Online calculators, like the ones on our site, are useful tools for people on the go. We understand that our users do not have a lot of time to search for relevant calculators online and that they are looking to perform complex math functions at the click of a button which is more than their basic mobile calculator apps can handle. For this purpose, most professionals in the real estate and contrition industry use online calculators. Students find it easier to compute their math problems using such calculators as they are available on their smart phone devices. However, the ease of accessibility can cause users to overlook one major problem – the human error involved while taking measurements. Here are the 4 measuring mistakes to avoid while using measuring instruments and computing for answers using our online square footage calculator:

1. Avoid Parallax Error
A very common error that occurs while reading dials or tape measures is to look at the reading from an angle and not directly from above the marker. This means that we read the marking on the left or the right to the actual reading and then record the reading incorrectly. This error is called the Parallax Error, because ‘parallax’ refers to the way an object seems to change its position when your own point of observation changes.

To avoid this error some manufacturers produce instruments which have a mirror on the dial so that users can line up the pointer with its own reflection and ensure that the observed reading is exactly at right angles to the scale. But what if there isn’t a mirror? Then you should look at the reading from directly 90 degrees above it and use one eye to read. When reading from a tape measure, make sure the tape is placed directly against the mark you want to measure. The end of the tape which is the steel hook, should be pushed down against the edge so the tape lies flat against the surface.

2. Measure thrice, cut once!
How many times has it happened that you have recorded a reading in a hurry, bought the material and made all the cuts, only to realize that one reading was erroneous and that the error has compounded and caused all the cut material to go to waste? All this agony can be avoided by simply double checking all the readings that have been taken before they are recorded and by double checking the measurements while entering them into the square footage area calculators.

Ask every apprentice, construction worker and DIY maker and they will tell you this is one of the golden rules of making. We understand that simple mistakes can happen at any time. We are all human beings after all. However, with a little care and caution a mistake can be easy to fix if readings are simply checked another time before recording.

3. Professionals write things down
The only difference between people eye-balling a reading and those wanting to do a professional job is that professionals write things down! By writing down the numbers first, especially if someone else is calling them out to you, you ensure a record is maintained for easy reference for the future so that you have a written record of the measurements or quantities. This way you can take them with you while buying supplies and materials and know exactly what and how much material you need.
It helps if you can estimate the expected answer before computing it in the online square footage calculator. This way if the answer seems incorrect, you can re-check the readings and figure out what went wrong. If you get 10 sqft instead of 5 sqft, this is a glaring error you can pick up more easily if you anticipate the answer.

4. Calibrate your instruments
Most measuring instruments are calibrated before they are put to use on the field. These calibrations are checked from time to time to ensure accuracy of the reading taken by using the instrument. Calibrating means adjusting the zero mark on the gauge to correspond with a true zero reading. For example: a weighing scale is such an instrument which needs to be set to zero before anyone can start taking measurements. Not all measurements are set to zero, some materials require different adjustments to be made. For example, moisture meters for timber use different scales depending on the species of hardwood or softwood being measured. A conversion chart helps for square footage calculations. This is why we have provided charts for converting between different units of measurement.

So remember these 4 rules of thumb and you will be well on your way to being successful in your next home renovation project or DIY attempt. Remember to plan correctly, look at all the angles and the building will get easier.

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