RoofViews

Your Home

# How to Measure a Roofing Square

March 23, 2021

Starting a new roofing project can introduce homeowners to many roofing-specific terms, and one of the first you're likely to come up against is "roofing square." Measuring in squares is unique to the roofing industry—for homeowners, understanding how these measurements work can be an unfamiliar but vital part of planning for your roof repair or replacement.

## What Is a Roofing Square?

In roofing, one square equals 10 X 10 ft., or 100 sq. ft. This unit of measurement determines how many shingles you'll need for every 100 sq. ft. of rooftop. As you prepare for your roofing project, you'll use squares to determine the amount of roofing materials you need, from asphalt shingles down to the underlayment.

## How to Calculate a Roofing Square

Before beginning, make sure you can safely access your roof—if you can't, contact a roofing professional for help.

Grab your measuring tape, level, pen and paper, roof safety equipment, and your ladder. With these in hand, you can measure your roof in five simple steps.

1. Determine the number of planes. Your roof is made up of planes. If you have a flat roof, it has one plane. If you have a simple gable roof, it has two planes. The more architectural details your roof has, the more planes you will have to measure.
2. Measure each plane. Find the length and width of each plane. Then, multiply those two numbers together to find the square footage of that plane. For example, a 35 ft. X 36 ft. plane = 1260 sq. ft.
3. Find the total of all the planes. Add the square footage for each roof plane into one total. 1,260 sq. ft. + 1,260 sq. ft. = 2,520 sq. ft.
4. Divide to find the squares. To find how many squares are on your roof, divide the total square footage of all your planes by 100. In our example, the total was 25.2 squares — 2,520 sq. ft. divided by 100.
5. Remember the roof slope. Roof slope indicates how steep your roof is and may increase the number of squares of materials you need. Roof slope is calculated by determining how many inches a roof rises vertically for every 12 inches it extends horizontally. For example, if that vertical rise is 4 inches, the slope is 4:12.

You can use an online shingle calculator or roof slope calculator to help run the calculations. Once you know the total number of squares you want to cover, consider adding up to 10% in overage to account for error and installation.

Pro tip: don't rely on your home's square footage to determine roof size. Your roof's overhangs, architectural details, and slope all increase its size. For example, a 2,200 sq. ft. home (22 squares) might have a 3,500 sq. ft. roof (35 squares).

## How to Calculate Number of Roofing Shingles

Fortunately, you don't have to make a haphazard shingle estimate when planning for your roofing project: your roof size and chosen shingle type will guide the purchase process.

Shingles are sold in prepackaged bundles, not individually. Roofing manufacturers take the guesswork out of how many bundles you need per square—it's listed in the specifications of each shingle they make. The specs for any given shingle will tell you how many bundles make up a square, how many shingles are in a square, and even the approximate number of nails you'll need per square.

Often, three bundles of prepackaged asphalt shingles make one square, as is the case with the Timberline® HDZ™ Shingles. That said, the number of bundles you need can vary depending on shingle design. For example, five bundles of architectural asphalt shingles with artisan-crafted shapes, such as the Grand Sequoia® Shingle, cover one square. Once you know the number of squares of material your roof needs, check the shingle manufacturer specifications so you get your hands on exactly what you need.

If you're still deciding on the perfect shingle for your roof, play around with the GAF VirtualRemodeler. The free online tool helps you envision how different shingle colors and styles would work with your home's style. Be sure to keep local building codes in mind as you weigh your shingle options..

Ready to get rolling? Before you begin, take the appropriate safety precautions for getting onto your roof. If you can't safely access your roof, reach out to a local contractor certified by GAF.*

*Contractors enrolled in GAF certification programs are not employees or agents of GAF, and GAF does not control or otherwise supervise these independent businesses. Contractors may receive benefits, such as loyalty rewards points and discounts on marketing tools from GAF for participating in the program and offering GAF enhanced warranties, which require the use of a minimum amount of GAF products.

## About the Author

Annie Crawford is a freelance writer in Oakland, CA, covering travel, style, and home improvement. Find more of her work at annielcrawford.com.

