FOR YEARS, BUILDERS USED A DIGITIZER TO transfer electronic linear counts for the sizes and materials they would need for a job into a digital format for use in an estimating program. But the digitizer, which essentially served as an electronic note pad for the linear information, had its drawbacks.
The problems were that the digitizer couldn't color-code drawings and the audit trail was limited. Timberline Office users got closer during the past few years when Timberline partnered with automated takeoff vendor On Center to offer On-Screen Takeoff as part of the Timberline Office Suite. With On-Screen Takeoff, builders could generate linear values electronically and color-code the electronic blueprints.
But until a year or so ago, Timberline didn't have an interface that let builders easily move takeoff data from On-Screen into Timberline's estimating software. Builders had to manually keystroke the data into the estimating module.
Now, Timberline's ePlan Takeoff lets builders easily move On-Screen Takeoff data into Timber-line's estimating software. The software then takes the dimensions from a digital takeoff and sends the values directly into estimating.
“The software lets me keep the same personnel and take on additional work,” says Chad Jensen, president of New Dawn Developments, a builder based in Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada, that does a mix of custom homes, multifamily housing, and commercial projects.