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How to Correctly Measure for a Metal Roof

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The difference between a fad and a trend is that a fad comes and goes very quickly, but a trend sticks around for decades. And it’s no secret in the roofing world that metal roofing is a trend that’s here to stay. Many homeowners are tired of replacing their asphalt shingle roofs every 10-15 years and are looking for a more durable solution.

If you’re feeling ready to switch to a metal roof that lasts 50+ years, has impressive weather resistance, and looks aesthetically pleasing— you may just be tempted to perform the roof installation yourself.

One of the most critical aspects of any roof replacement is getting the correct measurements. Learn how to measure for a metal roof in this guide, as well as safety precautions and when to call the pros.

How to Measure for a Metal Roof: Step-by-Step

As long as you have a measuring tape, a sturdy ladder, and a calculator, you should be able to accurately measure your roof for metal panels. Just be sure to double and triple-check your work, so you can feel confident that your numbers are correct. Follow these five steps to measure your roof and find out the size and quantity of metal panels you need.

Step 1: Create a Rough Sketch of Your Roof ✏️

how to measure for a metal roof sketching roof outline

You don’t need to be Picasso to start this first step. Make a rough sketch of a top-down view of your roof. The dimensions don’t need to be perfect— this is just a place to record your numbers and help ensure you cover all your bases. Be sure to clearly label any additional features like gables and skylights.

Step 2: Measure the Width of Your Roof 📏

Grab your tape measure and sturdy ladder, and measure the width of your roof from one outside edge to the other. If you have multiple sections of your roof, do this for each section.

Even if you have a simple sloped roof, find the measurements for the other side instead of assuming they’re the exact same. Some houses shift slightly over the years.

Step 3: Find the Width of the Metal Panels 📐

Next, confirm the width of the metal panels you want to use. You can find this information directly in the product specs of the type of metal roofing you’re interested in. Standing seam panels are usually 24 inches wide, while corrugated metal is often 36 inches wide. (Be sure to double-check your specific product, though.)

Step 4: Do Some Divison for Each Side ➗

If you measured the width of your roof in feet, convert it to inches by multiplying the number by 12. Then, divide the width of your roof by the width of the metal panels.

For example, if your roof width was 384 inches and you divide it by 24 inches (the width of standing seam panels), your result is 16. The result is how many metal panels you need for one side— 16 in this case!

Do this same equation for the other side of your roof. Add the two final numbers together to see the total number of panels you need.

Step 5: Measure the Roof’s Length From the Fascia to the Peak 🏠

Now you know how many metal panels you’ll need, but how long should they be? You’ll need to physically get on your roof for this step.

Measure from the fascia board to the ridge (peak) of your roof. Add a couple of inches, depending on your preference for an overhang. This is the length of the metal roofing materials you need.

  • Pro tip: Don’t measure to the edge of your existing roofing materials. Instead, measure to the edge of the roof deck. This will ensure you don’t end up with too long of an overhang.

DIY Roofing Safety Precautions

how to measure for a metal roof precautions and safety

If you’re going to attempt your own metal roofing installation, safety needs to be your #1 priority. Roofing is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country— and that’s for trained professionals! Overconfidence or careless mistakes could leave you with serious or even fatal injuries.

Be sure to follow these roofing safety tips:

  • Wear rubber-soled, closed-toe shoes 🥾
  • Use a roofing harness 🧗
  • Always work with a friend or family member 🧑🏽‍🤝‍🧑🏼
  • Never work in inclement weather (rain, snow, wind, or extreme temperatures) ⛈️
  • Use a sturdy ladder that extends 3 feet above your roof edge (Just never stand on the part that extends) 🪜
  • Use proper safety precautions with any power tools 🪚
  • Wear a hardhat or helmet 👷
  • Be patient, and don’t rush through the work ⏳

Benefits of Hiring a Professional Roofing Contractor

DIY roofing can be tempting if you’re looking to save a few bucks, but most homeowners find that they lose money in the long run. You’ll experience many benefits if you hire a professional roofing company, including:

  • Safety: You won’t have to risk your own safety to complete the roofing project.
  • Save Time: Attempting your own roof replacement will take days. Professionals can usually complete the job in one day.
  • Warranties: You won’t get any labor warranties if you install your own roof. That means if something goes wrong, you’re going to have to pay for it all over again. Reputable roofing companies offer labor warranties in addition to product warranties from the manufacturer.
  • Cost Savings: You’ll have to buy or rent your own materials and tools to complete this job. Plus, if one thing goes wrong, you’re looking at a lot of money down the drain to fix your mistakes with no warranty to back them up. Professionals get the job done right the first time to a high-quality standard.
  • Peace of Mind: Your loved ones probably don’t want you attempting a roof replacement with no prior experience. You’re maybe even questioning your own abilities! Leaving roofing work to the pros helps you rest easy knowing the job will be done well.

Rely on Level Edge for Your Metal Roof Replacement

Here at Level Edge Roofing, we’ve measured more roofs than we can count— we’ve got it down to a science! With over 20 years of experience, we’re one of the best metal roofing crews in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Leave the hard work to us! Simply reach out to schedule a free inspection and estimate.

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