There are two different ways you can structure your takeoff within Countfire.

Option 1 — Recommended

Because Countfire’s automatic matching algorithm works across all drawings within a discipline, it is generally recommended to take all drawings that have similar symbols, and upload them into individual disciplines (EG: upload all your lighting drawings to a “Lighting” discipline, upload all your power drawings to a “Power” discipline).

The big advantage to this is that you only have to create one set of symbol descriptions per discipline, and the selections you make will match on all drawings within each discipline.

What if my takeoff has multiple blocks or phases?

Ignoring the blocks or phases is still generally the recommended approach.

Because Countfire lists files & drawings alphanumerically, one thing to ensure with this option is that your files are named in such a way that the blocks or phases end up grouped together (both within the software, and within the final Excel spreadsheet).

The best way to do that is to add a prefix to each file representing the block or phase (EG: “Block-1-filename.pdf”, “Block-2-filename.pdf” etc).

Because of these prefixes, when you then upload the files to Countfire. it will group them together when you are working on them, and also once you generate the final Excel quantities spreadsheet (all columns relating to a particular block or phase will be together in chunks).

If you need help prefixing your files prior to uploading, please let us know.

Option 2 — Not generally recommended

Occasionally useful for very large takeoffs with multiple blocks or phases

One drawback with option 1 is that if your takeoff is very large, you can end up with a very large Excel spreadsheet (one column for each drawing, more if you have zones), and with that in mind it can make sense to split the blocks or phases into their own disciplines.

With option 2, it is important to completely finish one block/discipline (including your final checks) before moving on to the next.

The reason for this is that because the symbols are the same across your different blocks/discipline, you will want to use the work you’ve done on one block/discipline and copy it over to the next. However, you will need to make sure you have everything 100% correct before doing so (otherwise you will propagate any mistakes to subsequent blocks/disciplines).

Learn more

Initial drawing preparation

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