How to Build Batter Boards. Batter boards are the starting block for your home or building so that all of your walls will be square. If your batter boards are not square or level, it will throw your whole foundation off. Use these guidelines to set batter boards.
Place your plans or measurements in plain view so you can see them clearly as you prepare to work. This is your starting point. Place the first stake on one corner.
Measure the length and add a second stake. Measure the width and add a third stake. Now measure the length and width and add the fourth stake.
Square the stakes. Use a 100-foot measuring tape and measure diagonally from corner to corner. Then repeat across the other two stakes diagonally. You should get the same measurement. This is the rough lay-out of your corners to build batter boards.
Use 2-by-4 inch boards and cut points on one end for stakes. It takes three boards per corner. The height of the boards is determined by the terrain you are building batter boards on.
Come back four feet from your stakes and drive your first stake on the diagonal line from corner to corner. Now come down 8 feet on your length and eight feet on your width and add your other two stakes. Do this on all four corners.
Mark a line on the stake at your highest elevation. Now it's time to set up a transit or a laser level, whichever you prefer. These instruments are used to level your batter boards.
Take a tape measure on the mark of your first stake, holding vertically and find the number. For example, if your tape measure reads 36 inches, that's where you mark your other stakes, using your level apparatus. With all your marks on your stakes, it's time to apply 2-by-4s or 1-by-4s horizontally below your lines.
Sighting down one side of the length over the stakes, add an eight-penny nail on your batter boards. Sighting across the depth of your batter boards, add eight-penny nails on each end.
Stretch nylon string down the length and the width of one corner. Then, measure the width adding another 8-penny nail and the length adding another eight-penny nail. Stretch your two remaining strings.
Take a 100-foot measuring tape and measure from the intersecting points of your nylon string diagonally corner to corner. You should have the same measurement in both directions. If you do not, you must move both nails on the depth of one end the same amount of space until you reach your square number.