Try the Metric System for Faster Measurements
Whole numbers can be easier to manage than fractions, especially when math is involved.
A few years ago, as an experiment, I trimmed out a few rooms in my house using the metric system for measuring. After some initial awkwardness, I found it was faster and more accurate than using inches. I think it’s because metric measurements use whole numbers, which are almost always easier to manage than fractions— especially when math is involved.
For example, can you divide 1044 in half faster than 411⁄8 in.? How about adding a couple of 14-mm reveals to a 1133-mm window case, versus 9⁄16-in. reveals to a 445⁄8-in. case? I now use the metric system almost exclusively. The only downside to going metric in the United States is that nobody else will understand your measurements. I highly recommend taking the measuring system the majority of the world uses for a test drive.
— Tim Samuel, Kent, Wash.
Edited and Illustrated by Charles Miller
Published in Fine Homebuilding #303