How to Measure a Hip Roof for Shingles

How to Measure a Hip Roof for Shingles

Measuring a hip roof may seem like navigating a complex puzzle, but fear not! In this guide, we’ll demystify the process, empowering you to measure with confidence and ensure your shingling project goes off without a hitch.

Grasping the Basics

1. The Geometry of a Hip Roof Before you dive into measuring, grasp the basic geometry of a hip roof. Unlike a simple gable roof, a hip roof has multiple slopes, converging at the top. Visualizing this structure is key to accurate measurements.

2. Understanding Roof Pitch Roof pitch, the angle of the roof slope, plays a crucial role in shingle measurement. Measure the pitch accurately, as it influences the amount of material needed and affects the overall aesthetics of the roof.

Step-by-Step Measurement Guide

3. Start with the Base: Eave to Ridge Begin measuring from the eave to the ridge along one of the hip roof slopes. This is your baseline measurement and sets the stage for calculating the total square footage of the roof.

4. Hip Length Measurement Measure the length of each hip rafter, the inclined beam that connects the eave to the ridge. Sum up these measurements for an accurate assessment of the hip lengths.

Factoring in the Overhangs and Pitch

5. Accounting for Overhangs Overhangs, the portion of the roof that extends beyond the exterior walls, add extra square footage. Measure the overhangs on all sides to ensure you order sufficient shingle material for complete coverage.

6. Calculating Material Requirements Use the gathered measurements to calculate the total square footage of your hip roof. This crucial step helps you determine the number of shingles required, factoring in waste due to cuts and overlaps.

Tips for Precision

Measure a Hip Roof for Shingles

7. Divide and Conquer: Break Down the Roof Divide the hip roof into manageable sections for more accurate measurements. By treating each section independently, you can ensure precision and avoid overlooking details.

8. Utilizing Advanced Tools Consider using digital tools, such as roofing apps or online calculators, to streamline the measurement process. These tools can enhance accuracy and efficiency, especially for larger projects.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Can I measure a hip roof without climbing onto it?

Yes, you can measure from the ground using a laser measure or a long tape measure. However, for accurate measurements, climbing onto the roof is recommended.

Q: How do I measure the pitch of my roof without special tools?

You can estimate roof pitch using a level and a ruler. Measure the vertical rise and horizontal run, then use the pitch formula to calculate the angle.

Q: Are there standard shingle sizes for hip roofs?

Shingle sizes vary, but most manufacturers offer guidelines based on roof pitch and square footage. Check with your chosen shingle manufacturer for recommendations.

Q: Should I add extra shingles for waste and mistakes?

Yes, it’s advisable to order an additional 10-15% of shingles to account for cuts, overlaps, and any mistakes during installation.

Q: Can I measure my hip roof alone, or should I hire a professional?

While measuring alone is possible, hiring a professional roofing contractor ensures accuracy and expert advice, especially for intricate hip roof designs.


Measuring a hip roof for shingles is an art that combines geometry, precision, and a touch of practicality. Armed with the right knowledge, you can confidently embark on your shingling project, ensuring a perfectly measured roof that stands the test of time.

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