Roof shingle estimator

Roof Diagrams

Designing a custom home is a dream for many. Considering the various important facts, figures and features that create a safe, legal and livable home are vital to successfully completing a building plan. From a foundation (or footprint) you develop a floor plan, schematics and a roof design. The roof design is not simply a finishing touch to cover the home, but a protective barrier from sun, wind, rain, run off, snow buildup and more. Often, the roof can present a larger visible surface area than the walls, so adequate planning must be undertaken. Drawing a suitable roof design will take a mastery of measurements and facts that pertain specifically to the properties location, weather and size.

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The Roof Lines – ridgelines, hip lines, valley lines, gable and eaves overhang lines – at the ends of building sections and at junctions, provide information regarding the required shape of the roof.

Roof shapes are greatly influenced by the varied properties of specific climates, regions, materials, and architectural styles. Because of the variety of design strategies, roof terminology is flexible and can range from flat roofs to steep pitches, domes, arches, or complex combinations of angles.

Aerial measurement

major factor in home plan design hinges on the slope of your roof.  Some architectural designs such as those with Gambrel, Polynesian or Mansard roofs may require a combination of pitches to achieve your look and/or purpose when drafting house plans.  A shed roof resting on you main roof is another fine example of mixing roof slopes on one building. No matter what roof pitch you are looking for, you may find this table useful to use as a guide, keeping in mind that you are not limited to the slopes.


You will be creating four elevation views, one for each side of the house (regardless of whether your home is of a conventional shape or not). Usually these drawings are drawn to a scale of 1′ : 1/4″. Check with your builder and planning department as to what scale they prefer these drawings to be.

For each side of the house, elevation drawings should show:

  • Each wall length and its height,
  • The roof width and height,
  • The visible portion of the foundation,
  • Any exterior features (such as decks, porches and stairs),
  • Window and door trim,
  • Eavestroughs,
  • Exterior wall and roof finishings (e.g. wood siding on exterior walls, asphalt shingles on roof)
  • The finished ground level.

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