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HomePopularHow To Lay Out Shingles On A Roof

How To Lay Out Shingles On A Roof

How To Install Roof Shingles On Your Shed

Asphalt Shingle Panel Layout Basics – Popping Lines

This article was co-authored by David Bitan and by wikiHow staff writer, Hannah Madden. David Bitan is a roofing professional, licensed contractor, and the owner and founder of Bumble Roofing based in Southern California. With over 12 years of construction industry experience, David specializes in restoring, repairing, and maintaining residential, commercial, and industrial roofs. With over 60 years of combined experience, Bumble Roofing provides easy, friendly services to structures including residential, commercial, industrial, multi-family, and government buildings along with hospitals, hotels, and churches.There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 1,439 times.

Whether youre building a new shed or re-roofing another one, shingling is an important step that you cant skip. Shingles provide an important, water-proofing layer that can extend the life of your structure for years to come.XExpert SourceDavid BitanRoofing Contractor & Maintenance ProfessionalExpert Interview. 14 July 2020. Laying shingles on a roof by yourself isnt tough, but it may take a few hours of hard work. Keep reading to learn the process of shingling a shed roof so you can get started right away.

Laying Out Successive Courses

Starting from the top of the first course, make a series of marks equal to the exposure of the shingle, or 5 inches for standard Heritage shingles, from the eave to the ridge on both sides, accounting for any variances found previously. Snap a line across the roof at each pair of marks and use the resulting lines as a guide for installing the shingles.

Installing The Roof Shingles

You took the time to properly protect your roof against ice and water that tries to drip back underneath your shingles as it is flowing down, and now it is time to put the actual shingles on your home. Begin your shingle installation by laying a row of starter shingles along the lower edge of the roofline and nailing them down using roofing nails. With the starter shingles laid along the very edge of the roof, run a set of starter shingles along the sides of the roof as well, making sure that those rows come down and overlap the starter shingles you laid at the bottom.

Lay your first row of shingles so it overhangs the drip edge by about one inch. Put between four and six nails into each shingle below the tar line but above where the bottom of the next shingle will cross by about ½.

Do this on both sides of your roof and then install ridge cap shingles over top of the ridge. Start at the left side of the ridge and nail the first shingle on the right side. Lay the next cap shingle over the first so it covers that nail and nail it in the same way on the left side. Continue this all the way to the end of the roof. Seal the nail holding the final cap shingle with a bit of roofing tar to help prevent water from getting in.

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Can You Roof A House Yourself

Make no bones about itroofing is hard work. Theres no hiding from the elements. You cant be afraid of heights and you need to be pretty fit. Before committing to this how to roof a house project, try this: Get out a ladder and climb up onto your roof. If you cant walk around on it comfortably, hire a pro. If you passed this first test, go to the lumberyard or home center and throw a bundle of shingles onto your shoulder. Imagine yourself carrying that load up a laddermany, many times.

If youre still feeling positive about this how to roof a house at this point, why not give it a shot? You can skip a lot of heavy lifting by having your roofing supplier hoist the shingles onto the roof. Be sure you spread the load evenly across the length of the roofs peak. However, dont have the shingles delivered to the roof if you still have two layers of old shingles to tear offit could be too much weight for your trusses.

After youve obtained a permit and safely stripped the roof clean, nail drip edge flashing flush along the eave.

Cover the rest of the roof with No. 15 asphalt-saturated felt underlayment . Each layer overlaps the lower one by at least 2 in. Follow this step by nailing drip edge along rakes , on top of the underlayment. As you did with the flashing, always lap upper pieces over lower pieces. The felt keeps the roof deck dry before shingles go on, protects against wind-driven rain as shingles fail and increases fire resistance.

Complete One Shingle Bundle Before Moving To The Next

How to Install Roof Shingles

Use up all shingles from the same bundle before using the next bundle. Colors may vary slightly between bundles, and by using up the bundles one at a time, you will avoid having different colors on the roof within the same area. If possible, make sure all your bundles are from the same manufacturing “lot,” which will minimize color variations.

Also Check: How Much Shingle Roof Cost

Above All Never Compromise On Safety

Like any construction work, installing shingles can be dangerous. In order to avoid unfortunate accidents, make sure you respect the following rules:

  • Falling is the primary, and most obvious, danger. If walking on the roof is difficult, its probably because the slope is too steep for you to do your roofing work safely.
  • Wearing a well-anchored safety harness is essential to prevent falls.
  • Avoid working on a ladder. Use a platform or scaffolding instead. They will ensure your stability while you work.
  • To avoid electrocution, keep your ladder and all metal objects away from electrical wire and make sure you never touch these wires.
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment: protective glasses, work gloves, work shoes or boots with rubber soles and steel toes, long-sleeved work shirt or sweater, etc.

You have now gathered all the tools and all the necessary equipment and are ready to go on your roof, equipped with the necessary information to optimally install your shingles.

Are you really ready?

