how to measure your roof for shingles

How To Measure Your Roof For Shingles

If you’re planning to re-shingle your roof, one of the most crucial steps is to accurately measure your roof. Proper measurement ensures you purchase the right amount of shingles, saving time, money, and avoiding unnecessary trips to the hardware store. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of how to measure your roof for shingles, ensuring your next roofing project goes smoothly. Let’s get started.

Why Accurate Roof Measurement Matters

Accurate measurements are vital for several reasons:

  • Cost Efficiency: Buying the correct amount of shingles prevents overspending.
  • Project Planning: Knowing the exact quantity helps in efficient project planning and execution.
  • Waste Minimization: Reduces waste by purchasing only what you need.

Tools You’ll Need

Before you start, gather the following tools:

  • Measuring tape (preferably 100 feet long)
  • Calculator
  • Notepad and pen
  • Ladder
  • Safety harness (for safety)
  • Assistant (optional but recommended)

How to Measure Your Roof for Shingles

Measuring your roof for shingles is a straightforward process if you follow these steps carefully. Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Gather Your Tools

Before you start, ensure you have the necessary tools:

  • Measuring tape (100 feet long is ideal)
  • Calculator
  • Notepad and pen
  • Ladder
  • Safety harness
  • Assistant (optional)

Step 2: Determine the Roof’s Pitch

The pitch, or steepness, of your roof affects how many shingles you will need. To measure the pitch:

  1. Place a 12-inch level on your roof surface, extending it horizontally.
  2. Measure the vertical distance (rise) from the end of the level to the roof surface.
  3. The rise over a 12-inch run gives you the pitch (e.g., a 4-inch rise is a 4/12 pitch).

Step 3: Measure Roof Sections

  1. Length: Measure the horizontal distance of each roof section.
  2. Width: Measure the vertical distance from the ridge to the edge of the roof.
  3. Area: Multiply the length by the width to get the area of each section in square feet.

Step 4: Include Additional Features

  • Measure any overhangs at the roof’s edges.
  • Include dormers, valleys, and other features in your measurements.

Step 5: Calculate Total Roof Area

Add the area of all sections to get the total roof area. For example, if you have three sections measuring 200 sq. ft., 150 sq. ft., and 250 sq. ft., the total area is 600 sq. ft.

Step 6: Convert to Roofing Squares

Divide the total roof area by 100 to convert to roofing squares. For instance, 600 sq. ft. divided by 100 equals 6 squares.

Step 7: Factor in Waste

Add 10% to account for waste. For 6 squares, add 0.6 squares (10% of 6), resulting in 6.6 squares. Round up to the nearest whole number, so you need 7 squares.

Step 8: Purchase Shingles

Shingles are typically sold in bundles, with three bundles making up one square. For 7 squares, you’ll need 21 bundles (7 squares x 3 bundles per square).

Safety Tips

  • Always use a sturdy ladder and wear a safety harness.
  • Avoid measuring in wet or windy conditions.
  • Consider having an assistant to help.

By following these steps, you can accurately measure your roof for shingles, ensuring you buy the correct amount and avoid unnecessary costs and waste.

Read More: How Long Does Copper Plumbing Last?


Accurately measuring your roof for shingles is an essential step in any roofing project. By following these steps, you can ensure you purchase the right amount of materials, saving time and money. Remember, safety is paramount, so take all necessary precautions. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a homeowner looking to save on costs, understanding how to measure your roof correctly will set you up for a successful re-shingling project.

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