Online Screen Takeoff Software Designed by Civil Engineer / Estimator
My name is K. Cabuk, and I have Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s in Civil Engineering. I have been in the construction field for over twenty-five years. The first ten were in the field of mechanical engineering and the design and management of heating systems for residential and commercial buildings. The last fifteen years were in the civil engineering field, estimating and managing concrete constructions.
SpreadSheets are Life Savers
Fifteen years ago, I started working as an estimator and civil engineer. The company that hired me was doing handwritten estimations of 40-50 pages, and one commercial building estimation took around 1.5 to 2 weeks. The only electronic devices they had were calculators and ribbons, and they were still using typewriters to type proposals.
At that time, I knew how to use Autocad, Excel, Word, and other simple engineering software, so I proposed to have our calculations done using excel spreadsheets. At first, they didn’t accept, and then I showed them how this would benefit the company. They were swayed once they saw how easy it was to make changes and fix mistakes using the computer.
I still use the same spreadsheet that I created back then. Many people have asked for a copy, but they wouldn’t understand how to use it even if I did. I didn’t create the spreadsheet for everyone to be able to understand as it was only for me.
Then I decided to make one for others as well.
Do You Still Think Ideas Come From Nowhere?
Tools are essential in any job. If you have the right tools, it makes the job move smoothly. This is the same in estimating; your estimate will proceed smoothly if you have the correct tools.
We used to scale printed paper plans. It wasn’t much of a problem when scaling straight lines, but you had to use rope when scaling parking lot curbs. There was a tremendous amount of time wasted on scaling paper plans. I found software that scaled the drawings from the screen around 2008 and started using the free version, and then bought the software. You can upload your PDF drawings without needing a ruler, scale or rope, and you can scale any shape of the construction element. That software saved us a lot of time.
Making Online Screen Takeoff is Easier Than Rocket Science
Long story short, I wanted to create my own takeoff software, but in 2015 I didn’t have enough knowledge to code software that would scale from the screen. I started searching for a developing company that could work with me to realize my goals.
It is difficult to explain to someone else how to do the programming for you. It is challenging for both parties because the programmer needs to create the program so that the computer can process it. In addition, the programmer also needs to possess the knowledge to be able to apply it correctly. I searched for three years for the right programming and development company to work with.
It was in 2018 when I found the right team. The first part involved the online screen takeoff software. Without installing software to the computer, the user can upload their drawings and start scaling right away. We started our work, and almost six months passed without seeing a single result on the screen. I explained how it was supposed to be done, and they were trying to figure out how to do it. It looks like just a couple of clicks on the screen, but it is not easy to make that click to make a circle or any other shape, especially on a known scale.
We have over 200 items on our list for improvements, and it sounded like it would never end. I decided to come out with Version One after two years. Version One has only had one user, and that was me. I had to make sure everything was perfect before somebody else started using it. Then we kept working and testing, and finally, we decided to come out in the market with Version Two with over 100 items in our improvement list. That was three years and six months ago from today’s date, 8/16/2021.
We are still working every day to improve the software.