Tips for measuring from Ernie Kaplan, Previous owner of Kaplan Paving of Lincolnshire, IL and current owner of FastMeasure Distance Measuring Devices.

Rule number 1 of measuring any project is LISTEN to the customer.
Rule number 2 is see rule number 1.

1) Use a satellite map program like Google Earth or MapQuest and zoom right in to the property you are going to measure. Go to edit and cut the site plan out and paste it into to a word document. Adjust the size to fit the paper that you can print this map on. Now you can draw patching locations and problem areas on the drawing as well as the measurement for the area being estimated.

2) Have your office staff prepare a map of all jobs so you know exactly where you are going. MapQuest or Google Maps will work just fine. If the mapping program does not show you the correct location be sure to document the correct location, so if you get the job you do not send the crews to the wrong location.

3) If you are measuring a rectangle property with a rectangle building on the site, measure the entire site as a rectangle, measure the building as a rectangle, then deduct the building from the site measurements, and add the entranceways. This is a lot faster than measuring all four sides.

4)  Use a measuring device installed in your vehicle. They are much safer, faster and more accurate than hanging a wheel out the window.

5) Know your customer; don’t be afraid to ask them what kind of a budget they have. There is no point in trying to sell the buyer a grinding, patching and overlay job, when all they are looking for is a bag of cold patch.

6) If you normally like to do your estimating in the afternoon and the weather forecast is calling for a hot, sunny, scorcher, switch your day around and measure in the morning, and enjoy the air conditioned office in the afternoon. You will be much more productive and do a more thorough job.