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How to Measure a Roof for Shingles

This image measuring the roof of a house

There are two ways to measure a roof for shingles. One method involves measuring the area from the top, while the other involves measuring from the bottom. A roof is typically more comprehensive at the top than at the bottom. Once you have the area of the roof, you can determine how many shingles are needed.

Calculate the area of a roof for shingles.

Before you purchase shingles, you must determine the square footage of the roof. The area of the roof is measured using a tape measure. Typically, shingles are priced according to square footage. Generally, the square footage is the length x width. This measurement is different for different kinds of roofs.

You can calculate the square footage of a roof by measuring the length of the roof and the width of its planes. If the roof is a rectangle, you can multiply the length and width to get the square footage. For more complex roofs, the measurements are taken from the ground. Be sure to account for any overhangs or other roof edges.

You can also calculate the square footage of a roof by multiplying the number of existing courses by five inches. You can divide that number by twelve to determine the length of the rake. The shingles must be 12-in. by 36-inch size to be considered. You must also know the length and width of the existing shingles to determine the area of the roof.

A triangle has a base and a height. Its area is equal to its base times the height. For example, a 5×4-foot roof would have an area of 10 square feet. Using a tape measure and level, measure the length and width of the base of the roof. Then, add the area to the total square footage. Make a triangle from these measurements. The hypotenuse of this triangle will be a rafter. Most roofing calculators can accept a 5-inch pitch.

Once you know the area of the roof, you can estimate the roof’s shingles cost. A 1,000-square-foot roof will require 58 bundles of shingles. If you are doing the work yourself, you may make a few mistakes along the way. To prevent these mistakes, order 15 percent more material than you calculated.

Once you have calculated the area, use the Area Calculator to determine how much material will be needed for the roof. This tool can help you estimate the area of a complex shape, such as a triangle.

Calculate the number of shingle bundles required.

Getting an accurate measurement of the size of your roof is essential to determining how many shingle bundles you’ll need. To get an accurate calculation, measure your roof’s length, width, and height. Then multiply these measurements by three to get the total square footage. If installing shingles on a complex roof, you must also account for rake-edge overhangs.

The number of shingles you’ll need to install depends on your roof type. For example, a gable roof has fewer planes than a hip roof with several. To calculate the number of shingle bundles, you’ll need, multiply the height and width of the roof by the number of shingles you need.

A bundle of shingles typically has 15 to 29 shingles. Each bundle covers about 33 square feet of space. Then, you’ll need to factor in any waste, which is material that’s cut off or overlapped. This will give you the number of shingle bundles you’ll need. In addition to the shingles, you’ll need to purchase roof nails and underlayment.

You can also calculate the number of shingle bundles the square footage needs. Each square contains approximately thirty-nine standard-sized shingles that are twelve inches by 36 inches. You’ll need three or four bundles if your roof is more than 100 square feet.

There are several ways to calculate the number of shingle bundles you need to cover a roof. For example, if you plan to cover a roof with a shingle system, you’ll need approximately 35 bundles of standard-size 3-tab shingles. For a 1500-square-foot house, you’ll need 57 bundles.

The slope of your roof will also affect how many shingle bundles you need. The steeper the slope, the more shingles you’ll need. The slope is the square feet your roof covers divided by length. A typical slope falls between three and twelve feet.

The type of shingle you choose will significantly determine how many shingle bundles you’ll need. Different types of shingles will weigh different amounts.

Draw an overhead view of the roof.

Before installing shingles on a home, drawing an overhead view of the roof is essential. The sketch will help you determine the length and width of each roof plane. You should orient the sketch to your current position to label the planes properly. Once you have the sketch oriented correctly, you can measure the roof. Choose the first section of the roof and lay the measuring tape along the length and width of that plane. You will then need to write down this measurement.

Once the roof is in the correct position, use the vanishing point to draw the lines for doors and windows. The roof guidelines should be drawn to the right of the vanishing point. Next, erase the lines that don’t need to be there. Repeat this process, drawing half a tile at a time until you have the correct height.

Cost of asphalt shingles

Determine the number of shingles needed.

The best way to determine the number of shingles you need is to take measurements of each roof plane. This includes any overhangs. Then, multiply each measurement by the square footage of the roof. This number will be a good guideline for most roofs. Once you have a general idea of the square footage, you can order the shingles. This can help you avoid overspending or purchasing too few shingles.

The number of shingles needed per square foot will vary depending on the size and type of shingles you choose. Typically, a bundle of shingles contains fifteen to 29 shingles. Each bundle covers approximately 33 square feet. You should also add 10% to 20% to account for waste.

Typically, a 1,000-square-foot roof requires 58 shingle bundles. To get an accurate estimate of the number of shingles it needs, you must multiply the square footage of your roof by four. If you have an existing roof with a sloped roof, you will need approximately nine bundles of shingles.

Kyle Houck

President

About the Author

Kyle Houck is the President of Eastern Exteriors, LLC.

Eastern Exteriors, LLC is a family-owned company based in Frederick, Maryland. From new roof installation and roof repairs by professional roofers to premium window installations and expert siding installation, we are a full-service exteriors and contractor roofing company. And, if storms blow your way, we’ll be there to assess and repair the damage quickly.

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