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 reroofing project in the near time? 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’re doing the shopping work.

how to measure a roof for shingles

How to Measure a Roof for Shingles

Contractors will size the roof surface area to decide the total square footage. This will determine how many shingles you need to purchase to cover all the roof surfaces in a bundle.

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

How to Measure a Hip Roof for Shingles

Hip roofs have four faces or sides, so they are different from common peak roofs. Here’s the guide to measure 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 length of the roof’s bottom edge 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 numbers by 2, then multiply the ridge line’s length directly to the bottom edge.
    • Triangular sides: multiply 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.
  1. Find the total hip roof’s area in sq ft unit by adding each side’s area.
  2. Once you get the total area in sq ft, multiply the number by 0.05 or 5%. This meant requiring extra material for the roofing that may happen due to calculation error or material damage.
  3. As the last step, add the extra amount of material to the total amount of the material as the amount you need to purchase.

How to Measure a Roof for Shingles From the Ground

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

Count the top ridge and hips visually to estimate the number of 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 extremely advised to look for professional contractor help to provide more accurate measurement 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