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What Is A Square In Roofing Terms [Explained]

Renovating or replacing roofs seek knowledge of various roof-related terms. And most of us are unaware of such terms. And it leads to the miscalculation of the building cost. Roof squaring is such a term that we aren’t commonly introduced.

What is a square in roofing terms?

Roof square denotes 100 square feet of roof surface area. This terminology is quite sufficient to calculate the roof replacement cost. However, it also determines the amount of material, time, or labor you’ll need in work. 

That’s not enough to answer your query. There’s a lot more to discuss. If you have a minute, we’d suggest going through our article to get your query answered. 

Without bragging anymore, let’s jump into the discussion!

What Actually A Roofing Square Is?

This terminology simply indicates the area of the roof to be covered with shingles. 

Sometimes a roofing square is alternatively used as a square of roofing shingles. So don’t get confused when you encounter such alternative jargon. 

A roof area of 100 square feet is simply called a roof square. It’s the amount of material to cover 100 square feet of any roof area. 

The dimension is expressed as equal height and width of 10 feet. This amount is crucial when we calculate the estimated cost according to the size of the roof.

It also determines how much materials, labor we’ll need to fully recondition our roofs. The more the roof squares, the more the cost we’ll need. 

This costing is quite similar to the cost of furnishing a house. So if you’ve any previous experience of renovating houses, it might benefit you a bit. 

Commonly we use a 3 bundle of roofing material to occupy a single roofing square. However, it varies depending on what type of roof & material you have. 

We express the size of the roof by roofing square, it’s not the same while calculating the cost. For calculation purposes, this term is addressed as “cost per square foot” or simply “square footage”.

In the following step, we’ll learn how to calculate the square footage of a roof surface. The calculation will determine the overall cost of renovation of the roofs. 

Calculating Roof’s Square Footage

This calculation involves different segments denoting house footprint, roof type, and so on. But before getting into the details we’ll be introduced to some common factors.

Factors that commonly determines the roof pricing is depicted below:

  • Home’s geographic location. 
  • Roofing material
  • Material quality and warranty
  • The current market price of roofing material
  • Contractors efficiency
  • How early do you need to replace or renovate your roof?

These are the most common factors that define the overall cost of your roofing square. In addition, while choosing the material, the roof material’s weight is a vital factor. Therefore check them carefully if it properly matches your criteria or not. 

Here we’ve attached a list of the best in-budget products for you:

Product 1
Product 2

Hope it’ll ensure the best quality as well as provide you with the best discounts. 

As are done with the factors, let’s get into the calculation. The calculation of the roof’s square footage is dependent on 2 different equations. And those equations are:

Home’s Footprint = ( Home’s Length ) X ( Home’s Width )

Square Feet of the Roof Area = ( Home’s Footprint ) X ( Roof’s Slope and Complexity )

But these formulas are not enough to understand. And so, we feel the urge to discuss their usage in detail. Our short discussion will be partitioned into 3 parts. The details go as follows-

Part 1: Home’s Footprint Calculation

According to our first formula, we need to find out our home’s footprint. Now you might be wondering why we need to learn about footprints. 

As we’ve already known, to estimate the roof renovation cost, we need to know the roofing square. But measuring the roofing square aka roof size is not a straightforward job. It’s not as simple as measuring them directly like other equipment. 

And that’s why we make an assumption of the roof’s size using house square footage. But it doesn’t provide the accurate value we need. Rather we should use the home’s footprint to get the most accurate value to measure. 

As the name suggests, we’ll use a human footprint to measure the home’s dimension. A single stride of a man referred 2-2.5 feet. 

Keeping this point in mind, check how many steps you need to cover the height. Also, check the width of your home in the same way as before. 

If you’ve any measuring tape then the measurement will be more accurate than before. 

When the height and width measurement is complete, you can multiply them to find the home’s footprint. 

This footprint might be beneficial to calculate the cost of building a tiny house. So, measuring the footprint is quite important to know.

But you should remember that the square footage of a house isn’t equal to that of roof square footage. It’s just an estimation to measure the roof square footage. 

Part 2: Roof’s Square Footage Calculation

Once you find the home’s footprint, you’ll need to find the roof slope and complexity factor. And this factor varies depending on what type of roof you have. There are almost 5-10 types of roofs and each one has a distinct slope and complexity factor.

The steepness and the complexity define the value of the factor. For your convenience we have listed a few examples:

For an easy up-and-over, walkable gable roof the factor value is 1.3.

For a hip roof with a lower slope, the factor is denoted by 1.4

For a step and complex roof type, the factor is 1.6

You have to find relevant factor values to calculate the final square footage of the roof. 

After you’ve managed to find the factors’ value your task is almost done. Just multiply these factor values with the home’s footprint value to get the final result. You’ll end up finding the estimated roof’s square footage in feet unit.

Lastly after finding the final roof square footage value calculate the final cost of renovation. You can use a roofing calculator for this purpose. 


Question: How many bundles do we need in a square?

Answer: 3 bundles. This value is the average for the most common architectural shingles. In some cases, 4 bundles are also preferred but it’s not the standard value to be mentioned.  

Question: How many shingles are needed in a square?

Answer: 78 shingles per square. Older 3-tab shingles can accumulate up to 87 shingles per square. Most common architectural designs range from 55-67 shingles per square. 

Question: Is the square footage of a house the same as roof footage?

Answer: No. It varies depending on the different types of roofs we’ve in our houses. Calculating roof square footage is highly important to figure out the overall budget of roof renovation. 


That’s all the points we intended to discuss. We hope our precise discussion helped you to clarify what is a square in roofing terms.

If you followed our instructions properly, by now you should be able to calculate the cost related to square footage. 

Best of luck!