Your Home

## What to Look for When Finding a Contractor

Your roof is a long-term investment that helps protect your family, may improve your home's resale value, and crowns your home's aesthetic so finding a contractor that is qualified is very important. To help you choose a roofing contractor with confidence, here are three qualities to look for.1. Professional Experience and ReputationBefore you hire, do your research. Choose a company based on experience and reputation—not just price. If you decide on price alone, you may not be making the best choice.RecommendationsWord-of-mouth from trusted sources is a great starting place. Ask neighbors, friends, and online community forums for referrals.ResearchVisit the company's website to determine the products and services it offers—as well as the number of years it's been in business. Then, verify the company is licensed and insured.ReviewsNext, read reviews from multiple online platforms to learn about customer experiences. Resources could include Google Reviews, Yelp, Better Business Bureau, and the company's social media pages. While searching, look for info such as ease of interactions, professionalism during installation, cleanup after project completion, and overall satisfaction with the outcome.2. CertificationsFinding a contractor certified by a manufacturer typically indicates that a contractor has met the certification requirements of the manufacturer. For example, contractors certified by GAF must be insured and licensed in states where they operate (if required). GAF also considers factors such as years of roofing experience, credit rating and overall standing with the Better Business Bureau.Higher tiers of certification may be allowed to offer better enhanced warranties on qualifying roofing systems. For example GAF Master Elite® Contractors are entrusted to offer the GAF Golden Pledge Limited Warranty* on qualifying roofing systems, which provides up to 30 years of misapplication coverage.VerificationVerify contractor certifications whenever possible. For example, the GAF website lets you verify whether a company is certified by GAF by simply entering their phone number or contractor ID.AwardsIn addition to certifications, select contractors may also qualify for manufacturer awards. For example, the highest distinction a GAF Master Elite® contractor can earn is the GAF's President's Club Award. This award indicates that a contractor has demonstrated commitment to installing GAF roofing systems backed by GAF's strongest warranties and dedication to learning about GAF's products and services.3. Operational ApproachAfter identifying several contractors, consider these talking points when interviewing the contractors:ExperienceAsk the contractor whether it has experience installing roofs on the type of roof architecture you have.AvailabilityWhen do you need the project to start, and when can the company actually do the installation? If your roofing needs are urgent (leaks, damage, etc.), make sure they can perform the work in the timeframe you are looking for.EstimateAsk the contractor to provide you with an estimate. As a preliminary step, try using GAF's estimate tool. However, keep in mind that the estimate provided by the tool is non-binding and contractors will provide their own estimates. Review actual estimates from contractors closely to understand what is included. The cheapest option is not always the best. Consider experience, and reputation, too.Payment OptionsAsk your contractor about payment options, including payment and financing options to make sure you choose the best option for you.Starting Your SearchPrioritizing these qualities when looking for a contractor may help you find the right company for the job.Are you ready for a new roof? Find a GAF certified roofing contractor** today.*See GAF Golden Pledge Limited Warranty for complete coverage and restrictions.**Contractors enrolled in GAF certification programs are not employees or agents of GAF, and GAF does not control or otherwise supervise these independent businesses. Contractors may receive benefits, such as loyalty rewards points and discounts on marketing tools from GAF for participating in the program and offering GAF enhanced warranties, which require the use of a minimum amount of GAF products. Your dealings with a Contractor, and any services they provide to you, are subject to the GAF Contractor Terms of Use.

