Frederick Roof RepairServing Frederick and Montgomery County, MD
This is a field square.
Field Square Defined
A field square is an amount of shingles sold as a square that is actually less than 100 square feet but close enough, or so they say. Think those big bags of potato chips that are a third full because they are being sold by weight and not volume. You would think they would make the bag smaller, but then you would realize up front that you were getting a smaller amount, since most of us buy visually, whereas the manufacturer sells by weight. Shingles are sold by number of shingles, and some manufacturers do not sell a fixed number of shingles in a given package. You would think that this would be illegal, but it is not, as long as it is displayed on the packaging. One manufacturer that I can think of sells 20-22 shingles per bundle, and claims that if bought in bulk, the roofer should end up with an average of two bundles with 22 shingles in each for every one bundle with 20 shingles. In other words, the manufacturer aims to sell 64 shingles per square instead of 66. If they did sell 66 shingles per field square, than their field square would cover 99.66 square feet, which is very close to 100 square feet. They choose not to do this which results in a field square of 96.64 square feet. When challenged as to why they are doing this, I was told that the other manufacturers do the same thing, and that roofers are generally too stupid to recognize that they are being short sold a full 100 sq feet for every 25 squares they are purchasing. Yes, they actually told me that in confidence, which is why I am not revealing who they are. They are also apparently too stupid to buy a more expensive, more accurate field square, with the end result being that they end up paying essentially the same price ( they don’t need to buy that extra square), and materials are more easy to purchase accurately, as the 22,22,20 rule occasionally slips into other configurations, like 22,20,20, or even worse 20,20,20. No matter what, the first 3.34% waste of a roofer’s calculation is actually consumed by “missing” material. The risk to the manufacturer, because of the apparent general stupidity of roofers, is that no good deed would go unpunished, and their selling the best field square in the roofing world would result in roofers not buying their shingles due to the increased cost associated with those two extra shingles. I disagree. Doing things because they are the right thing to do doesn’t always make you rich, but it always makes you right. Giving the group of people who actually sell your product to the public a little more credit and then pointing this all out in a well crafted marketing campaign I believe would go a long way to building credibility in the industry as a whole.
Thanks for reading