How much roofing do I need how to find out

Roofing Contractors

Building a new home or finally getting to that roof replacement you know you need? Perhaps thinking to yourself, "how much roofing do I need and how to find out?" Here are some ways you can use to find out how much roofing you will need.

How Roof Area Is Calculated

The area is defined as the expanse or size of a given surface, and there are some ways for measuring your roof’s area. Our roof measuring calculator uses “base length” and “base width” to find the expected area. The distance between the one corner of your roof to the other is the base width, at its base, on the small side of your home. The base length is the distance between the second corner to the third corner, on the home’s long side. Our calculator calculates the nearest foot, so you can do the same when measuring. 

How Roof Pitch is Calculated

To correctly calculate the area of your roof, you have first to figure out its slope or pitch. A roof's pitch is figured out by how much it increases vertically for every foot it runs horizontally. Therefore, a moderate “6 in 12” roof pitch means that the roof increases 6 inches vertically for every 12 horizontal inches it runs. A “12 in 12” pitch is a steep, 45-degree angle roof. 

Ways To Measure Your Roof’s Pitch

Use one of these ways below to measure your roof's pitch. You will require measurement tape or ruler. Mark a spot on the level, 12 inches from one end.

On a ladder next to the roof, put the level a foot or so up the rooftop, hold it level, and measure from the 12-inch mark on the level’s base bottom, straight down to the rooftop. If this distance measures 4 inches, you have a 4 in 12 pitch; 8 inches and you have an 8 in 12 pitch.

On a ladder at the end of your home, put the level against the trim, flat against the side of the home. Now measure from the 12-inch mark of the level up to the base bottom edge of the trim. This distance is the roof’s rise.

In the attic, put the level against a beam with the 12-inch mark on the base bottom of the beam. Measure from the end of the level up to the base bottom edge of the rafter. That is the roof's rise.

Roofing Tips: Roof Slope & Style

There are two primary types of roofing,

  • Sloped
  • Flat

A flat roof has a incline of 2 in 12 or less. The run continuously remains constant at 12 inches. A low slope roof is anywhere in between from 2 in 12 to 4 in 12. Conventional slope roof range between 4 in 12 and 8 in 12. Anything more than 9 in 12 is considered steep. Steeper sloped roofs are considered more aesthetically pleasing and the last longer. These advantages do not come reasonably though. A 12 in 12 roof can cost up to 50% more than a 4 in 12 roof. This is because a steep-sloped roof requires a taller chimney and more lumber for framing. However, the result might be well worth it as your roofing material is estimated to last up to 50% longer and will need less maintenance.

Roof styles or types are generally predesigned by the constructor of your house. They figure out what kind of materials you can have on the roof, because of the slope. The first choice is a flat roof. This style is just like a long board across the top of your house. A gabled roof looks like two sides of a triangle. A shed roof is slanted down one way, either towards the left or right. Gambrel roofs resemble barn roofs. Finally, mansard roofs have a flat top with sides that lip over the top a little and hang over the home.