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 President of the Stewart Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.