Taking measurements of house interiors and exteriors can be time consuming, difficult, even dangerous. In the NH Seacoast, either snow banks piled against the house or overgrown shrubs harboring buzzing/biting insects get in the way. What is it like where you live and work? What do you do if you are alone? How can you measure a roof or the height of a ridge line if you acrophobic and avoid ladders? Realtors, developers and designers, how do you overcome these measurement challenges?
Solutions can be as simple as anchoring the end of a tape measure with a big screwdriver or taking a straight-on photo and getting a rough estimate of heights and widths based on one known measurement. I have found laser measuring devices useful. I have a handheld Laser Range Meter by Hilti http://www.us.hilti.com/holus/modules/prcat/prca_navigation.jsp?OID=-18460. It works great inside if I can get a clear view (sometimes there is too much stuff in the way). I have not done much with exterior measurements using the Hilti. Sunlight presents a viewing problem. You need a tripod to steady the laser over a long distance, and you may need a 2nd person to hold a target.
There is another way to facilitate taking measurements. Check out iPhotoMEASURE http://iphotomeasure.com/ - software that enables you to take measurements from digital photographs. There was a link for a free one week trial but that seems to be gone. The benefits getting measurements froma photo are obvious to anyone who takes measurements in the field. There always seems to some measurements you forgot to take. Plus anyone can take the photo and email it to you for measuring. This software is worth checking out. I confess that I have not tried the software yet, but I will. Let me know what you think.
I would love to hear about the ways you have made taking measurements less painful.