How do you measure the square footage of homes at the moment?
It’s easy when you’re working in a studio apartment. You’ll be able to blast through every room without too many issues. Unfortunately, it’s not always so easy without the right tools.
In an ideal world, you’ll use the best laser measuring tool for appraisers when working in more complex properties. A large detached home with a separate garage should be easy to measure too.
The Best Laser Measuring Tool For Appraisers
Please Note: We’re going to review each model in a lot more detail further down the page.
Problems Home Appraisers Face At The Moment
Do you want to know why appraisers should use laser measure devices? A quick look at the problems you face right now will tell you exactly what you need to know:
- You Waste Valuable Time
- It’s Much Less Stressful
- Eliminate Silly Mistakes
You Waste Valuable Time – It takes a long time to measure a single room using a basic tape measure. Now multiply it by how many rooms are inside each home. If you want to measure the land surrounding the home on your own it’s even more difficult. You’ll waste a tremendous amount of time inspecting each home.
It’s not just hours of your life being thrown away. Time equals money, so you’ll waste plenty of that too. I know it’s not so bad when you’re working for someone else, but if you’re a business owner you’ll be throwing cash straight down the toilet.
Do you know how long it takes to measure the square footage of a home using a laser distance meter? You’ll be able to guess more accurately once we look at their special features below.
It’s Much Less Stressful – When you’re holding a laser measure in your hand you don’t need to move too much. Choose the right one and you definitely won’t need to crawl around on the floor. You won’t need to climb up anything because it’s too high to reach from the ground.
Life is a lot better when you don’t need to spend hours crouching down until you’re almost touching the floor. Your back will thank you over the years because you won’t suffer from health complications. It feels like cheating when you use the best laser measuring device for appraisers.
Eliminate Silly Mistakes – Do everything on your own and you’ll eventually make silly mistakes. Human error affects math geniuses too. A laser distance meter will calculate everything up perfectly if you use the tool correctly. I’m sure you’ll be able to work out what happens when you get the square footage wrong.
How Laser Distance Measuring Tools Help
Laser distance meters come with a continuous mode that basically works like a digital tape measure. It will automatically tell you how far away something is when you point a laser at it. But the reason a tool is so useful is thanks to all the other special features packed into it. Features you won’t find in old school tape measures.
We’re going to have a look at the most important ones you should keep an eye on. If your laser measurer has all of these under the hood you’ll be very lucky indeed:
- Area + Volume Calculations
- Measurement Storage
- Intelligent End Piece
- Automatic Floor Plans
- Integrated Inclinometer
- Range + Accuracy
- Digital Pointfinder With Zoom
- Bluetooth Smart
Area + Volume Calculations – Every laser measure you see will be able to calculate the area and volume of rooms automatically, so it’s the most basic feature you’ll get. That doesn’t mean it’s not extremely helpful. You’ll only need to point the laser at a few walls and it will give you the measurements you need.
Some quality digital laser measures take things to the next level, which is great when you’re in odd shaped rooms. Your tool will work out the area of different sections and add them together.
Measurement Storage – At the moment, I’m sure you need to write down everything on paper. It wastes time and it’s boring. You’ll be able to store roughly 20-30 measurements on your device, but the exact amount will depend on which model you own. You can write everything down when you get back to the office.
Intelligent End Piece – You might occasionally need to calculate diagonal horizontal distances, which isn’t easy without the right laser measure. If you can’t squeeze into corners your readings will never be 100 percent accurate. An intelligent end piece should extend from your tool and fit into corners to ensure measurements are spot on.
Automatic Floor Plans – Creating professional floor plans for real estate appraisals used to be hard. Now you don’t need to do anything once you’ve recorded a few measurements inside the best laser distance meter. It will be able to throw out realistic and scaled floor plans within seconds.
Integrated Inclinometer – A built-in tilt sensor comes with a huge amount of benefits, but home evaluators will find one particularly useful. Sometimes it’s hard to take accurate measurements using a tape measure because things get in the way. You definitely won’t be able to work around them using a basic digital laser measurer.
An inclinometer will take the angle of your tool into account before working out distances. For example, let’s say you want to measure the distance to a wall hidden behind a sofa. You could point the laser further up towards the ceiling, but it would still be able to give you the horizontal distance as if the couch mysteriously vanished.
Range + Accuracy – When you’re inspecting a home you don’t want to walk away with inaccurate readings. You might need a decent maximum range when working outside too. Here is what you can expect from the best tools:
Maximum Range = 300 to 500 feet
Accuracy Rating = +/- 1/16 to 1/32 inches
You won’t need anything better to appraise homes. In fact, it’s unlikely you’ll need anything better no matter what you’re doing.
