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Top 10 Measuring Tools Every Building Inspector Must Have

It’s no secret that the good old measuring tape has been the building inspectors best friend for years, however with much technology advancing over the years, the method of measuring things has as well.

Of course these advancements help refine accuracy and efficiency. Therefore if you want to stay ahead of the game, here is a list of the top 10 measuring tools I believe every building inspector must have.

10. Stanley Tools 30-Foot-by-1-1/4-Inch FatMax Measuring Tape

I know I’m showing you a tape measure but this is not your typical tape measure, this is a FATMAX! Have you ever had to measure the width of a window or the height of a ceiling just to have the tape measure come crashing down on you? Well I have and once that tape measure makes that “snapping” sound, you look for cover!

The FATMAX has a “break-point” that is longer than any other “typical” tape measure. This allows you to take longer measurements which out having to worry about it “snapping” on you. I have owned one for years and it definitely is a solid tape measure that has lasted me for years.

9. MulWark 16ft Digital Tape Measure, Large LCD Digital Display with Backlight

Here’s something unique that takes a normal tape measure to the next level. Kind of like a smart tape measure it can display the measurements and gets precis when measuring things that need to have a more accurate measurement.

8. Komelon 6622 Open Reel Fiberglass Tape Measure 200-Feet

One of the first measuring devices I have owned, second to a tape measure, the 200 feet long reel tape measure is great to capture the dimension of an exterior building footprint. The tip has this claw which helps to grab the edge of a building to measure its wall length. Great for long runs and if you are measure the outside of a structure with no help. Also lay it out flat on a parking lot surface to measure the parking stall widths with just one measurement.

7. Calculated Industries #6575 DigiRoller Plus III 12.5 Inch Estimators Electronic Distance Measuring Wheel with Large Backlit Digital Display

Great tool for measuring large parking lots, streets, or any other long distance that would just be impractical for a normal tape measure.

6. M-D Building Products 92288 SmartTool 24-Inch Electronic Level with Module

Great tool that comes in handy when measuring all kinds of slopes. You might have a normal level laying around somewhere but this is a smart level that you will used more often then you think.

When you need to check the slope of a ramp to make sure it does not exceed the maximum slope allowed by code or to check and see if a drain pipe have the minimum slope required by code, or even capture site drainage slopes, this is the tool for you!

5. Calculated Industries 6135 Scale Master Pro XE Advanced Digital Plan Measure

Have you ever gone out to a job site to look at plans and needed a dimension that was just not there so you take your tape measure out, check the scale, and then start doing the math in your head to find out what the dimension is?

I’ve been there and this tool will help to get a measurement from the plans that just might not have the dimension you are looking for. It is also a great tool the perform area takeoffs from the plans if needed.

4. Door Pressure Gauge

This tool might not be that well know but have you had to measure how much pressure it takes to open a door? Have you even heard of such a device? Well this tool helps to measure the amount of force required to push a door open!

If you have ever done any type of an accessibility inspection then this tool will come in handy. Door that are required to be accessible per code cannot have an opening pressure greater than allowed by code.

Even fire rated doors and egress doors have a maximum allowable opening pressure the need to comply with by code. If you have ever come across a door to heavy to push, you just might want to use this tool to see if it is compliance.

3. Calculated Industries 7440 AccuMASTER XT Digital Moisture Meter

Ever get called out on a framing inspection a day after a rain storm and wonder if a piece of lumber is dry enough to cover up? Well this tool will tell you just that. It measures the moisture content in wood. The building code requires lumber not to have a moisture content more than what is allowed by code before it gets covered with insulation, wall finishes, floor coverings or other materials. Therefore if you want to make sure you are in compliance with the minimum standards, go ahead and grab a Moisture Meter.

2. Flow Doctor Water Pressure Gauge Kit, All Purpose, 6 Parts Kit, 0 To 200 Psi, 0 To 14 Bars

The plumbing requires your water lines not to exceed a certain water pressure reading. To avoid having your lines burst or fixtures pop off (GASP…), code required you to check and see if you are not exceeding maximum pressure. If higher than what is required, a pressure regulator is required to be installed. Check to see if you are in compliance by measuring with this tester.

1. Bosch GLM 50 Laser Distance Measurer with 165-Feet Range and Backlit Display

Finally! My Number 1 pick! And rightly so….

This tool saves me so much time and is pretty accurate. Before this tool it would take me about 3 hours to measure a house with a typical tape measure and a helper but after using this, the time it took dropped to about an hour and with no help! Ever try to measure the ceiling height of a cathedral ceiling? This tool gets it done with no effort at all.

I have noticed it to be very accurate, even over long lengths. This measuring device has been a life saver! There are others models out there that I have owned but none of them come close to this one. Its accuracy, durability, and easy to use features make this an inspectors best friend.