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The measuring solution for roofers

By cornelia.dietz

Customer Story: Leica DISTO S910

The measuring solution for roofers

Wagenknecht & Sohn Bedachungen using DISTO S910


Wagenknecht & Sohn Bedachungen, Bregenzer Straße 65, Lindau, Germany

Wagenknecht & Sohn Bedachungen Logo

The challenge

Measuring roof rafters, heights, roof pitch, top and ridge lengths and dormers

The solution

Measure from the ground with the DISTO S910, FTA 360-S and the TRI120 tripod using the P2P function

The result

- Measure everything from a single point

- Measure in any weather

- Only 1 person is required

- Camera zoom for precise aiming at the target

- Reliable, accurate measurements

- Reduces time required by approx. 50 %


Ralf Wagenknecht, owner and master roofer at Wagenknecht & Sohn Bedachungen

Ralf Wagenknecht, owner and master roofer at Wagenknecht & Sohn Bedachungen


The company

Wagenknecht & Sohn Bedachungen is a professional roofing and scaffolding company that operates in the Lindau am Bodensee area and has done so since 1933. Ralf Wagenknecht is the second generation to manage the business, which offers roofing services, roof repairs, e.g. after storms, flat roof and pitched roof renovations. He is a trained master roofer and employs two master craftsmen and five skilled workers in his small local company.

Ralf Wagenknecht himself prepares quotations, takes care of invoicing, instructs his employees on the construction site and of course also likes to get involved with the practical work.

The challenge

This specific project is about measuring in order to prepare a quotation for an energy efficient roof renovation. The dimensions are of course required for the quote. As many old buildings do not have available plans, the roofer must determine the details for himself. Ralf Wagenknecht uses a DISTO S910 with the FTA 360-S and the TRI120 tripod for his measuring.


"The roof rafters, heights, roof pitch, eave and ridge lengths, and the dormer all need be measured. This means the area of the roof, the area of the dormer and the area of the dormer in the roof area," explains Ralf Wagenknecht.

This data is continuously noted down in a notebook and then, back at the office, is entered into software for tradespeople, which calculates the areas and all the measurements for the material requirements and transfers them to the quotation.

Ralf primarily uses point-to-point distance measurement but also sometimes point-to-point area measurement. Occasionally, he uses point-to-point angle measurement to determine roof pitch. The big advantage of point-to-point measurement is obvious. All measurements can be taken from a single standpoint on the ground and there is no need to move the instrument. This means that rafter lengths, eave lengths and even dormer frames can be easily determined from below.

Equipped with P2P Technology, the Leica DISTO S910 revolutionises measurement using hand-held laser distance metres. From one position widths, for example, can be measured between any points by using and calculating distance and angle measurements.

The combination of tripod, camera and zoom, means that long distances can be precisely targeted. The digital viewfinder with 4x zoom uses the crosshairs in the display to show exactly what is being measured. With the vertical and horizontal fine adjustment on the adapter, the target can be aimed at optimally.

The DISTO is used several times a week by Wagenknecht & Sohn. It is not just used with the tripod, but also as a hand-held measuring device for direct distances.

The time before the Leica DISTO S910

Normally, measuring is very time-consuming for a roofing company. A lean-to ladder is needed and then possibly a roof ladder on the roof itself. Safety also needs to be taken into account i.e. put on a safety harness and find a suitable belay point. If one is not available, a belay point must be installed – with safety hooks and corresponding approved eyelet.

Taller buildings might even require a lifting platform. Two people are always needed. One holds the tape measure and the other takes the measurements. Even using a normal laser distance metre, one measures and the other holds a target plate at the target point. Then there’s the weather. If it is unsettled or rainy, the roof surface becomes wet and slippery. And then going up can mean taking your life in your hands.

“All of these problems have been completely solved,” enthuses Ralf Wagenknecht. From his point of view, the biggest advantage is definitely that he no longer has to climb onto the roof. It is, of course, much safer to measure from the ground. Precise measurements can now be taken where previously sometimes only estimates were possible. In this industry measurement accuracy is required down to the centimetre, and the DISTO is always capable of that.

A quick tip: the first hour will be spent taking some time and setting up the DISTO. However, you are guided through the menu in a way that is easy to understand and at each point several pieces of information can be called up. Mr Wagenknecht says that he found his way around very quickly.

Ralf Wagenknecht using DISTO S910


“Measuring takes less than half the time, and later when billing we can almost always transfer the measurements and don't have to measure the property a second time,” says the master roofer positively.

"I am very happy. The DISTO S910 has met my expectations across the board," confirms Ralf Wagenknecht.