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What Is a Roofing Square?

Published on Wednesday July 27, 2022

A roof replacement can be a stressful process for homeowners, especially when there’s so much contractor language flying around that you don’t fully understand. If you’re going through the roof replacement process or preparing to, you may have heard certain lingo you’re unfamiliar with. For example, what is a roofing square?

Long Roofing is dedicated to providing our customers with the highest-quality roofing services, but we don’t want to come in and dominate home projects — we want our customers to understand the steps we take throughout the home improvement process so that we can work together to make your dream home a reality.

Let’s dive into roofing squares and how they factor into your roof replacement project.

What is a Roofing Square?

When installing a new roof on your home, there are a lot of factors that determine the price. One of the biggest of these factors is the roof size. Roofing contractors need to know how big your roof is to calculate the material and labor necessary for your replacement project. The way they determine the size of your roof is by calculating the “roofing square.”

What is a Roofing Roofing Square in Measurement?

Generally speaking, the larger your roof, the more expensive the roof replacement. The way that roof size is measured is by roofing squares — a 10-foot by 10-foot area equal to 100 square feet. Understanding the number of roofing squares needed to complete your roofing project helps contractors estimate the cost of materials and labor that will factor into the final price.

Keep in mind that the ultimate price of your home also depends on the materials you choose for your roof replacement. Some roof types cost more than others. Additionally, some roofs have a more complicated structure and, consequently, cost more to replace. 

Translating the Cost of Roofing Squares

Some homeowners find the concept of a roofing square confusing and would prefer to see their roofing cost broken down by square footage. If you’re in this boat, all you need to do is divide the cost per roof square by 100 to learn the cost per square foot. For example, if your roofing contractor tells you the cost per square is $500, then that comes down to $5.00 per square foot of your roof. This might help you better understand the approximate cost of your roof replacement project. 

When you work with Long Roofing, always feel free to ask questions about your roofing upgrade. If there is any confusion with the terms of your roof estimate, we welcome you to ask us to explain the estimate so you fully understand the value of your investment. We want all of our customers to feel knowledgeable and comfortable with their home improvement projects. If that means explaining the process better, our team is happy to do so.

How to Estimate the Cost of a Roof Replacement

Knowing how to calculate your roof’s square footage can help you predict the cost of your roofing project, and also help you differentiate a trustworthy roofing contractor from one that’s overcharging you.

Here is how to calculate a rough estimate of your roof’s square footage (but keep in mind that professional measurements are the best way to determine your roof size with 100% accuracy):

1. Estimate Your Home Footprint

While you can take a measuring tape out to get the measurements of your home’s footprint, you can also roughly estimate it with your steps. On average, an adult person has a stride somewhere between 2 and 2.5 feet. Step around your home’s length and width to find the dimensions of your roof, counting your steps for an estimate.

Write down your measurements, marking the length and width. Multiply these numbers to get the “home footprint.”

Note: even if you use a measuring tape, these measurements are an estimate. Your home’s square footage isn’t necessarily the same as the square footage of your roof. 

2. Consider the Slope and Roof Complexity

The slope of your roof, as well as how complicated the design is, directly impacts square footage. In your estimate of your roof’s square footage, you must consider the steepness and roof design. 

For a simple, walkable gable roof with a low slope, you will multiply your home footprint by 1.3. For a hip roof with a low slope, multiply your home footprint by 1.4. For a steep roof with a lot of complexity, multiply your home footprint by 1.6.

3. Estimate the Square Footage

Keep in mind that the final number you come up with will be a rough estimate of your roof’s square footage. Simply plug the numbers to the equation below to get the estimated square footage of your roof:

(Length of your home) x (width of your home) = (home footprint)

(Home footprint) x (slope and complexity of the roof) = (square footage of roof)

(Square footage of roof) ÷ 100 = (roofing square)

(Roofing square) x (cost per square) = (cost of your roof replacement)

As noted before, this equation example will give you a rough estimate and won’t determine your roof replacement estimate with 100 percent accuracy, though it may give you an idea of the ballpark cost. The exact size and complexity of your roof, as well as the materials you select, all impact the final cost.

Schedule Your Roof Replacement Project

If you’re looking for high-quality roofing services across the east coast, the experts at Long Home Products can get the job done. Check out our full list of Long Roofing service areas and request a quote today. 

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**Excludes labor. Subject to credit approval.

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