Have you been wondering why more contractors are using on-screen take-off solutions? The answer is timing. If that confuses you further, just ask yourself, “What era am I working in?” For contractors still using paper plans, their work era is rather dated. Try mid-1800s. That’s when blueprints were first invented. Blueprint innovation pre-dates the Civil War by nearly two decades! So, it may just be that contractors who are using on-screen take-off solutions have simply awakened from a career slumber that has lasted nearly 200 years. For contractors who are still letting time pass them by, here are all the benefits you are missing out on:


How many times daily, before construction ever begins on a jobsite, is a drawing referred to? The answer is dozens. Drawings are ordered, printed, possibly re-printed, and passed out to architects, contractors, property owners, and project managers. Then, while being viewed, the plans are re-measured, measurements are re-calculated, and volumes are re-assessed. Then the plans are marked and revised according to any new data. But the paper trail doesn’t stop there. Next, everyone involved in the project will need to be updated accordingly. Using the old paper method creates a communication nightmare. By going digital, revisions and sharing is as easy as using a touchscreen and sending a PDF.


If a dozen or more print requests occur daily using the traditional method, printing costs can quickly add up. Not only does an electronic solution save time, it also saves money. Savings is not just linked with paper and ink. Factor in gas and drive-time to pick up plans, deliver them to the job, and all the labor tasks involved in sharing revisions with the rest of the team. For contractors, an on-screen take-off transition can result in tremendous cost-reduction.


When old-school blueprints are reviewed in the field, images of unrolling plans on a large tabletop immediately come to mind. Is it really practical to expect an appropriate surface to be available for viewing blueprints on-demand? Go digital for plans that can be easily viewed anywhere via any device. On-screen capability makes it easy to pinpoint a particular area then enlarge it to view the fine detail. And the versatility of an on-screen take-off solution goes further. Most people have their preferred device for working online. Digital applications of on-screen take-off are available for use with laptops, smartphones and tablets. When out in the field, the latest revisions to project plans are as near as a contractor’s device of choice.

Estimating Boost:

When estimating, enjoy a boost of confidence related to greater accuracy and productivity. Minimize calculation and communication errors while delivering sophisticated estimates much more quickly. Features like auto-count symbol search simplifies and speeds up the process by locating multiple occurrences of symbols and automatically quantifying them. On average, users report a productivity boost 15 times greater than their old estimating practices.

Stress Reliever:

What is one factor that contributes to stress on a project? Miscommunication. Here is a solution every contractor can appreciate. If a conflict arises, it is easy to resolve the matter. With on-screen takeoff, every step taken, from initial estimate to current phase, is all history. Automatically backed-up history, that is. It is easy to refer back to the item of dispute and provide the documentation that will clarify the matter for everyone involved.

Size Appropriate:

This is not a one-size-fits-all program. Nor is it scaled just for the big guys on the block. Regardless of the size of a construction company, or the scope of a project, there is an on-screen take-off solution that is a perfect fit. Technology support teams that specialize in the latest digital tools for the construction industry offer tailor-made packages that include a smorgasbord of tools like:

  • Electronic plan room integration
  • Overlays/revision compare
  • Unlimited drawing windows
  • Custom extensions and assembly capabilities with user-defined formulas and variables


Make it easy to visualize the entire scope of a project and its cost. Color code function makes it child’s play. The ease-of-use design that has gone into the tools and features of this digital solution is probably why more contractors are transitioning from pre-Civil War technology to a modern electronic option. For more information about on-the-go project planning, contact construction software experts and choose one that is tailor-made for you.