Measuring And Preparing For Your Metal Roofing Jobs

Harry_SchoutenBy Harry Schouten, ADVANCED Architectural Sheet Metal & Supply

Everyone knows how to measure metal right? Most of the time we would answer yes.

Then why when you get into the field to install it you can find yourself short of material, it doesn’t fit, or you missed something? Believe it or not, this happens a lot.

One of our recommendations is - be prepared. A couple of things to remember will make it easier.

1. Make a list.

2. Know the scope of the job.

Coping with or without cleat, inside plates or cover caps (this is for all roof edge metal). Check the top dimension in different locations (especially at the corners). Add for inside corners and lap joints - if no plates. Make sure the face will cover the nailer by 1-1/2” minimum. You need to know the layout of the roof metal so you don’t end up with a small piece for your last seam (it looks bad). You should add an extra 10 to 20 feet for errors (it is cheaper to throw it away than leave the job unfinished and come back later to finish - time is money!)

3. Do you need skirt metal on units?

4. Do you need pitch pans? What size?

5. Do you need counter flashing? What type?

6. Do you need gutters? What size, hanger spacing, and gutter lengths? How many drops/outlets and miters will you need?

7. Do you need downspout and elbows? What size? Are there obstructions in the way of the downspout? (We find this happens many times.)

8. Are there scuppers/conductor heads? When measuring the opening size, give enough room so that the scupper can be leveled off on the outside where it can be seen.

9. What color and gauge of material is needed?

10. Do you have the proper tools, fasteners and sealant for this particular job?

We have found over the years that some of these questions are missed by owners, foremen and installers. It’s easy just to make a checklist to give the person who is going to measure the job. If everything is on the list that is required for the job, the installation runs smoother which cuts down on loss of time - and the profit is up.

Some of these questions and ideas may work for you, or you may already have a plan or system in effect. I am sure we all can agree that anything that cuts down on time is a good thing.

Have a safe and profitable year as you begin the 2014 construction season.

Harry Schouten, retiree from ADVANCED Architectural Sheet Metal & Supply, spent 43 years in the sheet metal industry before retiring in 2011. He has 27 years of field experience with various companies and 16 years in sales for ADVANCED. For additional information, visit

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