Estimating Roof Shingles | Learn Basics, Costs & Methods

Estimating roof shingles correctly is a critical part of estimating your roof replacement cost. A roofing job will require not only shingles to cover the roof, but additional materials to account for waste and overlaps. Insufficient shingles will lead to wasted time and money.

“Not quite as exciting as some aspects of the job, estimating roof shingle quantities is nevertheless important.”

Basics Of Estimating Roof Shingles

When beginning a shingle roofing job, gathering the necessary materials is usually high on the to-do list. An unusually tall or oddly situated building may need special ladders or scaffolding. Certain roofing materials might require special tools or equipment. One of the first purchases, however, is going to be your shingles.

Cost Of Roof Shingles

Ashpalt Shingles: $2.75 to $5.75 psf installed

Cedar Shake Shingles: $6 – $9 psf installed

Copper Shingles: $13 to $17 psf installed

Methods of Estimating Roof Shingles

To estimate the number of shingles needed, you first have to know the size of the roof. The most common and most accurate way to figure this out is to measure the actual roof. Simply climb on up with a measuring tape to find the area of each roof plane and add the square footage. In some cases, however, this is impossible and the roof dimensions must be measured from the ground.

Sheet or Shingle Count
For an existing roof, it may be easier to determine the size based on a sheet-count or shingle-count. When working on a roof sheathed in 4×8 foot panels, you can simply count the panels and do the math. Partial panels can be estimated and added in as well. When the roof is currently covered in shingles, simply count the shingles used. This is fast and easy and can be done from the ground. While not as accurate as measurement, it is reasonably close. Perfection isn’t needed, as you should always be including some leeway to account for waste anyway.

Other Considerations O Estimating Roof Shingles

Waste and Other Factors
When planning for a roof job don’t forget to order extra shingles. A roof is rarely s simple, single layer of whole shingles. In addition to starter courses along eaves and rakes, you will need additional material to cap hips and ridges. More shingles will be needed also because many are cut to fit against walls and chimneys, as well as other corners and tight places. Another source of waste is the occasional dropped or broken shingle.

It is critical to accurately estimate roof shingles before beginning a job. Poor estimating can cause wasted money or long delays waiting for additional materials. Inaccurate estimates will also lead to customers unhappy about jobs going over budget and past deadline. To be successful, careful estimation of the shingles needed can prevent frustration and delays.