When Roofing What Is A Square

Oct 03, 2023

When it comes to roofing, understanding the concept of a square is essential. A square is a unit of measurement used in the roofing industry to determine the size of a roof. It is equal to 100 square feet, or a 10-foot by 10-foot area. Knowing how to calculate the number of squares needed for a roofing project is crucial for accurate estimates and materials planning.

What is a square?

A square is a standard unit of measurement in the roofing industry. It represents an area of 100 square feet, regardless of the shape of the roof. Whether it is a simple gable roof or a complex hip roof, the square footage is calculated using this standardized measurement.

Calculating the number of squares

To determine the number of squares required for a roofing project, you need to measure the total square footage of the roof. This can be done by measuring the length and width of each individual section and then adding them together. Once you have the total square footage, divide it by 100 to get the number of squares needed.

Why is it important?

Understanding the concept of a square is crucial for accurate estimating and materials planning. By knowing the number of squares needed, you can calculate the amount of roofing material required, such as shingles or tiles. This helps prevent over or under-ordering, saving time and money on the project.

Roofing materials and squares

Roofing materials are often sold by the square, making it easier to determine the quantity needed. For example, if a bundle of shingles covers one square, you can simply divide the total number of squares by the number of squares per bundle to determine the number of bundles required.

It's important to note that different roofing materials have different coverage rates per square. For instance, metal roofing may require fewer squares compared to asphalt shingles due to their larger coverage area. Always consult the manufacturer's guidelines to ensure accurate calculations.

Roofing waste factor

When calculating the number of squares, it's essential to account for waste. Roofing waste factors typically range from 5% to 15%, depending on the complexity of the roof and the skill level of the installer. Adding a waste factor ensures that you have enough material to account for cuts, mistakes, and any unforeseen issues that may arise during the installation process.


Understanding what a square is and how to calculate the number of squares needed for a roofing project is essential for accurate estimating and materials planning. By knowing the square footage and accounting for waste, you can ensure that you have enough roofing material to complete the job efficiently. Remember to consult manufacturer guidelines and consider the specific characteristics of the roofing material being used.