CMU Block Takeoff Services

If you’re bidding as a contractor on an office building, hotel, retail store, or any other type of residential structure, chances are that you would require CMU block takeoff services. A lot of residential and commercial construction projects rely on CMU because they offer good thermal insulation, are effective in absorbing sound and are faster to construct. CMU blocks are also stronger than typical brick masonry.CMU Bock Takeoff

However, estimating CMU blocks is different than the typical brick masonry. The sizes of cinder blocks are different, and the typical quantity of mortar used for laying is different than stone or brick. Your estimate may change considerably because of different types of block work for your project. Similarly, labor charges, transportation, and reinforcement; there’re a number of factors you need to consider before you can actually bid on a CMU block work.

Construction projects are high-competitive, and the same stands true for CMU block work. You can’t afford to make mistakes during the preparation of your CMU masonry estimate. Otherwise, you may lose a potential job or run over budget.

If you have never taken a CMU block takeoff before, here’s some information that can help you with the process and why you should hire an expert instead of trying it yourself from scratch.

CMU Masonry Estimation Basics

A typical concrete masonry unit (CMU) involves using rectangular concrete blocks for making structural as well as partition walls in residential and commercial construction. These cinder blocks or concrete blocks are either solid or have a hollow core with a different set of applications.

It is a versatile building material that can be stacked easily to form a robust retaining wall or a part of a building. Cinder blocks are also used to form CMU Takeoff Servicefoundation walls or stem walls and have numerous advantages over typical concrete poured walls. In foundation work, the hollow cores of the blocks are reinforced with rebar embedded in concrete.

Material takeoff for CMU Block work

There’re two methods to undertake CMU block takeoff, and each method has its own pros and cons:

– The surface area method

Volume method

In the surface area method, we determine the area of all walls one by one by multiplying the height and length of the wall. From this area, we can subtract the area of the openings like ventilators, doors, and windows. In the end, we can divide the net area by the standard area of a CMU block to get the number of blocks required for a wall. You might also have to subtract the area that will be covered by any beams or columns. Typical buildings have a roof and lintel band beam as per seismic provisions.

In the volume method, we can either take the area of all masonry work from the plan or measure the length from the blueprints and multiply it with standard widths to get the area. We multiply this area with the total height of the wall to get the volume of the block masonry. In the end, we can subtract the volume of any openings as we just did in the area method. For estimating the number of blocks, you can simply divide the net volume with the volume of standard block work.

However, the above two methods might be too complicated in case your project includes a different set of CMU block sizes from that of the walls. For that, it is better to go by the linear measurement. You can use the plan to determine the length of the wall and synchronize it with the type or size of the block to be used. You can use this data to determine the area or volume of block work followed by any deductions for openings.

Include wastage

For CMU blocks, there’s always going to have some wastage of materials. There’re cut pieces along corners, or you might have some damaged pieces while shifting or handling at the site. So, it is always good to include 3 to 4% as wastage in your material estimate for masonry work.

Adding labor charges

Most of the block masonry projects follow the per square foot method, but it is pretty important to thoroughly read your bidding instructions before taking off the quantities. But along with the block work, you need to include the amount for mortar and any other material in the project, like concrete for filling cores, as well as reinforcement.

After you have obtained the material cost of the project, you can determine the labor charges.

Generally, the contractor’s cost for labor is between $10 to $17 per square foot or an hourly rate of $34 to $100 per hour. But the actual cost of labor for your project will vary a lot depending on the size of the block, the height of work, and any complex details that might take more time to complete.

Add a percentage for extras.

Depending on the nature or urgency of the job, you might need to hire more labor to accomplish the job early. Similarly, there’re more risks involved in working at heights than working on a ground floor. So, you need to include all such impacts while preparing a bid for the CMU block masonry.

Also, you might have labor or two who can get sick or injured at work. That’s why it is important to add a 5 to 10% margin in your bid estimate to take care of the delays or any unforeseeable circumstances.

Add overheads and profit margins.

It is now the most critical part of your bid. You’re operating a business, and as a contractor, you may have business overheads like advertising, utility bills, car repairs, and staff members.

So, while bidding on any job, you need to include a factor of a small number of your expenses in every job. If you have already determined your monthly operating expenses, you can determine the overheads for your project by multiplying the month’s budget in days with the duration of your masonry work.

After adding all the labor costs, operating expenses, and equipment costs, you can add a profit margin at the end. Your profit margin depends a lot on your experience, availability of work, and your cash flow. If you’re new in the field and don’t have any continuous stream of projects, you can set a profit margin of 5%. Otherwise, 10 to 15% is also common.

Looking for CMU Block Takeoff Estimating Services?

Time to call experts

So, you see, finding a block masonry project is just one aspect of doing business. To land a job, you need to make accurate estimates and bid competitively on more jobs. With you being busy tackling technical aspects of the business, it is quite daunting to work yourself through all such reckoning work. That’s why we recommend outsourcing your CMU block work to a reputable estimation company like Rocket takeoffs.

We’re a team with years of experience making estimates and preparing bids for general as well as subcontractors. We’ve been helping clients not just land more jobs but also increase profit margins and have a long-term boost in their business.

Call us today, and our sales rep will be pretty happy to serve you.


We use Planswift Software to do Digital Takeoffs

So, if you’re looking to take off your residential or commercial masonry project, you require a helping hand. That’s where software like Planswift can be pretty helpful. It let you quickly determine the required area of finish but has specific built-in tools to make your paint takeoff easy as ago.




Why Us?

✔️USA Based
✔️No Contracts & No Set Up Fees
✔️We Never Charge For Quotes
✔️Track Your Order with our Client Login Dashboard
✔️We Are Built On Transparency
✔️Hablamos Español

What will you get?


  • Excel Spreadsheet Material List. Editable & Accurate Results. Comprehensive Information with a Detailed Breakdown in Quantities. (Example below is based on Scope at the time of the project, to see an up-close example: Click Here) 
  • In addition, you also receive a color marked drawings of your plans so that you can review the areas that were considered in your takeoff.



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