## How Many Nails Will You Need

Nails will also be required for any roofing project. The average 3-tab shingle needs four nails per shingle. High wind areas and other types of shingles may need more. 320 nails will be needed to install a square of standard 3-tab shingles, assuming four nails per shingle and 80 shingles per square.

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## Measuring The Length And Width Of Each Plane By Hand

**Draw an overhead view of your roof.**Each area on the roof is a single plane, which just means it’s a surface with a 2D shape, like a rectangle or square. Add lines where the different planes come together. Make sure to include all the planes, as well as any shingled sides of dormers your roof may have.

**Climb a ladder with a notepad, a pencil, and a measuring tape.**Stow these items in a shoulder or hip pack while climbing for easy access. Wear closed-toe shoes with good grip and avoid working on wet or windy days.XResearch source

## Varying Roof Styles Make The Term Roofing Square More Common

Another reason that you cant always divide square footage by 100 to get the number of square is because every roof shape and style is different

For example, measuring a gable roof is fairly straightforward, but measuring a gambrel or mansard style roof can be a bit more complicated. **Waste becomes a major factor when measuring more intricate roofing types** like mansard and hipped roofs. Waste happens when shingles need to be cut to fit tight spaces . They are not always nailed in even rows along the roof deck.

With more complex roof types, you quickly realize that not every square foot of measurement is created equal! Overall, the phrase roof square helps bridge the gap for projects both simple and complex.

As long as you have an experienced roofing contractor to work with, you can breathe easy knowing that at the end of the day, the correct amount of materials will get delivered and that your roof installation will go 100% according to plan! You can skip the hassle of measuring your roof, ordering materials, and DIYing the project by hiring Roof Hub. Our guarantees, time-tested processes, and 50 year warranty are just a few of many reasons hundreds of homeowners have trusted us with their #1 asset. If youd like to get started on a roof estimate, click here.

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## The Operating Cost Of Your Roofing Contractor

Every roofing contractor has operating expenses to keep their business going. **These operating costs will always factor into the price of any roof work that needs to be done.**

Some common operating costs are:

- Building cost and utilities, shop and truck yard
- Advertising and promotions
- Payroll and payroll taxes
- Taxes

These are just some of the fixed operating costs that it takes to run a business. No matter if a roofing company does a simple repair or replaces 10 roofs, these are the costs that have to be paid every day. **No matter what work you get done or what service you need, operating expenses will always factor into an estimate or final cost. **

## So What Is A Roofing Square

A roofing square is a measurement, but it has nothing to do with square feet, meters, yards, or miles. A roofing square is commonly used by roofing companies and is roughly equivalent to 100 square feet. This measurement does not change whether it is a square of shingles or a square of tarp. This is because roofing squares are used to make calculating the cost of materials and labor easier than if you had to use square feet or yards.

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## Why Should I Measure My Own Roof

If you plan on re-roofing your own home then you will need to calculate materials so you wont waste your own time and money. If youre like most people, youll need to hire a professional.

Knowing your numbers will help you figure out what roofing materials are within your budget and having your square footage handy is a great way to protect yourself from inflated quotes.

## How To Accurately Measure A Roof From The Ground

What Im about to share with you is one of the best kept secrets for measuring residential roofing jobs without your feet leaving the ground. If you are not the owner of a residential roofing company then you most likely havent heard of this before. This was taught to me, several years ago, by one of my roofing subcontractors. It is a super-simple way to quickly and safely measure the size of just about any style of asphalt shingle roof. Did I mention that it is highly accurate, as well?

**The first technique is referred to as the Shingle Count Method, which is used for estimating the measurements of all rectangular-shaped sections of a roof.**

To sum it up, each individual tab on a 3-tab shingle measures approximately 12 wide by 6 high. I typically begin by counting the # of shingles from left to right, which gives me the total width of the section . And then I will count the # of rows of shingles between the gutter and the peak of the roof and then divide the number by 2, which gives me the height measurement. Then I simply multiply the two numbers together and the result is the total square feet of this particular section. I would then, of course, proceed to do the same thing for each of the remaining sections.

