How to measure and calculate hip roofing material

Written by paul massey
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How to measure and calculate hip roofing material
Roof (Ulrike Hammerich/iStock/Getty Images)

A hip roof is a popular design that slopes down from a ridge line to all exterior wall planes. It features a consistent perimeter eave or overhang that helps protect the wall surfaces, as well as provide an increased element of shade. An accurate estimate of roofing materials for a hip roof requires calculating the surface area. It is a matter of dividing it into its geometric shapes and applying a basic mathematical formula.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Ladder
  • Tape measure
  • Calculator

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Measure the overall horizontal length of the eave for the section of the roof area being calculated. Record this measurement as dimension A.

  2. 2

    Measure the distance from the eave edge to the centre of the ridge line, perpendicular to the eave. Record this measurement as dimension B.

  3. 3

    Calculate the area of the roof section measured in steps 1 and 2 by multiplying dimension 'A' times dimension 'B' to define the square footage of the roof section.

  4. 4

    Repeat Steps 1 through 3 for each individual section of roof, then add the totals together to get the overall roof area.

Tips and warnings

  • Roofing materials are sold by both the square footage and "squares," or 100-square feet. To determine the number of squares for the roof, divide the overall total square footage by 100.

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