Why do I need a weighing scale for construction?

An accurate weighing scale is helpful in design and construction projects. Monitoring stock levels is essential when maintaining your supply of building and design products. Inadequate stock supply can stop the project from proceeding. Excessive stock supply means construction products can sit unused for long periods of time, wasting money and space. By weighing materials before use, you can plan ahead and purchase the correct amount of materials to complete your project.

For example, let’s say you are laying a new patio area in your garden. You should measure the length and width of the patio area to determine the number of slabs needed to cover the area. This helps ensure that you have an adequate supply of cement/concrete mix to fix the slabs in place. Certain types of scales can simplify this process.

Placing Patio Slabs

What are weighing scales used for in design?

Scales can be used to weigh nearly anything, from lengths of string and tiny nails to weighing large quantities of ingredients used to make plaster or concrete.


Types of weighing scales used for architecture and design


Checkweighing scales are useful for verifying weights of multiple products, from small screws and tools to large bags of cement. Smaller checkweighers can be used on a workbench surface for weighing paints, paper and tools, while larger models can be set up on warehouse floors for weighing. Materials manufacturers that sell directly to customers need an approved scale to sell products such as fillers, paints and plaster by weight.

Counting scales


Counting scales help eliminate time-consuming manual counting tasks. They’re helpful for counting large numbers of items, such as tools, hardware or other small components. Smaller counting scales can be operated on a workshop bench and are used to count smaller or lighter items.

Precision Balances

Precision balances offer a wide variety of weighing applications, including checkweighing, parts counting, percentage weighing, dynamic weighing and density testing. Balances provide higher precision than other scale types (up to 0.01g readabilities). Portable precision balances are recommended for users who need to move the balance between different locations.

Platform scales


Platform scales feature large surface areas and offer larger weight capacities than standard digital scales, making them ideal for weighing large or heavier objects. This type of scale is particularly useful in construction and design for check weighing and counting multiple bricks, tiles and slabs simultaneously.

Platform scales such as Adam Equipment’s PT can be combined with Adam indicators for increased weighing functions.

Bench Scales

Bench scales are designed to operate on a worktop or workbench surface. Typical bench scales come with a range of applications to perform checkweighing of parts, screws and tools. Compact bench scales generally are portable and can be set up in small workshops or garages to mix and check the weight of paints, glosses and pastes.

Materials that require weighing before use in design


If mixing paints or lubricants, a weighing scale can help measure quantities of each pigment to ensure the right colour and consistency

Pouring Paint


Interior decorators use paper scales to check count sheets of wall paper to ensure you the correct amount in each batch. Offices may use paper weighing scales for counting notices and documents for distribution.


Whilst thickness gauges and hardness meters are used to measure the durability of plastics, weighing scales are perfect for checking the weight of finished products as part of an overall design.


Certain scales can help measure quantities of cement to water as part of a formula to ensure the correct consistency. Precision balances such as Adam’s Nimbus comes complete with checkweighing and percentage weighing applications ideal for materials testing and construction.


Hazardous materials such as asbestos need to be accurately measured to ensure they are health and safety compliant. Weighing scales can be used to measure asbestos composites such as asbestos cement in order to test for water absorption. See the Health and Safety Executive guidelines for more details.

How to weigh cement for building?

Before starting, spread a plastic cover/ sheet onto the ground

  1. Measure out each of the materials you are using according to ratio.
  2. Once measured out, organise the stone and sand into a pile on the sheet.
  3. Add the cement onto the pile.
  4. Thoroughly mix the components by shovelling them into a new pile (repeat 2-3 times). If using a cement mixer: shovel the mixture into the cement mixer. If working by hand: make a large hole/ crater in the pile and add water according to your ratio.
  5. If working by hand: Fold the mixture inwards from the sides for equal water distribution.

Buying the best scale for your needs


Buying the best weighing scale for your needs can prove challenging. We recommend referring to these 5 points when considering the best scale for your needs.

