Lumber Takeoff Services

A lumber takeoff or lumber order is a list of all the wood framing materials required for a construction project. It includes a count of various structural framing elements along with their lengths and cross-sectional dimensions. A typical lumber take off includes the count of wood framing elements like blockings, wooden posts, headers, wall studs, wood beams, etc. It also includes framing elements like trusses, rafters, outriggers, TJI's, PSL beams, and GLB beams, joists, decking. The framing elements are usually connected or reinforced with the help of hardware. So an estimate of lumber hardware like HDUs, straps, nailing, screws, Simpson ties, angles etc. is also included. A lumber take-off is required to place order with the lumber yard or to estimate the cost for framing a building.

Residential Lumber Take off Services

Wood framed houses are popular in US because they can be built more quickly than steel and concrete houses. A typical wood framing house consists of many structural elements likes beams, columns, plywood sheathing etc.  It is necessary to estimate the quantities of following elements in order to come up with an accurate framing takeoff list.

Residential Lumber Takeoff Services

Wall Framing Elements

  • Interior wall framing: 2x4 wood studs (spacing is usually 16" or 24")
  • Exterior wall framing: 2x6 or 2x8 wood studs (spacing is usually 16" or 24")
  • Shear walls: Structural plywood sheathing of 1/2", 3/4" or 15/32" (CDX or OSB).
  • 2x4 or 2x6 bottom plate and double top plates.
  • 4x6, 4x8, 4x10 or 4x12 headers above openings
  • King studs, jack studs, cripple studs
  • 4x6, 6x6 or 8x8 wooden posts
  • Wall blockings

Ceiling, Roof and  Floor Framing Elements

  • 2x8, 2x10 or 2x12 floor joists, ceiling joists or roof rafters
  • 1/2", 3/4" or 15/32" plywood sheathing for roofing and floor decking.
  • PSL, LVL Beams
  • Floor I-beams or girders
  • Sill plates
  • Rim Joists

Stair Framing Elements

  • 1x10 wooden treads
  • 2x8 wooden risers
  • 2x12 stair stringers

Lumber Hardware

  • Simpson Hurricane ties
  • Simpson Strong ties
  • Joist hangers
  • Brackets & connectors
  • Screws

Unit of Measures

It is important to get a framing take off in appropriate unit of measures so that there is no issues later on when the customer places the order with lumber yard. Many estimating companies our there just measure the lengths of framing elements and provide a total linear footage for a particular beam. For example, they will list 2x4 joists = 2100 LF and 4x4 posts = 100 LF. Based on such numbers, it is impossible for a lumber yard to supply you material because they do not know how many pieces of each length are required by you. Such figures are only useful estimate the framing materials cost. But a BIG NO for placing lumber orders.

Our framing estimators pay special attention to this matter and this feature stands us out. Our lumber takeoffs cover up each and every aspect of framing element including its cross-section size, length, type, count, property etc. Our framing lists include the following details;

  • Dimensional Lumber: Cross section size (2x4, 2x6 or 2x8), lengths (8', 10' or 12'), pieces count (10 EA)
  • Plywood sheathing: Square footage (2100 SF) and number of sheets (typical sizes are 4'x8' or 4'x12')
  • Hardware: Count of Simpson and hurricane ties, rolls/lengths of straps etc.


Commercial Lumber Take off Services

We also offer lumber take offs for commercial projects including hotels, shopping malls, hospitals, apartments buildings etc. We have estimated hundreds of multi-story wood framed projects and also lumber-steel composite framing projects. Our detailed take offs include each and every aspect of lumber framing that is required for ordering materials or for estimating the construction costs of project. We have estimated lumber for commercial new construction as well as tenant improvement (TI) projects. The scope of works for new commercial projects is usually same as mentioned before. However, a tenant improvement job scope also includes framing for wall infill, roof infill, RTU framing, plywood decking, curbing etc.

Commercial Lumber Takeoff Services

We use takeoff software like planswift and bluebeam to scale the drawing and then our estimators manually measure each and every framing element as per the structural framing plans. Finally we gather all the information in an excel spreadsheet to come up with a lumber list. We also provide color coded markups that show the layout, lengths and counts of all the framing elements on the provided PDF plans.

