The Number Yard
A Fun and Easy Guide to the Math You Need for Construction... And Nothing Else. ::: By Alan Cook ~ Illustrated by Mary E. Scott

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All construction workers must have, and know how to use the tools of their trade. A vital tool that is often unavailable for use on the job site is math.

Carpenters, plumbers, concrete workers and weekend hobbyists struggle through the tallying of figures - feeling doubt and insecurity about the numbers. Excellent tradesmen have been too intimidated by math to consider getting their contractors’ licenses.

Lumberyard and hardware store workers fumble numbers leading to embarrassment and a waste of their customers’ time.

To make math usable for you, you’ll need to master very few concepts. This will be easier than you think because you already, unknowingly, use the tricks of math on a daily basis.

Why You Need to Understand Math

You need to use math in most construction tasks. For example:

  • The concrete company only wants the order in yards (cubic yards).
  • Roofing material is purchased by the square (100 square feet).
  • Finished flooring is sold by the square yard.
    Land is purchased in acres (or fractions of an acre).
  • Your measuring tape reads in feet, inches, and fractions of an inch.
  • All materials and labor cost dollars and cents.


Selectively Asking “Why”?

Some people mistakenly make math, or other work, harder than it is. There are many ways to defeat yourself. The two most common impediments are:

  • Asking “why” too often.
  • Expecting that complexity is a natural component of all problems.

Why ask “why”?
It is crucial to ask questions when you don’t understand. It is equally as important to accept a simple fact. Simple facts:

  • Seven follows six.
  • There are 3 feet in a yard.
  • 528 means five hundreds, two tens, and 8 ones.

These are as true as the sun coming up in the east. No need to fight or question this. Some facts are simply facts.

Too many people get stuck with math by seeking complexity. “It can’t be that simple” is the mistaken belief.

In truth, it can be that simple. For those of you who have unfortunately learned to want the complex, it’s now time to make your life easier.

A few people become “math phobic.” Numbers or calculations arouse a fear which, in turn, freezes your ability to think.


Math was invented by people to help simplify the solving of a problem.

Math is a tool; a linear language using numbers and symbols that allow measurements to become useful.

The Number Yard

This book includes enough repetition to permit you to grasp and practice the math concepts but omits the busy, non-productive work you may have encountered in grade school.

Your investment of time and effort in learning The Number Yard’s math for construction will save you time, money, and grief over years.

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