• Updated Version: Quantity Takeoffs Are the Best Kept Secret in Bluebeam Revu


    This story was originally published on the Bluebeam Blog.

    Deepak Maini, a 20-year qualified mechanical engineer, shares tips and tricks for using QTO software (From 2019)

    Watch the video here.

    Upon buying a home many years ago, a homeowner provided the contractor with a PDF for wooden flooring installation. The contractor vowed to take off the quantities, but also required a home visit so they could do an onsite measurement check as well.

    Baffled, the homeowner questioned the firm as to why the home visit was needed. The explanation: “You’ll see when we get there.”

    The firm measured on-site and found out that its takeoffs were 22% more than the initial estimate.

    “I realized that they didn’t have the right tools,” the homeowner said. “Had I known about Revu back then, I would have told them, ‘You are not only wasting your time, you’re also wasting my time. If you use this tool, you’ll be a lot more accurate.’”

    That homeowner was Deepak Maini, a 20-year qualified mechanical engineer who not only knows about Bluebeam Revu now, but swears by it for accurate quantity takeoffs.

    Now a national technical manager at Cadgroup Australia, Deepak strongly advocates for the use of Revu to accomplish accurate quantity takeoffs. Using the digital tools in Revu helps to avoid costly mistakes from paper-generated processes, especially when dealing with large or complex projects.

    Deepak’s QTO Tips and Tricks in Revu

    • Calibrate the PDF – Don’t rely on the drawings to be in proper scale. This process ensures that your measurements are accurate.
    • Create Custom tool sets – Align all project collaborators by creating and deploying a tool set for takeoffs that can be used and standardized throughout your company and on future projects.
    • Use Custom Columns – Why not have an immediate cost breakdown? Columns in the Markups List are highly customizable. With values plugged into your Custom Columns, users can instantly see the materials and price estimates.
    • Use VisualSearch – Using this feature, you can find the total count of light fixtures or electrical outlets quickly within your entire bid package by using Revu to search for a visual cue or object.

    Calibrate the PDF

    Using Bluebeam Revu quantity takeoff software

    “You don’t always know whether those sheets have been printed to the right scale or not,” Deepak said. “Calibration ensures that we use the right scale and we get the right measurements.”

    Revu includes automatic prompts for setting scale and can calibrate a PDF to a single scale or to separate X and Y scales as needed, as well as setting multiple measurement scales on the same PDF using viewports. “When it comes to taking off regions and areas and so on, it’s got some really smart tools that let you snap onto the corner points of the areas and you can really easily take off those quantities,” Deepak added.

    Custom tool sets

    Taking off building quantities can be a repetitive process, and if you have multiple people working on several bid packages at once, having a standard set of tools makes work consistent and efficient among everyone. Markups, like colored hatch patterns, and symbols, like lighting fixtures, can be saved as a custom tool set in Revu and even shared with other users.