If you are new to the world of roofing you might have heard the term square come up from time to time. But you are also as likely completely lost as to what kind of square it is. Is it a square feet? A tile? Or something else completely different? The term is very unique to the world of roofing, and some explanations might just leave you more confused, so today we will try to answer what is a square in roofing in the simplest way possible.
First things first, a square is a unit of measurement. When people mention a square in the context of roofing it’s usually in reference to how many squares a roof is. In short it’s the most common measure used to judge how many material will be needed for a project, and as such it has a fixed value; which is 100 square feet.
While the answer might feel a little bit underwhelming at first there are many good reasons to use this measuring system over traditional square feet. The first is that it makes numbers lower as a whole; it’s completely different to organize an order for 10 squares that it is for a thousand square feet. The numbers would get ridiculous very fast.
But one of the biggest advantages to using a square as a measuring unit is that it doesn’t need to have a fixed shape. A 10×10 space is a hundred square feet, but so is for example a 4×25 area. While this might sound simple at first it helps a lot when planning. After all not all roofs are the same shape and size. And by calculating using the square system you can find the needed dimensions even if the roof is a perfect rectangle or a complex design with multiple layers and angles.
Ultimately a square is “just” a hundred square feet, but it has become an industry standard because it’s a very practical way to organize projects and submit orders, and that’s why we the term has become so widespread. And since the process is so simple anybody can easily measure how many squares their roof is just by dividing by a 100. If your roof has an area of 3000 square feet you just need to divide that by a 100 and you’ll have the amount of squares it amounts to; 30 in this case. Now it’s as simple as going to the shop and letting the clerk know that number, no more calculations or fuss needed.
Generally speaking it is better to buy some extra materials when you are roofing, in case there are some losses or challenging shapes. And in this case squares are the basis too. The usual recommendation is to get 15% extra based on your square calculations, and while that might sound hard at first your regular store should know the numbers by memory. At the end of the day that’s what makes squares so useful, they are a super intuitive measuring unit and everybody understands them in the industry.
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