What’s a Take-off ey?

by | Jul 12, 2016 | Levco Builders Process | 0 comments

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Take Off

Take off tool

Levco has been on the forefront of all things remodeling for the last two years. Let’s face it, evolving from a lemonade stand to a real business takes vision and a lot of hard work.

Just doing great work is not enough

One of our basic needs, and nagging frustrations behind the scenes centered around providing an accurate price for a project. The last thing I want to do is provide an unrealistic price in either direction.

No two companies are alike. Excited to figure out what other high performing remodeling contractors were using, we stumbling upon a comprehensive software solution that boasted an all in one approach. Sadly, it did not pan out despite really wanting it to work for us. Completely frustrated, the creator and I had words and parted ways.

Back to the drawing board by looking under the hood

In one more example of going above and beyond to become a leader in the remodeling profession we took a time out and looked at our internal processes for some answers to nagging problems. Reaching out to my Remodelers Advantage Board of Directors, I discovered that what I was lacking was a vital system.

Relying on past projects and learning from painful lessons is the typically the only way remodelers handle this responsibility. We still examine every completed project and have made significant progress mining valuable information, because we know that crossed fingers and best guess has never been good enough for me.

By specializing on one type of remodeling project, I realized that the learning curve would dramatically reduced. Being a creative guy, just doing one type of project never excited me.

We set our goal then went for it

My dream was to create “Levco’s special sauce.” We were able to clearly articulate what it would work like, and results it would produce. All we needed to do was share our vision with someone who could make what we wanted. I knew that when we had all the parts working smoothly together, it would give us the confidence to grow and reinstall the swagger we once had at a lower volume.

  1. Accuracy
  2. Ease of operation
  3. Regular updates to our data base to increase accuracy
  4. Fun to work on and with
  5. Results that can be analyzed
Take Off

Our custom estimating tool

Components of accurate job costing

  1. Plans
  2. Take off
  3. Estimating

Our first step was to have accurate plans. We tried a myriad of  architects and designers all over the city. Having an in-house designer is the FFN (Forever For Now) solution. The plan set I need are unique to me and my remodeling business. Architects provide another source of work, that avenue is ready to be developed further in the future.

The Cycle

Andrew Furnee, our designer has been evolving our plans sets for over a year at this point. With accurate plans a Take-Off can be made, which in turn allows for an accurate estimate.

Job costing components

  1. An accurate “Take-off ”
  2. Accurate estimating
Allowance tool

Project summary & allowance tool

The Take-Off tool

The program we use allows me to pull in a plan set and use layers and measure, populate areas, and count everything necessary to incorporate into our estimating program. I find the work enjoyable and relaxing. Once I become an expert I will teach someone on staff to do it too. Using the program is so much fun, it reminds me of coloring in the lines.

The estimating tool

There are hundreds of products on the market for estimating. An informal survey of the industry found that everything from a yellow pad to off the shelf packages to custom excel programs are used. We used to use a basic excel program and tweaking it over the years. Ultimately, I realized that what I had created was not strong enough to do what I needed.

Overview of progress

The estimating program we had created for us is simply amazing. I am not ready to say Ta-Da! yet but I believe I am getting close, we are still making it even better and I can confirm that it really is our special sauce. The more work we do, the faster it goes and the more accurate it gets!


Your comments are welcome. To ask questions or get more information about remodeling, click here to email me directly, or call 208-947-7261

If you or someone you know is considering remodeling or just wants to speak to a trustworthy remodeling contractor please contact me, you’ll be glad you did.

Disclaimer: Some of these images came from the WEB. If they are yours, and you object to them being used, please claim them and I will gladly remove and replace them at once.

Disclaimer: Some of these images came from the WEB. If they are yours, and you object to them being used, please claim them and I will gladly remove and replace them at once.

Related Posts

We Only Remodel 20 Homes A Year

We Only Remodel 20 Homes A Year

At Levco we decided to be a quality contractor years ago and for nearly 2 decades we have done about 20 projects a year. This means that no matter how many leads we go out on or how many clients get into design we have maxed out our availability to do remodeling...

read more

Have Your Tile Guys Gone Rogue? How do you know?

I just heard that there is a movement afoot that frightened me. I guess that tile guys are figuring out that they are not being watched so they are doing whatever they want. A nicer way of saying it is what they believe is the most profitable for themselves....

read more

Leave A Comment

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Categories

Latest Projects

Aged home interior makeover

Aged home interior makeover

Aged home interior makeoverThe Challenge This home was built in 1955 it had good bones. The kitchen had been remodeled by a previous owner and half of the garage had been converted into a den/laundry room. The clients wanted to open up the kitchen, add another...

Whole House Remodel

Whole House Remodel

Whole House RemodelThe Challenge Our client bought the 1014 SF original 1979 ranch-style home next to her son. Her goal was to update and modernize the home to how we live today.The Idea To completely remodel and update the home with a new floorplan.The Solution Levco...

Wake Boat- RV Bay Addition

Wake Boat- RV Bay Addition

Wake Boat- RV Bay AdditionThe Challenge The Owner had a 3 car garage but the 3rd car bay was too small for his new wake boat. There was room to make it larger.The Idea Expand the garage to the setback to add 10′ and make it taller and much deeper. Sacrificing a window...

Large RV Garage From Scratch

Large RV Garage From Scratch

Large RV Garage From ScratchThe Challenge The Owner had drawings of a large RV garage to be added to a 2 car garage where a shed was. The new project was woven into an existing garage roofline to make it appear that it had always been there.The Idea Eliminate the shed...