Well, here’s a question that has bugged many a homeowner. It may sound as simple as taking a look at your roof and estimating what would equal a square and ask your contractor to come up with some magic. Well, it doesn’t really work that way.
It’s not only doctors or musicians that have jargon specific to their industry and workplaces, it’s something common in every organization and industry. This also makes it true for roofing contractors. Whereas the words may mean one thing to you the outsider, they have a totally different meaning to people in a specific industry.
How many shingles in a square
So, what exactly does a roofing square mean? Simple, in the same way a scale may mean something to you, but something totally different to a musician, a roofing square is a measure of area that your contractor will take when placing, or fixing your roof.
Okay… so if a roofing square is a measure of area, how may square feet are in a roofing square? Well, that’s also pretty simple. A roofing square is equal to 100 square feet. What’s important ,though, is not what amount of square feet are in a roofing square, but how it is arrived at.
To get the roofing square number for your house, you will need to take several steps. They are as listed below;
- You will need to get the measurements of your house at the ground level. Then it is as simple as multiplying the length or the width and getting the square footage, but that’s if your house is a perfect quadrangle. If your house has complex, or irregular shape, you will need to measure each section separately, calculate the figures for these parts and then add them up.
- Next step is conversion of the area you got into roofing squares. If a hundred square feet make a roofing square, you will need to divide the number you got from measuring and calculating the square footage of your house by 100.
- The next part is the most crucial as it will determine how many shingles in a square will be required. This part is all about determining the pitch of the roof. A roof can be said to be one of three pitches. These are low, medium, or high. A low-pitched roof is characterized by having a vertical rise of three inches for every 12 inches of horizontal length. A medium pitch roof will rise vertically 6 to 9 inches for every 12 inches in horizontal length. A high pitch roof will rise 9 inches for every 12 of horizontal length.
- Getting the pitch of your roof will require you to have a sturdy ladder, a spirit level and a tape measure. Climb up to the peak of the roof and set down the spirit level. Ensure that the bubble is in the middle of the indicator. Now, put the tape measure into play by measuring the distance between your roof and the level.
- One you have the number you will need to do some additional mathematics to get the number of shingles you will need. For a low pitch roof, multiply the roof square by 1.08. For a medium pitch roof, multiply the roof square by 1.25 and for a high pitch roof, multiply by 1.42. The resulting number will be the amount of shingles you need.
- For safety, add 15 percent of the amount you get to the figure. This is to account for wastages such as damages in transportation and installation.