Unless you work in the industry or have had your roof replaced at least once before, you may never have thought about the logistics behind the transportation and delivery of roofing materials. If you live in the Flagler-Palm Coast area, however, you are bound to have seen at least a few times large flat-bed shingle delivery trucks on the road or houses under construction or renovation sitting with piles of shingles, and occasionally other roofing materials, on their roof waiting for the roofers to come and finish the job.
If you do enter the process of replacing your roof, as your roof replacement date approaches, you will likely get a call from your contractor with two dates: the shingle delivery date and the work-start date. This may be the same day, but it may also be two different days, likely in the same week. You may wonder why this is the case. Don’t the roofers just carry the shingles up to the roof when it is time to lay them? The answer is no, in most cases they do not. In this post and the next we will explain the logistics behind the asphalt shingle delivery process, from packaging to transport to the piles you see on top of a house that is about to get a new roof.
The reasons behind the fact that asphalt shingles are delivered to a house and installed on the roof by different groups of people, and sometimes on different dates, begin with shingle packaging and weight. Shingles are sold in units called bundles. Now, a single bundle of shingles weighs about 50-80 pounds. The reason for the range is that there are different types of shingles, as we have discussed previously. Thicker and more durable shingles will up the weight of a bundle.
Fifty to eighty pounds is pretty heavy, but not so heavy that it cannot in most cases be carried up to a roof by one worker. The question is, how many bundles are needed to cover one roof? This, obviously, depends on roof size. Unlike shingles, measured in bundles, roofs are typically measured in roofing squares. One roofing square (1 SQ) is equal to 100 square feet of roof surface. A 2,000 square foot house (including garage), which is pretty average for the Palm Coast area, typically has a 30 SQ roof. This number may vary based on how cut a roof is–how many sub-roofs and special features it has–but we will stick with a 30 SQ roof in this example.
So, how many bundles does it take to cover the roof of a 2,000 square foot home? Well, it typically takes 3 bundles of shingles to cover 1 SQ of roof. This number may go up to four with very thick and durable shingle variants. But, say we stick with the average 3 bundles per square. This means that 90 bundles of shingles are needed to cover a 2,000 square foot house. The weight of the entire shingle delivery will be from 4,500 to 7,200 pounds. Keep in mind this is only shingles, not including the other roofing materials like underlayment, flashing, vents, nails, tools etc… While it is reasonable that a worker can carry a bundle of shingles up to a roof, 90 bundles becomes much more taxing in terms of time and manpower. This is especially the case if the house is greater than one story.
A full shingle order for any one roof is not only heavy, but also takes up quite a bit of space. Since even a small, local roofing contractor will typically replace several roofs in a week, it is unreasonable to expect that they will be able to store and transport all the necessary orders themselves. For this reason, shingles (and other roofing supplies) are usually purchased from regional or national supply companies who store the materials in large warehouses and get them directly from the manufacturers in bulk.
These supply companies own specialized fleets of freight, flatbed, and shingle delivery trucks which are used to transport several orders at once. Roofing contractors place shingle orders in advance with the supplier. The orders are typically broken up by job/contract. These can range from a 90 bundle order for that typical 2,000 square foot residential home to very large orders for big commercial or residential complex projects that can be hundreds of bundles at once.
The contractor provides their chosen supply company with a delivery address for each order. The supplier’s fleet transports these orders and delivers them not to the contractor, but to each job site directly. The large flatbed trucks that are used to transport shingles, in most cases, can hold several orders at once. For this reason, several orders (from several contractors) are loaded onto each truck and grouped by geographic area for delivery. Each truck, then, makes several deliveries per day to assigned job sites.
The delivery process, with helpful relevant information for homeowners, will be covered in our next post. In the meantime, if you have any questions about shingle delivery or want a free estimate for your roof in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give Florida’s Best Roofing a call at 386-263-7906!