For Hip Roofs, I measure the length of the house and then I measure the width. I then multiply these 2 numbers together and I take that number and multiply it by 1.35.

I hope you find this info to be as time-saving and helpful as I have.

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## Estimating Roof Area Using Pitch And Square Footage

If you are mathematically inclined or have a roofing calculator, you can estimate the roof area if you know the pitch of your roof and the square footage of your home. To illustrate, if your pitch is 4/12 and your two-story home has 1,400 square feet on each floor, these are the calculations.

Divide the pitch. For a 4/12 pitch, the answer is 1/3. Square the above answer, which in this example would yield 1/9. Add 1, expressed as a fraction. That is, you would add 9/9 + 1/9 for a total of 10/9. Take the square root of 10/9, which is approximately 1.054. Multiply 1.054 by 1,400, the square footage of the home used in this example. You should get 1,475.6. Divide 1,475.6 by 100 to determine the number of squares required. You will need at least 14.756 squares of roofing. However, you should add about 10 percent for starter strips, valleys, waste and hip and ridge.

## Calculating The Area Of A Complex Roof

Areas of complex roofs with multiple hips and valleys take the most time to calculate. Start by making a rough sketch of the roof. To simplify the calculation, break down the sketch into rectangles and right triangles , then take as many measurements of the roof as you can to match the sides of the rectangles and triangles on the sketch.

Use visual cues from the existing roof shingles or roof sheathing to determine square lines off eaves edges or ridges. These cues will help you measure the lengths of the sides of the rectangles and triangles. For instance, the cutout slots on shingled roofs run perpendicular to the eaves, and nail rows in sheathing are pretty close to square also. It is difficult sometimes to get accurate measurements. Dont get too concerned though just round lengths to the nearest 6 in.

With the sketch filled in with measurements, you can determine the size of the roof area. The area of a rectangle is length multiplied by width, whereas the area of a right triangle is the length of the two sides that meet at the 90-degree corner multiplied together and divided by two .

Tally the square footages of all the rectangles and triangles, which will give you the total square footage for the roof. The example here shows the calculation for a roof with two hips.

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## S To Measuring Roof Square Footage

## Roofing Pitch For Square Roof Area

Finally, the more complex part is measuring your roofs pitch.

*.*

Low Pitch: 1.07 x Roofing SquaresMedium Pitch: 1.185 x Roofing SquaresHigh Pitch: 1.36 x Roofing Squares

**NOTE:** We understand a roofs pitch makes this process somewhat tricky. Enjoy Home Advisors free roofing square calculator right here.

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## Headlap 1 Square Isnt Always Exactly 100 Square Feet

If youre hiring a qualified contractor for your project, then you dont need to worry about this, but if youre replacing your own roof *you need to understand headlap!*

Earlier we mentioned that a roofing square is equal to 100 square feet. While true in most cases, this calculation does not consider headlap.

What is headlap? Headlap is the overlap of a row of shingles on top of the next row, which helps protect against water penetration. Because of headlap, a square of roofing shingles never really equals *exactly *100 square feet of roofing when you line all the materials up.

Put plainly as possible: **one square of roofing is not 100 square feet exactly, but is enough to cover 100 square feet of roofing area**. The materials themselves may, and often are, more than 100 square feet in total.

## Plan For Waste Factor

The only roof that will generate no **waste** from cutting is that rare simple gable whose roof length is divisible by the 3-ft. length of a shingle. Other simple gable roofs will require cut shingles at the rakes. From there, the waste factor increases with every obstruction, such as a chimney, and with every hip or valley.

Laminated shingles typically generate less waste than three-tab shingles do because you dont have to maintain a cutout pattern, but its tricky to determine exactly how many square feet of shingles you will be able to salvage. Its best to plan your order using the same waste factor that you would use for three-tab shinglesat worst youll just have a couple of bundles to return.For a simple roof, I generally figure 1 percent as a waste factor. On a complex roof with open valleys, I add 5 percent and sometimes more. Theres no calculation you can use to determine the extra shingles youll need for waste. With experience estimating jobs, youll get a feel for how many extra shingles to order.