Email your drawings to in order to get a free lumber estimate quote!

If you have an upcoming residential or commercial project and require a detailed lumber takeoff, then QTO Estimating should be your first call. We have prepared wood framing estimates for many small to big size construction projects. Our team of professional estimators has decades of combined experience working on construction projects. Moreover, we understand what is involved in the preparation of complete lumber takeoff or millwork estimates for building projects.

Why Hire QTO Estimating For Lumber Take offs?

Our lumber take off service is very comprehensive and the estimates are prepared with a great attention to detail by our framing estimators. We incorporate as much information as possible based on the provided plans and specifications of project. A lumber take off with missing information (like types, sizes) will be useless as lumber yard will not be able to take orders based on that. Similarly, an incorrect lumber list will cost you a lot more as the materials you will order based on inaccurate list will be more or less. So you will be paying extra freight charges and also many lumber yards have no return policy. So its very important to hire professional framing estimators to have an accurate framing estimate prepared for your project.

Our material takeoff sheets (MTO) are well-referenced with drawing # and detail #. So it is easy for our clients to skim through the quantities and verify them by going to the particular detail on drawing from which it was quantified. Furthermore, for ordering lumber or getting quotes from market, it is possible to use our lumber takeoffs to know the exact quantities of framing elements required for your construction project. Furthermore, if you are a general contractor and looking for rough carpentry bids from sub-contractors, then you can use our material estimates to get quotations from lumber suppliers or millwork sub-contractors.


Building an accurate lumber takeoff list requires much more than just a framing takeoff spreadsheet or framing material list. With any construction estimate, there are a lot of hidden costs that are easily overlooked, but that can lead to additional hours and costs being put onto the project. That’s where our expertise in preparing quantity takeoffs shines through! Our dedicated estimating specialists will breakdown your project and focus on one small piece at a time. We will evaluate your drawings or plans and go through them step by step to complete the estimate.

Some of the things that we look at when calculating your estimate are calculating the lumber required for framing, type of wood required, wall studs, insulation gaps and requirements, hardware, fittings, rough carpentry and accessories. We also look at the wholesale lumber costs, delivery costs, and transportation fees, and vehicle requirements.

Another component that we take into consideration when we prepare your lumber takeoff and estimation is how man framers man hours will be required to complete the project. This includes both skilled and unskilled labor required to complete the house framing construction project. Moreover, project management costs, bonds, insurances, safety costs etc. can never be neglected. In our lumber takeoff services, we quantify all woodwork of Division 06 as per CSI master format including;

  1. Wall StudsLumber Estimate Spreadsheet-QTO
  2. Floor Joists
  3. Roof Rafters
  4. Beams and Posts
  5. Wood trusses
  6. Wooden decking
  7. Plywood Sheathing
  8. Wood paneling
  9. Wood stairs & railing
  10. Ornamental wood work
  11. Rough carpentry
  12. Wood shelving
  13. Fascia
  14. Trim and Siding
  15. Architectural wood work
  16. Case work


We have estimated hundreds of framing projects. A few of our lumber takeoff example spreadsheets along with their markups in PDF are provided below;



  • General Contractors
  • Framing Contractors
  • Home Builders
  • Home Owners

  • Architects
  • Designers
  • Developers
  • Lumber Yards


The building industry, more now than ever, is highly competitive and requires a detailed eye for attention. Preparing any lumber takeoffs and construction estimates take a plenty of experience and can be extremely time-consuming. All of this before you even get the job. Your time is valuable and could be better spent building and growing your business.

That’s where QTO Estimating can step in and help you out. Our certified framing estimators can take your takeoff requirements and complete detailed and accurate framing estimates that will help you win more jobs and ensure you make the maximum amount of money from your projects.

Lumber take off and estimating is an extremely complicated and time-consuming process that involves a thorough understanding of framing elements, their specifications, types, uses, quality, construction techniques, transportation, labor costs, material costs, and much more. Even the slightest misstep during your lumber takeoff and estimate can cause you to lose a potential job or run over budget.


