How To Do A
For me one of the easiest material takeoffs to do from a
houseplan is for siding. It doesn't matter whether it's
T-11,vinyl,cedar or cement board siding. Just like roofing,
these materials can be estimated by the square foot.
I use the elevation plan of the house when doing the
takeoff. These are usually drawn to 1/8" or 1/4" scale. To
find the square footage for the side of a house, I multiply
the width by the height. For example if the side of a house
with a hip roof is 25' wide and 8' high the square footage
is 200 square feet (sq. ft.).
If the side of the house has a gable, figure the
gable by itself. To
figure the square footage for a gable end, muliply the
times the height and divide by two. Using our example above
for a 25' wide house, lets say that from the top of the
to the top of the ridge is 8'. Using our formula for
estimating gables, the square footage would be 100 sq.
(25x8 divided by 2=100). Add this to the 200 sq. ft. we
figured for our wall and the total is 300 sq. ft. Do this
for all four sides of the house to give you the total
of square feet.
When ordering siding it is usually ordered by the
One square is equal to 100 square feet. The side of the
house in our example had 300 sq. ft. or 3 squares.
The exception to this would be if sheet goods were being
used. In this case divide the square footage by the square
footage of the sheet. This would be 32 sq. ft. for a 4x8
sheet. In our example of 300 sq. ft. it would take 10
to cover our wall.
When doing a take off for this task one should
waste. There are a couple of ways to do this. One way is to
subtract the square footage of all the windows and doors
add 10% for waste. The alternative to this method is to not
subtract the doors and windows and let that account for the
waste. Unless there is an unusual amount of windows and
doors this method work fine and is the one I prefer to use.
As your doing your takeoff from the house plan, write
everything down. Write down front elevation and below it
write your figures for the square footage for that
elevation. Then do the right elevation and do the same.
your way around the house till you have all the sides of
house figured. Add all the sides together and you'll have
the total square footage. By following this method, your
estimates for siding will be very accurate.
Mike Merisko (c) 2006