• Welcome to AppraisersForum.com, the premier online  community for the discussion of real estate appraisal. Register a free account to be able to post and unlock additional forums and features.

Forum Sponsor - a la mode

QuickSource provides a single-source solution to easily import, compare, and manage data from multiple, credible sources in every report. See what the next game-changer is really all about.

Mesuring Houses

Status
Not open for further replies.

wyecoyote

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Gvmt Agency, FNMA, HUD, VA etc.
State
Washington
Saw this on this old house the other day and would think that it would be great for measuring houses. They currently use it for kitchen cabinets and countertops. The device takes several points that your set little optical boxes in the corners of the room this gives the dimensions of the room into a computer. When the cabinets are installed you reset these points on top of the cabinets and it gives you the dimensions for the countertops. This could really be cool if the could use it for a house. Imagine one day driving up to a house put little optical boxes on the outside angles of the house pull open your computer and it puts in the exterior dimensions of a house. Little speed up of the inspection time no more tapes unless it is a two story house then you just pull out your handy dandy extention ladder and put them on the second level. Perhaps one day that will be a good thing to have and be the next best thing since sliced bread.

Ryan
 

Michael Elliott

Sophomore Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2003
Ryan -

Not to burst your bubble, but I already have such a device. It's called a Disto laser tape. And it doesn't even require me to put little "optical devices" on the walls of the house. I can measure an average, run of the mill house (including second floor) in under 10 minutes, and that includes entering the dimensions into the Apex sketching software on my handheld computer. I haven't had to resort to a manual tape once since I've had this setup - 6 months now. My tape is gathering dust in my trunk. This isn't the future - the future is now!

-Michael Elliott
[email protected]
 

Smokehouse

Junior Member
Joined
May 7, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Can you explain how these laser tapes work. If you are trying to measure a house, do you stand at one corner and shoot the beam at something on the other side? I have looked into these and they dont really seem to explain how it works.

Thanks in advance


KGB :usa:
 

Michael Elliott

Sophomore Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2003
Originally posted by Kendall Bryan@May 7 2003, 02:37 PM
Can you explain how these laser tapes work. If you are trying to measure a house, do you stand at one corner and shoot the beam at something on the other side? I have looked into these and they dont really seem to explain how it works.
Certainly.

There are several methods you can use. For the more advanced ones, you will want to get a Disto Classic (the version 5 if you can since it has a built-in scope).

If you have an "interior" angle- that is, another wall to bounce off of, just aim at the wall as a target. I should point out this is much more accurate than the "ultrasonic" (i.e. cheap) digital tapes you might have seen - even those with a laser "pointer" on them, because you have to trust where the sound bounces from. The Disto actually measures with the laser beam to the exact point.

Now, for exterior angles - for instance a square ranch house with nothing to bounce off of - you can use the pythagorian function built into the Disto. When you activate this function, you simply point it at one corner of the wall, then the center, then the other corner. Then the Disto will triangulate from where you are standing and tell you the length of the wall. You can also use only two points if you are located directly across from the first corner.

Now, I was really worried about this before I bought my Disto - being so used to a tape measure. But I found that from a practical standpoint you won't actually end up using the Pythag function all that much. Even on a ranch house there are gutters, utility boxes, etc. to bounce off of. Which sounds kind of "inprecise" from a tape point of view, but really works better than it sounds in the field. Now, where the Disto really shines is indoors for weird second floors, figuring finished basement areas, open foyers, etc.

I would also suggesting visiting Matt Johnson's site at appraiserdepot.com - he offers a money back guarantee on the Disto's and is very knowledgable and helpful with them. There is also a lasertape forum on Yahoo that he can point you to that you can ask appraiser's questions about them.

Hope that helps!
Michael Elliott
[email protected]
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
LOVE my Disto Classic!!!!

If you want to ride with me one day when I'm going to measure, let me know.
 

KD247

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Ryan,

This is the best concept I've seen so far:

Sketch-Right Software lets you freehand this on to your tablet PC:

sr1.gif


You can then plug your Disto into the PC. When you measure a wall, the software asks which wall you want to assign that measurement to. You select the wall on your freehand sketch and when you're done, you get this:

sr2.gif


The bad news is that SketchRight apparently wasn't profitable and the company no longer supports the Disto interface. However, the software is now free for download. My new tablet PC ($1499.99 at costco.com; six months no-questions-asked return policy on computers!) is coming tomorrow and I might try using SketchRight on it.

Question: Does FNMA really require that we "prove" our calculations on the sketch, or is this just another habit that we've all become accustomed to?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Find a Real Estate Appraiser - Enter Zip Code

Copyright © 2000-, AppraisersForum.com, All Rights Reserved
AppraisersForum.com is proudly hosted by the folks at
AppraiserSites.com
Top

AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock
No Thanks