How to Measure a Roof for Shingles as Rough Estimation on Roofing Project

Are you planning to buy shingles for your new house or do a roof replacement project soon? A successful roofing project requires money and time investments, so you want to get accurate material estimations.

Here’s how to measure a roof for shingles before you do the shopping work.

how to measure a roof for shingles

How to Measure a Roof for Shingles

Contractors measure the roof length and width of each roof plane to calculate the roofing area. This involves using a tape measure to determine the footage of each plane, including the width of each plane. The roof’s total square footage is crucial in determining the number of shingles required to cover the entire roof.

You may use a convenient roof shingle calculator or use the steps below to do a rough calculation of shingles:

  1. Determine the width and length for every plane on your roof area, including dormers. It might not be very easy if the roof planes are not rectangular.
  1. Measure every rectangular-shaped plane in square footage by multiplying its width by its length. For instance, planes that are 100 feet wide and 120 feet long will be 12,000 square feet.
  1. Lastly, the total square footage of the entire roof plane is used to get the overall numbers. For instance, if you have two 12,000 sq ft planes, the overall size of your roof square footage is 24,000 sq ft.
  1. The surface of your roof is measured using a square unit. One square is equal to 100 sq ft. Again as an example, a 24,000 sq ft roof area will require 240 squares to cover it entirely.

Considerations for Roof Pitch

When measuring a roof for shingles, it’s important to consider the roof pitch. The pitch of the roof affects the total roof area calculation. For example, a roof with a steep pitch will have a larger area than a flat roof. Therefore, accurately measuring the roof pitch is essential for accurately estimating shingles.

How to Measure a Hip Roof for Shingles

Hip roofs have four faces or sides, differing from common peak roofs. Here’s the guide to measuring shingles on the hip roof:

  1. Get on the roof area and determine the size of each side on the hip roof.
    • Triangular sides: size the edge of the roof’s bottom and the ridge point’s length directly to the bottom edge
    • Parallelogram sides: size the length of the roof’s bottom edge, the length of the roof’s top edge, and the ridge point’s length directly to the bottom edge
  1. Measure the size of each side’s area, divide the square footage of your roof by 2, and then multiply the ridge line’s length directly to the bottom edge.
    • Triangular sides: multiply the ridge point’s length directly to the bottom edge by the base’s length
    • Parallelogram sides: add the bottom edge’s length to the ridge line’s length first.

Read also: What Is a Hip Roof?

  1. Find the total hip roof’s area in sq ft unit by adding each side’s area.
  2. Once you have calculated the square footage of your roof, multiply the number by 0.05 or 5%. This meant requiring extra material for the roofing, which may happen due to calculation errors or material damage.
  3. As the last step, add the extra material to the total amount of the material to the amount you need to purchase.

Estimating Shingle Quantities

Once you have the total roof area, you can estimate the shingles needed. One square of shingles (100 square feet) typically requires three bundles. By dividing the total roof area by 100 square feet, you can estimate the number of squares and, consequently, the number of bundles needed for your roofing project.

How to Measure a Roof for Shingles From the Ground

To measure the shingles roof from the ground, you must first create the roof’s outline on the paper. Observe your house and fill the outline with measurements to calculate the overhang. Divide your roof into several sections and create calculations for each.

Read also: Minimum Roof Slope for Shingles

Count the top ridge and hips visually to estimate the ridge pieces on the roof. Multiply the number of ridge pieces by inches and divide by ft unit.

The guide on how to measure a roof for shingles above may be able to help you. However, since the roofing project allows no mistakes for the installation, it is advised to look for a professional contractor to help provide more accurate measurements and walk you through the entire re-roofing project.

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RoofLast is an experienced author and roofing expert. With years of practical experience in the field authored several informative articles on various aspects of roofing, including installation, maintenance, and repair