How to Calculate Shingles for Gazebo

Whether you're designing a new gazebo or renovating an existing one, it's important to calculate the number of shingles needed to complete the job.

Know Your Gazebo

Gazebos create a relaxing outdoor living space.Gazebos create a relaxing outdoor living space.
This information will help you budget accurately and choose the appropriate materials.

Determine the number of sides on your gazebo. While many are made up of six equal sides, octagonal gazebos are popular, too.

This gazebo's roof is made up of isosceles trapezoids.

Understand the shape of each roofing panel. Some gazebos feature triangular roofing panels which meet at the top. But others feature a series of isosceles trapezoids (see image) in which the diagonal lengths are identical. So the distance from the top right to lower left corners is equal to that of the top left to lower right corners.

This is a two-tier gazebo.

Determine whether you have a one, two or three tier gazebo. Two roofing levels (see image) are most popular in more ornate models featuring isosceles trapezoids.

Remember to take one set of measurements per gazebo tier.

In gazebos with more than one tier, determine how many sides are triangular or isosceles trapezoids.

Calculating Square Footage for Triangular Roofing Sections

Record dimensions in inches.

Measure the base of the roofing panel.

Enlist help if you need to stand on a ladder.

Measure the height of the roofing panel by recording the distance between the apex of the triangle and a point halfway along the triangle's base.

A basic calculator saves time.

Multiply the base length by height to determine the area in square inches.

Careful measuring avoids unnecessary mistakes.

Count up how many sides are identical to this triangular panel and multiply this number by the sum determined in Step 3. Divide this sum by 12 to convert into square feet.

Calculate Square Footage of Isosceles Trapezoids

Make a mark halfway along the base length.

Measure and record the distance in inches between the two bottom corners. Label this "base length."

Mark the halfway point along the top length.

Measure and record the distance in inches between the top two corners. Label this "top length."

The height of an isosceles trapezoid runs through its center.

Measure and record the distance between the two pencil points. This measurement should be labelled "height."

Always double check your measurements.

Add your base and top lengths together and divide this sum by two to determine the average length. Multiply average length by height to find the area in square inches for each roofing panel.

Calculate figures twice to avoid errors.

Determine the number of sides which are identical to this panel and multiply this figure by the sum determined in Step 4. Divide this sum by 12 to convert into square feet.

Determining the Number of Shingles Needed

Don't forget to calculate each gazebo tier.

If necessary, add the sums from Step 4 in Section 2 and Step 5 in Section 3 to determine your total square footage.

Cedar is a popular choice for gazebo shingles.

Shingles are bundled into squares. Divide the sum from Step 1 by 100 to determine how many squares of shingles are needed.

This is a two-tier, six-sided gazebo featuring triangular panels.

Shingles are sold in bundles of three squares. Multiply the figure from Step 2 by three to determine how many bundles of shingles are needed to complete the job.

Things You Will Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Ladder
  • Calculator


  • If you have blueprints or designs for your gazebo, refer to them for the measurements needed.


  • Working at heights on a ladder can result in a fall. Always enlist help when measuring your gazebo.

About the Author

Karen Cotton has been a writer for five years. Her features work has appeared in newspapers and magazines in both the United States and Europe, as well as appearing globally online. Cotton holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with first-class honors in journalism from University College Falmouth.