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How to Manually Measure a Roof
To manually measure a roof without the help of aerial measurement reports, you must visit a job site and climb onto the roof to take precise roofing measurements by hand. Here are the 6 steps to get a manual roofing measurement.
- Measure the width and length of each plane of the roof (including dormers), and then multiply those numbers to get the correct figure for the square footage of that area.
Example: Plane 1 (A x B): 50’ x 20’ = 1000 sq ft
Plane 2 (A x C): 50’ x 20’ = 1000 sq ft
- Note any skylights, chimneys or other parts of the roof that would not require materials. You can subtract those measurements from your total area.
- Add together the calculated square footage of each surface to get the figure for total square footage of the roof.
Example: Plane 1 (1000 sq ft) + Plane 2 (1000 sq ft) = 2000 sq ft
- After determining the total square footage of the roof, you must calculate the pitch of the roof. Measure the vertical distance (rise) over a 12 inch horizontal segment (run).
Example: The rise of this roof is 5”.
- Write down these numbers as the vertical measurement listed first and the horizontal measurement recorded second so you can find rise over run.
Example: The rise over run of this roof is 5” over 12”.
- When you have the total square footage and rise over run of the roof, you can calculate the roof squares to determine how much materials are needed to cover the roof. To calculate the number of squares on a roof, you need to divide its total square feet by 100.
Example: 1000 sq ft / 100 = 10 squares
With those roofing measurement figures, you can then estimate the roofing supplies needed for a job.
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