In the construction industry, an accurate and efficient electrical material takeoff estimate is critical to the success of any project. Accurate estimation of costs, material requirements, and labor hours is essential to ensure profitability and client satisfaction. These estimates are the backbone of any project. A project can not stand out and reach the desired profit without an accurate estimate.

Did you know how to estimate a project? Many people say that they can estimate a project on their own. However, it is not yet easy for anybody to provide an estimate of all projects. It needs a complete roadmap to work and software. In the steps below, we’ve outlined a proven electrical estimating system to help you get started.

Understanding Electrical Takeoffs

The basic meaning of the word takeoff is the division of a mega project into small projects based on project drawings and blueprints. Electrical takeoff means getting an estimate of the required material. They define all essential materials and their quantity. But most commonly, blueprints do not provide complete information about a project. This leak increases when it comes to a mega project.

Then, a question arises. If there is a leak in the drawings, how can the estimator calculate the cost and quantity? This will be one of the common mistakes in electrical takeoffs. If someone takes an estimate based on a drawing. Most of the work is illustrated with symbols and graphics representing the design. As a result, the electrical estimator must count the items shown on the drawings and visualize the completed work, including fittings, hangers, fasteners, devices, and cover plates.

Understanding Electrical Takeoffs

Step-by-Step Guide

Now, to cover all upper mistakes of the takeoff process and experts. We are providing a guide that has tips for efficient electrical takeoffs. This guide will help you increase your project accuracy and speed and clarify your takeoff process concept. Continue reading. We will provide you with useful information and interesting facts, issues, and their solutions.

Tips for Increased Accuracy

We started our discussion with construction takeoff and estimation and then moved on to our topic. We discussed different things about it, and now it is time to start a conversation on tips that will be helpful in accuracy. The first thing that comes is accuracy. If you invest money in estimation and do not receive the accepted results. It will cut off from your profit margin and alternatively, you will lose the bid. There are a few tips to increase the accuracy of project estimation.

    • Check the drawings carefully and calculate the electrical line length.

    • Write the required length of wire, circuits, and other equipment needed.

    • Discuss your document with your client and ask him if he requires any more connection.

    • Compare the project with the same past project to find the required quantity.

    • Add quantity for waste. At least 5% of total material.

    • Use modern software and get one estimate from them.

    • Now, compare both estimates and find a final estimate of the required quantity.

After completing all these steps in the electrical material takeoff estimate. You need to find the cost and this cost can be found using data banks and modern software. Further details about this software are available in the article below.

Essential Tools and Software

It is the 21st century and the world changes the rules, tools, and modes every day. A project construction does not depend only on construction labor but also needs white-collar workers. These white-collar workers provide estimates and design drawings of a project before starting. This process is done with software, and we will introduce you to the modern software in this field. Takeoff process optimization is the basic functionality of all software. But our focus will be on the more useful software and tools.

Understanding Electrical Takeoffs Essential Tools and Software

IntelliBid is the most comprehensive estimating software for electrical, low voltage, and datacom contractors. At its core, IntelliBid is a bid management and cost-for-new construction estimating system that helps contractors calculate labor and material requirements and generate bids and prices. It is available in three versions: IntelliBid Standard, IntelliBid Plus, and IntelliBid Pro.


Upload plans and takeoff quantities using a customized parts, assemblies, equipment, and services database. Take advantage of auto-count and plan overlays to speed up the take-off process. Takeoff data goes directly to construction estimating software that ensures ease of use. Simply adjust material prices, labor units, and profit margins and create a customer-facing construction proposal.

AutoDesk Construction Cloud

Autodesk Construction Cloud provides best-in-class solutions for unifying office and field teams throughout the project lifecycle. Integrate workflows and collaborate securely with a single source of truth. Built on a unified platform and shared data environment, products Autodesk Build, Autodesk Takeoff, and Autodesk BIM Collaboration empower general contractors, specialty trades, designers, and owners to work more efficiently while saving time and money.

When you start searching for software, you find several paid and free software for this purpose. But these three are very common and provide the best estimates. Now we go on to the next step and read the process of making electrical takeoff project documentation.

Preparing for Takeoffs

We started a discussion on electrical takeoffs and learned different points such as leading software and accuracy increment tips. Now it is time to discuss the reports. We will talk about various aspects covered in reports and report writing methods of cost estimating.

Takeoff Description

The description is a section that covers the details of the required material for a project. But it has the list of only names not quantity.

Preparing for Takeoffs


The section explains the required material per square foot and total material cost.


As we discussed above, wastage is a considerable part of a project. This section adds at least 5% of the wastage cost for a project.

Labor Rate

Labor cost is added per hour, and then the average completion time and labor cost are written according to this period.

Total Expense

The final portion explains the total expenses of a project. It adds all the above section amounts and shows the final required amount, material quantity, and completion time duration.

Reviewing Project Plans

Now, we are at the end of one section of the electrical material takeoff estimate. It is the last part of this section. Reviewing means sending the project to a higher command, and then they check it. Engineers read the complete project and create a meeting on it. After this process, they send it to the project manager, who also reviews it.

