Alternative To Measuring Wheel

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I do home inspections (here on Cape Cod) & with the snow I can lo longer use my measuring wheel to measure the size of the homes I'm inspecting. Is there such a thing as an optical, sonic or laser device that would enable me to measure exterior walls without having to trudge through the snow to do this? Even better (since I have to photograph the homes anyway) does anyone know of a camera based tool that would take digital pictures plus display (or make possible for me to figure out) wall dimensions?
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laser tape measures work on the inside of rooms.
you'd need to have a known reference length in the shot to measure sizes, then just do it by ratios. you won't get too accurate a length that way though, so it depends upon how accurate you have to be.
I do home inspections (here on Cape Cod) & with the snow I can lo longer use my measuring wheel to measure the size of the homes I'm inspecting. Is there such a thing as an optical, sonic or laser device that would enable me to measure exterior walls without having to trudge through the snow to do this? Even better (since I have to photograph the homes anyway) does anyone know of a camera based tool that would take digital pictures plus display (or make possible for me to figure out) wall dimensions?
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Dick wrote:

What sort of accuracy are you reqired to maintain?
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
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: 7bit
they make rangefinder scopes for hunting, so you can adjust telescopic sights. The type made for bow hunting might have enough sensitivity at the distances you're talking about. You could stand at some zero point and range on the next corner of the house, etc. bill
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>I do home inspections (here on Cape Cod) &amp; with the snow I can lo longer use my measuring wheel to measure the size of the homes I'm inspecting. Is there such a thing as an optical, sonic&nbsp;or laser device that would enable me to measure <STRONG>exterior</STRONG> walls without having to trudge through the snow to do this?</FONT></DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>Even better (since I have to photograph the homes anyway) does anyone know of a camera based tool that would take digital pictures plus display (or make possible for me to figure out) wall dimensions?</FONT></DIV></BLOCKQUOTE></BODY></HTML>
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Dick wrote:

Get yourself one of those sticks you see in all archeological pictures, or make your own: Three foot long, alternating black and white bands each foot. Take pictures with the stick in view - perhaps multiple shots down each side, from as far away as is convenient (to minimize distortion).
Print pictures. Measure.
You can test this process on a house of known size - see how close you get and whether the difference is tolerable.
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If you got one of those driveway reflectors on a stick and virtually any laser range finder you could measure the gnat's ass
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Greg) wrote:

Those laser range finders are +/- a yard and usually don't work at less than about 60'
--
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HUH?
Look at this one. 650 feet +/- 1/16"
http://www.professionalequipment.com/xq/ASP/ProductID.2457/id.15/qx/default.htm
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Golf shops stock optical rangefinders that might suit. Some tool shops stock a similar version.
Mike
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Michael Daly wrote:

Unless he plans on carrying around a regulation flag stick, those optical finders aren't any good. They measure based on a flag stick of known height.
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On 2/2/2005 5:09 PM US(ET), Dick took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

100' roll up tape measure, and some sticky tape to tape the 'stupid' end to the corners, or initial measuring points, so it doesn't fall off. You can't use a laser measurer unless the target is a flat surface that the laser beam can hit, so it might work on inside corners, but not outside corners, because the beam will not have a target to stop it and will go right past the corner. You could set up a target board or panel to make the outside corner an inside corner, and use the board as the target. Prop the board flat up against the side of the building with enough sticking out past the corner that the laser can hit. Never heard of a camera that could determine dimensions from a photo, but wait a few years.
--
Bill

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willshak wrote:
<snipped>

I stopped myself from suggesting that because he wrote, "without having to trudge through the snow to do this?".
Did I miss something?
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia

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Yeah, you missed the clue train about 45 years ago.
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On 2/3/2005 3:10 PM US(ET), Jeff Wisnia took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

I was thinking more of him trying to push a measuring wheel through 2' of snow up in Mass., which would not be too accurate. Even without snow, the measuring wheel is really not that precise rolling over grass, dirt, stones, etc., and absent a perfectly straight path for the wheel. He still has to trudge through snow to get photos of all sides of the house.
--
Bill

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Dick wrote:

This is possible, but it might be a bit expensive. They use digital cameras and special targets in some high end industrial measuring systems. I looked into them about 7 years ago for a project I was working on at the time. When I looked into the system they used special cameras at about $35,000 apiece, plus the accessories were expensive, and the special software cost an arm and a leg. As I recall the system I would have needed would have been in the neighborhood of $100,000.
The price may be starting to come down, because I recently saw an episode of "Home Time" in which their tame counter top maker used a similar system to get the dimensions for the counter top they installed. It seemed to have worked pretty good, but I don't know what kind of price they were talking about.
Bill Gill
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I don't understand why you can't continue to use the measuring wheel, regardless of the weather. What am I missing here, other than you'd rather not walk in the snow?
--

Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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Lawrence Wasserman wrote:

We had 26" of snow in one day here in Massachusetts (where the OP is too) two weeks ago, with drifts at least four feet high against some parts of my own house.
How the hell is anyone going to get any kind of decent measurements pushing a measuring wheel through that unless someone does a heck of a lot of shoveling or snow blowing first?
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia

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Run it along the wall?
Mike
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The problem with running it along the wall Mike is that most houses have shrubs jutting out which would make that very difficult/inaccurate.
wrote:

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Ah, I love a simple answer written by a man who understands the real world.
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Christopher A. Young
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