Monday, December 11, 2023

How to measure long distances in DIY and decoration work?

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Measuring long distances is a delicate task for the engineer and technician. Theodolites or total stations are required on a construction site. In the workshop, large gauges that, in addition to being heavy, require great care in handling and conservation.

And what about the hobbyist, the craftsman, or the decorator? For them there is excellent news: some manufacturers of laser meters They offer different models on the market at affordable prices. For decoration and DIY they are very good, and they are very easy to use.

To measure long distances, the laser

To solve some of the demands and inconveniences that tape measures present, and the measurements that generate more and more work, there is laser measurement technology that has already reached the field of DIY and interior decoration. According to the task to be carried out, it is necessary to analyze whether it is worth carrying meters of tape that require two people to take measurements. If it is within the possibilities, a simple laser distance meter, very easy to prepare and that will give very exact and instantaneous measurements if we want to undertake this task.

Usage examples


Shelving – measure long distances

Suppose you need to build a new bookcase for your tools in the garage of your house. The place has a free wall that at first glance measures more than six meters, and the idea is to take full advantage of that space.

For these cases, the help of the laser to measure long distances generates many facilities and time savings, since the tape measure requires two people – one to hold the tip in place, and the other to take the measurement – or it can do it just one, but at the cost of making a hole in the wall to hold the tip there, or resigning yourself to introducing inaccuracies in the measurements as a result of the inevitable bending of the tape.

Well, this, with laser meters, is no longer a problem. Just level the meter, take your measurements, and get down to business. You can measure long distances both horizontally and vertically; on some models it is even possible to download the measurements to your phone to automatically create a drawing and thus save hours on the board.

Long Distance Measurement - Game Installation

Long Distance Measurement – Game Installation

Another example, a little more complex, is the construction of games for children, in the garden or patio. Here there are no walls to support the instrument, but measurement can be easily achieved by taking advantage of a remarkable feature of these devices: long distances can be measured dynamically. How? Very simple: place an object (such as a wooden board, a jar, a box, etc.) at a given point and face the laser meter at it in such a way that the light beam is intercepted by that object. Now move the laser backwards or forwards; you will see, on the screen, that the measurement changes.

Suppose you need to draw a square area eight meters on a side, and you have already determined a corner and the right angles from it. Place the chosen object in one of the corners that you want to build and take with you the laser distance meter.

As you move away from that object, you will see the meters dynamically display on the screen. As you approach eight meters, place the meter on the ground and move it slowly. When you get to the measurement, mark it on the ground with a stake. Repeat the same with the opposite corner.

Measure angles

Forgot your laser level, you need to measure one or more angles and you only have your phone or your calculator, and the laser meter to measure long distances? Perfect. With a little ingenuity, you can measure almost any angle, as long as you have a scientific-type calculator on your phone.

To do this you will need to remember trigonometry notions from school. Given a right triangle (one of its angles is right or square), if you only have the measurements of the sides, or one side and the hypotenuse (the longest side), you can obtain any of the two remaining angles using a simple equation . You can also get side measurements, angles provided.

Calculation for Measuring Angle - Laser Distance Meter

Calculation for Measuring Angle – Laser Distance Meter

Let’s say you want to build a straight, simple slide. You already have the main posts and ladders, but you need to install the slider, already cut, at 30 degrees.

If the slider (c in the photo) measures four meters, and 𝛂 is 30ΒΊ (so 𝛃 will measure 60ΒΊ), by trigonometry, you can determine the necessary measurements in to (height) and in b (base).

sin 𝛂 = a / c


c βœ• sin 𝛂 = a

4 βœ• sin 30 = 2

To get the other measure, you just need to calculate the angle of the angle:

cos 𝛂 = b / c


c βœ• cos 𝛂 = b

4 βœ• cos 30 β‰… 3,464

In this way, we easily obtained the necessary measurements to place the four-meter slider exactly 30 degrees from the ground: 2 meters high for the pole and 3,464 meters for the base.

Interior decoration

Interior decoration - Measure long distances

Interior decoration – Measure long distances

For the interior decorator, the task of measuring long distances is also greatly simplified (even more than for the DIY).

The laser distance meter It is ideal for taking the measurements of the rooms (width, length, height), wardrobes, armchairs, windows and other elements with great precision.

To take measurements, simply rest the instrument on one of the walls and point the beam towards the opposite wall. The measurement will appear on the screen. To ensure that you have measured correctly, take the same measurement a little lower or higher. If the surfaces of both walls are parallel and flat, the instrument should report the same distance.

Practical uses for interior decoration
  • Measurement of windows to install curtains or blinds.
  • Measurement of heights and lengths, to install slats, blinds, sliding dividers or plasterboard.
  • Measurement of distances between walls, to install furniture such as armchairs, mouse tables, pictures, modular, showcases, dressers, etc.
  • Determination of the center of a rectangular or square room, to install tables, lamps, rugs, etc.
  • Determination of the exact center of a wall, to hang pictures, mirrors or tapestries.

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