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Best Disto Backup Tool

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ChristianG

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Mar 11, 2017
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Georgia
Hello, everyone, thank you for reading this and maybe replying ;)

I'm thinking about getting either a tape or a wheel as a backup for my Disto. In my rough estimation, I'll need a backup in less than 20% of the cases (where the laser can't cope with the situation).
Tape seems to be preferred by most users here, so I'm leaning towards it, but I have a few questions:
- my 7510i does do Pythagora, but sometimes I can't use it (for instance, a tall bush covering the wall)
- What about the case when there's a steep slope (like the house having a basement). Can the tape still work? For my latest inspection, the level difference between front and back on the side wall was way taller than me.
- also, is the hook good enough to hold the tape in place?
- I can ask the same thing about the wheel in case of a steep slope, the measurement becomes quite imprecise, unless I'm measuring the wall itself, not on the ground.
- also, back to the annoying bush (tall), sometimes it's right next to the house and there's no room between the bush and the house. Isn't this an argument against the tape?
- I'm in GA, no snow over here, the wheel can do just fine from that point of view.
- I'm not worried about a small wall where I have to set a target, as it's not a big delay to come back and remove the target (as it would be for a big wall).
- also, doesn't it sometimes happen that on the wall there are a lot of cables, boxes (AC, telephony, internet) that would prevent me from using the tape?

As about a specific tape, I've seen a lot of praise for the Spencer tape. How are these fiber glass tapes? Anyone is using them for home inspections? I found them on Amazon and they have very good reviews:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001VU6BGA/?tag=realestatappraat

Thanks a lot for all the replies,
Christian
 

Tom Woolford

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Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
- also, doesn't it sometimes happen that on the wall there are a lot of cables, boxes (AC, telephony, internet) that would prevent me from using the tape?

Christian
Why would you want to use a tape with a plethora of targets like that?
 

ChristianG

Thread Starter
Sophomore Member
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Mar 11, 2017
Professional Status
Appraiser Trainee
State
Georgia
Why would you want to use a tape with a plethora of targets like that?
Thanks for replying, Tom.
I didn't think about using those (small) boxes as targets. I always thought about them as getting in the way. It might work in some instances. But I would say, in few cases.
 

DTB

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Jun 11, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
Disto and the fattest pocket tape measure you can find. Over 10' = disto. 2-10'= tape measure. <2'= tape glued to 18" clipboard.
 

Tom Woolford

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Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Thanks for replying, Tom.
I didn't think about using those (small) boxes as targets. I always thought about them as getting in the way. It might work in some instances. But I would say, in few cases.
Great targets. That's why people say they don't like Disto's: They want /try to use them like tape measures. I haven't used a tape in over 15 years. I do use those little boxes on a regular basis.
 

ChristianG

Thread Starter
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Mar 11, 2017
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State
Georgia
Disto and the fattest pocket tape measure you can find. Over 10' = disto. 2-10'= tape measure. <2'= tape glued to 18" clipboard.
Thanks, DTB. That's good advice. I'll do the tape stuck to the board. It never occurred to me. Maybe because the appraisers I've worked with are approximating, for instance, 1'3" to 1. Or not even measuring it, just eyeballing it.
As about Disto, is indirect measurement precise enough based on your experience?
So you're using an 18" clipboard? That's another great tip. I'm using a regular one, 11.5"
 

ChristianG

Thread Starter
Sophomore Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2017
Professional Status
Appraiser Trainee
State
Georgia
Great targets. That's why people say they don't like Disto's: They want /try to use them like tape measures. I haven't used a tape in over 15 years. I do use those little boxes on a regular basis.
I guess I'm one of those, too :)
But that will change.
You doing indirect measurement often?
 

ChristianG

Thread Starter
Sophomore Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2017
Professional Status
Appraiser Trainee
State
Georgia
Also about the clipboard, I am gonna look for a big one (18") too. It's also helping when the house is very wide and there's not enough room for both first and second floor.
I'm not a big of the typical graph paper I can buy in the store (I can't tell the difference between the "10 feet" line and the "5 feet" one), so I'm making my own. I just need to use legal paper.
But I'm sure there's have been threads about paper, too.
 

EddieB

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Feb 17, 2005
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Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
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