 101

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Aaron Graves profile photo
December 11, 2018

Powerful and Efficient

Score 10 out of 10
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On-Screen Takeoff is the preeminent takeoff software. On-Screen Takeoff has incredible capabilities for cross calculations, complex divisions of quantities and back calculations from 2D plans. With On-Screen Takeoff's database abilities, we are able to save ourselves dozens of man-hours every bid by having our conditions pre-organized, pre-created, and with automatic layers built in. To take your estimates to the next level, On-Screen Takeoff is a must.
  • Takeoff
  • Calculating by area
  • Calculating by bid package
  • Using more than one of their sectioning tools at once. For instance, you must use a typical areas and zones to get areas within areas
  • Tutorials - On-Screen Takeoff has an amazing depth of features but their tutorial videos barely scrape the surface
On-Screen Takeoff shines for any situation where you want higher consistency and accuracy from your estimates. Between their features such as zones, areas, typical groups, style sets and databases, On-Screen Takeoff allows your estimating team to fly. If you're willing to put in the upfront time to educate and build your workflows, On-Screen Takeoff gives companies the ability to assemble estimates and perform hand-offs seamlessly.
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Score 7 out of 10
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We use On-Screen Takeoff to gather quantities of material. Mostly everyone who is involved in the day-to-day process of putting together bids & creating RFIs uses it. It is very beneficial for conceptual estimating as well. The software does a phenomenal job of keeping everything organized from the space you are analyzing and different trades of work—keeping the quantities in an itemized printable list making it easy for anyone to comprehend.
  • Organization
  • Creating visuals for separation of spaces
  • User-friendliness
  • The software is a little out of date
  • Display of drawings could be improved tremendously
  • It would be nice if the software knew different steel shape weights to do a complete steel tonnage takeoff
On-Screen Takeoff is great for less detailed drawings and conceptual estimate exercises. It can get hard to read markups on the drawings when there are a lot of different finishes, however. It is not that great for getting quantities for structural steel or structural concrete because there are not any weights in this software for different materials. It is very bad for collaboration among a project team of several members for the simple fact that the Takeoff file can only be saved to your computer. There is no live option for On-Screen which leaves room for mistakes and not looking at the most updated quantities.
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Score 10 out of 10
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We as general contractors use On-Screen Takeoff to gather quantities from drawings produced by architects. We can apply these quantities with unit costs in order to estimate a budget for the project. We are also able to compare these quantities with subcontractors to ensure that the budget is accurate.
  • Gathering quantities i.e. areas, counts, linear, etc.
  • Grouping these quantities as desired
  • Getting the quantities gathered in a timely fashion
  • How documents are uploaded to the program. On-Screen Takeoff will locate the files from whatever path you originally save it to. Therefore, if you move the location of the document, OST will not be able to open your project until the path is redirected.
  • Taking off curved shapes.
  • If you could apply a unit cost to a quantity, it would eliminate the need to export takeoff to Excel.
  • It would be nice to be able to apply a different scale to the same page i.e. if there are two different details on a drawing at two different scales, I have to duplicate the sheet and make sure I make each sheet scale to the specific detail on the sheet.
Well suited to takeoff quantities needed from construction documents. Many short cuts and easy to learn program. It is even effective in creating visuals for communication, i.e. can label things, color code, have the takeoff numbers on the sheet in a legend, etc. It is less appropriate to try to format the outputs in a spread sheet - will need to export to excel. It is not the best tool for constructability reviews.
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December 18, 2018

OST Is For Me

Score 8 out of 10
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Estimators and project managers use On-Screen Takeoff to get accurate counts to either order products that we directly purchase ourselves or to verify quantities that subcontractors provide us for ordering products or qualifying their bids. In instances where sub pricing is substantially different from bid to bid, doing takeoffs in-house is a great way to help level the sub's proposals.
  • User-friendly and easy to learn. You can sit down and figure out how to do simple takeoffs and counts with minimal training.
  • It is very accurate and it is great that you can do several calculations for each condition you make.
  • The colors and shapes provide a great visible audit trail.
  • The layering feature helps from keeping the screen too busy if you are doing several conditions on one page.
  • The worksheet tab keeps tallies of all the takeoffs from each page nicely.
  • The backout mode feature can be a pain sometimes if you are trying to get real close to the edge of the takeoff you made and are trying to delete from.
  • If you create a project then move the file, you are screwed.
Well suited if you order a lot of product for your projects because the visible audit trail makes counting easier. If you are a subcontractor and you set up assemblies to the conditions you will know exact quantities of materials for whatever condition you are measuring.

In a way it is almost too good because having too accurate of counts for bidding purposes can make your bid too high and you won't win the work!
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Tom HALL profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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On-Screen Takeoff is used by our estimating team to bid work and our project manager team to price up changes on existing projects.
  • Overlaying drawings help with finding changes
  • Take off multiple floors at the same time
  • Accurate and quick takeoffs
  • Not to sure if it can be improved.
For myself I only use it for big changes on a project which has multiple drawing changes.
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Tim Vitek profile photo
August 10, 2016

Good product!

