Takeoffs and estimating are two construction processes that are getting easier and quicker by being cloud based. According to the folks at Cloud Takeoff you can now even use Google Earth to gather dimensions when doing exterior takeoffs. But the real power of cloud takeoffs comes from being able to get the wide view and to have as many blueprints as needed right in front of you.

Of course you are limited by the size of your computer monitor, but that really isn’t an issue since all the prints are presented as thumbnails until you select one to work on. As you do your takeoffs you can add notes, apply variables, dimensions, specs or labels to your takeoff items. Then, you can make your takeoffs available to anyone else who would benefit from them including subs, vendors, materials and equipment suppliers and architects. If you use CloudTakeoff you can copy and paste takeoff quantities directly into an Excel spreadsheet for the estimate, and the cost is ideal for any size contractor, just $69 a month.

In other cases you can get a bundled business solution that includes estimating, project management, job cost control, scheduling, and collaboration. One example is Corecon’s V7, a web based solution that costs anywhere from $42.50 to $60 a month per user. It has everything needed for tracking leads, creating estimates, managing subcontractors / suppliers’ bids, collaborating on documents, tracking schedules, and managing project budgets and changes.

It wasn’t that long ago I was writing about digitizers and tools that allowed people to work on plans right on the computer screen. But now, with this movement of these core processes to the cloud it is significant in how quickly the options are rolling out, and in how quickly construction is embracing them. It’s going to level the playing field so that technology will no longer be a factor in how successful you are at winning the bids — except for those who don’t embrace it.

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