Curious about how we do the lumber takeoff? Below are the 7 major steps that we follow to prepare a typical framing material estimate;

  1. Plans & Specs Review: The first step in preparing a lumber takeoff is to go through the project plans and specifications to get an overall idea of the lumber framing scope and requirements. Most of the working is carried out on the structural plans that indicate the framing layout for the walls, floors, ceiling and roofing. The drawings are loaded into the takeoff software and scaled as per the provided scale.
  2. Calculate Wall Studs: The lengths of different types of wooden walls such as 2x4, 2x6 are marked and their heights are checked from the sections/elevations. The length of each wall is divided by the stud spacing (usually 16") to calculate the number of wall studs required. For example, if the 2x4 wall length comes out to be 100LF and the spacing is 16"=1.33LF the the number of studs will be 100/1.33=75. We add 3 additional studs for each 90 degree corner and 4 studs for each 45 degree corner of building layout.
  3. Calculate Floor/Roof/Ceiling Framing: The lengths of various framing elements such as floor joists, ceiling joists and roof rafters are marked on the layout plan individually. The elements having same length are counted separately to calculate the number of pieces required for each length. The measured joist length is rounded off to the nearest even whole number because the dimensional lumber comes in the usual lengths of 6', 8', 10', 12' and so on.
  4. Calculate Misc. Framing: There are various miscellaneous framing elements that need to be measured individually from the plans. This includes blockings, bracings, stair treads, risers, stringers etc. All of these items are measured as per the framing layout plan.
  5. Calculate Plywood Sheathing: The exterior wall lengths marked in the second step are multiplied with the height to calculate the square footage of exterior plywood sheathing. The plywood sheets come in two major sizes i.e., 4'x8' and 4'x12'. Depending on the size being used on the project, the plywood sheathing area is divided by the area of single sheet to calculate the number of plywood sheets for walls. For example, if the 100LF is the wall length and 10' is the height then the required plywood square footage will be 100x10=1000 SF. If we use 4'x8' sheets then the number of plywood sheets required will be 1000/32= 32EA. For floor sheathing, simply the square footage is marked using area tool in the takeoff software. The roof sheathing area is also measured while considering the slope of roof and inputting the roof pitch in the software.
  6. Hardware Calculation: Framing hardware and accessories such and Simpson strong ties, Hurricane tiles HDUs, screws, nails and joists hangers etc. are counted from the framing plans. The coiled straps that are used for tension load transfer are also counted and multiplied with cut length to come up with the total length of straps required.
  7. Compiling Takeoff Sheet: All the calculated materials are listed in the excel spreadsheet along with the reference of drawing and detail number. The final takeoff sheet is delivered along with the PDF markups generated by the takeoff software.



We have a dedicated team of framing estimators having decades of experience with wood construction and framing estimation. We strictly follow the structural design codes and local area codes while estimating the structural framing quantities. Our policy is to strictly adhere with the standard construction estimation guidelines provided by organizations such as American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE), Project Management Institute (PMI), American Wood Council (AWC) and American Institute of Timber Construction (AITC).


QTO Estimating offers estimation service and specialized lumber takeoffs in excel to home owners, builders and contractors nationwide. We have been serving our customers throughout the US states including New York, California, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Arizona, Utah, Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi, Idaho, Minnesota, Washington, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Colorado, New Jersey, Virginia, Indiana, Alabama, Connecticut, Nevada, Iowa, Hawaii and Maine.

Typical Wood Framing Structure
A typical lumber framing project
Wooden Trusses Estimating
Wooden Trusses & Framing


It doesn’t matter if you require a complete construction cost estimate or just a framing takeoff for residential or commercial project. QTO Estimating can get it done for you. Our friendly and professional lumber estimators have decades of experience working on both residential and commercial projects. Our experience and eye for details speak for itself on every project we complete.

If you have an estimate that you would like QTO Estimating to help you prepare, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly. We would be happy to take a look at your drawings or plans and provide you with thorough and detailed lumber takeoffs.

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