How To Measure Your Roof From The Top Of The Structure
The most accurate way to measure your roof is by being on top of the roof itself. You can make sure each roof sections slope area is accounted for. Youll need some graph paper, measuring tape, and a calculator. For our example, well use a hip roof, though you can use this technique to measure any shape roof with varying complexity.
Getting Accurate Roof Measurements For Your Home
Again, this process is good for general measurement estimates. Prior to ordering any material, its crucial that you hire a professional to do field measurements. When it comes to metal roofing projects, an accurate list of materials is needed to stay on budget and successfully install metal panels.
- Materials needed.
- Quantity of materials needed.
- A breakdown of pricing per each material type.
In addition to takeoffs and other services, we are a metal roof manufacturer that sells directly to the public and to contractors. This can help you save 15% to 50% percent on all the roofing materials youll need for your house.
Looking for more homeowner guides and step-by-step installation help? You can find everything you need at the Western States Metal Roofing Learning Center to help you have an easy and successful installation.
How Do I Verify Measurements For My Metal Roof
Are you a do it yourself person or a contractor thats familiar with shingles but new to metal roofing? If thats you, or if you just want to answer the question How do I verify measurements for my metal roof then this vlog post is definitely for you!When it comes to figuring materials for your roof it all starts with a sketch. And over the years Ive seen all sorts of sketches. Ive seen them range from a doodle on a napkin to full-blown architectural drawings.
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Dont Forget To Include Chimneys And Skylights
There are a couple of things you will also need to label and measure beyond the basics like any porches that might be attached to your main roof.
Anything that protrudes from your roof should be taken into account. This could be a chimney or piping, but a good rule of thumb is to measure the dimensions of anything that protrudes from the roof.
Also, dont forget about skylights or other recessed areas.
Basically, anything that breaks up the smooth plane of the roof should be added to your drawing and labeled with measurements.
Calculate Roof Pitch From The Ground In Three Quick Steps
Roof pitch is one of those things that middle school math and geometry instructors can easily point to, and say, See? Learning how to work with rise over run is fun and useful, right? If at any moment you start having PTSD flashbacks to algebra or geometry class, take a deep breath. Well walk you through this slowly in three simple steps. All you need is a tape measure, and possibly a helper to hold it.
Step One: Grab that tape measure, notepad, and pencil and head outside. Find the slope of your roof youd like to measure, and start measuring the distance from the outer edge of the eave to the point at which the plane of the roof slope is barely visible to your eye. Write that number down in both inches. This figure is the horizontal run.
Step Two: Stand directly underneath the gutter or edge of the roof plane you want to calculate the slope for. Measure the distance from your eye to the top of the drip edge of your roof overhang. Write that number down in inches, too. This figure is the roof rise.
Step Three: Take the roof rise figure in Step Two and divide it by the horizontal run from Step One. In the example above, the rise is 60 inches and the run is 120 inches. This reduces down to a roof pitch of 6/12. Well use this figure in just a bit, so keep it handy.
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The Fastest Safest And Most Accurate Ways To Measure Your Roof For Shingles
Congratulations on beginning your new roof project! If youre wondering how to measure a roof, what roofing materials to order, or whether your roofing contractor is properly estimating your requirements, our roof measurement guide is here to help. On this page, we provide you with three different ways to measure roof area for shingles or a new metal roof.
The first way is the simplest, especially if youre good with a computer. Well show you how to get a rough estimate of the roofing squares youll need just with Google Earth. The second approach allows you to measure your roof from the ground. This can be especially helpful if you have a dangerous roof and would prefer to keep yourself safe. The third way to measure your roof is from on top of the structure itself. The advantage of this option is that its the most accurate, but it involves a little more geometry and math than the other options.
Let’s get measuring.
How To Measure Roof Slope Outdoors At The Gable End Of A Building
You need: a tape measure and, if there is no horizontal siding installed, you will need a carpenters level.