Not quite. Before you start, here is some more information to further prepare you:

There you have it! Our roofing guidelines! You are now ready to get up on that roof and start working! However, if you prefer to entrust your work to a professional, to check our network of certified experts.

Roof Replacements Are Expensive

Though its possible to learn how to install roof shingles on your own, its always best to leave it to an experienced professional. Roofing contractors know how to install different materials the right way, the very first time.

If you can, hire an experienced contractor and let them handle your roof replacement needs.

That said, did you know that there may be ways to extend the life of your current roof? Roof Maxxs all-natural treatment rejuvenates your worn-out asphalt shingles, adding up to five years of life to otherwise outdated materialsat a fraction of the cost of a roof replacement.

Contact us to learn more or to find a local contractor who can help you protect your roof with ease.

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How To Install Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles are specialized asphalt shingles with a heavier base than traditional asphalt shingles. Architectural shingles are typically cost about 20 percent more than traditional shingles, and come with at least a 25 year warranty . You don’t need a professional to install architectural shingles. Here’s how to install architectural shingles.

Materials needed:

  • Utility Knife

Here’s what to do:

  • At no place on your shingle roof should the shingles line up exactly with the shingles in the previous row.
  • Lay one row of shingles, starting from the lower left corner of the roof. This row should project half an inch over the eaves. Nail down the shingles as you go along.
  • Lay the next row of shingles, directly on top of the first row, making the row two tiles thick.
  • When laying the shingles for the top row, cut 6 inches from the first shingle in the left corner of the roof using the utility knife. Place a whole shingle next to it. Continue laying down shingles until the row is complete. Nail down the shingles as you go along.
  • The next row is placed so that it overlaps the previous row by half an inch . Cut 12 inches off the length of the first shingle that you lay. Then lay down whole tiles to the end of the row, trimming the last shingle so that it fits correctly.
  • Install the shingles on the other side of the roof in the same way.
  • Overlap the shingles where both sides meet at the top of the roof. Nail down the shingles .
  • Install Your Roof Shingles

    How to Install Roof Shingles

    Now that you’ve conquered the underlayment and drip edge and plotted your course, it’s time to learn how to install roof shingles.

    • Work your way up and across to begin laying your courses. Be mindful of the proper nailing technique so that nails always hold the top edge of the course beneath it. For example: Hammer one nail about 2 inches from each end of a shingle. Then secure another nail an inch above each cutout. So, your next course of shingles should cover the nails by 1 inch vertically.
    • As you continue, follow the pattern of lining a full shingle up against the next and then nailing it into place. Follow the guideline specified by the manufacturer as each shingle style has its own cut pattern.
    • Cut your last shingle on each row to size, repeating all the way to the ridge. Once you’ve reached the ridge, bend the shingle over the ridge so that each side is equal and nail it into place with a single nail on each side.
    • Do the same with the next shingle, continuing this step until you get to the far edge of the ridge.
    • Cut the last ridge shingle to the length you need, but be sure that no part of the roof is exposed.

    Tip: Be careful to drive nails straight rather than angled. Each shingle should be held by four nails. Six nails are preferred for areas that experience wind.

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    Other: Protect The Pipes And Vents

    Make sure that you have rubber protective boots secured by flashing around all of the vents and pipes as you are installing your shingles. These protective boots need to be snug to the pipe or vent with the lower flashing on top of the shingles and the upper flashing below the shingles. On the sides the flashing should run underneath the shingles and be nailed under the shingles. This allows water to flow down the shingles and run right over the flashing and keep on going without making it into your home. Following these steps accurately will ensure you have properly learned how to install roof shingles.

    Have Your Shingles Delivered To The Roof

    Even the simple garage shown here needed nearly a ton of shingles loaded onto the truck, carried to the job, and packed up a ladder and onto the roof. Most shingle retailers will, for a price, deliver the shingles to your home, and may even place them on the roof as well.

    It is well worth almost any price to have those heavy packages of shingles, at around 60lbs per bundle, delivered to your roof rather than packing them up yourself. Something to consider when you buy.

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    How To Install Roof Shingles: A Step

    No matter how much you stay on top of routine roof maintenance and repairs, youll eventually need a new roof. Though its highly recommended to leave installing new roofing materials to an experienced roofing contractor, knowing how to install roof shingles can help you better maintain and preserve your roof.

    The process is time-consuming and can be tricky if youve never worked on your roof before. This guide will give you a bit of insight into how to lay shingles the right way.

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    With all defects repaired lay down new felt if necessary. Starting at the bottom of the roof, lay a strip clear across to the other side. Pay careful attention that it is straight with the edge most felt has lines drawn on it that can be used to line up the new shingles if the felt is installed absolutely straight. Most often felt is fastened with a simple heavy-duty staple gun staple every foot or so. Overlap the second piece about an inch and lay additional rows until the peak of the house is reached. Again, it is a good idea to snap a chalk line across the roof to make sure the felt is installed absolutely straight with the edge of the roof. If there is no ridge vent, leave the top piece extending over the far side of the ridge, where it can be folded down and stapled on top of the last piece to be installed on the other side.