Score 10 out of 10
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I use OST to perform construction material takeoffs.
  • Ease of adaptability. Making new conditions for new items.
  • Links with custom built Excel files nicely.
  • Once conditions are deleted, there is no getting them back.
[On-Screen Takeoff is well suited to] Area/count takeoffs.
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Score 8 out of 10
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It is mainly being used by just the estimating department. We use On-Screen to do takeoffs to verify our subcontractors' quantities when they send their proposals in. We also use OST to print out some of our takeoffs which are then shown to the owner in the preconstruction phase of negotiated projects.
  • Very easy to create conditions and to access that condition again and again throughout your project.
  • Navigating the drawings and controls are very easy to use.
  • Copying and pasting of takeoffs is very easy and a function that I use very frequently.
  • Make use of vector PDFs. Other software on the market makes use of these PDFs and makes it so that doing takeoffs is much more efficient. When you can snap to a line, or fill in a room, because the software can read where lines are, it makes it much more efficient.... and accurate.
  • Copying takeoffs from one project to another is cumbersome. Hopefully they can come up with a better way of doing this. Maybe being able to open two projects at once rather than closing one and opening another for each condition.
  • Ability to hyperlink drawings like BlueBeam does. This would be HUGE!!!
  • When I do a takeoff, such as a wall takeoff, I have to enter in the thickness and height of the wall. Because all of the information is already there, you should be able to click a button, or something similar, and have the view to turn to 3D. Then you would be able to go back a visualize in 3D what you just took off. The folks at OST have repeatedly turned away from working in 3D. This is the future and if OST doesn't catch up, they will get left behind. We are still years away from doing away with 2D takeoff, but it's something to consider. The function I have requested is just a matter of programming, the information is already being input by the user. It appears the OST programmers are just too stubborn or lazy to add a feature like this.
  • Being able to have multiple users access one project and update takeoff in real time. See other's takeoffs and be able to copy their takeoffs. Many trade takeoffs are taking off the same thing. For example, the drywall qty is often the same as the painting qty. The estimator doing a paint takeoff should be able to copy the drywall estimator's takeoff.
I think most of the reasoning was just provided on the previous pros and cons questions. On-Screen Takeoff (OST) is well suited for doing either quick takeoffs or getting into an elaborate, detailed takeoff. All though the viewing tools are quick and easy, I would still very much prefer using BlueBeam for looking through an overall set of drawings. With all of the hyperlink and bookmark functions of BlueBeam, OST doesn't compare and I rarely use OST unless I'm actually doing a takeoff.
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August 02, 2016

OST for Precision

Score 9 out of 10
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OST is currently being used by the estimators in our metal decking department and other departments within the company. It's a great program that helps us estimate jobs accurately and quickly. Most importantly we're able to edit our take-offs, which is common industry practice, in a very organized manner. We've used to quantify square feet, linear footage, and quantities for various line items. The best part is that we can customize our databases to our department's needs.
  • Not only does OST allow you to do square foot take-offs, but you can also set the areas taken off to include dimensional lines within the sq. ft. area, which is very helpful for our scope of work.
  • Setting slopes, to LF or SF, is very easily done without having to add factors for slope manually.
  • You're able to assign different areas within a single sheet of take-off.
  • If our SF items were to be able to be taken off with increments of x amount of feet (e.g. increments of 3'-0").
  • Able to have a way of keeping track of updated sets of take-offs without having to reassign areas after each set (e.g. floor areas_1-31-16, floor areas_3-31-16, floor areas_6-30-16).
  • I would like it if I our backup database would be simpler to find; however, I believe this is an internal issue rather than a software issue.

OST is well suited when it comes to repetitive areas because you don't need to duplicate the sheets over and over again. All you simply need to do is assign the sheet to repeat x amount of times and the program will multiply each line item take off x amount of times.

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Score 10 out of 10
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On-Screen Takeoff is used by Estimators to perform take-offs on projects ranging from the retail, academic, and hospitality divisions. It is also used by Project Managers / Assistant Project Managers for quick take-offs, but they aren't as well versed in the program as estimators are. On-Screen consolidates take-offs in one location and constantly saves your work.
  • On-Screen saves automatically. It's great not to worry about when you last saved a document or potentially losing all your work if your computer crashes / freezes.
  • On-Screen allows you to create layers so that you can hide / show certain take offs. It's helpful when you're performing take-offs for multiple trades (drywall, electrical, lighting, flooring, etc) and have the ability to quickly turn the layers off and on.
  • On-Screen can export your take-offs to an excel file.
  • It would be nice if they added a functionality to jump to another page. For example, if you're working on a construction plan and it references a specific elevation or detail on another sheet, you can link to it from the construction plan and jump between sheets quickly. An alternative to that could also be adding a "recently viewed sheets" section so you can jump between pages quickly.
  • If On-Screen had OCR added, it could quickly rename all the sheets by looking at the title block.
  • Adding new sheets to a current bid can be improved. It isn't user friendly / easy to navigate to.
On-Screen takeoff helps when estimators put together pricing for bids & budgets on a whole project - whether the project is large or small.
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On-Screen Takeoff Scorecard Summary

Feature Scorecard Summary

Plan distribution & viewing (5)
Plan markups & sharing (5)
Issue tracking & punchlists (2)
Photo documentation (1)
Jobsite reports (1)
Document sharing (4)
RFI tools (1)
Collaboration & approvals (3)
As-built drawings (3)
Mobile app (1)
Takeoff tools (4)
Job costing (3)
Cost databases (2)
Cost calculator (2)
Bid creation (2)

About On-Screen Takeoff

On-Screen Takeoff is a construction takeoff and estimating solution. It is intended to streamline bidding and RFI processes. On-Screen Takeoff includes core takeoff functionality, as well as automation features like auto-count and Intelligent Paste Logic. It also features bid management abilities like bid packaging, timestamping, bid changes, and API integration to interface with 3rd party estimating programs. The program also includes plan organization capabilities like plan sharing, importing, and warehousing and security.
Categories:  Construction

On-Screen Takeoff Technical Details

Operating Systems: Unspecified
Mobile Application:No