From a ladder or other accessible area giving safe access to the sloping gable end trim or roof edges,
1. Measure out horizontally 12 from the gable end sloping trim to a point along horizontal siding, or use your level to make a mark that is level, horizontally measured out 12 from the sloped gable trim or roof edge.
2. From the point you just marked, measure vertically straight up to the edge of the same sloping gable end trim or roof edge. This distance is the roof rise in inches per foot of run.
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Why You Shouldnt Get A Metal Roof
CON: Metal roofs are expensive. The many years of service that a metal roof promises come at a high cost. While you might have to pay for replacing a conventional asphalt shingle roof several times over the lifespan of your home, a high-quality metal roof could very likely be the last roof your home will ever need.
How To Determine Your Roof Pitch
The next step is to measure the pitch of the roof deck. Youll need to figure out the vertical distance over a 12 horizontal segment . Record these values as roof rise over run, with the vertical measurement listed first and the horizontal second.
Its important to keep in mind that the roof pitch will be dramatically different for homes with a flat roof than homes with a steep roof.
Sometimes You Need To Do A Quick Calculation To See If The Numbers Stack Up We Get It
Our table of roof slope factors will help you do the maths when it comes to roof areas, sheet length and hip length. Remember, these methods are for quick estimating purposes only. Accurate measurements must be taken from the actual roof frame before ordering roofing and rainwater products.
As an example, take a typical hipped roof where all four roof sections have the same slope and all hips are of equal length.
One: Get Up On Your Roof Safely And Take Initial Measurements
Sketch out the shape of your roof on graph paper. In this example, youd only need to measure overall width and length, the central ridge, and one of the hips . If you have a more complex roof shape with dormers, take all the measurements you can and prepare to use your eraser to refine the image of your overall roof structure. Make sure you have solid footing and if possible, use fall protection to keep yourself safe. Be mindful of hazards like ridge vents. Note the lengths in feet:
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Figure Out Your Homes Footprint
If you use the square footage of your home, youll only get a vague idea of what the square footage of your roof is. Thats why you have to figure out your homes footprint.
A person of average height will have a stride somewhere between 2 to 2.5 feet. To figure out your homes footprint, you can step off the dimensions of your roof by counting the steps you take to get the length of your home. You will then step off the width of your home.
After stepping off the length and width of your home, youll multiply the two numbers to get your homes footprint.
Length x width = your homes footprint
Your calculations are going to be off, but measuring this way can give you a basic idea of your homes footprint. Keep in mind, square footage of a house does not equal the square footage of a roof.
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.
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Hire A Professional Contractor To Measure The Tiles
As you can see, measuring a tile roof is not as difficult as many would have you believe. However, because it can be difficult to walk on a roof and measure it, it can be dangerous work for inexperienced people. For a simple roof, I generally figure 1 percent as a waste factor. To make life easier and safer, its best to hire a professional contractor to measure your shingles and the best experts.
The Labor And Time To Complete The Job
Labor and time are two of the main factors a roofing contractor considers when calculating the price of your new roof. If anything takes time and labor, it will show up in the final cost of your roof replacement.
The labor cost of each man on a crew is based on their skill level, experience, and how much they can get done in a day. The labor cost will vary from contractor to contractor.
The time it takes to complete the job is also a factor. The more time a roofer has to spend on your roof and property will always affect the price of a new roof.
If the roof is complex and hard to access, it take longer and more labor to complete. From tearing off your old roof to cleaning up your property after the job is done, if it takes manpower and time, its going to impact the cost of your new roof.
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Draw Each Shape Individually Calculate Each Area And The Total Square Footage Of Your Roof
Now we have eight shapes to find the area of six triangles and two rectangles. Instead of breaking out the old textbooks to calculate triangle areas, we like to use a triangle calculator. It makes figuring out the area of triangles a lot simpler.
In the example above, we have two triangles with sides of 30, 20, and 20 feet. Pop those figures in the three-sides calculator and youll get an area of 198. Since we have two of those triangles, multiply by 2 for a running total of 396 square feet.
