Learn How to Measure a Roof for Shingles Skip to content

Learn How to Measure a Roof for Shingles

measure a roof for shingles

Image source: Pixabay

Taking on a reroofing project may be overwhelming, but it’s not impossible to do it yourself.

Although more convenient, it might put a big dent in your savings to hire a professional to do all the work for you.

You can try measuring the area of your roof and buying the materials yourself to save some pennies. This guide would help you estimate how many shingles you would need to cover your roof.

Let us walk you through the process of how to measure your roof.

How to Measure a Roof for Shingles Yourself

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to measure the area of your roof.

Sketch Your Roof

To get you started, draw the appearance of your roof. It doesn’t have to be too detailed—a rough sketch will do.

Get yourself some pencil and paper and start sketching the basic shapes of your roof. Draw some rectangles and triangles freely. What’s important is that each plane of your roof is accounted for.

Easy, right?

Measure the Length and Width of Each Section

After working on your 2D sketch, get a ladder and a tape measure. Bring your pencil and paper with you so that you can write the dimensions down as you measure.

Be careful in getting on your roof! It’s best to do this on a sunny day—you can see everything well and lessen the risk of slipping as you measure.

Make sure the ladder is sturdy and placed on a level surface. Put the tape measure, pencil, and paper in your pocket so that you can climb on your roof comfortably.

After climbing the ladder, start measuring the length and width of each roof section. Extend your tape measure all the way so that you wouldn’t have to reach over the edge too much. If your tape measure isn’t long enough, mark where it ends and measure again until you reach the other edge.

Remember to jot down all the measurements corresponding to each roof section. Doing so would help you calculate the dimensions of your roof more easily.

Calculating Roof Area

Now that you’ve gotten the measurements on your roof sketch, it’s time to do some simple math.

Remember how to get the area of a rectangle? That’s right, you’ll have to multiply the length by the width.

calculating roof area

For triangle sections on your roof, calculate the area by multiplying the base by its height. After getting the product, divide it by two.

calculating roof area2

Add up the area of the different planes to get the total square area of your roof.

But calculating the total roof area doesn’t stop here. You still need to take your roof’s slope into account. In some cases, measuring the pitch allows you to determine the slope of your roof.

If you have your house’s floor plan with you, you might find your roof’s slope written there. Otherwise, you’ll have to do a manual calculation.

After finding out your roof’s slope, it’s time to calculate the total roof area. Multiply the area of your roof (the square areas you computed earlier) with the slope you got.

For example, if your square area is 3200 ft2 and your slope is 1.16, your total roof area would be 348 m2.

roof area equation

How Many Shingles Do You Need?

Once you have your total roof area, it’s time to know how many bundles of roof shingles you have to buy.

To determine how many roofing squares you have, divide the total square feet by 100. In the example above, the house will have 37.12 roofing squares.

Shingles are usually sold in bundles of three. It is enough to cover about one roofing square.

Yet, you also need to take into account the waste factor. The safe assumption would be about 10-15% of the total roofing squares.

Again, using the example above, you would need about 123 bundles of shingles. If your roof has a more complex design, you might need more. Remember to always round up when estimating how many shingles you would need.

calculating shingles for roof

Consider Hiring a Pro to Measure Your Roof for Shingles

Image Source: Unsplash

If all that math has made you dizzy, it might be best to leave it to the professionals. Measuring a roof is no easy task for most individuals. If you want to make sure that your roof would be properly covered with shingles, get in touch with people who specialize in it.

Fortress Roofing & Exteriors LTD. offers shingle installation services at an affordable price. You could inquire about it here.

Shingle roofs are inexpensive and durable. It’s one of the best materials to use on a roof. It also has a variety of colors you could choose from. It’s both aesthetically pleasing and practical. Check out this article for more benefits of shingle roofing.

Reroofing is a complicated project to do by yourself. But again, it can be done without professional help. If you’re still interested in taking on the challenge, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to shingle a roof

Measuring a Roof for Shingles in 6 Steps

  1. Draw a simple sketch of all the planes on your roof. It doesn’t have to be too detailed.
  2. Measure the square area of each plane. Add them to get the total square area of your roof.
  3. Find the slope of your roof. Multiply it by the total square area to get the total roof area.
  4. Divide the total roof area by 100 to get the number of roofing squares.
  5. Three bundles are enough to cover one roofing square. Multiply the total number of roofing squares by three to know how many bundles you need to buy.
  6. If it gets too complicated for you, hire a professional to do the job for you.