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Construction Takeoff: For Us, It’s All About The Dirt

Construction takeoff encompasses many aspects of a construction process, but at EarthCalc, we focus on the dirt. At EarthCalc, our goal is to provide you the most precise construction takeoff calculations possible. Whether you are grading land for a road, preparing a construction site for a new building or developing plans for a suburban park or something else entirely, our team of experts can provide accurate calculations. Before we talk about our services, however, we’d like to share some fun facts about one of our favorite tops — dirt, or, more accurately, soil.

1. The Water-Dirt Connection
We’ve seen plenty of construction projects affected by groundwater or surface water. Water is always a huge consideration during construction planning and dirt takeoff, but for all the problems associated with water in soil, it might surprise you to learn that the earth’s soil contains less than one percent of the world’s water. The oceans on our planet hold more than 97 percent, and most of the remainder is found in rivers, lakes or glaciers.

2. Soil Is Diverse
If you don’t spend a bunch of time thinking about dirt and construction takeoff, it probably would never occur to you that there are many types of dirt or soil that we find around the country. In fact, there are about 700,000 different types of soil found in the United States. Each type presents its own challenges for construction engineers, surveyors and other professionals who have to excavate, grade, strip or calculate dirt takeoffs.

3. Soil Is Classified
While this might sound like soil is part of a secret government program, we are actually discussing the classification of soil and soil horizons. When you think about “horizons,” you typically think about the point where land and sky seem to meet, but with soil, we are discussing the layers of soil.

These include the top layer, designated with the letter O, which includes organic matter (also called humus). The next layer, or horizon, is designated with an A, and this is the topsoil. From there, we head down to the E portion of soil, the eluviated horizon which includes sand, silt, clay, minerals, organic materials and more. The next horizon is designated with the letter B, and this mineral-rich portion is the subsoil. From there, horizon C is the parent material and finally, we reach horizon R, which is bedrock. This bedrock, depending on your site’s location, might include granite, limestone, sandstone, basalt or other materials. When completing dirt estimates for construction takeoff, we consider each of these horizons as part of an overall soil profile.

When it comes to a construction site, dirtwork takeoff is one of the first phases of construction. Our part of construction takeoff includes calculating a raw lot from pad down, and this includes a multitude of items, including structural fill, stripping, excavation, grading and so on. We use complex software to create highly precise dirtwork estimates. We also can create 3D files for just about any type of machine-control enabled equipment.

Every construction project is completely unique, presenting its own set of challenges. As a contractor or engineer, you have a lot on your plate, so it just makes sense to outsource some portions of construction takeoff, such as your dirtwork calculations. Typically, it takes us about three days to complete dirt estimates, although this does depend on the scope of your project. In some cases, we can provide you with rush services, as our goal is always to keep your project on schedule. To get started, you can call us, send an email or upload a project submission online. Just click on the “Send Us Work” tab on our homepage.