How To Make a Metal Roof Estimate – And Save Money

If you know how to make a correct and reliable metal roof estimate, you could be earning a nice 5- to 6-figure income every year becoming a professional roofing estimator. The sad part is that even some professionals are not doing it right. You need to learn the basics about making a metal roof estimate so that you can evaluate the accuracy of outside estimates or even run some rough calculations on your own. The essentials are easy to understand and master, and when you know how to assess roof difficulty, and measure roofing area in squares, you’ll be able to come up with a fairly accurate figure.

Why Should You Learn To Make a Metal Roof Estimate?

Roofing is a costly affair. The budget for your metal roof can run into thousands of dollars, leaving little room for error or wrong judgment. Being off by just a few squares can make a deep dent in your metal roofing budget. Indeed that’s why you seek out a professional evaluator.

But here’s what is shocking. Many so-called “professionals” are unskilled people who do slipshod work, causing dire and expensive consequences for hapless homeowners who don’t understand the basics of making a metal roof estimate and are willing to be led blindly by these ignorant and careless guides. As any experienced roofing estimator who has been called in to make a metal roof estimate will tell you, there have been instances where rival estimators have made mistakes in simple steps like estimating the roof area – to the tune of many squares (each square is 100 square feet!)

Metal Roof Estimate Errors Are Costly

In a type of work where estimates of cost are based on the area to be roofed, such mistakes in measuring how much area must be roofed can be very expensive. Cost over-runs may extend to thousands of dollars. Metal roof estimates are even more critical because the upfront installation cost of metal roofing is higher than other alternatives. Mistakes in measuring the roof can cost up to 3 times more than if you were installing an asphalt shingle roof, for instance.

But that’s incidental. No matter what kind of roof you’re installing, precise and accurate measurements are mandatory and especially when there is a serious financial impact involved, it behooves any professional to be extra careful. Being off by 5 squares can mean the home owner will pay $5,000 more for his new roof. And uninformed home owners can be easily misled by unscrupulous or incompetent professionals called in to make a metal roof estimate.

Metal Roof Estimate Knowledge Is Profitable

There are just 4 simple steps to making a reliable metal roof estimate. Once you learn these along with the pricing considerations involved with laying any of the usual types of roofs, you’re set to make a reasonable roof estimate. Now you won’t be able to make a 100% accurate measurement using this basic information, only a more or less ballpark estimate. But this will definitely help you from being scammed by a glib and suave sales pitch.

Nobody likes to be taken in by a salesperson. And arming yourself with knowledge about the “unknown” elements of metal roofing will guard you against this happening. Being well prepared with this basic knowledge is helpful in making difficult choices of which contractor to hire and how much to set as your budget for a new roof.

Metal Roof Estimate Step #1 – Measure Your Roof

The first important step is to measure how big the roof area is. This is done in roofing squares. There are 100 square feet in one roofing square. An area that is 10 feet by 10 feet will be one square.

To measure your roof, you’ll need to first determine the length and breadth of the building at ground level. You can do this using a tape measure. Multiplying them together gives you the floor area of the building. This, however, isn’t directly equal to the roof area, as there are things like overhang to consider. Also buildings rarely come in perfect square or rectangular outlines. If it’s a more complex shape, then you can determine the area of specific rooms or sections of the building and then add them together to get the total roof area estimated.

Metal Roof Estimate Step #2 – Convert Roof Area to Squares

In the roofing industry, the metric used to measure roof area is called “roofing squares” which measure 100 square feet. To convert the area of your roof into roofing squares, simply take the overall area and divide it by 100. For instance, if your building measures 30 feet by 40 feet, the area is 1,200 feet, which when divided by 100 gives an area of 12 roofing squares.

Metal Roof Estimate Step #3 – Determine Roof Pitch

Two dimensional roof measurements need to be converted into 3 dimensional area estimates in order to account for roof rise (not doing this is a common mistake that underestimates costs). A roof may be low pitch, medium pitch or high pitch, depending upon how steep it is. Based on this you will use a “multiplying factor” which will give a reasonably accurate estimation of the area that will need roofing. A rough estimate is 1.15 to 1.25 times for low pitch, 1.25 to 1.4 for medium pitch and 1.41 to 1.7 for high sloped roofs.

Metal Roof Estimate Step #4 – Arrive At Your Cost

Using a roofing calculator (there are many available for free online), you can convert your measurements into actual 3D area measures by multiplying the ground level two dimensional area by the “multiplying factor” which depends on the kind of roof pitch.

Then multiple this figure by the quoted cost per square that your roofing contractor presents you with, and you’ll have your metal roof estimate ready to go. Don’t let the metal roof estimate scare you. Most costs are negotiable and you can slash between 5% and 20% off your estimated expenses by learning more about metal roof estimate techniques and using good old common sense.

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