Are you planning to install a new roof or replace an existing one? If so, you’ve probably heard about starter shingles, a crucial component of any roofing project.

In this blog, we’ll answer a common question: “How much starter do I need for my roof?” We’ll keep it simple, provide examples, and ensure you have all the information you need.


Starter shingles are often overlooked but are a vital part of a roofing system. They are designed to provide an extra layer of protection for your roof’s eaves and rake edges, helping to prevent water infiltration and wind damage. To determine how much starter you need, you’ll need to consider your roof’s dimensions and type.

Calculating Starter Shingles

Calculating starter shingles is a straightforward process. Follow these steps:

  1. Measure Your Roof: Start by measuring the length and width of your roof in feet. For example, let’s say your roof is 30 feet long and 20 feet wide.
  2. Calculate the Perimeter: To find the total linear footage of your roof’s edges that require starter shingles, add up the lengths of all four sides. In our example, that would be 30 + 30 + 20 + 20 = 100 linear feet.
  3. Check Starter Shingle Coverage: Starter shingles typically come in bundles that cover a certain linear footage. This information can usually be found on the product packaging. Commonly, one bundle covers around 33 linear feet.
  4. Do the Math: Divide the total linear footage of your roof’s edges by the coverage per bundle to determine how many bundles you need.
    Number of Bundles = Total Linear Feet / Coverage per Bundle
    In our example:
    Number of Bundles = 100 linear feet / 33 linear feet per bundle ≈ 3 bundles

So, you would need approximately 3 bundles of starter shingles for your 30×20-foot roof.


Here are a few additional points to keep in mind:

  • Roof Type: The type of roof you have can affect the amount of starter shingles needed. More complex roof designs with multiple angles and dormers may require extra starter material.
  • Overhang: If your roof has a significant overhang or if you plan to extend the starter shingles farther onto the roof deck, you may need more material.
  • Contingencies: It’s wise to purchase a bit more starter than your calculated amount to account for any errors or future needs.


Calculating the amount of starter shingles you need for your roof is a simple process that ensures the edges of your roof are properly protected.

By measuring your roof’s perimeter, checking the product coverage, and doing the math, you can confidently purchase the right amount of starter material for your roofing project. This attention to detail will help ensure the longevity and durability of your new roof.


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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