Rank: UC2 Brainery Purple Belt I
Excellent question David.
I’ve always looked at it like this, if I can’t have the exact quantity in there, then I can at least have the money in there.
There are some things though in Millwork where we really have to be careful. There are a lot of limitations to our products because of various material size limitations. Sometimes a simple square foot takeoff is off because you can only get the material in 4 x 8 sheets. You might have taken off 40 odd square feet, but you need to order 64 sqft, and you need to charge for that accordingly. GC’s and designers also don’t like seeing 35% waste.
I take off panel sizes all the time that make material yield horrible, 25″ wide panels, 19″ wide panels, 100″ long panels… you’d be stunned at just how many designers out there think that there are no limitations on material sizes. With any luck you can get that 25″ panel AND that 19″ panel out of the same sheet, but only if it doesn’t need to be sequenced matched.
Another big one for us right now is meeting NAWWS standards. Architects and designers seem think that wood grows perfectly straight, without any pin knots or sapwood. That we can get 16/4 QS walnut in 15′ lengths. When we tell them we can’t get that, they honestly freak out. Mills generally don’t even produce 16/4 in a Quarter Sawn material.
When we’re doing a takeoff for these materials, we almost have to allow for 3 to 4 times the amount of material we’re going to used to meet the grade, or we have to allow for the money… which turns the board footage cost of 4/4 walnut from $11.50 bdft to $46 per bdft, because we need to buy 4 times the amount to meet their requirements. Don’t even get me started on FSC requirements… lol.
We do our level best to get it right, but this is estimating not accurating, we can only do so much.