Waste is also generated when shingles are damaged, which is inevitable when youre moving shingles around a steep roof slope and some will slide off. You may be able to salvage part of the damaged shingle, but dont count on it. You can also waste shingles when you nail them improperly and have to remove them. You may drive nails too low in the exposure or fasten one off a control line.

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## How To Measure Your Roof With Google Earth

Using your computer to get a ballpark estimate of your roof area is easy and fast. However, using satellite imagery may not be an ideal solution if your structure is in a very remote location that hasnt been 3D scanned. Thats because well need to grab an accurate representation of your roofs pitch for measuring purposes. From above with a 2D image, everything looks flat. If you were to just measure your roof area from directly above, you wouldnt be accounting for its pitch, or slope.

Consider two homes with the same base area square footage, but one of them has a much steeper roof pitch than the other. That structure would need to be taller, and there would be a lot more roofing material to account for. If youre just measuring from above in 2D, both of these structures might look identical. If you dont account for roof pitch, youre going to underestimate your materials requirements, which could be a costly mistake.

Satellite technology has progressed a lot in the past few years. With , you can easily find your address and a 3D replica of your structure, including your roofs pitch. Lets get to it.

Once you load the site, youll be presented with our beautiful planet:

While you can switch to 2D mode by clicking the button in the lower right, youll want to stay in this 3D view so you can get a good view of your roofs pitch.

## How Many Roofing Shingles Do I Need

To estimate how much roofing material you need, such as bundles of architectural shingles or rolls of synthetic roofing underlayment, you need to know the total square footage of your roofs surface.

#### How to Calculate Total Square Footage of Your Roof

To find your roofs total square footage:

**Example #1: Shed Roof with One Roof Plane**

For example, this shed roof has one roof plane.

Multiply length times width :

A x B = 40 x 30 = 1200 sq. ft. for the total square footage of the roof.

**Example #2: Gable Roof with Two Roof Planes**

This gable roof has two planes.

So to derive the total square footage of the roof, you would:

For example:

- Plane 1 : 40 x 30 = 1200 sq. ft.
- Plane 2 : 40 x 30 = 1200 sq. ft.
- Plane 1 + Plane 2 = 2400 sq. ft. for the total square footage of the roof.

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## Hip And Ridge Cap Shingles

Hips and ridges are covered with cap shingles, which are 1-ft. shingle squares that wrap over the hip or ridge. Like regular shingles, they overlap for a 5-in. exposure.On roofs shingled with three-tab or no-cutout shingles, you simply cut standard shingles into caps. You can cap about 35 lin. ft. of ridge or hips with each bundle of three-tab shingles that come three bundles to the square. You can also salvage waste shingle pieces and portions of damaged shingles for use as caps.

For roofs shingled with laminated shingles, multi-cutout shingles, and other patterned shingles, youll have to order hip-and-ridge shingles that are manufactured as companions to the specific shingle product you are using. Theyre sold by the bundle and usually cap 35 lin. ft., but check with your supplier because some products vary. Just measure the length of the ridges and hips and divide by 35 to determine how many bundles of regular or hip-and-ridge shingles youll need.

## Whats Your Roof Slope

You will also need to know the slope of your deck.

To determine this, measure the vertical rise of your deck in inches over a 12 horizontal distance.

If this rise is 4, then your roof slope is 4 in 12.

Roof slopes are always expressed with the vertical rise mentioned first and the horizontal run mentioned second.

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## How Many Shingles Are In A Square

When the time comes to buy shingles for your roof, keep in mind that they are usually sold by the bundle. Each bundle is a wrapped package of shingles with such a weight as to be lifted easily by a person.

The most common is to have **three bundles of shingles for a square of roof area**. In other words, if you buy **3 bundles of shingles**, this will cover **one square** which is **100 sq.ft of area.**

The most usual case when buying standard shingles , there are 29 standard-sized shingles in each bundle.

Summary of the above:

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