The tape measure(er). Wait, is it tape measure OR tape measurer?
Regardless, it's a fun but frustrating little device. It never seems to be quite right.
When I was finishing my basement I would measure a 2 x 4 then walk to my cutting station and mumble to myself something like "80inches and 4 ticks plus a hair".
I'd say it over and over instead of writing it down 'cause I'm lazy and always forgot my pencil. "4 ticks plus a hair" - what the hell does that mean?
Of course, each of those little tick marks has a name and I feel like a total dumbass when I can't remember what those names are, especially when another dude is around.
Other dude: "What was that measurement we just took"
Me: "Aaaaahhh…. 4, 6, 9er??"
See what I mean. I can't really just say oh yea - that was 4 feet and 5 of those little black marks. Not the big black marks, not the red mark, but those little tiny ones. Yeah, 5 of those.
So when laser "tape" measures started coming out I was pretty excited. Now I had a tool with a laser (always a personal fav) and it would tell me the exact measurement. Praise the DIY gods for this little miracle!!!
But, then I got one and I was really disappointed. The accuracy sucked and it only measured down to 1/4ths. Hello! What about those little teeny tiny tick marks? 1/8ths and 1/16ths? Surely those matter. And indeed they did.
I mean I was thinking about giving this away to you guys on the Facebook page as a contest but then I was like "No Way" it's absolutely horrible and is of no use in any way. In the trash it went.
The Bosch GLM 80 Laser Distance Measuring Tool
A year or so went by and me and "tapey", that's what I call my old skool tape measure, were bumbling along in our familiar measure, cut, cut, cut routine. Then, as if destined for my toolbox it's entire tool life, a Bosch GLM 80 Laser Distance Measurer arrived at our door.
The kids were almost as excited as me. They heard the word laser and barely contain themselves.
This thing is awesome!
Accuracy down to 1/16th of an inch.
I tested it all over the place. Just ask Jenn, she was giving me the evil eye as went around the house announcing the distances between things.
I don't know when I'd need to measure something that 265 feet long, but that's how far you can measure. I measured the full length of my basement, 56 feet 2 inches. To do that with "tapey" was a super pain and not as accurate, plus I had to move a bunch of stuff out of the way.
Alright. So big deal. It has a laser and measures stuff. Does that really help you finish a basement? Is it really worth it?
The answer is yes!
3 Ways a Laser Measuring Tool Will Speed Up Your Basement Finishing:
1. Measuring your basement. Have you don’t this yet? It's the first thing you have to do before you can design your basement. And if your wife doesn't want to help (ahem) then it's a tricky and inaccurate job when all you have is regular tape measure.
2. Measuring stud lengths. Measure, cut, cut, cut was not an e exaggeration. Sure, sometimes I got it right the first try, but the truth is I'm an amateur. I don't do this for a living. I basically suck at measuring stuff! I get it right eventually, but it takes me a lot longer.
I put half of my training wall (see my basement finishing video) in using the laser measuring device and it was a dream. (Can men say something is a dream? Is that still ok?) It was… kick-ass. Measure once, cut once, perfect fit every single time. No more wasted studs. Much quicker
3. Trim measuring! Oh, oh, just wait. Just wait until you pull out a huge 16 ft piece of base trim and try to figure out the exact measurement to get it to fit a 15' and 4 ticks wall. Good luck! Do you know how many of my walls have 3 trim pieces scarfed together instead of one because I cut it to short and had to scrap it?
I also trimmed out my basement windows - which I highly recommend - and the laser tool absolutely helped with get those measurements just right.
Yeah, but What if I'm Poor
Can you finish your basement without a laser tape measure? Absolutely. I didn't have this baby at first and I got along, I just didn't hum along.
Can you save some money by not screwing up trim and stud cuts cause you're using a laser measure? You betcha! Plus you can use it for design, furniture layout, you name it.
This one even comes with a level attachment and it has a angle-ometer in it ( I made that word up). It knows if you're holding it level so your measurement isn't wrong due to it not being level.
A Tree that Wants to Kill Me
I have this old dead tree in my back yard. I want to buy a chain saw, climb up it and then cut it down but Jenn won't let me. She's says it's "unsafe" (air quotes there).
So I thought I'd have to pay a guy to come out but that would suck because one of our other dead trees just fell over in a wind storm and another was hit by lighting.
I'd rather let Mother Nature do my dirty work for me.... for free!
The problem was I didn't know if the tree was tall enough to hit my house. Guess what - the Bosch GLM 80 can do trigonometry.
For those of you that forget your high school math, with a few measurements and a formula from some old math dude you can figure out how tall something is.
Turns out, I'm all good. Took this bad boy outside, click, click, click and I know the tree is not tall enough to hit the house.
Jason, Did You Promise to Marry the GLM 80?
Now listen, I'm always straight up with you guys and this time is no different. A cool guy from Bosch sent me this laser distance measurer for free. YES! Finally gettin' some swag from this website.
BUT, I was not paid for this article (I'm never paid for any articles on this website!). This is my true and unbiased opinion. I'm not obligated to say anything good about it. Trust me, if it was terrible, you'd hear about it. I love "critiquing" bad products.
Good luck with your basement project. Check out this laser measuring tool, it's pretty sweet.
Cheers - Jason
More Basement Goodness:
- Not sure where to start to finish a basement. Start here!
- Hate reading? Me too! Check this out if video is your thing
- Not sure what it would cost to finish your basement, check this post out.