When it comes to tackling a roofing project on your own, many homeowners want to be as prepared as possible. They want to know how they can more easily scale their roof, what sort of packages they will have to haul to the top, and the easiest way to go about their repair. The act of climbing up to your roof carrying a bundle of shingles can be a scary prospect. It helps to know just what you can expect. After all, how much does a bundle of shingles weigh?
Before you decide to take on a roofing project, you should really check out the specs on a bundle of shingles. This can clue you in to whether or not you will be able to manage toting this item up and down your ladder or scaffolding system.
What Kind of Shingles Do You Have?
Many homeowners are surprised to learn that there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to their shingles. Apart from the aesthetic difference between brands, there are actual differences in the shingles themselves. These can result in major differences between the weights of each type of shingle, so it is imperative that you understand the differences.
The most common category of shingles is asphalt shingles, but there are still several styles to choose from. The most common include 3-tab shingles and architectural shingles. The three-tab varieties are one of the more popular styles because they tend to be less expensive than other options. They are a little bit thinner with an organic-mat paper base. While they do wear out faster than other varieties, they are less expensive upfront.
Architectural shingles are also created from asphalt, but they offer a more durable solution compared to the three-tab variety. They have a laminated layer that creates a different visual effect that appears more sophisticated than what a three-tab shingle can offer. You may even find architectural shingles that mimic the look and feel of wood designs. They are more expensive but tend to last longer than other types of shingles.
Cedar shingles tend to be more durable than any type of asphalt shingle. They are crafted from cedar trees that are centuries old, meaning that they may not be as environmentally-friendly as many homeowners would prefer. Each log is split into a section, otherwise known as a shake. The end result is a rather rough-looking but completely unique roof.
Slate shingles are another wonderful option for a homeowner who wants an extremely durable roof. These roofs can last more than 100 years when installed and maintained properly. However, they will easily be the most expensive option. Expect slate shingles to be relatively thin but still extremely heavy. If you are worried about how you are going to carry new shingles all the way up to your roof, the slate may not be the choice for you.
How Much Does a Bundle of Shingles Weigh?
The majority of shingle bundles will weigh between 50 and 80 pounds. This figure is perhaps most accurate for what you can expect a bundle of asphalt shingles to weigh.
A bundle of 3-tab shingles will weigh on the lower end of this figure because they are thinner than architectural shingles. Most of these bundles weigh in between 50 to 65 pounds per bundle. On the other hand, a bundle of architectural shingles will weigh on the upper end, with most packages ranging from 65 to 80 pounds.
If you are looking at specific name brands for your architectural shingles, you might be interested in the GAF Timberline shingles. It takes roughly three bundles of these shingles to cover 100 square feet with a little over twenty pieces per bundle. Expect a bundle of GAF Timberline shingles to weigh approximately 70 pounds.
Cedar shingles are extraordinarily heavy and are packaged in slightly smaller bundles. It will take roughly four packages to cover the standard 100 square feet that roofers measure by. When the wood is dry like it is supposed to be, each bundle of cedar shingles should weigh between 40 and 80 pounds.
Slate shingles easily outweigh all of the other types of shingles listed here. Some of these bundles can weigh hundreds of pounds because you are installing actual stone on your roof. Be prepared for the inevitable workload that comes with slate shingles and transporting them up to your roof before you purchase.
Before You Buy
A regular bundle will be enough to cover 33-square feet of your roof area. However, if the materials are heavy, the coverage area will be smaller.
The square footage in a bundle of shingles is likely to vary based on the material. Three-tab and architectural shingles tend to have more square footage in a bundle because they weigh less than cedar shingles and slate shingles.
On the other hand, most contractors and trade publications use the term roofing “square” rather than square feet. It equals to 100 square feet. To find this number, simply divide the number of square feet by a factor of 100.
For regular shingles, contractors mostly use the following figures to estimate the weight:
1 bundle equals 50 – 80 lbs
1 square equals 150 – 240 lbs
So, one-third of a square equals a bundle. If you’re going to use heavier materials, it will be lower than one-third (one-fourth or smaller).
Once you calculate the area of your roof, you can calculate the estimated total weight:
[weight of a bundle] x [number of bundles] x [number of shingle layers] = estimated total weight
How to Carry Shingles to Your Roof?
Once you know just how much weight you can expect from a bundle of shingles, the next logical thing that most homeowners want to know is how to easily carry them up to the roof. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer, and there are no shortcuts for hoisting these shingles up to the uppermost part of your home.
Do you feel like you could carry these bundles up to your roof using just your ladder? This is slow work, but it is really the only way that you can get the bundles to where they need to be. Alternatively, you may find that your roofing supplier is willing to hoist those bundles onto the roof for you.
If you decide to take advantage of this service, remember that they need to spread those bundles out across the length of the roof to prevent putting too much weight in one place.
Having all of the shingles delivered to your roof in one fell swoop may sound like a dream come true, but this service is not for everybody. Some people have multiple layers of shingles installed on their roof already. This is already a great deal of weight for your roof to support.
Adding the weight of the bundles in addition to these layers of pre-existing shingles might simply be too much weight for your roof to bear.
Instead, you should remove the layers of shingles from underneath before toting all of the new shingles up to the length of the roof. You might choose to have your shingles delivered on the same day that you finish removing these layers so that you can conveniently keep rolling on your latest home improvement project.
Before you commit to installing new roofing, you need to make sure that you are comfortable walking around on your roof. Secure your ladder to the roof so that it cannot slide from side to side while you are climbing or after you are already on the roof.
Be sure you position your ladder at an adequate angle, and never climb near a power line.
Even if your ladder is secure, always have someone who can help you out.
You need to make sure that you are wearing a safety harness that will help to anchor you if you should slip and begin to fall.
From here, it is mostly common-sense things that should be taken care of before you spend too much time on the roof. For example, you need to clear all leaves and debris from the surface of the roof so that you do not slip. Wear footwear with an excellent grip and only climb up to your roof on a day when you are having excellent weather.
When walking up and down the roof, you should be hunched over slightly toward the roof. Most people find it helpful to crouch down low toward the roof if they have to descend. When you happen to be working with a roof that has a steeper pitch, you will find that you must lean forward more than a flatter roof.
To prevent putting too much burden on your roof, try to stick near the rafters as you set each bundle down. These are better able to support your weight than the seams. They should be spaced roughly 16 to 24 inches apart, depending on the structure of your home.
There is no quick and easy answer when it comes to how much a bundle of shingles can weigh. While most bundles will come in under eighty pounds, it will vary based on the square footage in each bundle and the material itself. Be prepared for these bundles to be a heavyweight on the roof of your house, though.
Unfortunately, there are also no clear and simple procedures for getting those shingles onto the roof on your own. You will simply have to take it one bundle at a time. There is no mistaking it – roofing is definitely hard work. If you don’t feel like you are cut out to carry those shingles to the roof on your own, consider paying your roofing supplier or hiring a professional company to come out and perform the work on your home.