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    Remove The Old Shingles

    • 1.1 – Remove the old shingles and roofing felt with a roofer’s shovel. Pry out nails.
    • 1.2 – Sweep the roof as clean as possible and run a scraper over the decking to check for nails that might have been missed.
    • 1.3 – Inspect the plywood or particle board and replace any damaged or rotten boards. Panels must be at least ½” thick.
    • 1.4 – Nail down or screw in any boards that are raised or loose.
    • 1.5 – Install a metal or vinyl drip edge directly on the plywood the length of the eaves. Nail at 12″ intervals and lap each section by 2″. Use snips to cut the corners.
    • 1.6 – Verify that soffit and ridge vents are not obstructed.

    Stick The Bottom Part Of The Underlayment To The Roof Of The House

    Install the second course just like the first, using the guidelines on the underlayment to get the correct overlap. When an ice dam forms on a roof , ice and water can work their way up under the shingles and leak back into the house. Also, strong winds can blow rainwater under shingles. Self-stick roofing underlayment can prevent this because it sticks to the roof decking to seal out water. It also seals around nails, which keeps water from leaking through nail holes.

    Rolls of self-stick underlayment have a plastic backing so the material won’t stick to itself. The backing is separated down the middle. Line up the lower edge of the roll with the outside of the drip edge. Peel back part of the uppermost backing on the roll, and nail the top corner of the underlayment to the decking. Start pulling the roll across the decking using the backing, making sure the material is lying as flat and as straight as possible as you pull.

    You’ll be able to roll out long sections at a time if you have a low-pitched roof, but the underlayment may slip off the eaves on steeper roofs, so roll out no more than 10 ft. there . It’s important to make sure all your underlayment lies flat before you fasten it to the decking. Ripples and lumps can telegraph through the shingles and may be noticeable from the ground.

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    General Guidelines For Nailing Shingles

    To ensure optimal performance of your asphalt roofingshingles, be sure to follow these general directions for proper nailing:

    • Use the correct roofing nail material, size, and grade as specified in the shingle installation instructions.
    • Fasten shingles with corrosion-resistant nails.
    • Install the recommended number of nails per shingle. For Duration® Series shingles, Owens Corning recommends using either a 4- or 6-nail fastening pattern depending on the roofs slope and building code requirements. In most cases, 4 nails are adequate.
    • Position the nails appropriately according to the shingle installation instructions.
    • Align shingles properly to avoid nail exposure.

    Determine The Slope And Ventilation Requirements Of The Roof

    How to : Roofing – Where to start laying (three) 3 tab shingles / starter shingle

    In order to determine the slope of the roof, simply place a ruler perpendicular to a staright level on the 30.5 cm mark. The distance measured on the ruler between the roof and the level corresponds to the slope of the roof. Refer to the diagram above for a detailed representation of the instructions.

    • Low slopes are slopes between 5 cm and 10 cm : installing an eave protection and an underlayment is mandatory.
    • Standard slopes are slopes between 10 cm and 20 cm : installing an eave protection is mandatory while installing an underlayment is recommended.
    • Strong slopes and sloping ceilings have a slope of over 20 cm : installing an eave protection and an underlayment is recommended.

    WARNING: Asphalt shingles must never be installed on roofs where the slope is less than 5 cm in installation.

    Another important factor to consider before proceeding with the installation: ventilation! All roof structures must have vents to allow air to flow through. This is done in order to prevent the accumulation of moisture-laden air under the roof support. Required ratio is 1/300 for standard-sloped roofs.

    In the case of low-sloped roofs and cathedral ceilings, the required ventilation ratio is at least 1/150. The ventilation holes should be distributed as follows: 55% in the lower part of the roof to allow the entry of air, and 45% in the upper part so that the air can come out.

    For more details on proper ventilation, please read our installation guide .

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    Mastering Roof Inspections: Asphalt Composition Shingles Part 24

    The purpose of the series Mastering Roof Inspections is to teach home inspectors, as well as insurance and roofing professionals, how to recognize proper and improper conditions while inspecting steep-slope, residential roofs. This series covers roof framing, roofing materials, the attic, and the conditions that affect the roofing materials and components, including wind and hail.



    Installing shingles vertically up the roof instead of using the traditional stair-step method is called racking.

    Courtesy of CertainTeed®

    This diagram shows a conventional offset installation. The amount of offset varies with the model of shingle.

    Courtesy of CertainTeed®

    This diagram shows shingles installed using the racking method.

    Racking is easy to recognize, once you know what to look for. On a racked roof, youll see joints staggered straight up the roof.

    Joints should align at every other course.

    The joints shown in this photo are in the center.

    Racking is widely perceived as always being an improper installation. This is often true, but not always. Some manufacturers list racking as an acceptable method of installation for certain types of their shingles, but they also mention that its not the preferred method.

    At least one major manufacturer requires that certain types of their shingles be installed using the racking method.

    Several problems can occur when the racking method is used with the wrong type of shingle:


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