Your tape measure may look like a simple measurement tool, but it's equipped with a rich variety of useful marks that help construction and remodeling professionals work with greater speed and accuracy. For instance, every multiple of 16 inches is highlighted to help carpenters position studs and joists properly, and black diamonds assist framers constructing roof trusses.
Diamonds In the Sky
Much as the 16 inch mark stands out for contractors looking to fasten drywall to the studs, the black diamond represents the 19.2 inch spacing traditionally assigned to roof trusses. That fractional measurement is based on supporting an 8 foot plywood panel with five evenly spaced trusses.
Mike Matthews is editor of Green Building Product News, a national publication that covers sustainable innovations in building and remodeling, and he has spoken at national conferences on green building. He has also served as founding editor of "Paint Dealer" magazine.