When it comes to measurements in construction and roofing, understanding square feet and linear feet is crucial. While these terms might seem similar, they serve different purposes in the building industry. In this blog, we’ll explore what square feet and linear feet mean, how they differ, and provide practical examples to help you grasp these concepts effortlessly.


Before we dive into the specifics, let’s clarify what square feet and linear feet represent:

  • Square Feet (sq. ft.): Square feet is a unit of area used to measure two-dimensional spaces like the floor area of a room or the surface area of a roof.
  • Linear Feet (lf): Linear feet, on the other hand, is a measurement of length. It’s used to measure one-dimensional distances, such as the length of a board, a piece of trim, or a roll of roofing material.

Now, let’s break down how many square feet are in 1 linear foot.

How to Convert Linear Feet to Square Feet

The key to converting linear feet to square feet is to consider the width of the material or space you’re measuring. The formula for this conversion is quite simple:

Square Feet (sq. ft.) = Linear Feet (lf) x Width (in feet)

Here’s an example to illustrate this:

Suppose you have a roll of roofing material that’s 100 linear feet long, and it has a width of 2 feet.

Square Feet (sq. ft.) = 100 lf x 2 ft = 200 sq. ft.

So, in this case, a roll of roofing material that’s 100 linear feet long and 2 feet wide covers an area of 200 square feet.

Practical Applications

Understanding the relationship between square feet and linear feet is essential in various construction and roofing scenarios. Here are a few practical applications:


When you’re installing roofing materials, knowing the coverage area in square feet helps you determine how much material you need. For example, if each roll of roofing material covers 200 square feet, and your roof is 1,000 square feet in total, you’d need 5 rolls to complete the job.


In flooring projects, you often buy materials by the square foot. If you’re installing hardwood flooring in a room that’s 12 linear feet long and 10 feet wide, you’d need 120 square feet of flooring material.

Lumber and Trim

When purchasing lumber or trim for a project, you’d typically buy it in linear feet. Knowing the width of the boards allows you to calculate how much material you need in square feet. This is particularly useful for projects like baseboards or crown molding.


Understanding the relationship between square feet and linear feet is fundamental in the construction and roofing industry. It enables you to accurately measure and purchase the right amount of materials for your projects.

Remember, to convert linear feet to square feet, you need to consider the width of the material. This knowledge simplifies your work, making your roofing and construction projects more efficient and cost-effective.


As a civil engineer and roofer, I love to share the experience that I have gained through the last couple of years. In the roofing industry, practical experience is a very crucial fact that can help you a lot. Hence, I want to help you with my blog.

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