What if you could measure your home’s roofline without even stepping outside? Well, with the magic of technology, you finally can! Whether you’re a Pro-Installer hoping to save time and resources on estimates, or a homeowner looking to accurately measure your roofline to purchase lights of your own, Google Maps has a function for you to do so!
Steps to Make Measurements in Google Maps
Step 1 - Open up a Google Maps window in your browser - Head to https://google.com/maps to get started in the process. For demonstration purposes, we’ll be visiting a random home in the lovely Canadian capital of Ottawa, Ontario!
Step 2 - Our first step here is to change the layer view of our map from “Map” to “Satellite”. You’ll do so by hovering over the “Layers” icon in the bottom left-hand corner of the window:
You’ll notice when you hover over it that many options appear. Select “More” and another selection window will appear
From here, you’ll want to select “Satellite” as your Map type, and ensure that the “Globe view” box is checked. This will enable a 3D view of the map! Please note this feature is not available in all locations - it’s mostly usable in larger metropolises. Even if it's not available in your area, you can still follow steps 5 and onward to measure your rooflines!
Step 3 - Locate your desired address by typing it into the Search bar. We’re picking one at random today!
Step 4 - While viewing your property from above, toggle the small 3D button on the right hand side of the window. Alternatively you can hold down the Ctrl button your keyboard and drag with your mouse on the map surface to change the 3D perspective
Step 5 - Once you’ve gotten close to your home in 3D view, you can start to measure. To begin the process, right-click on one end of your home's roofline where you’d like to install lights. A new drop-down menu will appear and you’ll select - you guessed it - “Measure distance”!
Once you’ve selected “Measure distance”, this handy little pop-up appears to tell you what to do next:
Step 6 - Click to the next point on the roofline. Now you have your first measurement! For our example house, we have the top roofline at a total of 26.8 ft
Step 7 - If you have more sections of roofline that you’d like to measure, you’ll have to remove your current measurement. To do so, right click on the map again and select “Clear measurement”
PRO TIP: You can also use this feature to estimate the crown size of a tree you might be wrapping.
Step 8 - Now you can repeat steps 5, 6, & 7 to measure the other sections of roofline that you’d like to illuminate. On our test home, we’d like to light up the lower roofline and have made a measurement of 42.93 ft:
For our test home, I wanted to go all out with lights so I’ve measured the front ridge lines of the top roofline as well. This is a great example to show you that measurements will not be perfectly accurate. You would expect the ridgeline to be even on both sides, but here we have one measurement of 14.61 ft, and another of 16.60 ft. It’s safe to say they’re both around 15 ft, so 30 ft total:
Step 9 - Now you’ll add all of your measurements together for your final estimate. For our test home, we have [30 ft (ridge line) + 26.8 ft (top roofline) + 42.93 ft (lower roofline)] for a total of 99.73 ft.
Finally, you get to do the fun part! Using the math, you can pick the most appropriate base wire length for your project and pick the bulbs you want to use. We recommend padding your estimate with 15% of extra material to account for error. For for my sample measurement I would choose the following products:
- 1 x 100 ft E17 Socket Base Wire, White (E17-100-12-W) to match the white gutters and light grey roof tiles
- 1 x 25 ft E17 Socket Base Wire, White (E17-25-12-W) to supplement the above
- 1 x Bag of Ultimate Multi Clips, 100 pack, White (CLIP-MULTI-ULT-W) for the gutter
- 2 x Bags of Ridge Clips, 25 pack (RIDGE-CLIP-PRO) for the ridge lines
- 5 x C9 Warm White Bulbs, 25 pack (C9-WW) for a classic Christmas look
- 1 x 100 ft Power Cord, White (SPT2#18-HUND-W) for creating an extension cable between the lower roofline and the top roofline
- 6 x Pair of Male and Female Plugs, Clear (PLUG-SPT2-PAIR-C) so that I can custom cut each section of my roofline lights and extension cord
And there you have it! That’s how you can use Google Maps to get an estimate of the length of your roofline. If you have any questions about the installation process or need recommendations for what products to pick, please reach out to our team!