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Question DetailsAsked on 8/29/2015

how to figure no. of roofing bundles for 1401 sq ft house

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2 Answers


The square footage of a house means very little to the number of roofing bundles needed. For a good estimation of bundles you will need the square footage of the roof itself.

Answered 5 years ago by DriverNerd


As Guest said, house square means very little with regard to roofing area. For instance, to start with, is this a one-story or two-story or three-story house - a one-story 28x50 feet with 3 foot overhangs might have in the VERY rough ballpark of 1600SF of roof surface (measured on-the-slope, the actual area to be covered) whereas a 2 or 3 story would be very substantially less of course. And even if a single story - say a 28x50 foot rectangle - with 3 foot overhangs simple single-ridge gable house, maybe 1600 sf - but if a zero overhang roof would be more like the 1400SF footprint.

And of course, in some areas they measure basements and garages in the square footage of a house, in others not - so real estate square footage of the house means very little except in house sale listings.

Area has to be figured on the slope of the actual surfaces being covered so roof slope mattears a fair amount, then figure adjustment for any valleys and secondary gables or ridges and whether the valleys are exposed flashing or single or double woven with shingles, any special cut-ins around protruding gables and such, if there is a shingled porch or patio roof, figure in starter row and ridge shingles, etc. That can make from a 10-40% difference in extreme cases. Then wastage - which depends on type of shingles, roof configuration, etc - can run from as low as 2% or so for a very simple roof with an extremely frugal roofer who saves almost every cutoff to reuse where it fits, to 20-30% with very complex roof or roofers who don't use cutoffs from the end of the row and just throw them away so they can just blow and go at the maximum placement rate.

Another factor, just to illustrate how complex this gets, is exposure - which is how much of the shingle sticks out under the shingel above. I have seen roofs where a roofer skimped on materials and exposed more than the manufacturer recommended, cutting shingle use by about 25%. In other cases, especially in very heavy wind or snow country, the exposure is reduced to leave less shingle length sticking out to be curled back or lifted in the wind - in extreme cases I have seen that almost double the shingle demand per square (a "Square" is 100SF) with long-tab shingles or shakes.

Then the last factor - that all talked about square footage. Then you have to consider how many square feet are in a bundle (and whether you are talking asphalt tab shingles, architectural, wood, shakes) - and manufacturer, as there is not "standard" square footage in shingle bundles. In fact, the only anywhere near consistency, and not all adhere to that, is commonly 33.3SF ( 1/3 of a "Square") per simple 3-tab shingle bundle. Depending on product and shipping container size (bundle or pallet) you might get from as little as about 12-14SF/bundle on up to as much as 50SF/bundle with a VERY lightweight 5-tab shingle - perhaps even more with some manufacturer. And if wood products, might run from 20SF/bundle up to 500SF/shrink wrapped pallet or more.

IF this is a DIY job, you can google a lot of resources on how to estimate roof shingle demand - and I would assume for a DIY job at LEAST 10% wastage and more likely 15% even for a simple roof, and I always recommend retaining at least 30-100SF extra for possible shortage and for permanent retention so you have roughly matching color for any repairs. In most cases, dealers will refund you for unopened bundles returned within a couple of weeks of purchase, so getting a few extra bundles is not much hassle compared to running a bundle short - especially because Murphy's Law of Shingles says not only will you run short if you don't intentionally buy a goodly extra amount, but they will be out of the color or you are using. And even if they do get the same color, it is probable they will not be from the same production lot, so expect a significant deviation in color even within the same color code.

I don't mean to lead you into going astray by giving you overconfidence, but FYI here is a pretty decent article on the subject -

BTWA - if this is not a DIY job but you are just checking if the contractor charged you for more shingles than your job used, the wrapper say how much standard exposure coverage a bundle covers, and the bid should say how many squares there were in your roof. With wastage and starter rows and ridge shingles and such, with a normal not abnormally complex roof, the number of squares of shingles used would likely be about 110-125% of the number of squares roof exposure.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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