With the thread about metric conversion I got to thinking about
construction. Having dealt with cars that have both sae and metric
bolts is a pain in the butt, but I see a much bigger problem.
All standard construction in the US has studs spaced at 16 or 24
inches. A sheet of plywood, sheetrock, etc is usually 8 by 4 feet.
Roofing shingles, carpetting, linoleum, are all sold in yards, feet or
inches. Plumbing pipe is one half, three quarters one inch and so on.
We cant just change these things, and it would be totally rediculous
to have separate building materials for both inches and centimeters.
How can we ever change this? I surely dont want to buy a sheet of
plywood or sheetrock that wont fit across my 16" walls or floor
studs/joists. And if we keep the size the same, but change to metric
measurements, instead of saying a 4 by 8 foot sheet of plywood we
would have to say a long decimal equivalant with POINT something at
Something like carpeting or linoleum probably could be changed to the
nearest whole metric number because it does not rely on spaced studs
or joists, but then if a room was built to be 12 feet, and the
flooring ends up being a half inch less because of the conversion,
many people would be quite angry. So, they darn well better make it
larger, not smaller.....
Then comes the plumbing pipe. It MUST fit the old pipe. We can not
just change to the nearest metric number. And I'd sure hate to have
to go to the store and ask for a 3.856 by 5.891 CM electrical box,
when I can not ask for a 3x5 box.
Then comes dimentional lumber. It's bad enough we now have 2X4's in
buildings that are 2" X 4" 1 5/8" X 3 5/8" 1 1/2" X 3 1/2".
Lets not make this worse by adding yet another mismatched size,
because the number has to be metric.
I think building materials should just be left as they are. Even if
they were to leave the size as it is now, but change to metric
numbers, do you really thing many people would ask for that "3.856 by
5.891 CM electrical box"? I'd probably not even be able to remember
all those numbers.
About the only place in building where I could see the change not
being a real problem would be with liquid measurements. For example,
a gallon of paint or a quart of roofing cement.
And finally nails, screws, wire, etc.....
I am going to turn this into a question....
Is a #16 common nail 16 cm long? Is a #8 screw a metric number? (of
course the length is still in inches).
Is a #12 guage wire in metric, or what does that "12" mean?
I'm just guessing on this, I dont know metric well enough...