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Why Does a Roofer Charge "Per Square"?

April 12th, 2024 | 2 min read

By Jeffrey Linta

If you’re in the process of having roof estimates on your home, you may be wondering “what in the world is the cost “per square”? Did they mean to say square foot?”

And this is an excellent question because plenty of other contractors will refer to size in square feet. Not only that, but the cost difference per square vs. per square foot can be quite dramatic. It may put you at ease to know that these two measurements are different in size. When you hear a roofer say “your roofing material will cost $400 per square” they are referencing a 10 ft x 10 ft area of your roof. 

Thankfully in this scenario your roof will not cost you $400 per square foot!

While we at Linta Roofing might find it surprising, we understand that not everyone shares our passion for roofing. And we also recognize that it is our job to make sure that homeowners feel confident and well-informed about their roofing project, so we’re writing this article to explain exactly what “per square” really means. 

What is a Roofing “Square”?

A roofing square is a 10ft x 10ft area on your roof, equaling 100 square feet. roof inspection photo

Roofers do not use this measurement to confuse you, but rather because they are calculating how many bundles of roofing material they will need to purchase for your roofing project. A square is 3 bundles, so instead of trying to figure out what fraction of a bundle is needed for a square foot, roofers can count 3 full bundles of material toward a square.

Calculating a roofing project this way prevents your roofer from over or underestimating material needs for the job. 

How Many “Squares” is Your Roof?  

If you don’t feel like your roofer is giving you a fair price, there are ways to do some of the math yourself.

If you’re looking to determine how many “squares” are on your roof, it’s important to note that a roofer is considering all the unique aspects of your roof when they provide an estimate. These aspects could include dead valleys, gables, the pitch of your roof and more. All of these areas can increase the amount of material needed for your roofing project. Not only that, but the square footage of your roof will be larger than the square footage of your home.

If you know the square footage of your home, a general way to determine the size of your roof is by multiplying it by 1.5. The average home size in Myrtle Beach is 2,000 square feet. 

So the equation would look like this:

1.5 x 2,000 sq ft home = 3,000 sq ft roof

Because we know that a square encompasses 100 square feet, this equation reflects that the roof in this example is 30 square. 

To get a ballpark figure of how much your roof might cost based on the shingle material you select, take a look at our 8 Factors that Affect Roof Cost in Myrtle Beach article. In this article you will find the average cost of a roof in Myrtle Beach and the average cost of 3-tab shingles, architectural shingles, and designer shingles. Not only that, but this article provides more detail on the areas of your roof that may increase the cost of your roofing project.

Understanding the Roofing “Square” to Ensure a Fair Estimate

When professionals of any kind use terminology you’re unfamiliar with, it can sometimes feel like you are at their mercy. But we at Linta Roofing believe that an educated customer is more likely to make decisions that provide them with long-term satisfaction. So we like to offer up important information that will help you have peace of mind with your roofing project for many years to come.

If you’re in the process of comparing your roofing estimates and you have reason to believe you may not be getting a fair price, it is important to compare the roofing contractors you’re receiving your estimates from also. 

And if you’d like an estimate from us, we’d be happy to inspect your roof and go over each piece of our estimate with you. 

Jeffrey Linta

Jeffrey Linta is a 3rd generation roofer who grew up working in his family's roofing business (Linta Roofing, Inc.). He got his start tearing off roofs during the summer while attending North Myrtle Beach High School. Now running one of the most successful roofing businesses in the Grand Strand area, Jeffrey has lived and breathed roofing for his entire working career. Some of his accolades include GAF Master Elite Contractor, SC Safehome certified contractor, Group 5 SC Licensed Commercial Contractor, and GAF Master Commercial roofing contractor. Under his leadership, Linta Roofing, Inc. has served thousands of homeowners and business owners in the Grand Strand area. Linta Roofing achieved awards like the Sun News’s “Best of the Beach” and A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau all while receiving hundreds of 5-star reviews year after year. Jeffrey is a Grand Strand born and raised local. When he is not running Linta Roofing, he spends time fishing with his wife Erica and walking the beach with his dog Dixie.