Takeoff & Estimating TIPS

How To Estimate Drywall

In this tutorial, we walk you through how to takeoff and estimate Gyprock/Drywall and wall linings using Joyne's free takeoff software.


Estimating Drywall and Wall Linings

Joyne's free pre-construction platform makes it quick and easy to complete takeoffs and estimates. In this tutorial we walk you through how we approach wall lining estimates step by step.

When estimating drywall, the goal is to determine the amount of materials and labor required to complete the project. The standard materials required for drywall are:

  • Drywall panels
  • Joint tape
  • Joint compound
  • Top coat (if not blended with joint compound)
  • External corner angles
  • Nails & screws
  • Drywall glue

Some projects may require other items like shadow bead, expansion joints etc depending on the specifications.

Each of these materials can be calculated with a just a few measurements. The measurements that are needed will be:

  1. Wall area in Square Feet, or Square Metres
  2. Ceiling area in Square Feet or Square Metres
  3. Number of external corners

If you only know the dimensions of your drywall area, use our quick drywall calculator to work out the materials you need. If not, follow along using our free takeoff software below.

1 - Setup the Project

Here we make sure to check the project name and rename it if need be, then set the project scale. Measurements won't show up until the project scale has been set.

tip: once set, the project scale will remain the same for all pages, however you can always adjust individual pages or individual line item page scales if needed.

2 - Review Wall Types

We start by understanding the different wall types we need to takeoff and calculate separately. For us this fell into the following:

  • Internal wet areas
  • Full height dry areas
  • Partial height areas
  • Flat ceiling areas
  • Raked ceiling areas

3 - Takeoff and Measure Blueprints

Once we understood the general wall type breakdown, we measure like areas using the same color and name. For wall linings, we typically will use the Square, Polygon and Line tools for the bulk of our work.

tip: by using the same name and color, Joyne's takeoff software will automatically group measurements together.

Once we have measured the relevant areas, we modified these 2 dimensional measurements to include the wall height, converting the measurement into an area calculation.

tip: don't forget, when using the Square and Polygon measuring tools, we can toggle between area and perimeter measurements.

You can stop here and export your work into Excel if that's all you need. However, there is much more we can do with the tool, so let's keep going!

4 - Generate Material Lists with our Custom Formula Builder

Now that all our measurements have been completed, we jumped into the custom formula builder. The custom formula builder allows you to freely build any formula you need using mathematical expressions.

Each line item can have an unlimited number of custom formulas attached to it, so feel free to go as deep as you need to. For this example, we converted the wall area into the number of Gyprock sheets needed using this custom formula ceil(X/8.1*(1+.1)).

Breaking down our drywall estimating formula

Our formula starts with calculating our coverage per sheet of drywall, a 6000mm x 1350mm sheet will cover an area of 8.1m2. Feel free to adjust to suite the sheet size you will be using.

We then divide our wall area by the coverage area and this gave us the number of sheets required using the formula X/8.1.

We added 10% waste to that calculation by multiplying by (1+.1), then wrapped all that in with the ceil() formula to increase the number to the nearest whole sheet.

tip: Try to create common formulas as these will be saved in your account and useable in future projects.

5 - Add Live Pricing

Using Joyne's live building material database, we searched for the products we needed and added the current prices to our custom formulas.

The material database tracks live material pricing across every state and the prices shown here are retail only, so please apply your own discounts if you know them.

tip: we can source discounted materials for you through our supplier network at zero cost, so when you are ready to order, let us see if we can get you better pricing!

6 - Export To Excel

Now that our takeoff and estimate has been completed, we can export the entire project into Excel. The Excel file is broken down by the following:

Summary Tab - provides a summary view of like measurements across all pages. This is helpful when you are working with multiple building or floors.

Measurements Tab - lists all the measurements that were taken, along with the custom formula line items below each measurement.

Takeoff Tabs - each blueprint page that contains measurements is provided as a unique tab, along with an image of the marked up plans. This is helpful if you need to copy and past your data into proposals or work orders, or simply see the work just for that particular page.

Click here to download the Excel file

If you haven't already done so, be sure to create your free Joyne account and get access to our Takeoff & Estimating Software, Live Materials Database and other Pre-Construction tools to help grow your construction business.

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