By Authors Annie Crawford

August 20, 2024

In Your Community

## How GAF's VIBE ERG Supports Veteran Employees and Their Local Communities

A group of local GAF employees in Burgaw, North Carolina, is making a difference for veterans and the community as a whole. In 2024 alone, Veteran Involvement Brings Excellence (VIBE) has undertaken several initiatives to give back to Burgaw as well as all who live and work there.Bill Price, GAF production supervisor II at the Burgaw manufacturing plant, is the champion for the group. He recently sat down to discuss VIBE's latest projects and share insight into its motivations.What Is the VIBE ERG at GAF?VIBE is an employee resource group (ERG) available for all GAF employees. It focuses on the needs of veterans who work at GAF, provides a place for employees to share their experiences, and helps foster opportunities for them to give back to their communities.Each GAF plant has a VIBE group and facility leader that organizes the team. GAF leadership supports each group and its community efforts.The VIBE ERG's mission is to create a supportive environment for veterans and active duty members from all military branches. The group's core values are integrity, duty, honor, and respect. VIBE provides personal support for members and helps them manage the realities of being a veteran, such as applying for benefits.Each VIBE group can work on or be involved in whatever projects they wish. While their primary focus is to support veterans, they also strive to give back to the local communities they live and work in.VIBE Projects in BurgawThe VIBE ERG at the Burgaw plant meets regularly to discuss the activities they want to get involved in. This year, the group has participated in several projects:17 GAF-employed veterans volunteered for the second annual Habitat for Humanity veteran's build, which GAF donated roofing materials for.Team members participated in a food and clothing drive for a local women's shelter.A local veteran service officer visited the plant to help workers learn about—and gain access to—benefits and resources.In honor of Memorial Day, VIBE provided an opportunity for volunteers to place flags at veterans' tombstones at Coastal Carolina State Veterans Cemetery and Wilmington National Cemetery.That's not all the group has planned for. Future initiatives include hosting Toys for Tots at the plant, adopting a highway in honor of veterans, representing GAF at a booth for the Burgaw Blueberry Festival, and continuing to support local veterans in need.How VIBE Impacts GAF and the CommunityThe Burgaw facility, which employs about 247 people, has one of the largest veteran groups within GAF, totaling 28 members. The facility manufactures ventilation products, such as roof vents, foundation vents, turbines, and heating and cooling ductwork."The group has brought the veterans at the plant together to work toward a common goal and also given everyone the comradery they were accustomed to from when they were in the service," Price says. "I think this has had an impact not only on the employees involved but also on the plant as a whole. All of us involved enjoy being part of the team and giving back to those in need."Price notes that each project the group has been a part of has been well received. "We received many thanks from the families that were receiving assistance from the Habitat build and also from the staff at the local women's shelter during the food and clothing drive," he says. "I have no doubt that as we continue to be involved with more events within the community, it will only get better."Giving Back While Looking AheadGAF believes in giving back to its employees and the communities they work in. VIBE is just one of seven GAF ERGs making a difference in team members' lives and those most important to them.Curious to learn more about the opportunities and culture at GAF? Visit our GAF Careers page.

By Authors Dawn Killough

August 08, 2024

In Your Community

## GAF Supports Puerto Rico Hurricane Recovery

As part of its mission to build resilient communities, GAF Community Matters has supported Puerto Rico hurricane recovery efforts through roofing material donations, roof installation trainings, and team members' hard work. This has had a multifaceted impact on the island and the people who call it home.Hurricane Maria Hit HardHurricane recovery services are needed as urgently today as they were in 2017 when Hurricane Maria struck, leaving behind 15-foot deep floodwaters, about \$90 billion in damage, an estimated 2,975 lives lost, and the longest power outage in US history. For 11 months, residents waited for electricity to be fully restored.Short-term disaster relief poured in post-storm. But years after the news cycles ended, Puerto Rico still remains—metaphorically—underwater. Schools and hospitals have fallen into hurricane-related disrepair, and insufficient fixes to the power grid cause frequent blackouts and brownouts.To make matters worse, hurricane-damaged homes that weren't repaired suffer compound damage from years of subsequent storms and exposure.Puerto Ricans Stand StrongThe people of Puerto Rico are strong and proud, determined to rebuild. However, the availability of needed resources poses a considerable challenge.For many, the funds needed to repair an unsafe roof are simply out of reach. Economic opportunities are scarce, and the government is heavily in debt. The US Census Bureau reported that 42% of Puerto Rican people are in poverty.Unfortunately, lower-income Puerto Rican households most vulnerable to Hurricane Maria were also least able to recover from the financial strain of repairing storm damage. With wind speeds up to 155 mph, extensive flash flooding, and wind tunnels ripping through the mountainous terrain, homes throughout this area were no match for the Category 4 hurricane.GAF Helps Build ResilienceTo help those impacted, GAF partnered with Team Rubicon, local nongovernmental organizations, and community members through the GAF Community Matters initiative to assist in Puerto Rico hurricane recovery. Since hurricane Maria recovery efforts began in 2017, GAF has donated materials for over 500 roofs and helped install them, bringing relief and shelter to families all over the island.This work has meant more to this community than just keeping their homes dry. Mr. Alfredo—a homeowner who received a new GAF roof—said, "There is nothing more important in life than to have a place to come home to, spend quality time in, sit, and be at peace."For all of Puerto Rico's strength and perseverance, many families still live in unsafe conditions due to hurricanes. GAF can't stop storms, but it can help build resilience.To that end, in addition to installing roofs, GAF, through the GAF Community Matters initiative and GAF Roofing Academy program, provided free roof installation trainings to local organizations in vulnerable Puerto Rican communities. Educating communities on roof installation creates a greater ability to adapt and bounce back when the next storm hits.Joining the Effort for GoodIn addition to its focus on roofing innovation, GAF remains committed to partnering with local organizations to build resilience in communities across the country. Team members will continue to donate time and materials to support and strengthen communities wherever the need may be.Curious to learn more about this project and other initiatives GAF is involved in? Explore GAF Community Matters.

By Authors Annie Crawford

August 07, 2024