  1. Intention - If you need to weigh small electrical components or screws, a bench counting scale or checkweigher might be a better than a large, industrial platform scale.
  2. Capacity - If you want to weigh multiple large stone patio slabs, you might need a scale that operates in kilograms instead of grams.
  3. Precision - If you need to weigh small items or mix materials, choose a scale that offers high precision. Scales with a greater weight capacity tend to have a higher readability range. For example, Adam’s PT platforms have up to 3000kg weighing capacities with readabilities up to 200g, while a Nimbus precision balance has a 4.6kg max weight capacity, but offers precision to 0.1mg.
  4. Applications - Many industrial-grade scales are capable of performing checkweighing, parts counting, percentage weighing and density determination. Consider whether you need to count parts for the product to have benefit to your operation or whether you need to check the weight of items for standardisation. Note: If you sell goods by weight, you must use a certified trade approved scale.
  5. Cost - Cost is generally an important consideration, and fluctuates depending on applications, approvals, precision and capacity. Verify your minimum requirements before making a purchase.

Other measurement devices used in construction and building design

Reed R6018 Moisture Meter

Moisture meters

Moisture meters are often used in the construction industry for measuring moisture content levels in wall plaster, concrete and wooden flooring. These meters are particularly useful for testing damp in walls support structures or as a means of ensuring wood used in wooden furniture is of the desired quality; too much or too little moisture may cause the wood to swell or crack.  

Pin vs Pinless moisture meters

Pin moisture meters include 2-4 small steel probes on top of the meter that are used to penetrate the sample. An electrical current is passed between the probes within the sample in order to produce a value that can be converted to determine the moisture within the sample. Pinless moisture meters provide a non-destructive means for conducting the same test.

Recommended users

  • Carpenters/ Woodworkers.
  • Architects.
  • Construction workers.
  • Building inspectors.
  • Wood cutters.
  • Personal use (for measuring moisture content in firewood or monitoring damp within the home).

Inscale now stock a selection of top-quality, pin and pinless damp and moisture meters from Canadian manufacturer Reed Instruments; ideal for monitoring moisture content during construction. These inexpensive, portable devices are invaluable to any building design project.


  • Scales can be used to weigh most items, from lengths of string and small screws, to large quantities of ingredients used to mix plaster or concrete.
  • By weighing materials in advance, you can figure out the quantity of each material needed to complete your project.
  • Counting scales, platform scales, precision balances and bench scales are ideal for most design-related and construction weighing operations.
  • Consider the intention, capacity, precision, applications and cost before buying a scale.

Inscale’s range of checkweighing scales for design materials

FC-i Digital Counting Scales - A&D


A&D's FC-i high-performance counting scales incorporate unique Super Hybrid Sensor (SHS) technology, and are capable of an internal resolution of five million parts. FC-i models utilise A&D's Automatic Count Accuracy Improvement which allows for increased efficiency and accuracy when performing mass counting tasks. These scales have a 500 item memory and can be used for counting sheets of paper along with other small parts.

GFK Floor Checkweighing Scale - Adam Equipment


Adam's GFK floor checkweighing scale is suitable for use in larger workshop or warehouse environments. The GFK employs specialist checkweighing technology in order to precisely calculate the weight of heavier items such as tiles, cement and other building materials in regards to a pre-set reference weight. Checkweigher scales are a must have for any large-scale construction projects.

IBC Bench Counting Scale - Inscale


Inscale's own IBC bench counting scale has a proven reputation for providing accurate and reliable counting results. These highly-versatile digital scales are simple and effective, and typically used in warehouses or workshop environments for accurately counting large amounts of small parts, electrical components, tools and screws.

Nimbus Precision Balance - Adam Equipment


Adam Equipment's Nimbus precision balance offers a wide variety of models including draft shields and larger top pan models. These balances come with innovative features such as checkweighing, percentage weighing and density determination perfect for conducting materials testing experiments in laboratories or in the field. Nimbus balances are typically used in building and construction for concrete testing.

DS Platform Scale - Kern


Kern's DS platform weighing scale are multi-functional weighing machines with an IP65 rated display for considerable waterproof and dust protection. These scales are highly-versatile and are often used for mixing procedures, such as paint, pastes and oils. These scales also offer selectable g/m² and g/cm² weighing units for measuring the length of string in the textile industry, density or paper weights.

If you need more information about any of our scales, please contact us.