aerial roof measurement

Roofing Measurements

Getting accurate roof measurements can be difficult but with this roofing calculator, you’ll be well prepared to take measurements of any roof. Whether you’re a contractor looking to train a new employee or a homeowner looking to do some renovations, you’ll find this guide helpful for any roofing project. Use the step-by-step guide below to accurately measure your roof and estimate roofing costs.

How to measure your roof area from the ground

A more accurate way to calculate the area of the roof than using Google Earth is to get outside to estimate the roof pitch and the base area of the property. Using these two figures, we can get a good idea of the shingle roof’s square footage and estimate your asphalt shingles’ needs and costs. This DIY technique can be helpful, especially if you are not comfortable getting on your roof, or if you have limited access to it.

Ground measures only work well for a gabled roof, since there are usually just two main rectangular pitches to calculate area for. For more complex roof shapes, like hip roofs, you’ll need to work with a roofer or measure from on top of the roof itself to calculate its total area.

HIRING A PROFESSIONAL SERVICE

There are a number of local services in every community that will measure your roof and give you an accurate coverage area. This is the easiest solution to finding out your roof’s dimensions. Often, roofing professionals will offer this service as a part of their installation costs, or even sometimes for free.

ROOF SAFETY & AWARENESS

If you’re thinking about measuring your roof yourself, please take caution as falling from roofs is a regular injury. Be sure to wear proper safety equipment, and if possible, have someone else there to assist you. Take extra precaution as you move up or down from the roof itself.

Estimate The Amount of Shingles

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To estimate how many shingles you’ll need, first estimate the total square footage of your roof’s surface. To do this, measure the length and width of each plane on the roof, including dormers. Then, multiply length x width to get the square footage of each plane. Finally, calculate your roof’s total square footage by simply adding the square footage of each of the planes together.

For example, this shed roof has one roof plane. Simply measure length (A) x width (B): A x B = 120′ x 100′ = 12,000 sq. ft. for the total square footage of the roof.

This gable roof has two planes. So, multiply length (A) x width (B) to get the square footage for each plane. Then, add the two planes together to derive the total square footage of the roof:

  • Plane 1: 120′ x 100′ = 12,000 sq. ft.
  • Plane 2: 120′ x 100′ = 12,000 sq. ft.
  • Plane 1 + Plane 2 = 24,000 sq. ft. for the total square footage of the roof.

Roof surfaces are measured in “squares.” A square is an area of roof which measures 100 square feet. To determine the number of squares on the gable roof above, simply divide its total of 24,000 square feet by 100. The result is 240, and this means you would need 240 squares of shingles to cover that roof. The most common type of shingle, called a three-tab or strip shingle, is generally packaged three bundles per square.

For a new roof, you will also need the same amount of underlayment. So, in the gable roof example above, you would need 240 squares of underlayment. Underlayment usually comes in rolls of 4 squares each. So, covering 240 squares would require 60 rolls of underlayment. No underlayment is needed if you are applying shingles directly over an existing asphalt roof.

Be sure to add 10% to all of your material totals for trim allowance.

Finally, if you have any questions about your estimate, ask a roofing contractor in your area. Most will be happy to give you a free estimate. For a listing of roofing contractors in your area, use our Find a Roofing Professional locator tool.

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How to get the most accurate measurements in your roof report

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. Note any skylights, chimneys or other parts of the roof that would not require materials. You can subtract those measurements from your total area.

Aerial Measurement Technology

It extracts measurements that may have at an accuracy rate of 95% or higher. Contractors benefit from the time savings that come with not having to visit the property, as well as the added safety: it’s possible to gather the measurement with no climbing.

Using this method of remote measuring also enables roofing contractors to hire professional salespeople, who can focus on selling rather than learning how to measure a roof. They can use the technology to capture measurements accurately and reassure homeowners that your company uses the latest tools and methods available.