Digital Pointfinder With Zoom – If you’re working indoors you won’t need a digital pointfinder. You’ll always be able to see a red laser spot sitting on a wall. Unfortunately, it’s harder to see outside because of two things:
- Longer Distances
A digital pointfinder will ensure you always hit your target. Some laser distance measurers also come with an adjustable zoom to help you locate the laser spot.
Bluetooth Smart – A laser measuring device with Bluetooth Smart built into it will work with your smartphone. Every piece of data you collect can be saved in the cloud. You’ll be able to transfer everything to your office computer straight away too.
Leica excels when it comes to smartphone apps. Here is a little taste of some things you’ll get your hands on:
- Rotatable (3D) Floor Plans
- Basic 2D Sketch Plan
- Smart Room
- Detailed PDF Documents
The Best Laser Measurers For Appraisers – Reviews
If you research the best laser measurers you’ll notice they come with a lot more than the features we’ve just looked at. We’re going to discuss some of the best ones you’ll find on the market today. Here are a few reasons why these particular models stand out:
- Leica DISTO D2
- Leica DISTO X4
- DeWalt DW03101
- Bosch GLM400CL
1 – Leica DISTO D2
Leica specialize in laser measuring devices and manufacture the best tools in the world. The DISTO D2 is one of the most affordable that’s still packed with top features:
- Bluetooth Smart (4.0)
- Add/Subtract Function
- 10,000 Measurements
- Beep Switches On/Off
Bluetooth Smart (4.0) – If your laser distance tool has Bluetooth 4.0 it opens up lots of doors. You’ll definitely find the Leica DISTO Plan app particularly useful. Once you take a photo with your iPhone or Android you’ll be able to layer measured lines over it automatically after working out a few distances.
Black lines will stretch from red spot to red spot. Each one will be numbered and individual measurements in feet/meters/inches displayed. The total square footage (and volume) will appear on the photo too. It will help you visualize every measurement you record, plus you’ll easily impress your clients.
Add/Subtract Function – Earlier on, we talked about the fact you’ll be able to add up multiple areas automatically. You won’t need to add up the square footage of individual sections before combining them together with a calculator. But what do you think will happen if you feel like subtracting a specific area inside a home/room? Luckily, you won’t need to start all over again.
The add and subtract function on a laser distance meter will let you add and subtract anything you want. Even though it doesn’t sound massively impressive it will save you more time than you think.
10,000 Measurements – Home appraisers don’t normally walk around with spare batteries in their pockets. That won’t help when your laser distance tool eventually runs out of juice. Fortunately, your batteries will last an extremely long time. You’ll be able to use them to calculate 10,000 measurements.
I’m sure you’ll be able to work out how many measurements you usually take per home. Old batteries will need to be replaced with 2x AAA ones.
Beep Switches On/Off – The beep function on laser measurers will be able to save speedy appraisers even more time. If you attempt to go too fast you’ll end up making mistakes, which means you’ll need to repeat everything you do. How can you stop that from happening? You just need to listen for a loud beep.
When your tool beeps it’s letting you know it’s got the distance you’re looking for. I know you won’t always need this switched on, but it’s easy enough to turn off in seconds.
Please Note: We’re not going to examine every single thing you’ll find on the models we’ll look at today. Click on the links if you want as much information as possible.
2 – Leica DISTO X4
If you want the best laser measurer Leica has to offer you should look at the DISTO X4. It’s got more than a few special qualities you won’t find anywhere else:
- High Resolution Screen
- IP65 Protection Rating
- Smart Room Function
- Horizontal Measurements
High Resolution Screen – It’s hard to use cheap laser measuring tools outdoors because you can’t see the red spot. Even though it might be close to you sunlight makes it invisible. However, you will be able to measure distances accurately with the DISTO X4. It comes with a high resolution pointfinder screen with zoom.
In some cases, you won’t be able to measure certain things without a pointfinder. It’s worth having just so you don’t run into any problems in the future.
IP65 Protection Rating – When you start using a gadget you take care of it for a while. Sooner or later, you’ll throw it into the back of your car when you’re finished with it. You might leave it lying around on the floor too. The DISTO X4 comes with an IP65 protection rating, so it will be able to withstand a lot of beatings.
It’s been drop tested to 2 meters. The temperature will never affect your readings. It can also handle dust and you’ll be able to wash it with a hose.
