If you’re looking to install a new roof or repair a damaged roof, it’s important to get an accurate roofing estimate. This will enable you to plan adequately and avoid unforeseen circumstances or extra costs. With a detailed roofing estimate, you’re guaranteed the best value for your money. An important factor that defines the accuracy of your roofing estimate is the measurement of your roof.
This article explains how to accurately measure a roof for detailed roofing estimates and the importance of efficient measurements. Plus, we offer tips that you’ll find helpful in measuring your roof. Let’s get started!
Common Roofing Measurements
The pitch of a roof describes the steepness or slope of the roof. Roof pitch ranks among the biggest factors to consider when estimating a roofing job. It’s an important element since it prevents the buildup of water and debris, and determines the type of roofing materials to use for your home. Furthermore, how steep a roof is determines how much work will be done on the roof.
Typically, the roof slope is expressed as an angle of inclination in degrees. However, most times, it’s expressed as a ratio or fraction. Common pitch values used for roofing include 4/12 (18.43 degrees), 6/12 (26.57 degrees), 8/12 (33.69 degrees), and 12/12 (45 degrees). A 4/12 value indicates that the surface of the roof 4 inches rises for every 1 foot or 12 inches of length. Note: A roof with pitch values higher than 6/12 is difficult to walk on.
How to Calculate Roof Pitch
It’s easy to calculate roof pitch. You can do this using a lever, tape measure, and pencil. Measure the vertical rise and horizontal run, respectively. To determine the vertical rise, measure the distance from the top of the roof to the bottom of the roof along a vertical line. Invariably, this means that if the distance between the roof top and bottom is 6 feet, the vertical rise is 6 feet as well.
Next, measure the horizontal run. Take readings of the distance between the edge of the roof to the centerline of the roof. This measurement should follow a horizontal path. After measuring the vertical rise and horizontal run, calculate the pitch. Divide the vertical rise by the horizontal run and multiply by 12. For example, if the vertical rise is 6 and the horizontal run is 12, the pitch will be expressed as 6/12 X 12 = 6. Depending on your preference, you can convert to degrees using online pitch calculator or pitch angle chart.
Besides using the method above, you can use your smartphone app or pitch gauge to take measurements of your roof pitch. Knowing the steepness of your roof will help accurately estimate your roofing project.
Roof square footage is another crucial factor to consider in your roofing job. This refers to the total surface area of the roof measured in square feet. To determine your roof square footage, multiply the length and width of the roof plane or each section of the roof. Sum up the square footage of the sections for total square footage. To calculate the length and width, use a tape measure to measure the wall ends in both directions.
How to Calculate Roof Square Footage
While you can calculate roof square footage by measuring the length and width of the plane, you can use the pitch multiplier table to do the same. Look up the pitch multiplier table online and check for your roof pitch in the designated area. Before now, you’ve measured the pitch of your roof and have it noted down. Write the corresponding pitch multiplier somewhere. Then, multiply the pitch multiplier by the roof area ( length X width). This gives the roof square footage.
For example, a roof measuring 32 feet (length) by 14 feet (width) would have a square footage of 640 square feet. The roof pitch value of 7/12 corresponds to a roof multiplier of 1.16. To obtain your overall roof square footage, multiply 640 sq feet by 1.16 sums up to 742 square feet.
When measuring roof square footage, take cognizance of the chimneys, skylights, and other features. Also, be mindful of the slope and complexity of the roof. This can affect your measurements. Like roof pitch, roof square footage influences the cost of your roofing project from the number of materials used to time and labor costs. It also impacts insulation needs and ventilation requirements for the home.
A roofing square is listed among the measurements used by roofing companies. This is equivalent to 100 square feet. Roofing square helps to calculate the quantity and cost of materials needed to roof your home. Calculating roofing square is easy peasy. Divide the total roof square footage by 100 to get the roofing square. This means for a 1400 square feet roof, you’ll need 140 squares of roofing material. Roofing experts advise buying more roofing materials, like adding 10% to your proposed roofing requirements. We bet you don’t want to be caught unawares.
You should know that getting efficient measurements of your roof requires hiring the services of a professional roof contractor. They possess all the expertise and tools needed for proper measurements while providing a detailed estimate of your roofing project. However, you can follow the steps mentioned above to get a rough outlook which may not give you an accurate estimation.
Why Efficient Measurements Matter in Roof Estimates?
Efficient roof measurements not only contribute to the aesthetics of your home but also ensures accurate roofing estimates. From labor costs to material requirements, here’s why measuring your roof is essential in roof estimation.
Material Requirements: The number of materials required for a roofing project depends on precise roof measures. There’s a high chance of ordering fewer or more materials when correct measurements of the roof aren’t taken. This can cause project delays and additional expenses.
Safety: The safety of the builders working on your roof invariably depends on accurate measurements. Incorrect measurement of roof slope, pitch, and roof square footage can cause weak roof structures, increasing the risk of accidents and injuries.
Compliance: According to building codes and regulations, roof structures must comply with specific measurements that meet safety standards. When you take accurate measurements that conform to the established regulations, you won’t have to pay costly fines or be involved in legal issues.
Labor Costs: With proper measurements, you can estimate the labor costs for your roofing project. Through these measurements, the contractor can create a comprehensive labor estimate, including the number of workers needed and the time needed to complete the project.
Tips to Obtaining Precise Measurements of Your Roof
Getting proper measurements of the roof is vital to any roofing project if you’re building a new roof or repairing a damaged roof. Follow the tips below to measure a roof like a pro.
Plan your project: Planning goes a long way in achieving your goal. Outline all the tools you’ll need for the measurement and ensure they’re readily available. Furthermore, get acquainted with all the steps involved.
Use a digital measuring tool: While you can manually take measurements, it won’t give you an accurate result. Thus, it’s best to use a digital measuring tool like a laser distance meter. This helps to reduce error to the barest minimum and quickens the process.
Use a sturdy ladder: Generally, you’ll need to get to the rooftop to take your measurements. So, to do this, you’ll need a ladder. Ensure you use a sturdy ladder that can conveniently bear your weight. Adhere strictly to safety guidelines too.
Use a drone or satellite imagery: To get a perfect view of your roof, a drone or satellite imagery would be a better option, particularly if you have a large or complex roof. Getting precise measurements of the roof slope and the area is achievable using this tool.
Consider the roof’s geometry: It’s important to factor in the shape of the roof since this can affect how accurate your measurements are. Take note of the hips, dormers, and valleys when measuring your roof.
Measure twice: Double-check your measurements for accuracy. Measuring your roof twice helps you detect errors and correct them. It also promotes consistency.
Pay attention to overhangs: Overhangs, also called roof eaves refer to the edges that extend beyond the walls of the building. Ensure you include the overhangs in your overall measurement. This helps in determining the number of materials needed for the roofing project.
Get Roofing Estimate Today!
Now you know the nitty-gritty of measuring a roof. Bear in mind that measuring your roof seems difficult, especially if you have an irregular-shaped roofing system and need to calculate the square footage. Why not ease the stress off you by hiring a professional roofing contractor to handle your roofing project? This contractor has all it takes from experience to skills and tools to give precise measurements of your roofing system. Don’t sleep on this. Contact a professional roofing expert today!