We have four remaining triangles, all with dimensions of 15, 20, and 25 feet. That same calculator reveals a result of 150 square feet. Since there are four of those triangles, multiply by 4 to get 600 square feet.
Lastly, we have two rectangles of 15 by 30 feet. This one is easy, just width times height for a total of 450 square feet for each one. Multiply by 2 and their total square footage is 900.
Adding all the areas up yields a total of 1896 square feet . Since roofing material comes in 100 square foot squares, youll need at least 19 of them for your roofing project. Itd be wise to get at least 20 to account for mistakes and waste.
About Our Measuring And Estimating Guide
At Tri County Metals, we have a great measuring and estimating guide for our Ultra Rib panels that will be a big help. And the very first thing on this step-by-step guide is getting a sketch of your roof with all the measurements needed so either you, or the team at TCM, can formulate an accurate material list for your project.
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Two: Begin Measuring Your Roof
NOTE: The measurement tool wont be as accurate with slopes as it is with straight runs. Its best to angle the camera and get various measurements to see which is closest in comparison to surrounding measurements.
Its always best to go outside and check a few measurements to make sure what youre estimating on Google Earth is in the ballpark.
How To Measure A Roof
This article was co-authored by David Bitan. David Bitan is a roofing professional, licensed contractor, and the owner and founder of Bumble Roofing based in Southern California. With over 12 years of construction industry experience, David specializes in restoring, repairing, and maintaining residential, commercial, and industrial roofs. With over 60 years of combined experience, Bumble Roofing provides easy, friendly services to structures including residential, commercial, industrial, multi-family, and government buildings along with hospitals, hotels, and churches.There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 339,713 times.
Measuring your roof is the first step in a successful re-roofing project. You can actually get an estimate of your roof’s measurements from the ground if you’d rather not climb a ladder and get up on the roof yourself. Otherwise, you can climb up onto your roof to take more accurate measurements. Either way, we’ve got you covered! This article will walk you through each process step-by-step.
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Calculating Roof Size And Roofing Materials:
Calculating roof size: Now that you know your roofs ground dimensions, measured your roof pitch and have the pitch multiplier, you can calculate your roof size, as well as the amount of roofing materials that you will need to re-roof your home. If you have a simple gable type roof, like a colonial or a ranch home, calculating roof size will be as easy as two plus two. Simply take your ground dimensions, multiply length by width, and apply the roof pitch multiplier. For example, if your house is 24 x 46 and is 6-pitch, you multiply 24 by 46 and multiply the sum by 1.12, which is a multiplier for 6-pitch roofs. The result will be 1237 sq. ft. roof.
If your roof is more complicated and cut-up than a simple gable roof, you will need to break it into sections and calculate each section separately. For roofs with hips and valleys, or details such as dormers, you will need to apply some basic geometry to get more or less accurate roof sizes. If you have chimneys, skylights, and other large roof penetrations, you should not subtract them from your total roof size, as these are usually negligible, compared to your roofs size , and wont have much effect. Besides, roofing contractors will not subtract these either an average skylight is only about 10 sq. ft in size. You should also realize that working around the skylight will produce a lot of waste and will consume a lot of installation time, and even more so for chimney flashing.
How To Determine Your Roof Pitch The Easy Way
When you need to determine your roof pitch, all you need is a bubble level and a tape measure. The level should be at least 12 long.
Step 1: Make sure your have a 12 mark on your level.
Some levels have markings already and in this case you are ready to go . If you need to make the mark, simply start your measurement from one end of the level. Then put a visible mark at 12. This mark is where youll place the tape measure when youre on the roof.
Step 2: Climb on the roof and measure.
Climb up on your roof. Place the end of your level against the roof surface. Hold the level straight and level and then measure the vertical distance down from the your 12 mark on the level down to the roof.
This is the amount your roof inclines in a 1-foot span or the pitch of your roof.
Alternatively, if your roof has tile or some other type of irregular material or access is otherwise a problem , you can go up in the attic and do it like this:
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