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Post Info TOPIC: How do you figure the square foot of a roof?


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How do you figure the square foot of a roof?
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I've been a member now for 3 days and I have to tell you that this is the place for the best info on roof cleaning. With all the dirty roofs in my area it looks like a great business opportunity. I'm definately looking into starting a roof cleaning business. ( I thought about lawn care but the competition is fierce where I live. During the noon hour today†I saw at least 15 different companies taking†their lunch breaks all in the same area.) I've seen no one doing roof cleaning. I wonder how this business will do with unemployment now at 7.5 %. Anyway to my†question, how do you estimate the square footage of a roof?† Again you guys are real pro and thanks for sharing your knowledge.



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Square footage of a simple ranch home would be Base (length of the roof) x Height.
Obviously roofs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes but if you remember base x height and you cut up complicated roofs into sections (triangle shaped sections found on dormers are base x height divided by 2) you will be fine. I don't actually measure roofs when estimating roof cleaning in Cleveland and Columbus Ohio, I usually bring up a photo of their home on the internet and I can usaully get a good enough Idea from that what I need to charge ( I was a roofing contractor for several years so Im pretty good at guesstamating) unless its a HUGE job. I do measure once I get there to kind of keep track of how much chemical I use for x amount of squares.

-- Edited by mmcgue at 09:12, 2009-02-16

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Normally I always check the sq footage of their home on the local property appraisers web site. there should be a site†like this for every town. Here is the one for Pinellas County Florida where I am.†It is all public record. I also do a live map search or google map search and go into birds eye viewing to see what I'm in for before actuall giving the final price for a Roof Cleanng. I don't much care for surprises when Cleaning Roofs. I've given a price before from the front yard and gotten the job only to find out that they had a huge†addition put on. OUCH!

-- Edited by Larry at 21:17, 2009-02-06

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Larry wrote:

Normally I always check the sq footage of their home on the local property appraisers web site. there should be a site†like this for every town. Here is the one for Pinellas County Florida where I am.†It is all public record. I also do a live map search or google map search and go into birds eye viewing to see what I'm in for before actuall giving the final price for a Roof Cleanng. I don't much care for surprises when Cleaning Roofs. I've given a price before from the front yard and gotten the job only to find out that they had a huge†addition put on. OUCH!

-- Edited by Larry at 21:17, 2009-02-06



I do the exact same thing For estimating Cleveland and Columbus Ohio roof cleaning. Luckily no surprises so far.


-- Edited by mmcgue at 09:15, 2009-02-16

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I need to start doing that too.

A lot of times I need to explain to customers that the living area is a lot smaller than the roof area and sometimes it takes a while of explaining to them that the overhangs, attached garage, pitch, etc....adds on to the area to be cleaned.

I have had people say things like it is just a 1500 sq.ft. house and I just need an estimate. I ask questions to see if it has an attached garage or not because that will add around 400 to 800sq.ft of roof area.

If they have a patio on the house in front or back or other things that have a roof over them need to be added into the measurements.

I do not know why but when the roof sq.ft. is way much more than the actual living space, they have a heart attack it seems. I try to explain everything to them so they understand but sometimes they will just not listen. I had one lady hang up on me when I was explaining. Wow!

I am just trying to be honest with them. I guess maybe I could only clean above the living areas????†† hahahaha


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I know what you mean Chris. My older customers are the worst. Like over 80 years old. They expect everything to be the same cost as stuff was back in the 50's. I had one retired old feller insult me, saying I was highway robbery! LOL! And he could do it himself or call his colored jackleg to get his roof cleaned for $100! My price was $300.

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I break the entire roof up into squares or rectangles and triangles and calculate out the actual square footage. I am not yet ready to guesstamate as mmcgue does. I just don't have that level of comfort with the whole process. YET. I have been using the local assessors records to get the dimensions of the house. There is a photo and a floor plan with basic dimensions on our assessors site. I have used that information successfully to estimate several house washes over the phone. I also check out Google Earth street view to see the front yard landscaping and how that might impact the job. It doesn't help for the back yard, but you can usually see the front and side yards fairly well.

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Mike Sullivan wrote:

I know what you mean Chris. My older customers are the worst. Like over 80 years old. They expect everything to be the same cost as stuff was back in the 50's. I had one retired old feller insult me, saying I was highway robbery! LOL! And he could do it himself or call his colored jackleg to get his roof cleaned for $100! My price was $300.



††† Same here. The elderly have been around for a long time and know every trick in the book to try to get you to lower your price.† Even if you tell them your price is firm and suggest looking elsewhere they still want to keep negotiating.



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After searching for more results on how to figure the square foot of a roof I've come across these links. I hope they are†helpful to all.

http://www.improvenetpro.com/resources/calc/roof.html#
http://www.inspectusa.com/roof_area_calculator.php
http://www.skytekimaging.com/

Shawdawg



-- Edited by Shawdawg at 15:36, 2009-02-17

Here's another one.
http://www.eagleview.com/


-- Edited by Shawdawg at 17:02, 2009-02-17

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Im a former property appraiser gone washer LOL. The best way to get the true sq.ftg. of a roof is to multiply the home ftg. by 1.25. I did some math and multiplied the home sq.ftg. by .18, which gets you .15 cents a foot on the roof. I know it sounds cheap but its a quick way to give an estimate and keeps the HO from calling the next guy on the list. I used to break the numbers down and charge .25 cents a sq.ft. but were in hard times right now and a quick honest estimate gets the job. I always use the local county appraisal site for the ftg. The numbers are never right but in the math you'll only gain or lose a few bucks. Just make sure you are aware of the type of roof (tile, shingle, flat, age, stories, and steepness). These are just my oppinions, but its workin for me quite well so far, as a rookie that is :) If all else fails ask CHRIS.

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OH yeah, as far as the elderly customers. I treat them like grandparents, cause they are somebodys. I've been "low balled" by a few, but most old folks dont have much to talk about except for things like getting their roof cleaned by a really great guy. Word of mouth is by far cheaper than advertising. In the long run it pays off "for those of you who believe in KARMA LOL" again just my oppinion :) BTW im surrounded by mobile homes.

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