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measuring angles on homes

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MATTELLENBURG

Freshman Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2002
What tools do you use to measure the angle and degree of homes with bay windows or homes built with sloping wall lines? i always measure these areas but if I could get the correct degree for the angle, it would be much easier. Thanks for the input. :?:
 

Larry Lyke

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2002
Matte --

I would be happy to offer advice if you would give a particular example of something you'd like help with.

A quick lesson or two in using angles and degrees would boost your confidence, I'll bet.

Without being facetious, the appraiser is rarely dealing in planes of more than 90 degree angles. In most situations, even regarding a roof line, vaulting, or incline of a driveyway or terracing.

Take a standard bay window with a one plane face on the same plane as the wall in which it sets with an angled window at each end. If the angle is not the standard 45 degrees, then it's probably 30 or 60.

But that's head knowledge. Eyeballing ought to be sufficient for regular appraisal purposes. I'm not pooh-poohing precision. I, myself, am a stickler for detail, mainly because once you know something new and truly comprehend it, it's yours forever, and you'll soon find nuanced applications where you're glad you knew it.

The latter refers to a "bay window." A bow window is a difference ball game.

You can practice angles by drawing a square. A line drawn from one corner to the opposite corner is a diagonal and is always 45 degrees -- which also gives you two right angle triangles.
 

Blue1

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
For bay windows, you can usually measure the 2-90 degree measurments. Most Bay windows I see are 2' X 2' (45 degree angle) This works well with most sketch programs. In addition you can measure across the face of the angle so you can check it when you actually draw it using the two coordinates.

Rise and run is also a way of measuring angles. Same as a roof pitch. Measure say 1 foot out then measure up to the slope. This will give you how many inches/feet out per inches/feet up an angle rises.

Recently I had a hexagon room to measure. I measured from face to face, point to point and checked that all the faces were the same width. It was easy to transfer to my Apex sketch program that way.

Hope this helps.....Good Luck
 

Jo Ann Meyer Stratton

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
A trick in the field when you have an odd angle like 17 degrees or something (since so many in my area are owner built--that is not uncommon!). Anyway, where the two walls join, take two credit cards, put the long side of each one against the wall, very, very carefully hold the credit cards in that position, move them very, very carefully over to your sketch pad, trace the angle onto your paper. Pull out your handy, dandy [email protected] protractor from your pocket and make a note of the angle. And measure everything possible, length of wall, rise and fall of the angle, distance from the angled wall to a garbage can, then to the porch swing, etc, etc, etc. Then when in the office using Apex, do your exterior wall sketch in free form before attempting to sketch the calculated area. You can make some adjustments in free from, use 16 degrees at 9.9 feet instead of 17 degrees at 10 feet or 18 degrees at 10.2 feet until everything squares up. When you finally have the sketch squared in free from, select your calculated area and follow the dots (join corners). Have fun. Also Apex has a gadget called a Mite-R-Gage, that basically does about the same thing. It looks like two rulers about a foot long that are joined with a protractor.
 

Elliott

Elite Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Oregon
This is a variation on JoAnns' Technique....

You put your clipboard and field sheet under the
siding (visualize--putting one edge of the clipboard
against the concrete), then you make carpetner
lines tracing the two sides on the edges of your
field sheet. Then you label it andreference it
on your regular field diagram. When
you get back in the office you take out the protractor
and figure out it was 30 degrees or whatever.

Hope it helps.

elliott
 

Larry Lyke

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2002
In addition to Jo Ann's and Elliott's ~

On Apex, sketch all the known flat surfaces so they fit together correctly at the angles as the building exists, then you are only dealing with the odd angles issues, which by sheer tour de force has to come out right.

In the case of more than one unusual wall to the property, draw the lines of the straight sided planes in position and work from there. As we all know, geometry has rules, strict rules which work.

And, when in the field, measure each wall as if it were a straight line crossing somewhere over the horizon like Jo Ann alluded to ... meets at the trash can or meets at the tree. Eventually extended lines will meet (read cross, intersect). That will give you a framework from which to work backwards.

Then like she also said, trace over the "good" Free Form Mode lines in the Define Area mode.
 

Ben Vukicevich SRA

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Matt,

Ignore the bay window in your sketch...for the time being. What I mean is, say your bay window is along the front of the house....move out from the house and measure right by the bay window to get the proper length of the rectangle/front wall. Now go back to the bay window and measure it independently of the front wall. Forget the angles/degrees and exactly where the bay window is located along the front wall. It doesn't matter. Don't need no stinkin protractor or the Pythagorean Theorum to figure out the area of the bay...Look at the bay window. All it is ..is a rectangle with two triangles. So measure the face of the bay window..say that's 4'. Measure out how far the bay window projects/sticks out from the front wall. Say that's 2'. So the rectangular portion of the bay window is 4x2=8 s/f. Now for the angled part. You already know that it sticks out 2', so all you have to measure is the base of the triangle which is from the end of the rectangular part of the bay to where the angle part of the bay (hypoteneuse) meets the wall. So you clip your tape on the end of the rectangular part of the bay and create your own base of the triangle by stringing the tape until you can measure where the angled part meets the wall. Most often that will be 2' also. Since you have 2 right triangles, multiply 2x2 which is a square and accounts for both angled parts of the bay window. Your total bay area is 12/sf.

Now, do I draw them with WinSketch...Well I used to but it was just a real pain. Zooming along with straight lines is so much faster. I calculate the areas of the bays separately and just add the areas of the bays to the first or second floor living areas on URAR, as necessary after the sketch program has calculated the areas of the rectangular portion of the house. No one complains as the area is accurate..and they really haven't got a clue anyway. Or you can calculate them independently in WinSketch as Miscellaneous areas and add them to the appropriate floor.

I guess Pythagorus would be disappointed in lazy me.

65838197vpLsQD_ph.jpg



PS. This would also work for angled walls..just treat them the same way as the triangles on the bay..just get the depth measurement and the base of the triangle measurement.

I guess Webshots.com will not allow the photo to be seen. If you right click in the box and copy the photo properties to your browser and hit Enter, you can see how I calculate the area of a bay window. Anybody know of websites that offer free photo storage that allow linking to other websites? Seems Yahoo and Webshots are no longer allowing it. Sorry about that.

Ben
 

bobburnitt

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
For many years, I owned a welding business, and still have nearly all of my welding equipment. Of these tools I have many different home-made devices for measuring angles. A couple of these tools are very similar to the one I have seen in one of the appraisal supply catalogues. The one that is store bought works like mine. You set the device in the angle and simply read it. Mine is steel, and works the same, except, after I 'freeze' the angle, I have to set a protracter on the tool and read the angle.

The interesting thing though, is this: nearly everytime, the angles (if they are not 90 degrees), are nearly always 45 degrees or 22 and 1/2 degrees, or so close, that it makes no *detectable* difference.

You can also calculate angles by measuring benchmarks, and then drawing to scale. Have done that many times as a welder to fabricate different weldments. Measuring a house is easy after doing that.

I would recommend the $15.00 device. Makes it easy. I have cut so many angles, and fit so much pipe, that I can usually look at the angle and tell you if it is 45 degrees or 22 1/2 just 'eyeballing' it.

Or you can go to the building supply and purchase a 'tee bevel' for next to nothing. But, you will need a protractor to 'read' the tee bevel. If you go to that damned Home Depot, be prepared for nobody to know what the hell you are talking about, and for the price not to be marked.

BB
 

MATTELLENBURG

Freshman Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2002
Thanks for everything. I've been in the business a good while and I feel pretty confident in the drawings but I wanted to double check myself. Thanks again and here's to an awesome year in the business.
 
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