December 7, 2023

Roof Measurement Reports for Complicated Roofs

Obtaining measurements and creating roof measurement reports are critical to the roofing process. After all, accurate estimates depend heavily on correct measurements.

Time to read:
6 Minutes
Written by
Nicholas Capobianco

Obtaining measurements and creating roof measurement reports are critical to the roofing process. After all, accurate estimates depend heavily on correct measurements. 

If a roof’s design is complicated, acquiring measurements becomes even more difficult, so you’ll need to devise a straightforward and precise method to ensure consistency and efficiency.

This article will delve into how you can accurately measure a complicated roof, as well as how Roofr can help you streamline the roofing process.

Measuring a roof

When measuring a roof, remember that rounding off the roof dimensions may result in erroneous measurements. Instead, consider writing the measures precisely as they came off the tape to the closest 0.5 sizes.

Here are the steps typically taken to measure a roof.

1. Get on the roof

As is standard to compile a roof measurement report, the first step to obtain measurements is to physically go to the property you’ll be working on and get on the roof. It helps to ask home or business owners if there’s a safe entrance or access point. For example, some buildings have a way up from inside the property.

If you must use a ladder, ensure it’s securely fastened to the ground to provide adequate stability as you conduct the measuring process. You may need to ask someone to assist you in stabilizing the ladder as you ascend to the roof. Remember to bring a tape measure, a composition pad, and a pen to take measurements.

Of course, if you want to skip this step in the sales process, platforms like Roofr prevent you from having to drive down to the customer’s location and hand-measure everything. Instead, you’ll benefit from satellite and high-definition aerial imagery for calculating measurements. This effectively speeds up the roofing process.

Regardless, we’ll continue going over steps for manual measurement for informational purposes.

2. Take measurements on the roof’s main section

With the tape measure in hand, calculate the length and width of the roof. If the roof is slanted, you must record each plane's dimensions. Register all measurements on one slanted plane before proceeding to the next stage.

3. Take measurements of any other roof structures

It’s important to measure any other roof structures on your roof as well. Other architectural components can include valleys, ridges, and dormers. Determine the length and width of each of these constructions.

These play an essential role in roof measurements since they determine the number of materials needed throughout the roofing procedure. You likely won’t need to measure the chimneys and pipes linked to the roof.

4. Record the measurements precisely

This may be stating the obvious, but make sure you’re writing down the roof measurements in precise units. Your brain can only hold so much information, especially after working on several properties. Record the measurements separately as acquired from various roof portions. 

Sketch a diagram

If you’re not taking digital photos, drawn diagrams can go a long way in aiding visualization.

1. On a blank sheet of paper, sketch a roofing diagram

Draw the roof on plain paper using a pencil. Remember to include all other structures, such as valleys and ridges, to provide a faithful portrayal of the roof’s layout.

2. Mark the roof measurements on the sketched diagram

Put all the roof dimensions on the diagram, one for each section. Begin by drawing the length and width of the central part of the roof before adding other dimensional values. The measurements on the diagram will function as a quick way to calculate the total square footage of the roof again if needed.

3. Divide the roof sketch into smaller geometrical components

Some roof shapes can be quite complex. Breaking them into smaller regular shapes may help and can be a more straightforward way to calculate a roof’s area. Having subsections will aid in more accurate and comprehensive calculations.

Conducting calculations

Once you've completed all measurements and diagrams, you'll need to use them to calculate the total square footage of the entire roof.

1. Start by calculating rectangular areas

These areas are straightforward because you only need to multiply the length and width dimensions. Make note of the total area of all the rectangular sections of the roof and add them all up. Remember to calculate the size of additional rectangular constructions on the roof.

2. Then calculate the triangular areas

This shouldn't be too difficult if you've performed the previous step successfully. To calculate the area of each triangular segment, for simple right-angle triangles, simply half the amount that results in multiplying the triangle’s base and the triangle’s height.

Of course, you’ll need to be cautious, as some roofs can have irregularities that will need you to calculate the area of equilateral or isosceles triangles, which have different formulas.

3. Get the total of all computed sections

To calculate the overall square footage of the roof for any roof measurement reports, add up all the calculated areas from the previous steps.

4. Estimate the cost of roofing materials

Once you know the overall square footage of the roof, you can then calculate how many materials you’ll need. Usually, roofing materials are packed in square meters. It’s advisable to add about 10% of the estimated roofing materials just in case of any shortages.

Streamline measurement, calculations, and reports with software

This whole process of measuring, calculating, and compiling reports can be pretty time-consuming. The solution? Software.

Roofing software like Roofr makes measuring even the most complex, multi-sloped roofs easy. You can receive automated calculations from roof measurement reports, reducing the time needed if you were to measure the roof yourself. 

Choose from HD aerial and satellite imagery to ensure the most excellent possible view of the home and, as a result, the most precise roof measurements imaginable for an aerial roof measurement report. 

Roofr lets you wow your clients, with personalized proposals and accurate digital roof measurements. Plus, it's got everything you need to nurture that lead, order materials, and collect payment. See Roofr in action for yourself by booking a demo call with our sales team.

Join Roofr, get a free roof measurement report
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