However, aerial measurement technology has its disadvantages. One is cost: depending on the size and complexity of the roof, the measurement report can cost $50 or more. Report turnaround time can also be a turnoff for contractors. In some cases, especially during high-volume situations such as following a hailstorm, the wait for turnaround may reach 24 hours or more. In a world where consumers want instant gratification, delaying an estimate by 24 hours could result in losing the job.

High Resolution Imagery = Better Accuracy
As we mentioned before, one of the benefits of drones is their ability to capture high-resolution imagery. Below you will see the differences in ground sample distance between satellite, aerial and drone imagery.

  • Satellite Imagery: Usually 30-50 centimeters per pixel resolution
  • Aerial Imagery: Usually 7-9 centimeters per pixel resolution
  • Drone Imagery: Sub-centimeter per pixel resolution

Measuring by Hand

Getting a roof measurement by hand is the tried-and-true method trusted by roofing contractors for years. By measuring themselves, a contractor can be confident in the numbers and know that the measurements will be completely accurate. This means that orders for materials will be more precise and there will be less waste on the job.

On the other hand, manually obtaining a roof measurement also comes with drawbacks, some of which might outweigh the benefits. The first one is time. Manual roof measurement requires the contractor or sales representative to drive to the property, climb onto the roof, and potentially spend up to an hour gathering measurements, depending on the roof’s complexity.

The second concern is safety. Climbing onto the roof requires contractors to carry equipment—including a tape measure, pitch gauge, tablet and pen—up a ladder and onto the roof. While the contractor is focused on capturing measurements, it’s possible to lose sight of key safety precautions such as the location of fall hazards and leading edges. Physically walking on the roof can also cause damage and loss of granules.

Measure a roof safely

Without the proper training and equipment, it isn’t recommended for homeowners to climb on their roofs.  If you want to get the project started yourself, opt for the safer alternative that will save you time and keep you safe by ordering an aerial roof measurement report.   

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Roofing Calculator – How to Measure a Roof

How to Calculate Total Square Footage of Your Roof. To find your roof’s total square footage: Measure the length and width of each plane on the roof (including dormers) then multiply length times width. Add the square footage of each of the planes together.

How do you calculate the roof area?

  1. Begin with calculating the area of your house in a plane parallel to the ground. If your house is rectangular, all you need to do is multiply the length and width of the building. If the shape of your house is more complex, simply enter the total area (after measuring the exterior dimensions) into the appropriate box.

  2. Determine the roof pitch of your house. Roof pitch is the slope created by the rafters. If you don’t know how to calculate it, head to our roof pitch calculator. You can input it either in degrees, as a percentage or as a ratio of x:12.

  3. Once you know these values, you will be able to calculate the roof area. Begin by converting the roof pitch to an angle expressed in degrees, using the following formulas:

    pitch(%) = x / 12 * 100%

    pitch(deg) = arctan[pitch(%)]

  4. Then, use the following equation to find the total area of the roof:

    roof area = base area / cos[pitch(deg)]

Tips on measuring for roofing

Measuring your roof’s dimensions is one of the most important aspects of any roofing job, so make sure your tools are up to par. An accurate ruler, tape measure, and a sturdy ladder are all required.

The problem is that not everyone is comfortable with climbing a ladder to do this. What’s more, there is no guarantee that the measurements will be correct. That error can cost you more money, time, and effort.

That’s why it’s best just to hire or consult a professional roofing contractor. They will have the tools, knowledge, and experience to help you accurately measure your roof and figure out how much materials you need with minimal waste.

How to Measure a Roof for Shingles

Don’t worry too much if you don’t know how to measure a roof for shingles. Your roofer will measure the surface of your roof to determine the total square footage, which will dictate how many shingles must be purchased to fully cover the roof’s planes.

