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How to Square a Building with a Tape Measure

Feb 24, 2023 Mileseey tools
Square a Building with a Tape Measure

When it comes to any building, the fact is that it can only be as strong as its foundations are. The best materials won't mean much if the fundamentals are wrong, and physics really can't be cheated. So no matter what kind of project is being done, you can be that professionals will take their time to square the building.

But what exactly does it mean to square a building? What advantages does it provide? And how is it even done? We'll dive deep into learning how to square a building with a tape measure.

Why do you need to "square a building?"

The first thing we need to clear up is what exactly it means to "square a building". And in very short terms, it means ensuring all angles in the structure are 90 degrees. This is why we call it squaring, as all angles in a square are exactly 90 degrees.

So why is it so important to make sure a building is square? It mainly comes down to stability and measurements. A 90-degree angle ensures that forces are distributed evenly and properly, making the structure more stable. Additionally, if all angles are 90 degrees, the walls and pillar will be parallel, and there won't be any unexpected misalignments later on in the process.

How to Square a Building Using Mileseey Laser Tape Measure

check for square with a tape measure

 

Now that we've covered the basics of squaring let's take a closer look at how to check for square with a tape measure. At Mileseey, our laser solutions and tools are known for their high accuracy, so once you have one of our tapes at hand you'll be ready to try any of these methods.

Using the 3-4-5 method

Named after its specific measurements, the 3-4-5 method is designed to allow anybody to square a building with as few tools as possible, and it's an incredibly clever show of geometry know-how. To explain, let's say you are doing a project in your garden but you don't have a dedicated squaring tool. While it'd be easy to feel overwhelmed, the fact is that all you need are a few reference points, string, and your trusty tape.

Step-by-step guide in squaring a building using a tape measure

Begin by setting up two stakes and tying a string between them, this'll be your first line and has to be parallel to your project. Make sure the second stake is 12 inches away from the edge of your project as well. Then set a 3rd stake perpendicular to the first line, roughly 12 inches behind your other stake. tie it with the string as well and make a point of intersection, this is how we'll get the square angle.

Now comes the actual measurement, so bring out your tape. measure until you get a three-foot length on your straight line, as well as a four-foot length on your perpendicular line, and lastly a five-foot length across. Once you have nailed that 3-4-5 measurement your crossed angle will be perfectly square.

How to square different surfaces

Now, the basics of the 3-4-5 method ultimately come down to an application of the Pythagorean Theorem, so with some simple calculations you can use the same idea on any surface using solely your tape.

The general idea is of course the same, once the 3 sides of the imaginary triangle are right, you can rest assured your wall or corner is perfectly square.

So use the same principle and measure three units on one corner and four on the other, these units can be an inch, a meter, or anything else as long as the ratio is exact. Then measure the distance between the marks, if it's 5, it's square. And you didn't need to do anything invasive to your foundations or walls.

Additional Tips and Considerations

Now, just because squaring is a relatively simple process it doesn't mean one shouldn't be careful. As we mentioned before proper squaring is essential to ensure structural integrity, and that means you should keep these extra tips just to make sure.

  1. Use a laser level for accuracy

Humans aren't perfect, and sometimes something as simple as the way we handle our tools can make us err on a calculation. So to be extra sure that every single measurement is spot on rely on a laser level and laser tape. That way you'll know your measurements were as precise as they can be.

  1. Check your measuring device multiple times to avoid errors

Checking out your calculations and realizing they fit the 3-4-5 method on the first try is amazing, but you know what's better? Making sure those calculations check out multiple times. So make a habit out of redoing every measurement multiple times, that way you'll be able to remove human error from the equation and you'll know your results are completely accurate.

Best Mileseey Laser Measuring Tape for Checking Building

 

Now that you've mastered the fundamentals it's time to take a look at the right tools for the job. At Mileseey, we are always pushing the boundary when it comes to measuring and laser technology, and that means we have the perfect laser measuring tapes to help you in your upcoming projects. 

Mileseey DT20 Digital Distance Laser Tape Measure Tool

Mileseey DT20 Digital Distance Laser Tape Measure

Packing in digital reading, a standard tape measure, and a laser measure the Mileseey DT20 is a powerhouse in a compact and ergonomic presentation. With a range of up to 40m, the DT20 will provide accurate readings no matter how large or small your project is, and once you take into account its Bluetooth capabilities and its rechargeable battery, its small frame will become even more impressive.

Mileseey DT11 Laser Tape Measure HD LCD Display

Mileseey DT11 Laser Tape

The Mileseey DT11 is a wonderful tool not only due to its accurate laser and sturdy build but also due to how intuitive it is to use. The DT11 is not only able to keep a memory of past measurements on its display, but its built-in Pythagorean functions mean that it's never been easier to square any surface than with it.

READ MORE: Ultimate Guide to Construction Measuring Tools Every Engineer and Builder Needs

Wrapping It Up

Properly squaring a building will ensure it is sturdy and reliable for years to come, and thankfully as we just saw today the process itself isn't that complex. All you need is a little bit of math knowledge and reliable tools, and in that sense, you can't do better than Mileseey tape measures.

At Mileseey, we fully believe that precision and measurement technology can become more affordable and we've made it our mission over the last 12 years to improve on the existing technology while making sure we remember our core belief of affordability. We are a leading brand when it comes to laser tape measures, laser distance meters, and laser levelers, and this has only been possible thanks to years of development, research, and manufacturing.

Related Blogs from Mileseey

What is the Best Laser Tape Measuring Tool

How to Use Laser Tape Measure

4 Powerful Building Measurement Tools for You to Know

 

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