I've use a wheel only a few times and not to measure a house. I just can't see that a wheel is easier to use or more accurate. Bay windows, porches, decks, angles-don't see how a wheel would work for those. I'll stick with my take til something really good comes along.
Depends on what you are measuring and how accurate you want to be. I do a lot of farms. Have you got an 840' tape? That is what you need to measure a dual breeder hen house with middle egg room. Actually, I count steel trusses in most steel truss barns in my region. They are 10' span 99% of the time. Otherwise, I trust the owner to tell me the truth. Most of these are built to exacting specs required by contract. Barns, corrals, arenas, etc. are easiest to measure by wheel in my experience, but they don't have bay windows, either. I use an appraisers tape with the special double hooks that hang on corners better to measure exterior on most dwellings, a sonic device for upper floor rooms, basements, etc. Warehouses, etc. I use assessor measurements, or company plans using my judgment and the wheel to check critical measurements. In college we were taught compass and pace techniques. My pace is still 5.4' (two steps = 1 pace), which conveniently is 10% less than 6'. I still pace long driveways, lots, lagoons, CLFing, etc.
Ter of the Ozarks
And it never hurts to add the caveat to the sketch about dimensions are estimates only and not intended for exact measurements.
When I pull up to a property, after taping the perimeter with yellow "APPRAISAL IN PROGRESS" plastic crime scene tape and after I have changed into my dark blue jumpsuit with big white letters on the back that say "POLITE" (legally, that's the closest I could get to having it say "POLICE"), only then do I open up my stainless steel foam-padded briefcase which contains:
1) 30' retractable steel tape
2) 100' wind-up fiberglass tape
C) a collapsible measuring wheel
My tools of choice are the steel tape and the measuring wheel. With those two devices I can either roll along, or poke and prod into, most measurements. Because I round my measurements off to the nearest 5 feet, oops - I mean .5 feet, the measuring wheel is accurate enough.
Also, after cleaning off any apparent canine-related biological subproducts, the measuring wheel works very well for interior measuring of the second floor offsets.
Some homes just don't like the measuring wheel, and the 100' tape is sometimes the only way to go, but hopefully we'll soon see the passage of California Assembly Bill AB-795, the Appraiser with Disabilities Act, which requires "appraiser-friendly" construction of rectangular symmetrical homes designed with all dimensions in exact 10' increments.
Can you tell business is slowing down? Last year, it would happen once or twice a day, but now I hardly ever have strangers come up to me and tell me to chill out.
Koert, have you ever seen those old cartoons where the guy is trying to make up his mind and he has an Angel on one shoulder and a Devil on the other? You'll have to work it out with Mr. Freeman who gets to be who.
We had a local Realtor (salesperson, not appraiser) measuring a metal utility building with a steel tape several years ago. He was measuring the side wall height, and his tape brushed the incoming electric service line. It zapped him on the spot, killing him instantly.
I used a metal tape when I first started back in the 70's. Measured the back of a house one day and after pulling the tape tight, allowed it to drop onto a flex conduit containing wiring for the air conditioner unit. In a flash, it was burned in to two pieces. Used fiberglas ever since.
Trade in your screwdriver for a large cotter (sp?) pin. Bend it, or you can buy one from (not an advertisement here) HH. I got mine in 1989 for $4...now they're $6.95. I could not work without this tool! It stabs in ground, hooks around vinyl, holds on to brick, attaches to interior door frames or window locks.