Calculating roof square footage is one of the main steps to providing customers with accurate bids on roofing projects. If you underestimate the square footage of a roof, your estimate will be inaccurate. As a result, you’ll have to either alter your initial bid amount or cut your profit margins.
However, if you make the mistake of significantly overestimating the square footage of a roof, your bid will be too high. Overestimating can cause sticker shock, discouraging prospective customers from doing business with your roofing company or trusting your expertise.
Either way, miscalculating square footage is bad for your roofing business.
To help you avoid these headaches, we have created this refresher outlining how to calculate the square footage of a roof and the steps to the roof estimate process.
Let’s get started!
How to Calculate Roof Square Footage from the Ground
Climbing on top of a building’s roof is the best way to calculate the roof’s square footage. But that isn’t always possible or safe if the roof is extremely damaged. If you can’t get to the roof, you can still estimate its square footage from the ground.
The first thing you will need to do is determine the home’s footprint. Measure the length and width of the residence with your measuring tape.
Once you have the length and width, multiply them together to calculate the footprint.
After finding the structure’s footprint, assess the roof style and complexity. The more valleys and obstructions the roof has, the higher the complexity score. Here are a few common types of complex roofs and their complexity score.
- Simple Gable Roofs: 1.3
- Hip Roofs: 1.4
- Complex Roofs with Multiple Elevations and Gables: 1.6
The final step is multiplying the complexity score by the home’s footprint.
Now that you’ve learned how to calculate roof square footage from the ground, it’s time to speak to your client about what materials they want to use for their project. Once they choose their preferred roofing material, you can calculate total job costs.
From there, all that’s left to do is send over a roofing estimate. You must compose a detailed bid and provide it to the customer quickly. Any delays can cause the customer to look for other roof contractors to handle the project.
To send a bid with the right roof square footage, you should:
- Calculate the square footage of the roof
- Determine which roofing materials to use
- Prepare a bid
- Submit a quote to the client
With these steps in mind, you’ll get the right roof square footage for every project you work on and refine your estimating process. What tricks have you picked up about calculating roof square footage? Let us know in the comments.