A material take-off (MTO)  is the process of quantifying and listing all the materials, components, and equipment required for a construction project. This comprehensive list is derived from detailed analysis of the project’s construction drawings, specifications, and other relevant documents. The main purpose of an MTO is to provide accurate information about the necessary materials for a project, which in turn helps with cost estimation, procurement, scheduling, and project management.

A material take-off typically includes the following information for each material or component:

  1. Description: A detailed description of the material or component, including its type, size, and any relevant specifications.
  2. Quantity: The total quantity required for the project, often expressed in units such as square feet, linear feet, or cubic yards.
  3. Unit of measure: The standard unit in which the material or component is measured, such as meters, kilograms, or liters.
  4. Location: The specific area or location within the project where the material or component will be used.
  5. Cost: The estimated cost of the material or component, often based on supplier quotations or historical data.

Quantity surveyors use material take-offs to support project budgeting, cost control, and procurement activities. By accurately estimating the required materials, project stakeholders can make informed decisions and better manage risks associated with material shortages, price fluctuations, and delivery delays.