How do you measure the space

Measure precisely: this is how you take your measurements

Regardless of whether it is a new floor covering or a fresh coat of paint for the wall: Before we start renovating, we measure the rooms again. Then just a single trip to the hardware store is enough for us. We provide assistance in terms of measurements and floor plans.

Have you bought or rented an apartment and need new furniture or fresh flooring? Do not rely solely on the floor plan given to you. Instead, ask for the opportunity to measure the apartment before the move-in date. Otherwise three tiles will be missing in the end and you will have to go to the hardware store again - or order the material again and accept long delivery times. This is how the measurement works:

Measure correctly: It's actually not that difficult: start in a corner of the room and work all around, also marking all protrusions and niches. Length times width gives the floor space of the room. On longer walls, it helps if you measure in pairs: Place the folding rule from both directions and work your way towards the middle. You can also get help to determine the exact height of the room. One climbs the ladder, measures from above, the assistant from below, adding up the results.

Find the horizontal: Ceilings can drop in old buildings. Then the floor becomes uneven and has to be leveled out, for example with bulk insulation. The prerequisite for this is to find the horizontal in the room as a reference line. The easiest way to do this is with a leveling device. Or with a hose level (see illustration below). Mark the horizontal lines all around on all walls. Where the ground is highest, measure the distance to the marking and transfer this down to all other marking points: This is how high you have to level the ground. You also need a horizontal line if you cover or suspend the ceiling with ceiling panels. You can find the vertical line for wallpapering with a spirit level and plumb line or a laser.

Technical help: Set up the laser and aim for the opposite wall. Or measure from the floor to the ceiling. Often you can save the results and thus calculate all areas of a room. Compare the result with the information on the paint bucket at the hardware store. The laser usually works more precisely over longer distances - it is better to measure short distances with a folding rule. The cost of the laser: around 150 euros.

How big is the apartment? How many square meters it has is stated in the purchase or rental agreement. Rooms with a height of at least two meters are fully counted; only half if they are 1–2 meters high; under one meter they do not count as living space at all. Basement, attic, garage or laundry room may not be included, balcony, terrace or loggia up to 25 percent (in rental contracts that were concluded before 2004, up to 50%). Re-measuring is worthwhile, because the purchase or rental price is also calculated according to the size. If the deviations are too great, you can negotiate the purchase price or reduce the rent. Example: an 80 square meter apartment is only 71 square meters. On the other hand, if it has 73 square meters, this is considered to be insignificant impairment - so the Federal Court of Justice decided.

Measurement and floor plan: apps that measure for you

The right app for every purpose: Nowadays, a large selection of digital helpers supports us with measuring and planning on our smartphones. The bandwidth is almost unmanageable. Some apps only serve as a simple spirit level or help to calculate the paint consumption when painting, others have now become highly professional measuring tools. We have two examples:

With the smartphone app magicplan (for iPhones and Android devices) you can create professional floor plans with just a few photos. The very extensive functions allow you to create complete cost estimates, view rooms in 3D, plan DIY projects or furnish your home. The app can also work with various file formats such as PDF, JPG, DXG, PNG, SVG and CSV.

Magicplan is free, floor plans can be purchased individually or with a subscription model. The app works together with various laser distance meters.

Measuring Master from Bosch is also a multifunctional app. It enables measurements, floor plans and temperature measurements to be documented and managed in one place. According to the manufacturer, the app is particularly suitable for architects, painters, floor layers, heating engineers and electricians, but also all other craftsmen. The main functions: Among other things, you can create measurements, create quick sketches that can later be transferred to detailed floor plans, create detailed floor plans including wall view, room height, roof pitch and area calculation and calculate areas. The app can be used in combination with various laser rangefinders. It is also available for both iPhones and Android devices.

Even without digital tools, you can check right angles, calculate inclined spaces and determine the horizontal.

Right angle

Divide a 240 cm long, non-stretchable cord into three sections: 60, 80 and 100 cm. Place the 60 cm piece on one wall and the 80 cm piece on the other. Does the 100 cm cord fit exactly in between: right angle. Shorter section: corner angle less than 90 degrees, longer: greater than 90 degrees.

Sloping room

Divide the room into a rectangle and one or more triangles, depending on the shape of the room. Measure the rectangle. Then multiply the sides of each triangle, i.e. length and width, then cut in half. Add up the partial areas.

Where is the horizontal?

Hose level: fill a four meter long transparent hose with water. Hold the point at eye level, mark the water level. The helper goes one meter further with the second end and marks the water level there, continue all around: This results in the precise horizontal line.