Is there normally a fee for take-offs?

yadax3June 30, 2006


I'm new to this forum as we are in the planning stages of a new garage/workshop. I wasn't really sure whether or not I should post this question here because it seems like most of the posts are about garage door openers, but here goes...

Does anyone know if most building supply businesses charge a fee for doing take-offs? I seem to remember reading that take-offs are like bids and there shouldn't be a fee, but then our local Home Depot said they charge $125 for a take-off. Is this the norm?

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Try a local lumberyard instead, or see if HD will credit you back the fee if you buy the lumber. Also, make sure you are comfortable with the lead time for special-orders like trusses.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 11:56AM
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Yes, HD said they'd refund the fee if we bought the materials but we were hoping to save $$$ by getting multiple bids and multiple fees would cut into the savings. I'll definately try the lumber yards too.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 2:15PM
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Who is framing it? How big? What kind of take off are you looking at? Lumber, shingles, Siding? Dont concentrate on pinching a penny here and then there, you will cost yourself money in the long run. How many different delivery fees are you gonna pay to save 10 cents on a stud. I would concentrate on truss prices first, there will be a large price difference possibly. You cant trust a take off from one place versus another because they will leave little things out(OOPS!) to make their bid look better. Give us some more info and Ill see if I can help you any. Size, siding, wall width, footings or pole????

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 5:03PM
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The building is 34' x 34' overall. We plan to get quotes on prefab insulated structural panels first and if they're cost prohibitive, we'll use lumber instead. We're acting as our own contractor and will do the framing, roofing (composition) and siding but will sub out the concrete and electrical. We already have one bid on the trusses but we plan to get a couple more.

Thanks for any advice you can offer. We've done a lot of remodeling, tiling, painting, flooring, refinishing, plumbing and basic electrical but this will be our first new structure!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 7:17PM
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P.S. The plans say exterior walls are 2 x 4 but I think they're suppose to be 2x6 like our house. DH is out of town right now but I'll ask him next time he calls. Yes, concrete footings as well.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 9:01PM
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Sorry, been out of town for a while. My recommendation since I just did it all. Hire out the footers and concrete walls, I assume your pouring like a 4ft wall in concrete or something like that. I did my own except the wall forming and the money I saved was very little. They would have done the footers and walls for almost what it cost me to rent the wall forms. I built a 32x46 garage. Figure on using about 1 stud per foot of wall if framing 16" on center, by the time you add corners and jack studs on the windows, it will get you pretty close. Get a few extra. Figure out how much header material you need. You will need at least 20 to 30 16ft 2x4s. They wont be in any take off but you need wall bracing when building and truss braces after they are set. Also get some short 2x4s to cut off and drive into the ground to nail braces to. Dont forget the top and bottom plates.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2006 at 12:37PM
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Doing a material takeoff from a building print is often a very complex task requiring a thorough knowledge of the specific trade, code requirements and the materials and hardware associated to the job. Due to the complexities involved it requires a highly trained individual to perform such takeoffs.

many suppliers are happy to perform the takeoff for thier customers however it would not be fair to expect a supplier to provide a takeoff, then loose the job to another supplier. With this in mind, most suppliers that offer takeoff service do charge a fee for the service but they often credit the fee back if you elect to buy your material from them. This gives them a slight competitive edge for the bids the win while compensating them for thier service in the event you take the information and go elsewhere. All in all, in my humble opinion it is a very fair practice and a win win for both parties.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2006 at 8:10PM
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Thank you both. I guess the take-off fee is reasonable.

Rick, No walls - just a 4" slab foundation. We're getting a couple of actual estimates tomorrow but one preliminary guesstimate was $17K-$20K just for the foundation. Isn't that pretty high? Our lot is pretty flat, so there's no special considerations - just a 34' x 34' x 4" slab. I'm shocked!

We're in Northern Nevada but a guy in Northern Indiana told DH last week he could do it for $3,500. Could the cost be so much higher just because we're in a fast growing area?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2006 at 10:15PM
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17k to 20k is way to much. 3500 is way to little!!! I didnt do the math on your floor but my 32x46 is going to use about $1500 in floor concrete alone, not counting footers. Around here my concrete guy gets about 80 cents a square foot to finish, just to finish. I formed everything and had the gravel level already. You will also have gravel cost, excavation cost, rebar cost(metal has gotten expensive) I think I paid 1500 to have the walls formed and poured 4ft high. (I paid seperately for concrete) Do you have plans drawn up yet? Call some more concrete guys, get someone who can excavate and pour as well. Tell them you have plans and are ready to start, but be flexible with their schedule also. Remember you are hiring them 1 time. Most people they work for are repeat customers, they are more important to them than you.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 9:53AM
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" The plans say exterior walls are 2 x 4 but I think they're suppose to be 2x6 like our house. "

Unless you are going to condition the space (now or in the future) the extra thickness is mainly for added insulation.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 9:00AM
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