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Top 11 Construction Estimating Acronyms

Takeoff Monkey blog: Top 11 Construction Estimating Acronyms: abstract yellow and blue color blocks with acronyms layered throughout.


Every industry has their own lingo, shorthand and slang. We could do an entire content series on construction acronyms alone, but that's a story for a different day. We decided to focus in on the estimating portion of construction projects, specifically with takeoffs.

Our team at Takeoff Monkey has compiled the Top 11 most common acronyms we work with during the takeoff process. They've been separated into two categories: Drawing and Estimating Acronyms. 


Drawing Acronyms

Schematic Design: measurements, layout; can be XX% - 100%

Design Development: highlight important design aspects, some material callouts; can be XX% - 100%

Building Permit: drawings showing only the minimum requirements to satisfy any municipal / government requirements

Issue For Construction / Construction Documents: “Final” construction drawings intended for bidding and building: can be XX% - 100%

Architect’s Supplemental Instructions: usually clarifications from the architect resulting in change orders (CO) / etc.

Pricing Request: usually a potential change in docs, but owner wants to understand the cost impact


Estimating Acronyms

Invitation to Bid: a call for contractors to submit proposals for a product or service

Request for Proposal: a document that announces a project, describes it, and requests bids from qualified contractors to complete it. The returned proposals are reviewed and a winning contractor is selected to perform the requested project.

Request for Qualifications: a document asking potential contractors to outline their background and experience providing a specific service.

Request for Information: a document to request information on a service from contractors. The document gives an idea of the offerings of the contractor, enabling the requesting team to compare different companies early in the bidding process.

Change Order:  an amendment to an existing contract that changes the work, timeline, or the contract total.


How many of these did you know? Share with your network to test their knowledge. Be sure to follow us for more educational content on the commercial construction estimating industry.