What Is A Square In Roofing?

What Is A Square In Roofing?

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Last Updated on August 8, 2022 by Todd

If you’re looking to replace your roof to fix any leaks or if it’s due for a replacement, you might think it seems simple enough or are just curious about the process.

Whatever camp you sit in, it’s clear that the job is much more complicated than laying carpet flooring, for example.

To start, you may have heard of different terms like a roofing square, but what does it mean?

In this article, we will answer what a roofing square is, how to calculate your roof’s square footage, and other tips to make your roofing investment much easier.

If you want to get the roof of your dreams, read on to find out more.

Simply Put, What Is A Roofing Square?

When we refer to a square, we usually refer to the measurement or area, which is a 10 x 10 area equal to 100 square feet of roof surface.

The amount of square footage on your roof will determine how much roofing material you’ll need, but as a unit of measurement, it takes 3 bundles of roofing material, or asphalt shingles, to fill one of these squares.

If you’re not sure what a shingle is, it’s the design and color that makes the tile-like design on most roofs, and you can create different looking patterns on the roof itself.

If you’re getting a contractor in to perform the work, you can clarify any jargon you don’t understand, and they can recommend what sort of shingles would suit your roof and how long they’ll last.

It helps to get a breakdown of how much you’ll have to pay per square foot, so you’re not left feeling in any doubt about the nature of the job, as the process can be complicated if any underlying issues are found.

This can put back the job process slightly, so anything like a leak will have to be fixed to make it watertight.

How Do I Calculate My Roofs Square Footage?

What Is A Square In Roofing

You can roughly figure how much material you’ll need for the job, but for an exact estimate, it doesn’t hurt to get your contractor to measure it when they’re doing an estimate for the job.

Below are 3 easy steps to calculate it for yourself, so you have a good idea of the scale and labor required for the job.

Work Out Your Home’s Footprint

If you’re a person of average height, so somewhere between 5 feet 5 inches and 5 feet 9 inches, you’ll have an average stride of around 2-2.5 feet.

Then you want to walk the length of your home, counting the steps, and then you want to do the same for the width.

Then, all you need to do is figure out the length x the width, and that’s how you get your footprint, but this way is only meant to give you a rough idea of the measurement.

Take Into Account Any Slopes Of Your Roof

This step is a bit trickier because you have to consider the complexity and steepness of your roof, which affects the number you multiply the footprint by.

If you have a simple up-and-over roof that you can walk on, you want to multiply the footprint by 1.3 to get the square footage of your roof.

If your roof resembles more of a triangle and has a slight slope, you’ll want to multiply the roof footprint by 1.4, and if it’s steeper and has multiple curves and edges, you’ll want to multiply it by 1.6.

Calculate The Square Footage Of Your Roof

For this step, you want to combine the figure you got from the footprint of your roof, then times that by the figure you got from the steepness of your roof, and that’s it, you’ve figured out the square feet of the roof area.

Now that you’ve done this, you can start to see how much material it will take to cover the square area, so you’ll have a rough estimate.

You’ll have to take into account the edge of the roof where the shingles might cut off suddenly, so your measurements aren’t going to be 100% accurate.

Some Tips To Make Your Roofing Job Easier

What Is A Square In Roofing

Shop Around For Your Roofing Material

The three most common types of roof covering are single asphalt roof, standing seam metal roof, or cedar shake roof and can come in different styles and colors, and as you’re the one who has to live with it, you want to make sure that it’s the right coverage for you.

Your roof can last anywhere from 25-30 and higher if you live in an area where the weather is fair.

Other Materials You Should Consider

Including your shingles, you’ll have to account for other systems that make up your roof, such as underlay, ice and water shield, ventilation system, ridge capping, drip edge, and pipe boots.

You have to consider that this will be factored into the bill, and that’s before labor costs if you get a contractor in to fit it all if this is the route you’re taking.

Any penetrations such as vents, skylights, and chimneys (see also ‘What Is A Cricket In Roofing?‘) could also make covering the area harder, and the fitting around them can also add to the cost of the new roof.


Of course, with this, alongside any roof decking that needs to be replaced, dumping fees for old material and that labor costs are going to be things that could be negotiated, but if you want a great finish, you might have to pay just that bit extra.

You also don’t want to find the cheapest contractor you can find, or you might end up paying for it in the long run, so it doesn’t hurt to get some quotes to see where you stand on your roofing job. Good luck, and thank you for reading.

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