Essential House Hunting Tools: Measuring Devices

Mar 14, 2024

One of the most essential house hunting tools buyers should take with them to look at properties is a measuring tape or similar device. Few real estate listings include room dimensions any more and not all listing agents provide even a basic floor plan of the property. If fitting your current furniture into the new home or planning for a specific use, knowing dimensions of critical spaces can be vital. Here are a couple tools we use to measure the spaces within our listings.

I carry two measuring devices in my real estate field bag. As shown in the photo, they are the standard Stanley 16’ PowerLock® metal measuring tape and the Stanley FatMaxTM laser. The point-and-click technology of the laser saves a lot of time measuring rooms and larger spaces at distances up to 100 feet, including exterior areas such as patios, driveways, grass areas and garden plots.

Measuring tape and laser

Here are some of the most common measurements that should be taken at residential properties early in the purchase process (height, width, depth):

  • Room, hallway, general space dimensions
  • Windows and doorways
  • Closet interiors
  • Vertical space between cupboards and counter tops
  • Counter tops, kitchen islands, bathroom vanities, and similar built-ins
  • Spaces for refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, clothes washing/drying machines
  • Special features such as built-in bars, book cases or storage areas
  • Floor-to-ceiling clearances at each end of staircases
  • Bathtubs and showers
  • Swimming pools and surrounding decks
  • Patios, flower beds, gardens, and other exterior areas

If you take a laser measuring device on property visits, remember spare batteries and a means to record your measurements.  Most buyers prefer a note pad and pencil, but pads and smart phones work fine, too.

I hope you found this house hunting tools tip helpful. Questions? Drop me a line using the form below.

Bonus: House Hunting Tools and Design Apps

Here are cell phone apps that you might find helpful for measuring and creating floor plans:

Cubicasa – commonly used by agents and produces basic, dimensioned, and 3-D renderings

RoomScan Pro – basic room dimensions

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