Future of Construction Takeoff
March 20, 2017
Future of Construction Takeoff
Score 8 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with On-Screen Takeoff
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.
- It makes it much quicker for doing 2D takeoffs and estimators are able to get things done more quickly
- Being able to print out takeoffs in color and take them to the owner has been a good sales tool. Although, this is becoming archaic and OST needs to come up with 3D functionality. Owners are rarely impressed with colored 2D takeoffs like they used to be.
OST is still the most efficient and quick way of doing 2D takeoff. The software mentioned above all have their positives and negatives and they all have things which are far superior to OST. But OST really takes the cake when it comes to usability and a simple and useful interface. It's just so easy to create a condition on the fly and start taking something off. When it comes to actual 2D takeoff, OST is by far the easiest and most efficient way of getting the work done.
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.