laser level for checking joist?


I'm shopping for an auto laser level -- a device that mounts on a wall and projects a vertical and horizontal laser beam on the wall. I want to check the posts and beams in the crawl space because I suspect there is some uneven settlement, or a sagged joist (some posts have been replaced recently and may be cut too short, causing the joist to sag). What prompted this project is part of my hardwood floor has split into two levels about 1mm apart.
I thought a laser level would be perfect because it projects a straight line so I can checked for joist straighness and "horizontal-ness" by projecting the beam near the edge of the joist.
I saw something like this at hardware store for $40. http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId$7676-70-BDL180&lpage=none
Although for this project I can do without the vertical beam, it may come in handy someday.
There are many styles of self-leveling laser level. The one above needs to be attached or held against a wall/post and it projects beams on the wall. Another type mounts on a tripod and project a horizontal beam 360 degree around.
Does anyone have any thoughts on the instrument or the way I plan to use it?
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peter wrote:

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId$7676-70-BDL180&lpage=none
The only problem I see is that you are looking at the wrong side of the joists if you're just checking the bottom of the joist. The 2X ? can vary in width and not give you the reading your looking for. I suggest you use the laser but measure to the bottom of the floor to the beam and then determine what is off and how to go about lifting and correcting.
Rich
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Laser levels are useful tools, but at times they are not the handiest. In a crawlspace it might be tough to mount and level properly. A snug piece of twine would probably be easier to use, Just put a nail on both ends and snug the twine between them.
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I vote for the twine solution.
My laser is more fun, but the twine is much more accurate and easier to use.
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D

I'd vote for a water level. It's the only way I can think of to determine the relative height differences between the top (horizontal) surfaces of the joists.
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If the floor isn't level, and the joists are touching the floor, then the joists aren't level. (well, if they're level, you don't want them to be.) Why does this require a tool?
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