But if you’re curious how the measuring process works, think back to your geometry classes in school. To calculate a rough estimate, follow these steps:

  1. First, you must measure the length and width of each plane of the roof, including dormers. If the planes aren’t rectangles, this may be complicated.
  2. Next, to calculate the square footage of each rectangular plane, multiply the length by the width. For example, if a plane is 130 feet long and 100 feet wide, it’s 13,000 square feet.
  3. Finally, add together the square footage of each plane to calculate the total square footage of the roof. So if there are two planes that both measure 13,000 square feet, the total square footage of the roof is 26,000 square feet.
What-Makes-Roofing-CRM-Worth-It

How to Get Started with Roofing Software

What is roofing software?

Before we can dive into all of the moving parts of roofing software, it’s important to understand what it actually is. Roofing software is a type of cloud-based business management software that has been designed exclusively for the roofing industry. It was created to help roofing companies and their various teams effectively and efficiently manage tasks and roofing projects.

Test on a Real Job

If you have an active trial of a software, you should put it to work. One of the best ways to put any tool through its paces is to see how it performs in the field. Sky roof measure can streamline a roofing job from start to finish, so you should use it on a job from start to finish! If you’re testing a measurement software, use it to measure a job you have known measurements for and compare the accuracy. If you’re looking for something to manage your production paperwork, use it to generate a measurement order and send it to your supplier. It sounds obvious, but this is the simplest way to make sure a new software will work for your business.

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rooftop measurements

What is a roofing CRM?

A roofing CRM can be a type of business management software that is designed around the needs and workflows of the roofing industry. This version of a CRM provides roofing businesses the tools they need to manage customer data, billing information, material orders, production, and more.

Roofing Design Apps

Roofing elements, such as shingles, are on a house for quite some time, and homeowners want to be certain of their choices before they invest in new ones. Helping customers visualize how solar panels, shingles, skylights, or other design elements will look can give them confidence in their selection. With roofing design apps, you can show homeowners their options in context and display shingle colors without having to carry around sample boards.

Tips for Choosing the Right Roofing Software for Your Commercial Business

LABOR TRACKING

In today’s world, it is all about speed. Technology is offering speed in processing that has never been seen before. It presents itself in every part of your business from the first client lead through a finished job and referrals, technology lets you stay in front of the customers. An excellent example: A commercial contractor was looking for ways to improve the customer experience and speed of invoicing. By using FCS software, they were able to utilize the invoicing module to allow one person to complete service invoicing – in two hours. Before FCS, it had taken two people two days to do the same amount of invoicing. This means you’re saving time, money and cash flow. It also shows customers that your company is progressive, responsive and ready to help them grow their business with expedited turn around.

GAF Energy, part of the world's largest roofer: The time is now for  building integrated PV and solar roofs – pv magazine USA

MOBILE/TABLET USAGE

It does not seem possible to survive in today’s world without a smart device and that is especially true when it comes to business. Smart phones allow contractors to be in touch with their customers immediately – giving them a clear edge when it comes to customer service. Also, the agility of utilizing smart phones makes sense for instant communication with your team. It is important to use phones in a way that works with customers, so knowing their preferences concerning email, text or phone is beneficial for creating enhanced communications. Part of utilizing technology is understanding how customers want to interact with it. Smart phones and/or tablets can also make day-to-day business easier to do on the road, eliminating some of the late-night work. In deciding which smart device to use, take the time to coordinate your phone, tablet and computer system with cloud-based software in a way that all devices can speak to each other. This creates an easy, efficient means of transferring data and documents while also documenting customer communications and project status accurately.

AERIAL MEASUREMENTS

Aerial technology has been in place since 2008 and it just keeps getting better. Gathering roof measurements traditionally was a time-consuming process prone to mistakes such as mathematical errors or simple human error, but has now become a quick, easy and reliable technology. Many contractors now rely on the service for accurate measurements, professional presentations and efficient production planning. Sales and marketing efforts have also benefited greatly from aerial imagery and measurements. In fact, many sales processes have changed substantially as contractors can now share aerial photos, drawings and measurements of almost any structure with home and building owners. Consumers see this as a clear differentiator. When they can see their property and use the drawings and measurements for reference, it brings a whole new level of professionalism to your company’s sales process.