How to Measure a Roof for Shingles

You'd like to put new shingles on your roof. Before heading to the hardware store, it is important to measure your roof to determine how many shingles you'll need. Remember to buy a few extra shingles to account for mistakes, miscalculations and overlap [source: Guertin]. Read the steps listed below to learn about how to measure your roof for shingles, thus saving time and money by buying the proper amount.

  1. Draw a rough layout of your roof. Divide the roof into manageable sections. This doesn't have to be an exact sketch, but the closer to scale that you draw, the less room there will be for mistakes. Remember to account for skylights, chimneys, pipes and solar panels if you have any installed on your roof.
  2. Measure and record your findings. Climb onto your roof and measure each section by its height and width. Record the measurements on your sketch of the roof. If you use a measuring tape, you'll need someone to hold the tape while you measure the area. Alternatively, you can purchase a measuring wheel from your local hardware store. This will allow you to measure the area by yourself.
  3. Calculate the square footage of each section of your roof by multiplying each section's height and width. Add all the sections' square footage together to calculate the total square footage of your roof [source: Guertin].