How to Measure a Roof: A Comprehensive Guide
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How to Measure a Roof: A Comprehensive Guide
Accurate roof measurements can save both exterior home improvement professionals and homeowners both time and money by helping them determine how much material to purchase to prevent running out mid-project. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps to measure your roof accurately.
Preparing for Roof Measurements
Sketch Your Roof Structure
Prior to climbing onto your roof, it is advisable to draw out a simple sketch of its entire structure so you can label each plane when taking measurements. Every plane of the roof should be labeled with an identifiable 2D shape such as a rectangle or square to make finding measurements easier when calculating area calculations later on.
Measuring the Roof
Measure the Length
Take measurements between each plane's outer edge at one end and its opposite edge on the opposite end to determine its total length. On sloped roofs, the slope is expressed in terms of ratios such as "rise in 12," which you'll use to calculate pitch. Therefore, it is imperative that measurements are made correctly since any small mistakes can drastically change calculations later.
Measure the Pitch
Roof pitch refers to the amount of slope that a roof has, often measured as 12 inches "rise per 12 inches of run." Accurate measurements ensure projects run smoothly, meet schedule and budget constraints, and save time in completion.
To accurately measure a roof's pitch, two tools will be necessary: a level and tape measure. For added safety and ease of accessing the roof, an extended-handled carpenter's level (12" or longer) would make climbing on easier and safer.
Place the level against the underside of a rafter, such as an overhang at the bottom or barge rafter on a gable end, then use your tape measure to find the vertical distance from the 12-inch mark on the level straight up until the underside of the rafter (this distance represents your roof's pitch). Alternately, using a ladder and carpenter's level, measure this pitch. Although less precise but quicker and simpler.
Measure the Valleys and Hips
Be sure to measure all areas of your roof that have peaks, valleys or dormers as this will allow for accurate estimation of how much roofing material will be required.
Start by placing both feet on one side of the ridge and feeding your measuring tape along its entire path towards the opposite edge of your roof – this will allow you to calculate and record a measurement of rise (also referred to as pitch).
Gable roofs will require 12 inches. However, hip or valley roofs will vary in their measurement. Document all your measurements carefully and precisely. Even small differences in measurements can add up and throw off the final estimate, so always order 10% extra materials than anticipated so as to account for waste and overage – this will ensure you have enough materials to complete the job efficiently and quickly. Also, bring along a notebook or pad of paper so as not to forget any key calculations!
Measure the Roof’s Square Footage
If you don't feel safe climbing onto your roof to take measurements, an alternative and quicker method may be using the Area Calculator online tool. It will estimate your roof's square footage based on factors like building wall length and height as well as overhangs or protrusions such as dormers.
If you must climb onto your roof, be sure to wear appropriate safety gear and have someone close by as support and safety net. Before climbing, sketch a rough outline of your roof in order to identify each plane; the sketch doesn't have to be detailed or exact but should help label measurements as you make them.
Calculating Square Footage
After measuring the length and width of each plane, multiply each number by 32 to find your square footage – this calculation can save both exterior home improvement professionals and homeowners both time and money by helping them more accurately predict how many materials are necessary for any given project.
The Stonemark Company
How to Measure a Roof: A Comprehensive Guide Accurate roof measurements can save both exterior home improvement professionals and homeowners both time and money by helping them determine how much material to purchase to prevent running out mid-project. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps to measure your roof accurately. Preparing for Roof…