Drywall, also known as plasterboard, sheetrock, or wallboard, is an essential component of constructing interior walls and ceilings in commercial spaces. Installing drywall in a commercial setting can be a complex process that requires careful planning and accurate material estimates. Using a commercial drywall estimator can provide several benefits for contractors bidding on drywall jobs.
Saves Time and Effort
Estimating drywall for commercial projects involves carefully measuring surface areas across potentially hundreds of rooms, hallways, and other spaces. For a large office building or hospital, this can mean thousands of square feet to measure. Contractors have traditionally performed these takeoffs manually using tape measures, writing down dimensions, sketching floor plans, and entering the data into spreadsheets or basic calculators. This process is extremely labor intensive and time consuming.
With a typical estimator spending several hours or days manually calculating large commercial projects, this eats into valuable time that could be better spent meeting with clients, planning logistics, and otherwise growing their business. Manually measuring also leaves significant room for human error in capturing accurate dimensions or transcribing numbers. Contractors risk underbidding if they inadvertently miss measuring certain areas.
Commercial drywall estimating software eliminates the need for manual takeoffs by allowing contractors to simply input the dimensions for each room or zone. With floor plans loaded into the software, estimators can click and drag to outline areas and enter heights. The software automatically calculates surface areas and material quantities in seconds with precision accuracy. This streamlined process reduces estimating time significantly, often cutting the time spent from days to just hours.
Increases Estimate Accuracy
Manually calculating drywall requirements using traditional paper takeoffs leaves ample opportunity for errors to creep in. Human estimators may mismeasure rooms, transpose numbers incorrectly, or make mistakes entering dimensions and calculations into spreadsheets. These errors then compound resulting in grossly inaccurate material takeoffs.
An estimator may miss an entire room or section of the building, causing them to significantly underestimate the required drywall. Or simple calculation errors can lead to overestimating materials. Depending on the size and complexity of the commercial project, the amount of potential error is substantial when estimating manually. In contrast, commercial drywall estimate per square foot software performs all measurements, calculations, and quantity takeoffs programmatically based on the dimensions input by the contractor. By removing the human error element, it provides unmatched accuracy and precision in generating takeoffs down to the square foot or board.
This increased accuracy means fewer unexpected costs for contractors from having to purchase additional materials mid-project. More exact estimates also prevent losing money by underestimating a job. With greater confidence in the precision of computer-generated takeoffs, contractors can hone their bids to perfectly balance maximizing profit margins without overbidding on jobs.
Allows Adjustments and Updates
The scope and specifications of commercial construction projects frequently change over their lifespan. Design modifications, new requirements from owners, and unforeseen conditions at the site often necessitate changes to the original plans. This inevitably impacts the drywall requirements and pricing. With a manual estimating process, accommodating these changes presents a major challenge. Updating the original paper takeoffs to reflect new plans or additions is cumbersome and time consuming. The estimator may have to completely redo measurements and calculations, taking hours or days. Relying on outdated estimates risks misquoting any project modifications.
Commercial drywall estimating software enables contractors to effortlessly update their estimates to align with changes. With the details and takeoffs digitized, estimators can simply input any drawing revisions or new areas into the software to recalculate quantities and materials instantly. Rather than scrapping original estimates and starting from scratch, the software seamlessly integrates new details. This allows contractors to provide revised quotes on short notice to reflect new specifications or unforeseen conditions. Estimating software empowers contractors with the flexibility to scale estimates up or down as needed.
Provides Supporting Documentation
When bidding on commercial projects, contractors must provide comprehensive documentation to validate their proposed costs to clients. Drywall estimates a takeoff services are no exception. Clients want details on how the contractor arrived at the quoted drywall price rather than just accepting a lump sum figure. With manual estimating, contractors have limited professional documentation to share beyond rough sketches and basic quantity totals. This leaves clients guessing how the estimate was calculated and whether it is reasonably accurate. Lacking documentation erodes client confidence in the estimate.
Drywall estimating software solves this by automatically generating detailed reports outlining the estimate. These include an itemized breakout of each room showing dimensions, square footages, drywall sheets required, and costs. Summary sheets show total boards needed by type such as standard, fire-rated, moisture-resistant, etc. These software-generated reports allow contractors to provide clients with clear documentation of how the estimate was formulated. The reports add transparency so clients can easily audit quantity calculations. This supplements the contractor’s reputation for professionalism and helps instill confidence in their pricing.
Profitability on commercial drywall jobs is highly dependent on submitting accurately estimated bids. Both under and overestimating material quantities can significantly impact a contractor’s bottom line. Manual estimating methods leave room for human error that can lead to inflated or deflated bids.
Underestimating drywall needs results in unexpected costs when additional materials must be purchased mid-project. Eating these costs cuts into projected profit margins. For substantial underestimates, contractors may even end up losing money on jobs by miscalculating required materials.
Overestimating also poses financial risks. While it pads the bid price, overestimating drywall requirements makes the contractor less competitive. They risk losing bids to competitors who submitted more cost effective proposals with tighter estimates. Overestimating too aggressively can result in losing jobs entirely.
Commercial drywall estimating is a complex process that is greatly streamlined by utilizing dedicated estimating software. The advantages of estimators include increased accuracy, documentation, time savings, and bid competitiveness. As drywall projects grow in size and complexity, estimators are an invaluable tool for contractors. With many leading options available for purchase as Remote Estimation, contractors can benefit from integrating estimators in their bidding process. By keeping pace with technological advances like commercial drywall estimating software, contractors can gain a performance edge over the competition.