How To Use a Project Calculator

Project calculators are used in construction and home improvement projects. It’s a neat device to have in your arsenal if you are a do-it-yourself kind of person. You can convert between units of measurement, calculate for paint, wallpaper, tile and concrete costs. It can also work as a regular calculator. Measurements can be entered in yards, meters, feet, inches and fractions. Square and cubic measurements are allowed.

You can purchase your very own project calculator from the hardware store, home improvement store or via online sellers. In choosing a project calculator, think of what you will need it for. To give you an idea on how to use a project calculator, continue reading.

  • Read the user manual. Before you start toying with your project calculator, take the time to flip through the user manual that came with it. Familiarize yourself with the parts of the project calculator including the keys found on the calculator pad. Your project calculator will probably have several functions that you may never need to use, but it would be good to know that it is there.
  • Calculate the amount of paint needed. If you want to know the number of pints, quarts or gallons of paint you need if you have to paint a 15-foot by 10-foot wall, use the project calculator. Turn on the calculator by pressing the On/C button. Key in 15. Press the Feet button. Click on X for multiplication. Type in 10. Press Feet again then the equal sign. Now press the Paint button. The first number should be the number of quarts of paint you need. Pressing Paint again will give you the number of pints. If you press Paint again, you will get the number of paint gallons needed for a 15-foot by 10-foot wall.
  • Finding out how many rolls of wallpaper to use. Just like the earlier example, you need to find out the measurement of the wall first. This is an example for a 15 foot by 10 foot wall that has to be covered with wallpaper. Follow the same instructions in the previous step in entering the measurement of the wall. Once you have the number of square feet, press the Wallpaper button. It will give you the amount of rolls you will need for the given wall size.
  • Estimating the cost. You can estimate the cost of materials easily. For example, you can find out how much it will cost you to have an area of concrete measuring 250 cubic feet given that $40 is the cost per cubic yard. Turn on the calculator. Input 250 and press the Feet button three times to indicate cubic feet (twice for square feet). Next, press Conv (convert) Yds (yards) to get the measurement in cubic yards. You need to convert because the cost is in cubic yards. Once you have the measurement in cubic yards, multiply this by 40 (cost per cubic yard). Press Conv then the Cost button indicated by a period. The answer will be the approximate cost.

There are many other calculations you can perform on the project calculator. All you need to do is familiarize yourself with the different functions found in the calculator. In order to get the exact cost, measurement, dimension or other values, make sure you input the right numbers at the start. Typing in the wrong measurement, costs, and other values will result in erroneous calculations.


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