Smart Room Function – You’ll need the Leica DISTO Plan app before you can use this excellent technology. How long do you think it will take you to calculate the area of a room and create realistic floor plans? They’ll be produced automatically if you take measurements clockwise/counter-clockwise while standing in the middle of a room.
Horizontal Measurements – If you want to take measurements using a tape measure you need to stand at Point A. The end of your tape measure will need to land at Point B, which will allow you to read the precise distance. The best laser measurers use Pythagoras and a few have inclinometers built into them.
It means you’ll be able to stand anywhere and point your laser at 2 specific points. The tool will be able to take all the data into account before giving you precise readings.
3 – DeWalt DW03101
DeWalt might not specialize in laser distance measurers, but the brand is one of the biggest in the world. Here are a few cool features packed into the affordable DW03101 laser meter:
- 20 Measurement Storage
- Three Line Backlit Display
- Integrated Inclinometer
- Multifunctional End Piece
20 Measurement Storage – DeWalt don’t have any laser distance meter apps, so you won’t be able to store your measurements in the cloud. That means you’ll need your tool to come with a good amount of storage space. There is enough room for 20 measurements on the DW03101.
Three Line Backlit Display – The extra line on the DeWalt DW03101 laser distance tool means you’ll be able to see more information at once. Everything you need will be available right in front of you. A backlit display comes in very handy because all the figures will be easy to read.
Do you need to carry a light around in case you’re working somewhere with no power? A laser measurer with a good backlit display helps in those situations.
Integrated Inclinometer – There is a chance you’ll need to measure distances while standing on a slope. Even though it mostly happens outside you might have to do it inside too. If you don’t have an integrated inclinometer that takes the angle of your device into account you won’t be able to make accurate calculations.
Multifunctional End Piece – The intelligent end piece on the DeWalt DW03101 can be set at a couple of different positions:
- Folds = 90 degrees
- Extends = 180 degrees
When the end piece is sitting at 90 degrees you’ll be able to take accurate edge measurements. The end piece will hook onto the end of a wall. Extend it to 180 degrees and you’ll be able to squeeze it into corners.
4 – Bosch GLM400CL
Bosch has a great selection of laser distance devices that should satisfy everyone. We’re going to look at a few things in the tool building appraisers will enjoy:
- Camera With Adjustable Zoom
- Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery
- Real Time Measurement Mode
- 600 Image Memory Storage
Camera With Adjustable Zoom – The 5.0 megapixel camera on the Bosch GLM400CL Blaze is designed to give you maximum accuracy outdoors, but it’s great to use indoors too. All the figures you’ll need to know will be displayed on the high resolution screen. If you find yourself working outside it comes with an adjustable zoom.
Even though it looks delicate the screen is made of reinforced glass to ensure it won’t break when you drop it. This is important because you’ll be using it to take a lot of photos.
Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery – You need to replace the batteries on most laser distance meters every once in a while. AAA and AA batteries only last so long, but the lithium-ion battery inside the GLM400CL is special. You’ll be able to recharge the tool before leaving your home in the morning.
It’s unlikely you’ll need to charge it every day even if you use it all the time. The battery will last ages before its juice runs out. When you order the tool it will come with a special charger.
Real Time Measurement Mode – There are 11 fantastic measurement modes built into the Blaze, but real time is the default one. It basically turns your laser meter tool into a digital tape measure, which will be updated multiple times per second.
Just point the laser at objects and you’ll know how far away they are instantly. When you move backwards and forwards the reading will change accordingly.
600 Image Memory Storage – Bosch does provide you with the free MeasureOn app, but you’ll be able to store 50 measurements on your device. Thanks to the 5.0 megapixel camera you’ll also be able to store 600 high quality images safely on the tool. You won’t run out of space no matter how big a home you’re working in.
The Best Tape Measure For Appraisers To Boost Productivity
Don’t bother working out the square footage of homes without a quality laser distance meter. Do you calculate it yourself on a regular basis? Even if it’s only something you do occasionally to make sure everything looks okay, you really need a modern tool on standby. Your life will be a hundred times easier.
There is no doubt you’ll love all the models we’ve looked at today and they’ll satisfy your needs, but which one do you choose? Each device is unique in its own special way. Do you need a little extra help coming to a final decision?
You should click on the links to read hundreds of unbiased reviews on Amazon. Every single one was left by a past customer with something positive or negative to say about their purchase. The review section should give you all the additional information you need before pulling the trigger.