15 Oct 2020

Roof shingles are an essential part of properly constructing roofing that can resist the elements and hold together for long periods of time, but they can also sometimes be a logistical nightmare thanks to their weight. Not only do you need to find shingles that weigh the right amount for the framework you have laid out, but you also need to get the right amount of matching shingles to cover your roof correctly: if you do not have enough, you will leave holes straight into the building that can cause leaks or other, more severe problems.

Roofing Squares

One of the terms you might hear when buying shingles is “roofing square,” but it does not mean what you think it means. While many people would assume that it means one square foot or the number of shingles per square foot, it is actually a term to describe 100 square feet of roof space. For example, a bundle of shingles that covers one roofing square covers 100 square feet overall. This is often used to detail how many shingles per square you get in a bundle since different shingle types and brands aren’t always identical in width and length.

For example, if you happened to have a roof area of about 1,500 square feet, that is 15 squares. A roof of 2,500 square feet would be 25 squares and so on. You will usually get bundles in terms of squares, so one bundle might be able to cover ten squares (or 1,000 feet). You need to keep this in mind when looking at bundles of shingles, because it can be an extremely important part of understanding how many you are actually getting and how much space they can cover-up.

Also, remember that roofing shingles can have different depths. In general, a deeper and thicker shingle is going to be slightly smaller in terms of width and height while still being just as heavy, since roughly the same amount of mass is involved. A bundle that covers 15 squares might be the same weight as one that covers 20 squares just because of how thick and dense each shingle is.

How much does a square of shingles weigh?

The weight of a square of shingles can vary based on multiple factors, but in general, you can expect a single square to weigh anything from 150-240 pounds on average. It is important to get an idea of how much weight your roof can support if you have an older home, too – this might make it harder to get certain shingle types installed, especially if the roof has been designed with a lighter option in mind.

Weight also matters during the installation process, if you are planning to try and do it yourself. More weight means that you will be handling more weight overall, and the increased weight of each individual shingle can sometimes drag out the roofing process.

You can estimate weight through a simple equation: bundle weight, multiplied by the number of bundles, multiplied by the number of layers. This will give you a fairly good prediction of the weight involved, although you should always round up and keep a few extra shingles just in case you come up short.

Asphalt Shingles

Basic asphalt shingles are some of the cheapest singles you can buy, offering low weight and plenty of color and thickness variety. They do not last all that long, usually 30 years at most, but are still surprisingly popular. They are also waterproof and fireproof to a moderate extent. Many are also 3-tab shingles, and 3-tab asphalt shingles are some of the most common in most countries.

Architectural Shingles

On the other hand, you have architectural shingles, that are built with a thicker design and improved durability in exchange for a higher price and greater weight. As such, you will notice that a bundle of shingles will weigh more if it is full of high-weight architectural shingles since they are inherently going to weigh more overall.

How much does a bundle of shingles weigh?

So, how much does a bundle of shingles weigh on average? Since bundles are made from a collection of shingles with varying weight and size, it can be hard to estimate, but they do not always deviate too far. It is rare to find shingles above a weight of 80 pounds unless they are made with a special mixture of high-weight materials.

For example, if you take regular 3-tab shingles (let us say 3-tab asphalt shingles), a bundle might weigh around 50 to 80 pounds. However, if you were to buy an identical amount of cedar shingles, it could weigh as low at 40 pounds, and architectural shingles might be 60 pounds at the lightest. It all depends on the materials and sizes of each shingle type.

How many shingles are in a bundle?

How much does a bundle hold in terms of the number of shingles inside? This, too, can vary based on the company you are buying them from, and you might not always get an accurate measurement of the number of shingles per bundle you will be given. Some companies might choose to display the square coverage and weight of the bundle, but not give you the actual number of shingles inside.

In most cases, you can expect a standard shingle bundle to contain around 29 shingles, although it may be slightly more if the company is selling a different shingle design. A “standard shingle” is usually considered to be a 12-inch by 36-inch piece of flat material, with an indeterminate thickness.

How many bundles of shingles do I need for 1000 square feet?

Working out how many bundles you will need for the square footage of your roof can seem daunting, but it is not actually that hard. You can even use an online shingles calculator to work out a good estimation to figure out how many shingles in a bundle might be needed on average and how many will be leftover afterward. Figuring out how many bundles in a square of shingles are needed can also help you get a basic idea of the number of roofing shingles you will have to order.

Remember that the square system also assumes that the shingles will fit perfectly. In reality, you may have cases where your roof is wide enough to require an extra row or column of shingles, so having a few spares can be extremely useful.

Disposing of Excess Shingles

Once your roof is done, you might have plenty of shingles to spare (and ideally should, just in case). You might also still own the old shingles that you tore off the roof. If you do not want to keep them around as emergency replacements or have a lot of roof debris to remove, using a dumpster service or another simple disposal method is often the best way to get rid of them The added weight, not to mention the thickness of a material designed for a roof, means that it can be hard to get rid of them by hand.

Moving Shingles

Watch out for the weight when moving shingles, too, either when you install them or when you take them off of your roof. The weight alone can make them dangerous if you try to handle them without the proper preparations, and you can’t always estimate the weight of an individual shingle in a way that might help you move them. Like all roofing materials, it is very easy to drop the weight on your body.

Regardless of the kind of shingles you have, make sure that you handle them with care and keep yourself safe. Weight can be one of the most unpredictable parts of any DIY installation, and shingles are already complex enough without the added risk of harming yourself during a home renovation or home repair project.