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Roofing Measurements Explained

Roofing Measurements explained

Whether you’re contemplating re-roofing your entire home or procuring shingles on a brand-new house, a fruitful roofing project will require a serious investment of time and cold hard cash. The cost of roofing materials can differ greatly and are priced per square foot. This means you cannot stand to make miscalculations during installation. Surveying a roof right the first time is key in getting a project off the ground fast. Even if you plan on hiring a professional roofer to measure your roof, let’s break down the basics of roofing measurements. Below, we’ll explain how different roofs are measured based on slope, pitch, and overall square footage.

Estimating Shingles and Square Footage

If you’re intending on doing a shingle roof, you’re going to need to consider exactly how many shingles you will need to procure. To do this, you’ll need to assess the total square footage of your roof’s total surface. Doing so is straightforward. You or your hired roofing team will initiate by evaluating the span and width of each plane of the roof, adding to any dormers. Multiply the entire length by the width to receive the exact square footage of each plane. In the end, tally the roof’s full square footage by summing the square footage of each plane together.

Every roof surface is surveyed in “squares.” A square is purely any area of roof which computes at an exact 100 square feet. You’ll need to find out the number of squares on a roof in order to learn the number of shingles you’ll need to cover the roof. Let’s say you have a gable roof that is a sum of 24,000 square feet. Simply divide the entire square footage by 100. You’ll get a result of 240, meaning that you’ll need 240 squares of shingles to cover the roof.

Get to Know Slope

A roof cannot be surveyed properly without recognizing the slope. Disparate types of roofs have different slopes. For example, the slope of a gable roof will look very different from the slope of an A-frame roof or Bonnet roof. The slope of a roof is also referred to as the pitch. The slope or pitch is ascertained by the perpendicular rise in inches for every horizontal 12-inch length of the run.

To determine slope, you or a professional will measure the exact vertical rise over a horizontal distance of 12-inches. The vertical rise is measured in inches as well.  If this ascent is 4-inches, then your roof slope as determined as being 4-in-12. Roof slopes or pitch are essentially always detailed with the vertical rise disclosed first and the horizontal run brought up after.

Measuring Steep Roofs

A-frame roofs and even gable roofs can be relatively steep. Measuring a very steep roof involves different computing techniques. To measure steep roofs, the roof length needs to be calculated first. Then external walls are computed plus the overhang for the length of the residence lateral to the ridge. After that, a cable is lobbed over the ridge to identify it on each eave of the steep roof. This allows you to tally the overall width dimension to use in estimating area. This is done on each roof section that has a horizontal ridge.

What Tools Are Needed to Measure A Roof?

The tools needed to measure a roof are relatively simple and straightforward. Generally, all one needs to measure a roof are the following:

  • Measuring Tape
  • Ladder
  • Calculator
  • Pen/pencil
  • Paper
  • Level

If you have those tools on hand, you should be able to discern a crude estimate of your roof’s square footage, pitch, and overall slope.

Should I Measure My Own Roof?

While you can try to measure a roof on your own, it is a job best left up to a quality roofing team who knows what they’re doing. Not only will they quickly and accurately measure your roof with ease, but they can do so safely. Safety is paramount in Northern Florida where weather and conditions can quickly take a turn. Measuring your own roof if you lack experience could lead to additional costs if you underestimate or overestimate the number of materials needed to complete the work.

About Prime Roofing

Prime Roofing is a top-rated roofing contractor on Google, Angie’s List, Guildquality, Owens Corning, and more. Our roofing company is built to provide the smoothest roof replacement experience possible for homeowners in Jacksonville, Florida.

Contact us for an estimate here or give us a call at (904) 530-1446.

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