Beyond the Build

Continuing Education

A Simple Tape

As teenager, I helped my father build a cabin in North Georgia. I still remember how he loved his Craftsman 6-foot yellow folding rule. I wish I still had one, but unfortunately, I somehow misused them when I was younger and ended up breaking a few. Still, I have great respect for what that simple tool represents.

I was recently at a job site, and asked one of our folks if I might borrow his tape. He obliged.

As I thought about it, there is something reassuring about the person on the job who always seems to have a measuring tape handy. To me, it means he or she is on top of things, comparing what’s on the drawing to what is in the field. Perhaps I am overthinking it, but I can just about guarantee that a person who has a tape on his belt has a bit higher degree of care than someone who does not.

Back in the mountains, my father said something to me that is common in the industry of carpenters: “Merrill, always measure twice and cut once.” It’s probably a good analogy for a lot of things we do, or should be doing. Think ahead, before taking action or speaking our minds

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.