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Don't shoot the messenger. Too complicated for the home owner and too simplified for a roofing contractor. Hips and valleys create waste that needs to be accounted for. Although we talk squares, we order by the bundle, usually 3 per square. Flashing, Ice and water, underlayment, trim, drip edge, ridge vent, starters, and I'm not even a roofer. And don't forget removal and disposal costs when replacing a roof.
To help home owners estimate a roof, a generous estimate is all that is needed. If they order too much, the extra can be returned. Much better than having to pick up a couple more bundles on Monday with rain closing in. If the estimate is to prepare them for having the work done, the contractor will use his own count anyway.
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