Roofing DIY Tips – How Many Shingles do I Need for My Roof?

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Your roof is one of the most important parts of the house, so choosing to re-roof your home is a going to be a major investment. You are going to spend a lot of your time and money on building the roof itself, but what about the shingles? You want to get the right amount. If you purchase too few, then you’ll have a bare patch on the roof until you purchase more. If you buy too many, you’ve wasted your money on shingles you aren’t going to use. We recommend going to a Tulsa roofing expert for this, but if you really want to do this yourself, you need to know the right amount of shingles for your roof.

How to Estimate Roof Shingles Needed for Your Project

First, determine the roof’s square footage by multiplying the length by the width for each part of the roof. For example, let’s say you want to know the square footage of a small garden shed roof, made with only one plane. The roof plane’s length is 12 feet, and its width is 12 ft.

12 (length) x 12 (width) = 144 sq. ft.

Let’s say the shed’s roof is a two-plane gable roof, you would multiply each plane and then add them together. Let’s say each plane is 20 ft. by 20 ft.

1st Plane: 20 x 20 = 400 sq. ft.

2nd Plane: 20 x 20 = 400 sq. ft.

Total Size: 400 + 400 = 800 sq. ft.

Do this with all of the roof’s planes (and roof dormers if you have them).

You should also be aware that the term “square” in roofing means an area of 100 sq. ft. If you want to know how many “squares” of shingles you need for your roof, divide the total square footage by 100. In the above example, 80 squares of shingles would be required to finish the project. With three-tab shingles, the most prevalent kind, three bundles are the equivalent of one square, and are packaged as such. In addition, if you are roofing a new roof, then you will need underlayment, which comes in a roll equivalent to 4 squares. For the above example, you will need a total of 20 rolls to cover the roof.

For any questions about your estimate, contact a Tulsa roofing company near you.

Roof Pitch

It’s also good to know the pitch, or slope, of the roof. The rule of thumb for this is simple. Every inch it rises per foot is your roof’s slope. So, if your roof rises five inches every foot, then it would have a 5 in 12 pitch.

What if you have a steep roof?

If you have a steep roof, you should take the safest way you can to measure the roof’s pitch. All you need is a level, a clamp, a tape measure, and a marker or pencil.

First, go into your attic and place the level on the face of one of the roof rafters, and slide it until it is against the underside of the roof. Adjust it until it’s level. Next, attach the tape measure’s hook to the end of the level touching the underside of the roof. Measure along the side of the level with the tape measure and use the marker or pencil to mark 12 ft. Clamp the level to the roof rafter. Then, use your tape measure at the 12 ft. mark and measure from it to the underside of the roof above the mark. If it measures, for example, 8 inches, then you have an 8 in 12 pitch. Find: Tulsa eyewear>

How Many Nails do I Need for Roofing?

For the starter shingle, you will need 5 nails to hold it in place, but all subsequent shingles should only require four nails. For most standard shingles (and assuming 80 shingles in a square), this means you need 320 for every square. Then, calculate the amount of starter shingles you will need and times it by five. You will need to adjust calculations if you live in a windy region, since you will need to use more nails. Check building codes in your area for more information.


Should you decide for the sake of time or safety to hire someone to shingle your roof for you, contact a Tulsa roofing service near you.

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