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How to Measure a Roof

By October 23, 2023Roof
How to measure a roof

Knowing the exact measurements of your roof is a game-changer when it comes to home maintenance, repairs, or even a full-blown renovation project. But how do you measure a roof, anyway?

If you have no idea where to start, you are not alone. Fear not; measuring your roof doesn’t require a degree in architecture. With the right guidance, it’s a task you can tick off over a weekend morning. In this article, we will set the stage for a smooth, well-planned project. Let’s get to it!

Assembling Your Toolkit

Before venturing into roof measurements, gather the needed tools and ensure an organized environment. These preparatory steps are your allies in ensuring that the plans unfold smoothly. First on the agenda is assembling your toolkit.

Tape Measure: A long, sturdy tape measure is your best friend in this endeavor. It’s the key to obtaining accurate roof dimensions.

Ladder: A reliable ladder will ensure you reach the heights safely. Make sure it’s tall enough to get you comfortably onto the roof without any stretching or straining.

Calculator: Whether it’s an old-school calculator or a smartphone app, you’ll need something to crunch the numbers.

Notepad and Pen: Keep a notepad and pen handy for jotting down measurements. It’s always better to write things down then and there rather than trusting a memory that might get foggy post-adventure.

Your toolkit is your ticket to a successful, hassle-free roof measuring experience. With these tools, you’re well-equipped and prepared to dive into the task ahead.

Always wear safety gear to measure a roof

Prioritizing Safety

While planning for any DIY task, safety should always be at the forefront. Remember, a well-executed safety plan not only prevents accidents but also provides peace of mind, allowing you to focus on the task at hand.

Ensure Ladder Stability: The firm foundation of a sturdy ladder is your first stride toward safety. Position your ladder on a solid, level surface to prevent any wobbling.

Harness Up: Put on a safety harness and secure it to a sturdy anchor point on the roof. It’s a simple step that provides an added layer of safety in case of any ladder wobbles or missteps.

Buddy System: It’s always a good idea to have a buddy nearby when you’re working at heights. They can hold the ladder, pass tools, and be there in case of an emergency.

With our toolkit ready and safety measures in place, we’re ready for the main event!

The 4 Steps to Measure a Roof

Embarking on the journey of measuring your roof might seem a bit daunting at first glance. Let’s break down the process with a systematic approach, turning it into manageable steps and even an enjoyable task.

1. Measure the Length and Width of the Roof

Start with the basics. Climb up to your roof, and measure the length and the width. It’s as simple as measuring from end to end along the edges. Take multiple measurements to ensure accuracy and jot down each one. Averaging out these measurements will give you a more accurate depiction of the dimensions.

2. Calculate the Roof’s Slope (Pitch)

Now onto something a bit trickier – the roof’s slope, also known as its pitch. The slope measures how steep your roof is, and it’s crucial for accurate measurements. A simple method is to measure 12 inches from the edge of the roof, then vertically measure how much the roof rises in that span. The ratio of the rise over a 12-inch run is your roof’s pitch. For instance, if your roof rises 6 inches for every 12 inches, your pitch is 6:12.

3. Account for Roof Features:

Roofs aren’t always simple rectangles. They might house features like dormers, skylights, or chimneys. Measure the length and width of these features, and jot them down separately. They will come in handy when calculating the total square footage.

4. Calculate the Total Square Footage

The moment of truth! Multiply the length by the width of your roof to get the basic area. Then, adjust this number by adding or subtracting the square footage of features like dormers or skylights. Finally, if your roof has multiple sides or levels, repeat the process for each section and sum up the areas.

With these measurements in hand, you’re well on your way to planning your next roofing project confidently and precisely.

Regular maintenance after you measure a roof

Other Recommended Maintenance

Having measured your roof, you are now familiar with a crucial part of your home’s exterior. This newfound familiarity is a stepping stone to other maintenance tasks that ensure the longevity and efficiency of your roof. Regular upkeep like gutter cleaning and repair is essential to prevent water damage, as a clogged gutter can lead to water pooling on your roof or around your foundation.

Additionally, inspecting your roof for damaged or missing shingles and replacing them promptly can ward off leaks and further damage. It’s also wise to check the roof flashings—those metal pieces covering gaps around chimneys and vents—to ensure they’re in good shape and sealing properly against water intrusion. These tasks, although seemingly mundane, play a pivotal role in preserving the structural integrity of your home, keeping it cozy, and ensuring a pleasant living environment.

When to Call a Professional to Measure a Roof

Measuring a roof can be a straightforward task, but there are situations where calling in a professional is a wise choice. If your roof has a steep or complex design, it can be tricky to get accurate measurements. Signs of structural damage, like sagging or visible cracks, are red flags that warrant a professional eye. Additionally, if you’re feeling uncomfortable or unsure about measuring the roof yourself, it’s always a good idea to get expert help.

Professionals bring a wealth of experience and specialized tools to ensure safety, precise measurements, and thorough inspections. They can spot potential issues that may escape an untrained eye, providing a more comprehensive understanding of your roof’s condition. Moreover, a professional can offer insights on maintenance needs and potential future repairs, helping you plan and budget accordingly. The assurance of having accurate measurements and a well-inspected roof is a worthwhile investment for any homeowner.


Navigating the process of measuring your roof is an enlightening venture that equips you with vital information for maintenance, repairs, or renovations. Whether you decide to tackle this task personally or enlist professional assistance, ensuring accuracy and safety is paramount.

Your initiative towards maintaining your home is a commendable step towards enduring safety and satisfaction. If you have any questions or find that your roof needs professional attention before taking any measurements, reach out to Boggs Inspection Services to get an inspection completed in Lacey, WA, and surrounding areas.

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