This is the final process before sending the project back to the client. Now, we will explain common mistakes in the estimation process and many more. Contact us and see more amazing facts and figures about the takeoff process. As you read our blogs, you can share your feedback and requirements. We will appreciate your contribution to our projects.

Quantifying Materials

We are reaching the end of the project. Now we need your contribution and we are also thankful to our audience for reading it throughout. It is time to explore the quantifying material method.

Center Line Method

The centerline approach deals with constructing squares with symmetrical offsets. To calculate the amount of materials, you need to multiply the overall center line length by the width and depth of the construction.

Crossing Method

The crossing technique is designed to calculate the materials required for masonry partitions. In this approach, the plinth stage covers the length and width of the walls. The room’s internal dimensions and the walls’ thickness are also essential to calculate the quantity.

Bay Method

This applies to garages, manufacturing facilities, and railway platforms with similar systems. A basket of construction in the term of creation. The room price is calculated first and is very fast with different types of bays.

Labor Estimation

Now that you fully understand the requirements of electrical takeoff project documentation, you can estimate how many electricians you will need and how long it will take to complete the job.

Use this formula to calculate your labor costs:

Hourly labor rate number of labor hours

Electricians who work on residential or commercial electrical jobs usually charge by the hour. If you are bidding on a new construction project, you may choose to charge a flat fee upfront. However you decide to charge, make sure you add a little extra time in case your electrical contractor runs into complications on the job.

Labor Estimation

Accounting for Contingencies 

When you start an electrical material takeoff estimate always remember the emergency conditions. Add some extra labor costs to compete in such situations. Furthermore, Include an allowance for waste and contingencies for possible errors, material damage, or design changes during construction.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When we talk about anything, as it has thousands of benefits, it always has weak points. The same situation is here. So, it is time to disclose some common mistakes in electrical takeoffs. Let’s read them and try to cover them during your work.

    • Some projects have complex structures, and engineers may not understand them accurately. This thing can create errors in project estimation and getting accurate values.

    • If a project structure changes after takeoffs, it can also impact estimates and can be the cause of a mistake in the complete benefits of construction estimation and takeoff.

    • Sometimes companies really on old databanks and it can cause inaccurate estimates. Always update your systems with the changes in market values.


Now, we reached at the end of the article and need your feedback on previous work. Share your experience with our tone and quality. We are focused on providing the best quality work with an easy and understandable tune for the general public.

This article discussed mainly the topic of tips for efficient electrical takeoffs. So, we read different things about electrical takeoffs and tips to increase the estimating accuracy of a project. Electrical work is an essential part of today’s projects and even not a small kitchen can be completed without it. So, getting an estimate is the best approach to save money on this work.


What is electrical takeoff, and why is it essential in estimating?

Electrical takeoff means calculating the quantity, quality, and cost of the required material to complete a project. It is essential because of cost cost-effective solutions and maintaining budget according to this. Takeoff process optimization in a project helps in dealing with confidentiality with vendors and labor. It is also helpful to get the best quality products for electrical wiring.

How should I prepare for electrical takeoffs?

Preparing the takeoffs of a project is a complex task and needs different processes. Its process is available in this article in detail. Some important information about electrical takeoff project documentation is available below.

    • Check and review the complete project outline and demand.
    • Discuss and analyze drawings in an expert’s meeting.
    • Compare with past projects and calculate the material quantity.
    • Identify the labor requirement and calculate labor expenses.
    • Add some extra cost for wastage of material.
    • Add contractor’s profit margin according to market standards.
    • At the end create an Excel sheet for complete material takeoffs.
    • Make documentation for clients” help.

These are the basic processes to prepare the electrical takeoff sheet.

Can you provide a step-by-step guide for creating electrical takeoffs?

Yeah. It is the complete guide to electrical takeoff. You can read it and get help from it. Some basic information is here.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when creating electrical takeoffs?

When you start the project of electrical takeoff. There are common mistakes in electrical takeoffs, that are ignorable for completing a project.

    • Leave some important calculations during estimation.
    • Ignoring the prices of competitors.
    • Do, not check prices from the current market.
    • Do not explain everything in the quote and demand extra money for further work.
    • Not Getting Quotes on Big Ticket Items.
  • Do not provide estimates on time and waste bids.

How can I increase the accuracy of my electrical takeoffs?

To improve the accuracy of material take-off, thoroughly review the project drawings and specifications, and ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of the project requirements. Use digital takeoff software or tools that allow you to measure quantities directly from the drawing.

What is the rule of thumb for electrical estimating?

A good rule of thumb is three hours per drawing. Multiply the number of electrical drawings by three hours. This should determine the total number of hours required to complete the estimate.

What is the concept of assemblies in the context of quantity take-off?

Assembly, in the context of take-off, refers to the assembly of related components as a unit for projection purposes. This includes identifying joint assemblies such as walls, floors, ceilings, and other building elements